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A book by Alexander Dolgin

Manifesto of the New Economy

Institutions and Business Models of the Digital Society

Presentation of the book in RIA Novosti

In view of the release of “Manifesto of the New Economy. The Second Invisible Hand of the Market” RIA Novosti hosted the discussion with the participation of Professor Lev Yakobson, Doctor of Economics, First Deputy Rector of Higher School of Economics; Professor Alexander Auzan, Doctor of Economics, Head of Chair of Applied Institutional Economics of Moscow State University, President of National Project Institute-Social Contract; and Professor Alexander Dolgin, Head of Chair of Pragmatics of Culture of Higher School of Economics, Manager of Imhonet portal of recommendations.

“There is a feature in the book by Alexander Dolgin which is represented in the title – “Manifesto”. It is some holistic message, - Lev Yakobson, HSE First Deputy Rector started the discussion of the book. – The message of emphasis, which is extremely valuable to me, - the role of cooperation. It is assumed that economists observe people conflicts only. Speaking about the invisible hand Adam Smith was thinking how conflicts led to prosperity gain. In the new economy cooperation is starting to signify a lot; this is the economy about what people can do together. Communication originates between people. The key problem is with whom to communicate and where to find the person? Communication increasingly happens through texts; eventually, so much information is brought down that there is a feeling that you either be a patient of loony-bin or perish. Competent use of communication can only be based on other communications. The book gives economic interpretation of communication and solidarity in its processing - it is significant not only for economic advancement (even though the economy, most certainly, will be developed around these plots) but for the whole of society”.

“We are on the way to superconductivity of the information environment – continued Alexander Dolgin, the author, HSE Professor, Manager of Imhonet portal of recommendations. - Information is available to everyone, anyone can learn almost everything. It would seem that we are very close to rehabilitate the central tenet of classical economics: the information is priceless. Previously, it has been clearly unrealistic. Now the information, at first glance, is really free, but the process of its consumption, sorting and understanding has become extremely expensive. Restriction is in our own heads. It's time for the economy of personal resources. Any concepts and explanations that neglect this fact are vulnerable.

We will explore the economy of interpersonal exchange and laws of motion of information in the society. Internet social networks serve as the environment for such explorations. But they alone are not enough. We need some kind of X-rays allowing us to light social networks for quantitative characteristics. In my opinion, this should be the system of post factum payments. The measuring platform can be a social search engine".

"I would read the book by Dolgin from the end, rather than from the beginning - started with a paradox Alexander Auzan, Head of Chair of Applied Institutional Economics of Moscow State University, President of National Project Institute-Social Contract, - you open Appendices and, my God! How interesting! I'm not talking about they are titled the way I would title the whole book - "The law of conservation of happiness. Empirical Data”. I'm trying to persuade Alexander Dolgin to describe in detail the experiments he run at the Imhonet portal of recommendations, because even first results are intriguing. Why, for example, in distribution of ratings of different cultural products on Imhonet maximum satisfaction is always in the area of 8 points of 10-point scale? No matter what people estimate - literature, music, movies ... It appears that a certain proportion of positive and negative is supported in the individual and society, and it is quite difficult to be moved with respect to a certain level. And Dolgin half-jokingly, half-seriously hypothesizes the law of conservation of happiness – on the analogy with the law of conservation of energy".

I want to specify two new rules - said Alexander Dolgin at the end - which will serve as the foundation for the new society. They are collective club filtration and post factum payments that overturn the usual trading scheme. Today it seems like a utopia. But there is no other thing that is more coming-true than sober utopia. Gratitude trade has deep roots: ancient kula, potlatch, and gift practices – these are economic tools of trust. Post payments the book suggests are their modern equivalent. But like every rule, formal or informal, post payments need to be supported by sanctions. It is the prerogative of clubs (all kinds of human societies). Club, a community meaningful to a human, encourages following the norm. As people today follow dress-codes appropriate to circumstances, so tomorrow they will follow norms of postpayments."

On-line version of “Manifesto of the New Economy. The Second Invisible Hand of the Market” is available for reading or downloading at www.adolgin.ru

RIA Novosti
17.09.2010