As I typed the title of the this post, I realized I’m really overdoing the word “digital”. Can someone email me one hundred euphemisms for the word “digital”, so I don’t kill the word by post fifty. Right.
As we heat up the world using carbon based fuels, we’re going to need to tap into other methods of carbon emmission reductions. Solar and wind are nice, but based on the rate middle-class Indians and Chinese are being added to the global demand tally, straight forward energy innovation will never keep up. Mostly, innovation will only lessen the impact of additional global middle-class energy users.
Another method of reducing emissions is to reduce the demand for energy. Energy is used in the creation of goods and services, and the transport of these goods and services. In a future digital life (FDL), we would be able to minimize our energy use by trading in real life goods and services for digital ones.
The concept of the staycation, or taking vacation time and playing games and watching home based entertainment, has already arrived. My own family had a staycation at Christmas time: playing lots of World of Warcraft, board games, Wii, Guitar Hero and watching TV together. The family that games together, stays together. By staying home, we didn’t use up valuable fuels travelling or require the infrastructure to be built to house and entertain us.
Not everything can be digitialized, of course, but anything that can be converted to information cheaply can be. At this point this means entertainment, computational services and communications. The app store on the iPhone is proving there are products to be bought that no one ever dreamed of.
But maybe in the FDL we can change other industries to be digital. If a digital world could be superimposed over the real one, ala The Digital Sea , then paint would be made obsolete, clothes would be cheap and utilitarian underneath the fabulous digital ones. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have to get a bigger monitor for my computer everytime my friend Rafe comes over with his JumboTron and I get monitor envy.