■[英語で読むITトレンド] 次の10年はどういう時代か(6): Peer Production
Business Week誌のエール大学Yochai Benkler教授インタビューが面白い。「The Sharing Economy: Yale law professor Yochai Benkler points to Google and Skype as examples of a new, Info Age market structure, based on peer production」
As a professor at Yale Law School, Yochai Benkler doesn't seem like a prime candidate to rewrite the field of economics. But in a couple of papers, most recently "Sharing Nicely: On Shareable Goods and the Emergence of Sharing as a Modality of Economic Production," he suggests that the Internet and cheap computers are spurring a new method of producing economic value besides the market and the traditional company. He calls it commons-based peer production.
What we're seeing now is cheap processors, which put computation on our desktops and in our laps, cheap storage, and ubiquitous communications. It's this combination of a low-cost personal computer and the Internet...that allows this aggregation of behavior. Things that would normally just dissipate in the air as social gestures come to have some persistence as economic products. This departs radically from everything we've seen since the Industrial Revolution.
産業革命における蒸気機関に相当する現代のTechnology enablerのが「cheap processors」「cheap storage」「ubiquitous communications」の3つで、この3要素の存在によって、産業革命以来我々が経験してきたすべてと全く異なる世界が展開しようとしている。ここはForbes誌リッチ・カールガードの「Cheap Revoltion」の問題意識と同じだ。ではこの「Peer Production」現象はどういう領域に多大な影響を及ぼすのか。
There's a subcategory of things that can be produced in relatively fine-grained, modular units that are amenable to this production. It so happens that a lot of the most valuable products of the Information Economy can be produced this way: software, most information, most knowledge, a lot of computation, a lot of storage, a lot of connectivity. And that's quite significant. But it's not a threat to business as a broad category.
I've found myself treated with a reasonable amount of respect among the people interested in open-source software. But it's an uncomfortable shoe for economists. Business-school economists, more than economics department economists, are interested in this. And more specifically, businesses are interested in this.
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