Cognitive Capital: Where Political Economy Meets Media Theory
Pr. Yann Moulier Boutang is Professor of Economics at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne and International Adjunct Professor of the Fernand Braudel Institute at SUNY Binghamton. He is a research collaborator in the Innovation Systèmes Stratégies (ISYS) team, University of Paris 1. He is also editor of the quarterly journal Multitudes.
Pr. Moulier Boutang’s research proposes that the current transitional stage in global economics is intimately tied to mediation; he theorizes that the conjunction of these two spheres is producing “cognitive capitalism,” which draws on “the collective intelligence provided by brainpower and computing power,” in the words of Nigel Thrift (Vice-Chancellor, Warwick), who writes the introduction to the translation of Moulier-Boutang’s Cognitive Capitalism.
This interfacing of the materiality of economics with the immateriality of mediation provides the key to Moulier Boutang’s work: he proposes that the extension of the human brain via global computer networks valorizes intelligence and innovation and not just information. In this scenario, “material labour does not disappear, but it loses its central role as a strategic asset”; “productivity gains … derive from economies of learning.”
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