The net is moving irreversibly to include…

…everything of the world.

As the net takes over, many observers have noted the gradual displacement in our economy of materials by information. Automobiles weigh less than they once did and yet perform better. Industrial materials have been replaced by nearly weightless high-tech know-how in the form of plastics and composite fiber materials. Stationary objects are gaining information and losing mass, too. Because of improved materials, high-tech construction methods, and smarter office equipment, new buildings today weigh less than comparable ones from the 1950s. So it isn’t only your radio that is shrinking, the entire economy is losing weight too.

Even industrial objects like atuomobiles follow new rules. An automobile’s average weight is dropping and will continue to drop as information replaces its mass.

Even when mass is conserved, information increases. An average piece of steel manufactured in 1998 was vastly different from an average piece of steel made in 1950. Both pieces weighed approximately the same, but the one made recently is far superior in performance because of the amount of design, research, and knowledge that went into its creation. Its superior value is not due to extra atoms, but to extra information.



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