dteh on 25 Aug 2000 14:41:24 -0000

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Re: <nettime> The New Culture? The New Economy!


I'm not sure I follow you:

<<You can't call something an economy that doesn't take production. . . >>

since when has the on-line economy been exclusive of 'production'? what
about knowledge workers, media, advertising, or intellectuals who post
their thoughts on e-letters/mailing lists...?  is this not work?  could it
not be that the nature of the idea: 'production' itself is about due for a
bit of renovation (along with <<a whole lot of other stuff>> like
'infrastructure', 'distribution', etc).  production must, as a term,
unshackle itself from the notional engine of manufacture. 

as a mode of exchange, i've got to say that i find the "hi-tech gift
economy"  - no matter how 'artificial' or 'intangible' or apparently
unbinding its material relations may be - MUST qualify for an economic
analysis, in the same way that, say, the kula or potlatch qualify.  these
were systems of gift-exchange that defined and delineated the material and
social relations in a community (and between communities), and yet are
irreducible to the terms you seem to demand - no money, no negotiation,
etc.  what exactly is the harm in treating a system like gift-exchange to
an economic analysis? 

the material/historical relations that constitute the conditions of
possibility for such systems as the kula are clearly also instrumental in
shaping the mode of exchange as it evolves; and furthermore, the mode of
exchange itself is no less productive of the continuation/adjustments of
these 'relations' than in say, high-capitalist industrial exchange, though
they might be less overtly apparent, and certainly tended to be
'unformulated' in any textual sense. 

please explain why a gift-exchange system is not an 'economy' in more


David Teh

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