22 May 2014
Economists never in their wildest imagination anticipated a technology revolution whose productivity was so extreme that it is bringing marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services essentially free, abundant and beyond profit in the exchange capitalist economy. That's what's beginning to happen, argues Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends. We saw the zero marginal cost phenomenon sweep through the information goods industry when, facilitated by the internet, millions of people started producing their own information and free eBooks at zero marginal cost.
The zero marginal cost phenomenon looks set to invade all aspects of our future lives. According to Rifkin, the conventional internet that we are used to is beginning to converge with a fledgling energy internet and a nascent automated transport and logistics internet to create a super internet bringing together the three things that every economy in society needs to manage itself. Every economy in history has to have a source of communication, a source of energy and a source of logistics and mobility.
In the years ahead we are going to be able to go on the internet and share our own renewal energy and share our own 3D printed products across vast collaborative commons at near marginal cost and nearly for free.
The first 3D printed solar energy car is already on the road.