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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Kakonomics of Facebook

This is an add-on to the previous post I have written in reply to the EDGE annual question. The best example that comes to my mind to illustrate a typical kakonomical interaction (or LL-exchange) is Facebook . Why do people tell you during the day that they have plenty of things to do, not a minute for a sandwich together, so many papers to finish etc, and then you find them on Facebook all the night without the least guilty feeling? Because on Facebook we are LLing together: They like you to waste time by writing comments and adding YouTube videos because they are doing exactly the same and this makes them feel less guilty in wasting their own time. Facebook friends are L-friends: They are partners in producing the very low outcome of entire evenings in front of the computer without writing a line of what you should write. The worst betrayal by such a good L-friend is to take the High quality (H) rhetoric seriously (I have many commitments and things to do), let you down and go to work while you're hanging around YouTube to find the most stupid possible video to share with them....

Facebook and other similar examples (Twitter, etc) are examples of the economy of the new millennium, the hidden face of human preferences we would like to hide in the H public space, but we love to share with people whom we are sure they are committed to the same L standards.

The pleasure of the immediate reply to one of your comments to a friend's new post is to discover that he or she is complying in L, we're wasting time together, we don't feel guilty and tomorrow we won't be ashamed to tell each other that we're terribly busy....A perfect L-world!