The False Economist

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Big Data Little Impact

While researching what to do with all those Twitter shares I bought*, I came across this interesting article in the New Yorker (pronounced NuYoikah) about how relatively little impact digital goods and services (i.e. apps, email, social media, games, storage, etc.) have on GDP.

Which makes sense when you think about it; the way the online world works means that, to quote the article's author, James Surowiecki; "free has been more the rule online than the exception". Twitter, Google, Facebook, Snapchat et al charge nowt while consumers happily do their best impression of the Cookie Monster omnomnom-ing their way through free data and information.

Even taking into account that GDP is not a perfect measurement of a nation's economic well-being it seems that a model may well need to be developed to better capture the impact the digital economy is having.

For further reading I thought this memo from Dr. Michael Mandel gave a good overview of the subject and some useful figures.

*= Seriously, guys, if any of you bought  those, sell them before the most popular hashtag on Twitter is #BurstTechBubble2.0 (see Forbes article for reasons why).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Waking Shark II: The Re-Sharkening

A "war game " styled drill was carried out across London today to see how well the City would deal with a shark cyber attack on a number of international and domestic financial institutions' computer systems....and it had the best name ever: Waking Shark II. If the Syfy channel don't come knocking for a spinoff I will eat my hat.

Details of the exercise are available here from Reuters.

Whoever came up with" Waking Shark II" deserves the 2014 Nobel Prize for Economics...or, failing that, the 2014 Nobel Prize for Naming Stuff (it's real trust me).

Details of the exercise won't be published until December 2013 and the results could be interesting considering some of the points raised by IT experts and highlighted here by Warick Ashford of Computer Weekly.

P.S. As sharks never sleep surely they're never waking but constantly awake ? The world of finance poses more intriguing questions than I ever thought possible...