Kevin Kelly's forthcoming book is entitled: What Technology Wants. That got me inspired this morning to characterize what the old economy wants and new economy will want differently. I thought of so many facets to answer these questions, I cover them in two posts. Here's want the old economy wants us to think, to react to and to do according to its dictates:
- The old economy wants us to feel lonely, insecure and isolated so that we spend our money on consumer products and services that compensate for these dreadful feelings. That means we need to ignore how connected we feel, admired, respected and joined by so much of our online and mobile technologies.
- The old economy wants us to act senseless, driven, desperate and needy as if we're addicted to sports, entertainment programming, news, advertising, shopping, eating and driving around. Never mind how we're spending more time in personally meaningful ways.
- The old economy wants us to become possessed by our possessions, worried enough to buy warranties, and eager to stockpile inventories of "just in case" items in costly storage spaces. Forget living in the now with just enough stuff to get things done.
- The old economy wants us to trust providers, experts and professionals who are being opaque, secretive about their processes, closed to amateur inputs and protective of their private knowledge. Don't get inspired by transparency, honesty, humility and revelations within open systems.
- The old economy wants us to favor analog copies which degrade when duplicated, put us at risk to loan them out and morph us into property rights freaks like the guardians of income streams from the pre-digital era. Never mind what a game changer the digital copies have become.
- The old economy wants us to blindly accept the hype, hypocrisy and hullabaloo of push models of production, corporations spinning off toxic externalities and institutions turning a deaf ear to constituencies. Forget having a voice in all those comment boxes, customer advocacy publications, and platforms for self expression.
- The old economy wants us to enjoy the benefits of "double delegation", let others be our spokespersons and feel we're in our proper place when we've been silenced by superior expertise. Dismiss the democratization of authorship in the long tail of niche voices.
- The old economy wants us to take those high profile individuals making big bucks at face value, as if they can be taken at their word, held up as shining examples and valued as role models for the rest of us. Never mind what gets said off camera, what other lives they're living or what really motivates them.
- The old economy wants us to embrace asymmetric relationships where those in the know feel superior to the ignorant, those with the goods see those without as bad and those with advantage be sure to put others at a disadvantage as all this plays into premium prices, elite privileges and expensive access to off-limits enclosures. Don't change expectations from the abundance of opportunities to relate as diverse equals.
- The old economy wants us, as Clay Shirky tells us in Cognitive Surplus, to act spiteful toward others who could freely share in our wealth and to withdraw from mutually beneficial exchanges. Forget how much we can share without any loss to our own supply or well being.
Stay tuned for the sequel: what the next economy wants.