06 January 2009

The Once and Future Economy

Great post by Tim O'Reilly about how we need to junk the idea that the economy can expand indefinitely, and move to a different system - one prefigured in the current sharing of code and content:

The consumption of electronic media perhaps gives a foretaste of an economy in which qualitative complexity might replace quantitative addition as the raw material of exchange. Obviously, we're not there yet, as we're still consuming lots of resources to build the substrate for our increasingly intellectual economy, but I love that he's broken the naive assumption that if we don't have growth, the only alternative is stasis.

This is yet another reason why the lock down of knowledge by intellectual monopolies is simply unacceptable in a world that will be predicated on sharing digital stuff, just as we used to share the physical stuff that Nature gave us a few hundred thousand years ago.

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