Seth’s Blog: Wasting the digital dividend

The internet means that many time-consuming forms of white-collar drudgery have disappeared, or at least been offloaded to cheaper people who aren't you, permitting you to spend more time on things that are actually productive and highly leveraged.

No more standing in line at the copier, trudging to the Fedex box, waiting two weeks for a letter to be returned, leaving voice mails, searching for the right person to contact, waiting months to learn a skill or a fact, discovering that a project is hopelessly broken, and on and on.

It's a little like the bump we got after the Cold War ended. The peace dividend was there, just waiting for us to repurpose our military, our military budget and our military research. We didn't. We squandered the window, wasted the money and didn't rush to fill it with the sort of top-down industrial projects (like high speed rail and efficient new forms of energy) that could have changed everything.

So, what are you going to do with the digital dividend? Cruise Facebook?

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