Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Time Value: It's No Sacrifice, At All

An old song from Elton John provided some inspiration for this post. It's no sacrifice, for those who would be willing to coordinate for time constraints (market scarcities) in group settings. And doing so would provide a valid beginning point, for a marketplace in time value. Indeed, much would be gained through this process which otherwise isn't possible to achieve in terms of services formation. By honoring the actual possibilities of local time availability, populations would gain means to contrast resource preferences between time based resources versus other resource options.

Too many time based services aspects of life, are experienced through settings which lack means for mutual reciprocity. And life makes more sense for all concerned, when more of it can be experienced through quantifiable, replicable economic means. Those who have freedom of economic choice, also have the freedom to be more fully human. If a broader range of services activity were recognized as viable product, fewer individuals would experience the frustrations which often result when services are sought on non economic terms.

In particular, knowledge use has become a central theme of services processes and the ways they are actively experienced. While broadcast means of knowledge and information will always be important, knowledge still needs the element of personal experience. Groups and individuals alike, will take all the time needed - the "bother" so to speak - to make certain that communication goes beyond the tentative assumptions of first appearances.

What examples do we have of time "sacrifices" in the present? Consider one of the better examples: ongoing trip expenses which allow people to meet in person around the world, to more effectively get things done. Might it be rationalized that these trip expenses are unnecessary, for agreements which could perhaps be arrived at digitally? Ricardo Hausmann addresses this issue, in "Should Business Travel Be Obsolete?" It's an article I probably would have missed this week, were it not for an appreciative post from Tyler Cowen. Here's Hausmann:
But why do we need to move the brain, not just the bytes? I can think of at least two reasons. First, the brain has a capacity to absorb information, identify patterns and solve problems without us being aware of how it does it...Second, the brain is designed to work in parallel with other brains. Many problem-solving tasks require parallel computing with brains that possess different software and information but that can coordinate their thoughts. 
Hausmann continues:
The amount of travel should then be related to the amount of know-how that needs to be moved around. Countries differ in the amount of know-how they possess, and industries differ in the amount of know-how they require...The fact that firms incur the cost of business travel suggests that, for some key tasks, it is easier to move brains than it is to move the relevant information to the brains. Moreover, the fact that business travel is growing faster than the global economy suggests that output is becoming more intensive in know-how and that know-how is diffusing through brain mobility.
While much travel is of course associated with the internal mechanisms of tradable sectors, the same approach to one on one time value would yield benefits in the local group settings that (could) comprise non tradable sector activity. In both, the principle remains the same: knowledge is to some degree dormant, if dispersal is expected to take place solely through broadcast means (print and/or digital capacity). It is the capacity of minds working together, which makes time value count all the more. A marketplace for time value, could gradually bring more knowledge based services to those who need them the most.

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