Capitalism depends on lending and borrowing, and hence on banks. In that sense banks are a utility, like Water Works or Electric Company.
The hurricane edition of the NY Times contains an article about a new British TV show on the downside of immortality. It reminded me of something similar I once contributed to Edge’s 2009 Question. The link to their 2009 Question — What Will Change Everything? — is broken, and so I reproduce my paragraphs here:
I had thought globalization was a good idea. The developed world was rich, and it seemed as though outsourcing was going to diminish the wealth discrepancy between the rich and poor, decreasing the slope of the wealth line between the USA and the developing world.
If there’s one larger lesson one learns from options theory that transcends its technical details, it’s that there aren’t unmitigated goods. Every benefit thing has its price. Convexity/optionality is valuable, but its downside is rapid time decay.You can’t have your cake and eat it (unless you notice a kind of convexity that no one else has yet recognized).
Google’s big battle will be that they know (and care) nothing about customer support or user interface. I early-adopted and hated the clunky Motorola Droid and I’m intensely happy to be rid of it. Unlike Apple, there was no one responsible for the device as a device. And I couldn’t upgrade to newer ones when the hardware improved because Google’s own software wouldn’t successfully sync any newer Droid with Google’s own calendar.