About the series
The erosion of privacy that is of wide concern is usually viewed as the result of untrammeled operation of the market. But in fact it is driven by the incentives to escape the discipline of the market. If left unchecked it is likely to result in the destruction of the market as the key element in the allocation of resources, and thereby of the key mechanism that has led to the huge material progress of the last two centuries.
The ongoing transformation is most visible in the move away from traditional capital investments towards a search for choke points that enable extraction of value. This leads to increasing reliance on obfuscation. Thus there will be growing demand for tools for digital manipulation. Proper science and public policy will require new tools for dealing with the resulting environment.
Andrew Odlyzko has had a long career in research and research management at Bell Labs, AT&T Labs, and most recently at the University of Minnesota, where he built an interdisciplinary research center and is now Professor in the School of Mathematics. He has written over 150 technical papers in computational complexity, cryptography, number theory, combinatorics, coding theory, analysis, probability theory, and related fields, and has three patents. In recent years he has been working in electronic commerce, economics of data networks, and economic history, especially on bubbles, diffusion of technological innovation and the development of financial systems. More information, including papers and presentation decks, is available on his web site, http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/.
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