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Virtual Futures Salon: Dawn of the New Everything, with Jaron Lanier

So here’s what hap­pened. If you tell peo­ple you’re going to have this super-open, absolute­ly non-commercial, money-free thing, but it has to sur­vive in this envi­ron­ment that’s based on mon­ey, where it has to make mon­ey, how does any­body square that cir­cle? How does any­body do any­thing? And so com­pa­nies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a cor­ner. There was exact­ly one busi­ness plan avail­able to them, which was adver­tis­ing.

Finance is not about Money

I think one first step is to dis­tin­guish between tra­di­tion­al bank­ing, which sells mon­ey it has (or it can bor­row very quick­ly, what­ev­er) and finance, which sells some­thing it does not have. And in that sell­ing what it does not have lies its cre­ativ­i­ty. It has to invent instru­ments. And secondly—and they go together—it has to invade oth­er sec­tors. Because it itself does not have what it needs to pro­duce.