no seriously i read an economics book
My brother Vince got me The Long Tail for Christmas, and it got me thinking about the rate at which products are being digitized. The spots on reputation and trust reminded me of the trade on "reputation markets" in Accelerando. But overall it got me thinking long term.
As products are digitized and their creation and distribution costs fall to near zero, consumers demand those products for near zero cost. iTunes and video on demand now, next up printable products powered by cheap fpgas that update themselves when in wifi range and broad spectrum communications provided by software radio. So to cover overhead todays useful digital products earn a profit selling advertising for the scarcity based markets which still drive the consumer economy. As the scarcity industries pour money into wildly successfully online marketing, innovators in the digital markets make enough money to begin reshaping research initiatives such as Google investing in Nanosolar or Intel funding physics research which will in turn enable more products to be offered digitally.
I guess technically that's what the transition from an industrial economy to an information based economy is all about. Go easy on me, this is my first economics book. It lays out the means by which the transition can remain profitable until such time as all industries can be called Infrastructure. Then I imagine in the same way that a non renewable fuel economy demands industrial reform so will the evolution of business demand economic reform.
I'm interested in reading more along these lines, please feel free to post links if ya got 'em.