Chapter 3: Is It Legal?
In this chapter, the author, Mr. Castronova, states that the constitution never says that someone outside of the government could not coin their own mint. There were several actions taken by the government and the supreme court that restricted the use of private money, and eventually drove a lot of the private money out of the economy. For example, several actions taken were: to forbid anyone from making anything metal or any metal compounds for the intended use as currency. There was also legislation passed to not allow currency less than a dollar to be made. The third example of legislation passed to decrease private currency would be to make the counterfeiting of currency illegal. An new point brought up by the author is that physical currency, such as casino chips are highly regulated, virtual currency is not. Currently, there are not any laws specifically prohibiting virtual currency. Therefore, someone’s amazon reward points, or World of Warcraft coins are their own. At some point we can be sure that the government will step in and have a say about the legality of virtual currency, but that day has not come yet.
Chapter 3: The value of non-market sharing
In this chapter, the concept of sharing is introduced. For the most part, Mr. Aigrain talks about Peer to Peer sharing, also known as P2P sharing for short. This is a type of sharing where users connect, either through a website or directly, to share files. This can be done in multiple ways. A popular way for many people would be the use of USB keys. These are portable devices capable of storing a lot of data. If one wanted to share a file with his or her friends, they could simply store the file on the USB key and then hand the key to their friends. That friend could then insert the USB key into their computer and have immediate access to the files in which their friend had imparted to them. There are other ways of sharing files, one of which was brought up in the book. That example was Napster. Napster was an online service that allowed users to share their music library with others. This was Peer to Peer sharing on a massive scale. The author also brings up BitTorrent, which is another example of Peer to Peer sharing in which the user obtains different parts of the file from several or potentially many users, which are then spliced back together once the file transfer is complete. Another point brought up is the media industry’s distaste of Peer to Peer or file sharing. When a file is shared without the consent of the owner, which belongs to the media industry, the owner looses out on some profits, because that owner could make some money selling their work to you instead of the file being shared with you for free. This is why the media industry does not want to allow Peer to Peer or file sharing. If it is allowed, the industries profits would sink, causing less money for the owners of the work.
Chapter four: Getting High on Technology
In this chapter, Dr. Rosen, Dr. Cheever and Dr. Carrier explain the effect technology has on individuals living today. Through several examples, they have shown different ways that people have become addicted to technology. Several different addictions are: Cell phone addiction, internet addiction, general technology addiction, and more. Through the use of applications on phones, tablets and computers, the programmers have found a way to keep people coming back to the programmers applications. In this chapter, that is referenced as “The pull of technology”. With users constantly checking back in using the internet for certain rewards such as new information, possibly bonuses to use in games, and such, the average user is using more and more data from the internet. As I have mentioned earlier, there are several disorders that have come about from this increased use in technology. It turns out that these disorders are much more common in Asian countries, rather than western countries, which I speculate is due to the huge influx of technology companies that base out of Asian countries. So in all, technology dependance has become several new disorders, although they do not effect us as much in the Western part of the world, they are legitimate disorders and therefore things we should be concerned about. Our consumption of technology is rising steadily and one day we might have to be careful to not become addicted to it ourselves.