Economy

  • Almost ten years ago, I wrote about Free Software’s surprising sympathy with Catholic doctrine, noting that, albeit certain statements sound _“as if they could have been written by Richard M. Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), in fact, they come from the Vatican Report “Ethics in Internet” (EiI)“._ In 2013, I greatly expanded that same thesis in “Catholic Social Doctrine And the Openness Revolution: Natural Travel Companions?” Today, I’ve just discovered that the June 2015 newsletter on Faith, Economy and Ecology of the Maryknoll Office for global concerns:
  • I’ve already written some of the things I heard and discussed at the 2013 Economics and Commons Conference in Berlin, from weak arguments against copyright to a few practical questions and suggestions to all commoners. This third post is about one crucial problem mentioned in Berlin: “getting people out there to know the very concept of Commons”. Here is a rearranged synthesis (1), which you’re welcome to reformat (2), of answers and comments to this question from the notes I took during the Conference:
  • CPUs, that is Central Processing Units, are the central microprocessors that make all the real computing work inside modern computers, from desktop ones to smartphones and servers. I only now found out that China is planning a national, unified CPU architecture. This CPU architecture would have to be used for any projects backed with Chinese government money. The reason is obvious: to reduce China’s reliance on foreign technology and products, in a sector as vital today as microelectronics.
  • John Michael Greer makes a really important provocation. He begins explaining a few things about the current world that everybody not living in a hole already knows: Our current industrial society was just a non repeatable huge stroke of luck, made possible by access to an immense supply of cheap, highly concentrated fuel that took million years to produce, and was worth extracting (same theme of Never mind the debt!
  • Several sessions and seminars of the 2011 European Open Days (*) have covered the theme of how to bring broadband connectivity to every European citizen. According to several Open Days panelists, when scarcely populated and possibly rugged rural areas get fast, reliable and affordable non-stop access to online services: innovative small and medium businesses can start and prosper locally doctors and other professionals are more likely to remain (or arrive!
  • (this is an account, written in June 2006 and found in one of my archives tonight, of something that really happened to me, exactly as described below, in the spring of 1997. I’m publishing it because I believe that this rambling about the “future”, while not being very original anymore, complements well something else I posted about the future earlier today: Never mind the debt! What matters is EROI) Once upon a time, we produced the material goods we use.
  • (this is my attempt to understand and summarize in less than 500 words, in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible, a very important issue I’ve read about in the sources quoted below. Comments and corrections are very welcome) EROI (energy return on energy invested) is the ratio between the energy available for the economy and the energy it takes to produce that energy. An EROI of 100:1 means that the world gets 100 KWh for every KWh consumed to extract, process and distribute oil, carbon or any other power source, including renewable ones.
  • Groupons, that is Group Coupons, are special offers with very high discounts, valid only if a minimum number of buyers accept to buy whatever was the object of the offer. These offers are only made online from portals like Groupon. According to Italian newspaper Repubblica, all offers on groupon portals follow two basic rules: first, the more people declare they want to buy the same thing, the less they pay; second, the more a good or service and its purchasers are geographically closer to each other, the greater the savings.
  • The nature of data

    (this page is part of my Open Data, Open Society report. Please follow that link to reach the introduction and Table of Content, but don’t forget to check the notes to readers!) “Data is the new oil? No. Data is the new soil” David McCandless @ #TED Understanding why it is crucial that PSI is published in raw, Open and Linked formats as defined in the previous paragraph is much easier if we look at the true nature of what we call data, that is to all the consequences of the definition attempted in Chapter 2.
  • (this page is part of my Open Data, Open Society report. Please follow that link to reach the introduction and Table of Content, but don’t forget to check the notes to readers!) Economic value of open data falls in two very distinct categories that will be examined separately: the first is wealth generated outside public bodies, that is more opportunities for private businesses, job creation and so on. The other is savings inside the administrations themselves, because opening data makes it possible to cut some activities or handle them in more efficient manners.