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August 31, 2011

"When people get nothing from a society,

they eventually just riot.
And to my mind, that's kind of what's going on on the Internet. Basically, people can expect free stuff from the Internet but they don't expect wealth from the Internet, which to me makes it a failed technology at this point, although I hope it's revivable. I'm sure it is. I'm positive it is."-- The Local-global Flip, Or, "the Lanier Effect" | Conversation | Edge

Posted by Vanderleun at August 31, 2011 9:54 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

I agree with a lot of what Lanier is saying.

But, and this is a really big but, he's missing half the story.

Anything that is consumed by millions will be commoditized and sold through google, amazon and Walmart. But this technology wave will also free us in the educated middle class in ways we can all get very excited about. Advances in manufacturing technology will allow, in the near future, anyone with a garage to have a full factory producing goods/merchandise that we don't even know we want or need. The internet will give these artisans a sales outlet that will allow them to reach their small market (relative to the size of markets that interest Walmart) that will be spread across the world.

I know you've seen the video of the 3D printers. There are advances in other manufacturing technologies, such as CNC routers, where the tools to make things keep getting better and cheaper.

I'll admit that I get somewhat despondent about my children's future when we look at things like the current fiscal problems and bad incentives created by our crappy political class, but look backwards across the last few hundred years. What you see when you look backwards makes it easy to be an optimist when you turn around and look to the future.

Posted by: Mike at September 1, 2011 5:52 AM

I'll only agree so far that it is uncharted territory - just like tv turned the tide for JFK.. it's reality now. We deal with it, maximize on it, make our voices heard loudly and clearly and relentlessly in the conversation.. or others will in our stead. It's the wild west on a global scale. Scary as hell but will make interesting history in the end.

Posted by: RedCarolina at September 1, 2011 9:05 AM

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