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<It IS worth billions. Just look at the culture that Bill Gates built and
the billions he collected for his efforts. The same goes for Hewlett
Packard, Apple and Intel. They didn't just invent new products. They also
invented new ways of organizing labor and management so that labor was able
to share the riches and become totally involved in the work they were
I'd dispute this at a number of levels, as new products are exactly all
these companies produced. The way those products have incorporated into
existing cultural practices, and began in some instances to alter those
practices, is a product of the usage of those products. Take a look at
Bolter & Grusin's book 'Remediations' about new media, which looks at this
from the point of view of how "new" media essentially do little more than
repackage and reutilize the conventions of previous media forms.
Did Henry Ford envisage the socio-cultural impact of line production,
evident in those classic critiuqes of the mass society (from the likes of C
Wright Mills; and BTW I mena classic as in old) or did he just want to
increase supply to meet (feed) demand?
Take the war in central africa- one primary factor is the mining of minerals
that are a major constituent of the sim cards in people's mobile phones.
Not to mention the massive increase in petty theft in the UK almost entirely
caused by the widespread ownership of mobile phones (the main increase has
been in phone thefts- so much so that senior judges are calling for
sentences in jail that would be longer than for things like indecent/sexual
The politico-economic, socio-cultural impacts of innovations are not
invented by the creators of those innovations. A good example would be to
look at the rhetoric about the global harmony that the telegraph would
produce (see Tom Standage's 'The Victorian Internet' for some interesting
stuff on this).
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