Autonomía digital y tecnológica

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It is a situation where a series of small, individually rational decisions can negatively change the context of subsequent choices, even to the point where desired alternatives are irreversibly destroyed.

The event that first suggested the tyranny of small decisions to Kahn was the withdrawal of passenger railway services in Ithaca, New York. The railway was the only reliable way to get in and out of Ithaca. It provided services regardless of conditions, in fair weather and foul, during peak seasons and off-peak seasons. The local airline and bus company skimmed the traffic when conditions were favourable, leaving the trains to fill in when conditions were difficult. The railway service was eventually withdrawn, because the collective individual decisions made by travellers did not provide the railway with the revenue it needed to cover its incremental costs. According to Kahn, this suggests a hypothetical economic test of whether the service should have been withdrawn.

The fact remains that each selection of x over y constitutes also a vote for eliminating the possibility thereafter of choosing y.