Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition
Chapter 6. The “Digital Economy”: An Expansion of the Knowledge Economy
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THE “DIGITAL ECONOMY”: AN EXPANSION OF THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
6.1 Introducing the “Digital Economy”
There has always been a close connection between the technosphere and the economy. These two systems, which form an integral part of human culture, have historically coevolved (7.2.1). Biotic systems, which include living organisms and human languages, cultures, technologies, and economies all probe what Stuart Kauffman (2000) has defined as the adjacent possible for new forms of life, language, culture, technology, and economic systems, into which they may evolve. Natural selection chooses among these experiments of the biotic systems those that do a better job of surviving and replicating themselves. The adjacent possible of a system is all the nearby candidate systems for possible inclusion into the next round of evolution of a system.
We propose in this chapter that the “new media” will give rise to a new way of doing business that we will call the “digital economy,” just as:
When we use the terminology of digital, knowledge, information, or industrial economy it does not mean that at any given point in time all the organizations in the economy are organized as a digital, knowledge, information, or industrial organization. Rather, as a new economy emerges, like the “digital economy,” some organizations will be organized along the lines of a “digital” model and others will be organized along the lines of a knowledge, an information, or even an industrial model....
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