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[Clothesline Paradox] value can be created, but sometimes cannot be measured or counted

[Clothesline Paradox] value can be created, but sometimes cannot be measured or counted [Clothesline Paradox] value can be created, but sometimes cannot be measured or counted
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I've been thinking a lot lately about a piece I read in Stuart Brand's, CoEvolution Quarterly back in 1975. It's called the “Clothesline Paradox.” The author, Steve Baer, was talking about alternative energy. The thesis is simple: You put your clothes in the dryer, and the energy you use gets measured and counted. You hang your clothes on the clothesline, and it “disappears” from the economy. It struck me that there are a lot of things that we're dealing with on the Internet that are subject to the Clothesline Paradox.

Value is created, but it's not measured and counted. It's captured somewhere else in the economy.

I started thinking about this first in the area of open-source software, or for that matter, the Web. You think about how much value Tim Berners-Lee (ed. English engineer and computer scientist best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web) created and how he didn't actually capture very much of it. It was captured by companies like Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook. You also think about the other extreme, where companies like Goldman Sachs managed to extract a great deal of value from the economy, but as the 2008 financial crisis demonstrated, they did so while actually destroying value for the overall economy. So that got me thinking about how value creation and value capture are not the same thing. Our economics tends to measure value capture. If we're going to get 21st century economic policy right, or even just correctly model what's working and why, we have to start moving to a model that measures value creation rather than value capture.

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Source : The clothesline paradox, Edge, April 10, 2012 

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