Questions that precede the guess

The time of year for predictions, now also the same for the new decade, feels like a cue to list out a few questions, of which there are many more, as a way to focus the eye, because predictions may come out of that, or at least some other questions.

The right ones, I think, are as important as responses, maybe more so because the questions precede. The following nine, which may seem economic but are probably more universal, above and below, may or may not be “the right ones”… but anyway, questions are never wrong, only perhaps misguided.

  • Is attention (rather than information) the true force and driver of an information economy?
  • How is value formed when information commoditization and attention diffusion are a given?
  • How is growth best measured when the data- and bit-centric value unit underlies both consumption and production?
  • What will be the lasting difference between sector or product categories when bits of processed data and computing power dominate them all?
  • What is portfolio diversification when the distinctions between categories start to fade?
  • What are differences in risk when the reference point of stability is a running string of reinventions?
  • What is an appropriate discount or premium if varying capital uses and structures become homogenized?
  • What is the difference between investment and speculation, considering such circumstances?
  • Is a bubble still a bubble if it doesn’t pop; is an up- or downturn cyclical if it doesn’t bounce; and how long is it reasonable to wait for the answer?