Note — Sep 09, 2018

An Economy of Desire

Seen in → No.48

Source →

Since there is, for all intents and purposes, no scarcity with digital goods the “information market” (internet) offers an unending buffet of desires, never reaching the equilibrium that scarce markets reach. This is mostly a slightly different angle on things we’ve known for a while but worth a spin in our current context.

Now, ideas that were once considered heretical can find an audience on the internet because it costs nothing to do so. […]

If what Chomsky describes is true, then the smart way to do the opposite— agitate the masses and create conflict—is to the make the spectrum of acceptable opinion infinitely broad, but allow little to no debate within the pockets on that spectrum. The internet is extraordinarily adept at doing this. […]

This is the internet in a nutshell: a massive flywheel equipped with the tools to distill our behaviors into an understanding of our desires, and then return those desires back to us in the form of virtual content.