Landscapes of Global Capital
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"So what is the new economy?
When we talk about the new economy, we're talking about a world in which people work with their brains instead of their hands. A world in which communications technology creates global competition - not just for running shoes and laptop computers, but also for bank loans and other services that can't be packed into a crate and shipped. A world in which innovation is more important than mass production. A world in which investment buys new concepts or the means to create them, rather than new machines. A world in which rapid change is a constant. A world at least as different from what came before it as the industrial age was from its agricultural predecessor. A world so different its emergence can only be described as a revolution." (From the Encyclodpedia for the New Economy," http://hotwired.lycos.com/special/ene/index.html?nav=part _two&word=intro_one)

One genre of commercials celebrates new communication and organizational formations associated with high-speed flows of information. Higher levels of productivity, instantaneous access to ever changing markets, better coordination of organizational functions, and a new-found 'wisdom' are produced by dipping one's hand into information flows. High-speed data transmission and software-generated analysis ensure corporate and personal success. In this world the cliché, 'knowledge is power,' is repeated endlessly. Knowledge lies in access to networks of information held in corporate data banks. The global information economy claims to stand opposed to the older industrial economy by virtue of its emphasis on brainpower rather than manpower.

The information economy is composed of networks, circuits, and nodes, organizational software, and information flows. The information economy is built for speed -- speeding up production, speeding up distribution, speeding up market research feedback, speeding up the response to market research, speeding up the amount of work an employee can do in a day, or an hour, or a minute, etc. It is not surprising then that representations range from global landscapes traversed by beams of light to anxious executives fearful of this fast moving electronic universe. Corporate ads thus present both a visionary future and an anxiety-ridden present. Commercials reflect both the mythology of a noise-free informational economy in which production, distribution, marketing and sales run in perfect harmony along with the everyday pressures of business persons who must keep these informational rivers flowing.


New Economic Formations
Commodification
Social Relations of Production
Information Economy

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Robert Goldman, Stephen Papson, Noah Kersey