[FoRK] The World Is Not Flat

David Kammeyer kammeyer at rocketmail.com
Tue Jan 19 14:00:40 PST 2010

This is an interesting way to look at things.  The systems are definitely statically unstable, and maybe oscliatory over long periods of time.  For example, the auto manufacturing supply chain grew up in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.  When railroads grew up, the southern states realized that they could attract auto manufacturers with right to work laws and financial incentives.  Now that auto manufacturing has largely left Michigan, Michigan is falling all over itself to offer incentives for companies to relocate there.  Maybe the incentives have to get higher every round though.

All of this has happened largely due to cheaper transportation.  In surface transportation, we have had numerous improvements to railroads.  Internationally, we have had containerization, specialized bulk carriers, and much larger ships.  In information, we have had digitization, packetization, and fiber optics.  What's on the horizon that would be comparable to one of these?


> From: Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org>
> This tendency is strongly encouraged by the corrupt collusion of governments and 
> national or multi-national corporate entities to create (and strongly guard / 
> enforce, through the coercive might of government and captive law) such 
> "beneficial" trade agreements, contracts, and flows of money, value, and 
> material.  It tends to support incumbents, encourage monopolies, block 
> innovation, and create general systemic fragility / non-resiliency while 
> aggregating created-value "in the middle" of the economic landscape.  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.


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