While reading The Geography of the Internet Industry, or, all about venture capital, the links between knowledge and capital brought to mind Foucault. We often think of the power/knowledge couplet, but books like Zook’s really highlight the money/knowledge relationship for me. Try replacing “power” with “capital” in the following passage from Discipline and Punish (which I am reading for my other class):
“We should admit rather that power produces knowledge . . . that power and knowledge directly imply one another; that there is no power relation without the correlative constitutive field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time power relations.” Kind of scares me!
On the capital note, did anyone else get annoyed with Zook’s attributing some person Martin with the idea that money is a social relation?!
Also, I am curious to know what other people thought of Zook’s employment of the term tacit knowledge throughout the book. For example Zook concludes, “Thus, while capital in the most general sense of the word, i.e., money, provided the fuel for many Internet companies, in many ways it was the transmission of tacit knowledge of the venture capitalist that was perceived as the more valuable element” (p. 58). Even though he gives examples, it was easier for me to understand what counts as qualified knowledge than what tacit knowledge might be.
Several of the books we have read in this class have made me consider the relationship between geography and knowledge. I wonder why we have read about “knowledge” in terms of technology. That seems limiting to me. What is knowledge? And what is its geography?
I wanted to say something positive about Zook. I thought I might applaud his use of both quantitative and qualitative research. Some of the quotations from venture capitalists were great. But . . . I am pretty sure that we learned in qualitative methods class that making a point, then picking a quote to support it, making another point, picking a quote to support it—is not the best way to write up what one learns from interviews. It got distracting. But I lost the geography lessons after the first couple of chapters of this book anyway.