Meeting #7: Disintermediation

Planet Marx

Time: August 24, 2019

Location: Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing

Speaker: David Xu

Planet Marx held its seventh reading club meeting at Beijing Minsheng Art Museum. We invited David Xu to lead the discussions among participants. Unlike our previous meetings in which one or several main speakers’ research took up the largest part, this time, all the participants expressed their thoughts and formed three smaller groups to discuss the topic of “disintermediation” by sharing their own individual experiences with electronic platforms. To start with, David hosted a brief discussion on the definition of disintermediation, and the participants gave examples of mobile apps they frequently encounter in daily lives. After the introduction, each group began a detailed discussion around the app and the development of disintermediation. During the meeting, participants drew inspiration from the text we provided, The Xenofeminist Manifesto (2018) by Laboria Cuboniks – a thoughtful description of our current situation where technology is omnipresent, and also appeal to further experiments in new technological platforms. 

Disintermediation is the process of eliminating intermediaries. In economics, it is usually believed that intermediation results from asymmetric information between suppliers and demanders. In today’s world, technology and automation seem to provide a direct promotional power for disintermediation. In the 1960s, successful corporations made profit from selling tangible products and services; while in the current decade, the top corporations come mostly from the IT industry. This transmission demonstrates a revolutionary change in business growth models. The quick augmentation in automation, on the other hand, triggers new restrictions on human beings’ social behaviors. How should we react to these technological disciplines that are changing our sensorial perception? 

Click here for a summary of this session