We must appraise civilization in relation to its territory and in relation to its duration. The character of the medium of communication tends to create a bias in civilization favourable to an over-emphasis on the time concept or on the space concept and only at rare intervals are the biases offset by the influence of another medium and stability achieved.
What being among the 'right people' entails is the possession of human capital, rather than organizational capital: an individual reputation, portable skills, and network connections. Career responsibility is squarely in the hands of individuals, a function of their knowledge and networks. Transferable knowledge is more important to a career than firm-specific knowledge.
As for politics, well, it all seemed reasonable enough. When the Conservatives got in anywhere, [Judge] Pepperleigh laughed and enjoyed it, simply because it does one good to see a straight, fine, honest fight where the best man wins. When a Liberal got in, it made him mad, and he said so,-not, mind you; from any political bias, for his office forbid it,-but simply because one can't bear to see the country go absolutely to the devil.
The scholars who understand it hesitate to speak out boldly for fear people will not understand. The people, who understand it quite easily, also fear to speak out while they wait for the scholars to speak out first. The difference between our present situation and that of the story is that it is not the emperor but the people who are periodically made to go naked and hungry and insecure and discontented - a ready prey to less timid organizers of discontent for the destruction of the civilization.
Assuming... that all available goods of higher order are employed in the most economic fashion, the value of a concrete quantity of a good of higher order is equal to the difference in importance between the satisfactions that can be attained when we have command of the given quantity of the good of higher order whose value we wish to determine and the satisfactions that would be attained if we did not have this quantity at our command.
We need to recognise that the entire information sector—from music to newspapers to telecoms to internet to semiconductors and anything in-between—has become subject to a gigantic market failure in slow motion. A market failure exists when market prices cannot reach a self-sustaining equilibrium. The market failure of the entire information sector is one of the fundamental trends of our time, with far-reaching long-term effects, and it is happening right in front of our eyes.