The age of access: the new culture of hypercapitalism, where all of life is a paid-for experience
In The End of Work, Jeremy Rifkin argued that computers, robotics, telecommunications, and biotechnologies are fast replacing human beings in virtually every industry and workplace. In The Age of Access, he goes further, showing how new technologies are even eliminating concepts of "property" and "ownership" from our lives. In this new era, we will buy enlightenment and play, grooming and grace, and everything in between in the form of purchased experiences.Imagine a world where virtually every activity outside the confines of family relations is a paid-for experience -- a world where traditional reciprocal obligations and expectations are replaced by contractual relations in the form of paid memberships, subscriptions, admissions charges, retainers, and fees.For the first time in modern history, Rifkin argues, ownership of physical property is seen as an albatross, and intangible ideas and expertise are the chief generators of wealth. This dramatic shift affects corporations as much as consumers: the world's major companies are quickly shedding property holdings, factories, and other assets in favor of massive outsourcing and leasing.Rifkin warns of a dawning era in which giant access-providing companies are profiting from every aspect of human existence, while consumers own nothing. In this new economy, access-sellers will finally be able to commidify all of human experience.