Monday, July 28, 2008

Great deterministic force in history #12

Oh, Michael Lewis, how is it that I keep forgetting how much I love your work.

"Privacy is no longer a right but a wasteful luxury. The Internet has not merely suggested new weapons for the Invasion of Privacy. It has created terrifying economic incentives for people to abandon their charming old attachment to their privacy. Privacy is newly inefficient if the larger social goal is to get the most stuff to the most people at the cheapest prices. And who would deny that the consumer demand for ever more stuff at ever cheaper prices is one of the great deterministic forces in history? Any technology that gives the consumer what he wants, when he wants it, at a better price, is likely to succeed, in spite of a lot of objections from hoary old privacy nuts.

Of course there are cultures on earth famously less enamored of consumer goods and more wedded to privacy than American culture. Too bad for them! Consumerism isn't a luxury; it is the necessary behavior underpinning any successful modern economy. It is one of those horrible American traits that other societies have been adopting because they need to adopt it if they wish to remain competitive."

- Michael Lewis "Next: the future just happened"

Gosh. Who knew?


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