Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rifkin's new book continued

Continuing from this post.

Chapter 6 on 3-D printing is astounding in the rapid developments being made. See the chapter for the voluminous details. My focus is on how it manifests in the emerging worldview. For one thing, it is based on open source software, not intellectual property. For another it is sustainable, given its additive construction process uses about one tenth the raw materials and wastes far less in the process. The materials used can also be local and re-used waste, thus eliminating high-end base materials manufactured from afar. They can even print out their own parts. The cost of 3-D printers is reducing rapidly so that the means of production will soon be in the hands of individuals and small collaborative groups. The entire process is P2P, democratic, lateral and based in local and regional communities, yet connected to the global community via the smart grid.

On 101 there are two anti-capitalist factions coming together. One is those who have been pushing for a return to more tribal culture using traditional, sustainable methods and reducing consumption. They are now merging with the high-tech nerds with the same values, but by implementing tech like 3-D printing. All of the above features of its infrastructure promote those values without regressing to a form of life that cannot change capitalism (107). Rather the new tech both transforms capitalism to the next wave and retains values from pre-capitalism, the latter also elevated in the process.

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