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Steve Mann on the next wave in licensing: "The New Deconomy"

[Steve has a wonderfully refreshing way of looking at the world. Follow the 
link: http://wearcam.org/seatsale/index.htm --Declan]


From: Steve Mann <mann@eecg.toronto.edu>
Subject: Chipping away at the new Deconomy
To: declan@well.com
Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2003 19:35:25 -0500 (EST)
In-Reply-To: <> from "Declan 
McCullagh" at Feb 01, 2003 01:26:37 PM

Here's a response to Andrew's post that you might like to post to politech:

 > From: odlyzko@dtc.umn.edu (Andrew Odlyzko)

 > 1.  Bob Ellis is undoubtedly right that the Lexmark case is just
 > the camel's nose in the tent.  We do seem to be moving to a future
 > of "disposable products ... shifting the profit to captive parts and
 > consumable sales."
 > 2.  A more important question is, is that really bad?  Bob Ellis

I call this deconomics -- sabotage economics.

My favorate example of the New Deconomy is licensed seating.
You don't buy the chairs.  You instead buy the seating.
The chairs are free (on loan with certain restrictions)
but each time you want to sit down, you slide your credit
card into a slot on the chair to download a "License to Sit".
My wife and I have six chairs at our kitchen table.  Suppose that
we buy a two-seat floating license.  That means we can sit at
whichever two places we wish, but when we have friends over, we need
to buy additional "seats".  See http://wearcam.org/seatsale/index.htm

Each chair has an array of spikes that retract when a seating license
is downloaded.  (Assume that UseatA forbids the use of circumvention
tools like boards, pillows, or kevlar pants.)  From a deconomic
viewpoint, it makes sense, e.g. you pay only for the seating you
actually use.  Likewise, "pay per wear" clothing can also save money.
Deconomics makes economic sense.  So much sense that it's ridiculous!

If you look at this on purely economic grounds with cold calculations
you're missing the human element.  Deconomics also provides for chip
implants.  Those without implants remain standing indefinitely.

McCullagh's photographs could also be deconomized.  Simply set up
a pay-per-view display system.  Prior to viewing, each viewer signs
a contract where they agree to never describe the photograph.  You
could also have a deconomic wall clock with a built in camera that
can see how many people are looking at the clock to see what time
it is.  Billing is based on how many times and how many people
look at it.  As part of the "chipping away of freedom and humanity"
each of us cattle agree not to tell anyone else what time it is.
So next time you ask someone "have you got the time", they might
have to bind you under NDA before being able to tell you.

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