The old model was to make things scarce – the new will make them abundant – what side do you want to bet on? More here:
A recent blog post on The Pirate Bay predicts that the next form of piracy will be piracy via 3D printer. They predict piracy will move from tangible to digital, as it is now, to digital to tangible. The blog post says that in the modern world in which we live, data begins digitally, but relents that humans also require tangible objects as well — something anyone with a bookshelf full of alphabetized books or drawer full of neatly organized video games would agree with. Making a bold prediction, The Pirate Bay predicts that within twenty years, humans will be downloading sneakers or spare car parts and manifesting them in physical form with the help of the 3D printer. They even coined a term for this kind of object, the “Physible.”
The Pirate Bay cites Physibles as providing “huge” benefits to society: No more shipping huge amounts of products, no more having to shipping broken products back, no more child labor (somewhat amusingly listed after the shipping benefits), and being able to print food for hungry people.
Though their theory may seem a little, hopeful, we’ll say, they do have a point. 3D printers have been on the rise, and just about every piece of science fiction these days includes a makerbot in one form or another. That isn’t to say that science fiction predicts the future, but it is to say that the objects and themes in science fiction are indeed in the forefront of society’s mind. Granted, having makerbots that can make food and download sneakers within the next twenty years doesn’t seem likely, but at some point down the road of human existence, makerbots certainly seem like the tech we’ll aspire to create, whether or not pirating sneakers and food is something society is likely to do with them.