11 March 2008

Forsmak på Chris Andersons neste bok: Free

Chris Anderson har publisert 6000 ord fra sin neste bok: Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business, (Wired Magazine, 25. feb. 2008).

Dette er så langt det mest fornuftige jeg har lest om teorien om at alt på internett snart vil bli gratis.
There is ... a limited supply of reputation and attention in the world at any point in time. These are the new scarcities ... Free shifts the economy from a focus on only that which can be quantified in dollars and cents to a more realistic accounting of all the things we truly value today.
Artikkelen avsluttes med et meget interessant tankeeksperiment:
Between digital economics and the wholesale embrace of King's Gillette's experiment in price shifting, we are entering an era when free will be seen as the norm, not an anomaly. How big a deal is that? Well, consider this analogy: In 1954, at the dawn of nuclear power, Lewis Strauss, head of the Atomic Energy Commission, promised that we were entering an age when electricity would be "too cheap to meter." Needless to say, that didn't happen, mostly because the risks of nuclear energy hugely increased its costs. But what if he'd been right? What if electricity had in fact become virtually free? The answer is that everything electricity touched — which is to say just about everything — would have been transformed. Rather than balance electricity against other energy sources, we'd use electricity for as many things as we could — we'd waste it, in fact, because it would be too cheap to worry about.
All buildings would be electrically heated, never mind the thermal conversion rate. W'd all be driving electric cars (free electricity would be incentive enough to develop the efficient battery technology to store it). Massive desalination plants would turn seawater into all the freshwater anyone could want, irrigating vast inland swaths and turning deserts into fertile acres, many of them making biofuels as a cheaper store of energy than batteries. Relative to free electrons, fossil fuels would be seen as ludicrously expensive and dirty, and so carbon emissions would plummet. The phrase "global warming" would have never entered the language.

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