Sharing is Caring

sharing

I've been very curious about the so called 'sharing economy'. There's no shortage of articles on it. It's interesting how it came about - desperate people armed with technology helping each other out - and wonder if something like this could have developed in Australia, where the government has a tendency to prop desperate people up so they aren't quite so desperate.

On the other hand, Australia has a long history of 'mate-ship' and helping each other out with under-the-table deals and so forth. Friends are a valuable commodity here, and there's few businesses which aren't encouraging you to 'tell a friend', 'bring a friend', 'discounts for friends'. What if I don't have any friends?! Circles of friends can be difficult to break into - relationships need to be maintained once you have. But the benefit - free help when you need it!

Anyway.

"Wired's cover story this month is about the rise of the "sharing economy" — a Silicon Valley–invented term used to describe the basket of start-ups (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, et al.) that allow users to rent their labor and belongings to strangers. Jason Tanz attributes the success of these start-ups to the invention of a "set of digi­tal tools that enable and encourage us to trust our fellow human beings," such as bidirectional rating systems, background checks, frictionless payment systems, and platforms that encourage buyers and sellers to get to know each other face-to-face before doing business.

Tanz's thesis isn't wrong — these innovations have certainly made a difference. But it leaves out an important part of the story. Namely, the sharing economy has succeeded in large part because the real economy has been struggling."

via NYMag

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