Thursday, 25 September 2014

Freedom vs Slavery: A 5775 New Year Message

Happy new year to everyone: Freedom vs Slavery and Books I am reading:

Read the PS section if you don't have time to read the whole thing.

The Zero Marginal Cost Society

I am so enjoying this book. Not finished reading it yet, but I can't put it down. It is one of those books that you need to read whilst reading other books as there is so much to ponder and think about whilst reading it that one can't read more than a few pages at a time.

Jeremy Rifkin shows how the world is changing and why and the similarities between the previous paradigm shift economic revolutions that have happened in history.

A fascinating read of how the internet age and the age of "water and wind, and now solar power" and the age of "digital printing" and the age of "prosumers" (people who produce and consume their own goods) is changing our way of life and especially our cost of living both for ourselves financially and on our endangered planet.

The hypothesis of the book is that when Capitalism is 100% successful, because Marginal Costs of goods and services are driven towards zero, capitalism isn't capitalism anymore; it is the "Global Commons", what Thomas Freedman called the "Flat" world in his excellent book, "Hot, Flat and Crowded." Everyone everywhere has an opportunity to compete on a Level Playing Field and by doing so the costs of living are driven to zero.

The people providing this new infrastructure, i.e. the Googles, Facebooks, LinkedIns, Cloud companies, companies like Microsoft, Oracle and Tesla, and for the first time the homeowners making their own electricity and supplying themselves and the grid, are the ones that are becoming rich in this new age. They are the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, who brought oil and railroads to the world in the 19th Century, of the modern Internet Age.

One can already see this with many things, for example free international calls, free internet access, 3D printers giving people the ability to print the things they need at home, shopping apps giving people the ability to buy what they need without shopping, and what I just read about this morning, car ownership patterns changing and car sharing, where Access is more important than Ownership.

PS: For me, Access is Freedom; Ownership is Slavery. The people who have been fighting slavery for centuries are the heroes. The slave traders and the people who treat their inhabitants like slaves are the ones desperately trying to hold onto the status quo and disrupting the freedom loving countries. Who will win remains to be seen.

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