Newmedia on Mon, 14 May 2012 02:57:31 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Capitalism is FINISHED -- As a Result of the Internet! (was Another insult . . )

>>The *effect* of digital media is to directly undermine  "conspicuous
>>consumption" which REQUIRED mass-media to prop it  up.  It's OVER!!

> Interesting point, but any evidence for  it?

Sure -- the inability of any of the "developed" economies to grow.  
For some "unexplained" reason -- which is not simply because people are  
"poor" or have no "disposable income" or "are worried about the future" --  
*demand* just isn't there to re-energize the "treadmill" required to grow the  
Furthermore, the widely understood "mechanism" used to generate demand in  
excess of *needs* -- in particular, the psychological impact of mass-market  
advertising -- has dramatically faded in its effectiveness  and the  
presumed "replacement" of *targeted* advertising has failed to live up to  
expectations (as widely understood by those in this business.)
In addition, those who have been "polling" US consumers about their  
attitudes over the past 20+ years, such as DYG Inc., have noticed a change that  
has grown over the past decade -- across all "demographics" and "cohorts" --  
that shows a significant shift away from "quantity" to "quality" of life.  
LESS-is-MORE began to be a very popular theme in these polls started around 
 2002 and increasing annually since then.
The fact that many groups still consume beyond their baseline needs is  
obvious but the overall trend is unmistakable from the data I have seen.
> so what are the Chinese doing? buying more coal? 
> displacing poorer people for dams, buying palaces 
> for their rich in China and overseas?

Exactly!  Which is  precisely what you *should* want them to do as they go 
through a very rapid  industrialization!
At the same time, they are on track to dominate the "clean" energy  
alternatives to coal and, when/if fusion energy becomes a reality, they will  
likely dominate that business as well.
Roughly 300 MILLION Chinese will be added to the middle class over the next 
 10+ years -- which is only a part of the BILLION+ who will go through this 
 transition globally.  This is a *remarkable* achievement!
What the Chinese have "figured out" is that the DEVELOPED economies have  
already stopped growing our "needless" consumption and that they have 
adjusted  their own goals and strategies accordingly.  Furthermore, some understand 
 that digital technologies are driving this process.
Meanwhile, *we* seem to pretend that nothing fundamental has  happened.  
Any ideas about why we are so *stupid* about our own society and  its culture?
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY

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