- As we become more sensitive to avoiding pollution of the environment and atmosphere, our minds, spaces and desks are becoming polluted with trash of a different kind: useless, sometimes untrue, and often unwanted information. The culture of free-ness abolishes penalties for information pollution.
- As technology and productivity improvements give us more time, more choices and cheaper products, we fill that newly freed time navigating through mounds of information and learning new technologies with every new device we collect.
- Free-ness means that ultimately entire industries (like the telecommunications and some media industries) will be faced with three choices: (i) find new business models to monetize the value they give away for nothing, (ii) start charging again, which will disrupt consumer patterns, or (iii) go out of business.
DAVID LAVENDA's Fast Company blog last Thursday, Email Is Crushing Us, Can Activity Streams Free Us? - No! Activity Streams still place the onus on receivers to master the technology and spend the time setting up their activity streams. How about instead, just develop a simple technology that charges me a small fee for every email I send you? You could also have a "free" email address, but no expectations that you will read the email if I send it to that address. The digital postage stamp I am suggesting would be like premium email; email the recipient is more likely to read. The small fee per email would compensate you for the time you spend reading your email and dealing with it. If I am replying to a request from you for information, then you could send me a self-addressed, digitally stamped "envelope" so that you pay for the email, not I. My suggestion is only partially flippant. Apart from it being a practical solution to strangulation by email it is also an important comment on our society: There was a time when people believed that "anything given away for nothing was worth nothing." Now we place a high value on things or information given to us free. Thanks to Google and the new infotech ethos we expect all the information and most of the advice in the world to be available to us on demand free of charge. We delight in the free telephone and video calls supplied by VOIP services and Skype. We revel in free email and text services. But where is all this free-ness leading us? Here are three potential destinations: