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Chapter 8: The Global Knowledge Economy

I try and make these links not just links to content in the chapters but also examples of types of online information. In this section I am going to try to use the phenomenon of “infographics” to explore topics from the Global Knowledge Economy chapter. But you could equally add “infographic” to a search string for many topics in this book and get an interesting result. In fact, there is a whole web application dedicated to making infographics for you.

Some concepts described in this chapter are of a decidedly “business” orientation—disintermediation and reintermediation, e-commerce, the long tail. If you are a business or economics major those terms might be familiar, but if not, they could be completely new, even if you’ve experienced the long tail when searching for a book on Amazon or a movie on Netflix (for more on the long tail, here is the original WIRED article that started it all. Luckily, you can pop terms like this into a search engine, accompanied by “theory of” and “define” and quickly come up with some useful results, as we’ve already discussed previously.

In addition to infographics, which can take a lot of detail and make it comprehensible (at the risk of oversimplifying), there is also a tool to take a complex idea and present it in a way that words cannot: simulations. These are just emerging, but when you come across a new technical or business term, see if there is an online simulation that might explain it better or illustrate the concept. Here is an example of a simulation that illustrates a disruptive innovation (driverless cars).

Forio.com maintains a collection of simulations. Here is a link to their “free to run” simulations. And here is an example simulation for the concept of “Concept Stickiness.”