But many individuals, most of the time, go online without any interest in buying something. They are there to find out about the world, catch up with friends, play games, listen to music, chat, or just hang out – and, increasingly, to get the attention of other people. Thanks to highly productive surplus economies, they can spend a lot more time being economically inactive.
Will the world of cognitive surplus make it easier for us to be environmentally responsible, guided also by the inclusion of externalities in the prices of physical goods, so that we end up “consuming” fewer physical things and spend more on virtual value?
Please also read Chinese Thriving in Hard-hit Spain
Chinese immigrants to Spain have managed not only to survive the economic crisis; they are thriving, buying distressed properties and starting businesses.
Now, spend your time creating amusement for others and consuming amusements created by others, on 1-to-1 or many-to-many style.
- when you go hungry, first go to a Chinese restaurant , like the Spaniards are doing now.
- If you cannot even afford that, go to a virtual restaurant to feed on virtual foods.
- when you get sick, take some virtual medicines.
- when Sandy, Katrina, etc come, get under virtual shelters.
- (as my son points out) even to access your virtual world, you need virtual electricity and virtual batteries etc.