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Oct 01, 2012

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Comments

1.

Internet people... getting rich selling ads and badges to car people corporations....and believing they in the bubbles cant be affected. Delusional.

Dont let the virtualized king kick you in the ass.

2.

I understand this argument. I think its very interesting and deserves further exploration. Still, I'm skeptical of some of your conclusions. The move into the virtual requires an enormous displacement of physical, financial, and human capital. Someone has to build the servers, design and construct and pay taxes on enormous cloud server farms, lay the fiber optic cables, build the TVs and computers used to get into virtual spaces, provide customer service, and launch the satellites. Someone has to design the places that people go to, debug them, and respond to consumer demand for them. Someone has to create the virtual items that people buy. People will want to go to the best virtual space, and with switching costs being so low and network externalities being so important, monopolies will naturally form. Regulation of monopoly will be demanded, and provided.

These structural shifts are no doubt disruptive, but the idea that they might cause value - denominated in real dollars - to somehow stagnate or even decrease suggests that people would not prefer to go virtual. Going virtual does not mean the drive to consume ceases. If going virtual is attractive, then real-world firms will start competing for attention, so that the sum total and/or quality of what is consumed both virtually and really should increase.

So I wonder if we can fill in some of the blanks here. When it comes to virtual lives, when is value no longer tracked by standard measures of GDP? When is more investment in the real infrastructure that on which the virtual resides no longer growing? Why wouldn't people want and pay top dollar for ways and methods to make virtual interaction - dare I say it? - more real, more material-like?

3.

The "car people" and "Internet people" breakdown hit a little to close to home. Are you watching me on a secret CCTV?

In all honesty, I would buy more stuff if I made more money. I'm sure wage stagnation, among other (pointedly-not-mentioning) labor phenomena, has something to do with it too.

But, yeah, Don Draper I ain't.

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