Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rick Bookstaber on the New Paradigm — Digital Cocooning

In Commodities and Paradigms Shifts, Rick Bookstaber disagrees with Jeremy Grantham that increasing global demand for commodities is forcing a paradigm shift. He agrees that a paradigm shift is underway, but according to Bookstaber, it is in the opposite direction, as digital cocooning results in more consumption of digital content and less consumption of physical resources.

The mother of all paradigm shifts

But there is a paradigm shift underway, maybe even the mother of all paradigm shifts, and it is coming from a direction where Grantham and other bears are not looking.

The real paradigm shift, or more like a paradigm drift, because it is slowly enveloping us, is that we are moving toward preferences and lifestyle where we will simply consume less. A lot less. Like improvements in efficiency, changes in tastes and preferences are nothing new, but this time is different....

People who are staring at a tsunami of demand for commodities from the developing world and predicting a doomsday of $400 oil and $4000 gold are missing the longer-term retreating tide of demand as citizens of the developed world actually demand decreasing amounts of energy, large goods, and heavy infrastructure. We won't be packing up and moving to Mars, as the science fiction solutions to resource depletion propose. We will pack up and move into the virtual world.

Read it all here.


Crake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oliver Davey said...

Bookstabber? Bad enough the German word Buchstabe (letter, as in A,B,C..) was bastardised to Bookstabe (my guess), but the extra b really is adding insult to injury :-D.

Tom Hickey said...

He spells it "Bookstaber." "Bookstabber" was my mistake. Apologies to Rick.