[FoRK] The World Is Not Flat

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Tue Jan 19 10:15:42 PST 2010

--- On Tue, 1/19/10, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> ...  All value flows towards the middle of the
> network...  and all the while the dynamic equilibria of
> the network is increasingly undermined, requiring higher and
> higher (potentially unsustainable) "input energy" (i.e.,
> economic resources and non-economic forces applied) to
> maintain any appearance of stability.

Appealing. That last makes me think there's a relationship between that and the "casino capitalism" that was recently mentioned and the whining I've been doing about related activities of gamblers-not-traders in things like commodities markets and elsewhere. There's a holistic thing going on here that I can't get my head around but I can feel it. Yours is the first articulation I've seen of something that makes it fit somewhere.

Do you suppose there is a tie-in of these things in the above aspect of Bone's developing Theory of General Relativity as applied to Distribution Networks?

That is, to the extent that these activities are intermediation points in distribution networks but add little or no value, do they add to the "resistance" implied by the above, similar to, say, resistance to market entry? 

Raises the first question: Are they intermediation points? (I think so, but...)

Does the theory extend to assigning "resistance values" to intermediation points? E.g. the more value an intermediation point adds, versus its cost, the less "resistance" it adds to the network? E.g. a transporter is physically moving a good from one location to another at a fair market price, thus adding relatively lower resistance. Versus, e.g. a commodity speculator who simply buys and then resells a contract for the same good and peels off some of the available aggregate "margin" while adding little or nothing to the movement of the good from source to sink or to its value and thus adding relatively higher resistance.

It seems the former (transport) would be something on the "edge" and the latter (speculation/gambling) would be part of the jam-up in the "middle" that you mention.

That last statement is probably wrong on two counts in that I'm inferring "jam-up" but you did not state it. And, there is likely no relationship between a resistance metric of an intermediation point and its location on the network. Or is there?

Which, then, causes me to ask what you mean by "All value flows towards the middle of the network..." ("value" is such a mushy word), or at least why you say that? 

Is this (middle of the network) where the relative difference between value-add [little...lots] versus the quantity of available aggregate margin extracted [little...lots] creates the highest resistance to transit of the network by the good from source to sink?

By the way, are you still having problems with my paragraphs not wrapping? If so, would a switch (by me) fom Yahoo to Gmail make a difference? Simple enough to do if it will fix it.


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