I still try to figure out how it works – network effects …the Net-Work …

Isn’t it remarkable that we find more and more the term ‘extraction of value/extraction of profit’ where we talked previously about the production of surplus value? This is getting vaguely perceptible looking at the development of paypal. According to Elon Musk, initially incentives of $20, then $10, later $5 had been spent to attract new customers, until a critical mass had been reached. According to Musk it had been “a fair amount. I think it was probably $60 or $70 million” this is what we learn from Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX | Entrepreneurship | Khan Academy – quoted from the auto-transcript. It is about attracting people to extract value from the fact that they are linked together – a rather simple mechanism.

Well, extraction – who likes digging in the ground, getting dirty – that is what usually happens when extracting things.

Anyway, this example clearly shows that network effects do exist: after reaching a critical mass things are becoming shiny self-movers, after enough people caught in the net, the effect is that it works: shines like a bright star over the present, seemingly reaching beyond the horizon …

Shiny …? – hang on: The College Edition of  WEBSTER’S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY OF THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE (THE WORLD PUBLISHING COMPANY Cleveland and New York (Copyright 1960 and 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959) says on page 985, under the lemma net

trap, snare, caught – clean, pure – gain are some outstanding terms


The other day  I received a mail by a trade company, asking me to join a draw, liking the company on Facebook (tempting to join FB?). And inviting to tell a story (probably nobody would read anyway, and definitely not relevant for the “competition”). Anyway, the moral of the (more or less immoral) story: join us by joining facebook to be joined by facebook that joins us in order to find more to join facebook that join more to joining us … — there is at some stage no choice, no end, just for the sake of being part of it: the plastic card society, virtualised as social-network society where shops – for grocery’s to high-end whatsoeveryounameit-products and services are themselves networks, presenting themselves as such … where shopping in the stores, according to Apple’s Angela Ahrendts, is about 20 % buying, 80 percent about being part of it …., an expensive part if we think about it – but neat, shiny, — nets, the

‘fabric made from string … used to trap or snare’

these nets do indeed work:

the stores become a place to experience physically live everything you’ve been doing on your device

… and vice versa: what you are made to see and hear: the reality transformed into the store …,  becomes the reality.

Of course, there is a dangerous side to it, often called conspiracy, but actually a matter of using two very simple rules

first, six degrees of separation, namely the apparent fact that things and people are six or even less steps away from each other

second, the fact of 

taking the immediate encounter as the limit of knowable reality. In both, external knowledge on the part of the audience is not involved—in the city by necessity, in the theater by fiat (using the words of Richard Sennett in The Fall of the Public Man)

Taken together, the effect of the working net is the establishment of permanent trust: trusting the other on sounds of a vague feeling of knowing each other while we try everything to hide from each other and sadly from ourselves – the remaining trust – and of course there is some – goes with the commodities obtained and the self, saved somewhere as Narcissus.

At the end, in entrepreneurial terms it is net profit, extracted …, coming from nowhere else than from shine , pictures, at times amazing in their beauty, definitely in their deception  …. .


Another “the other day” … wondering around, watching one of these street artists, fascinating today like those impostors in the medievals (I can only guess, never met one – just to young): a little puddle, and huge, huge bubbles after a short while, jiggling and joggling and juggling with the long special rope at the end of the two sticks, transposing matter into air, caught in a sometimes colourful, always shiny ball of air …. remaining nothingness of singularity located between zero and one.



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