9:15 AM: Economic Weblogging and the Future: Speaker: Hal Varian. Discussant: Joshua Gans:
DRAFT PANEL INTRO: In the beginning things were simple. You became a weblogger. Whenever you read something interesting—on or off the internet—you noted it. If it was online, you dropped a link to it.
Then people responded to comments about things you had written about people’s critiques of others’ writings, and you went from a singular voice, crying in the wilderness, as you snacked on your locusts and wild honey, to part of a collective, communal conversation: “the generation’s finest minds meeting on comment threads, battling roving bands of trolls, and holding the great conversations of the age!”
And then there became simply too much to read. We found ourselves reduced from insightful commentators and analysts to frontline aggregators, and then we gave up on aggregating anything outside our own narrow circles.
We know that chunk of the world and of the now that we see, but that is becoming a smaller slice of the Cosmic All with each passing day. How do we perform our role now? And how will be perform our role in the future, and with what tools are available? How will we do our jobs in the future?
Google as a company lives ten to twenty years in our future anyway. And Google does so because it specializes in thinking about how to drink from the information firehose without getting self-waterboarded. So here to introduce our conference and give us a more informed view than we have on both the future and on what tools we should already be using in the present, we have Google’s Chief Economist Hal Varian—with discussion by the University of Toronto’s Josh Gans, one of the proprietors of http://digitopoly.org.