Friday, March 28, 2008

The economics of internet (II)

Internet is expected to have a lasting impact on society, but we still do not know the full strength of it. However, one thing for sure is that any way to limit its effect, will means costs higher than the benefit. Let analyze this assessment in more details. So far, both global society (global village) and global economies seems to move, pretty much up to the pace internet has settled, in terms of information flows, communication channel, and transaction facilities. With TV soon placed massively on internet, conventional TV will become not just global, but instantaneous and so it will its influence. Therefore ,any attempt to restraint this dynamic looks like trying to stop the unstoppable, in what it is an useless effort .The rate of increase of internet users is more than 100%.
Ronald Coase said some years ago (1971), that the market for ideas, is not that much different than the markets for goods, such that both are accountable for regulation. The implication was that as long as there was regulation for imperfect competition ,so it was necessary to apply regulation in the markets for ideas. But how can be possible to apply such regulation ,to what has become a global multimedia source of new ideas?. Society needs all the information available to make the best decisions about different issues concerning their welfare level increase. For example, if had not been by internet , the environment damage caused by human intervention, would not have gone so far other than the daily news ,which means that the global warming issue would not have been more than a debatable topic for scientist and expert on climate change. Internet has made it not only a debatable topic , but also a priority because every one connected to this network has the chance to make comments, suggestion , critic and evaluations ;pressing the world organizations dealing with it, to pursue a more active role. As a matter of fact ,this year there are planned more than 26 conferences related to the global warming issue, all of them possible to track by internet. Physically it is impossible for anyone to attend them all , however internet allow to all who want to participates to register on line. On the other side, there are a global community worried about the environment, based upon internet facilities, which made possible for the year 2007 ,to become the year of the environment. Thus, because society has better information, key element to develop a deeper consciousness about the complexity of such challenge, these days the environment issue is on top of the agenda , and the expectations are to make further progress into the near future. In short ,in just a few years it has been possible to move forward on the environment dilemma, at a faster pace than in the previous decade .On the other side, information flows allow the global economy a quicker response and adjustment to random shocks at lower cost than otherwise. Any restriction on these flows, would mean welfare cost for global community.-
Blogging is the new wave of internet communication. More than 30 million of them live in the cyberspace, and it will become more relevant in the near future ,as each one person´ s point of view will matter in a more fractionated global society. The willingness to reach out other people, exceeds any attempt to impose limits and control . Chile has been working very actively on the internet platform for public services(education, health), privates firms, services,(financial, job seeking opportunities), and news media (comments segment),in what it looks increasingly like a virtual society although. with real effects. It is one of the leading countries in Latin America on this issue. However, while most of Latin America newspapers, have been moving forward to allow their readers a broader space to shape public opinion, some Chilean news papers seems to restrain their connectivity with its readers.