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I work in the IT field and the changes I've seen in video conferencing and presentations in the last year are dramatic.

- Web seminars combining presentations, video, and documents (webinars) are so cheap that high quality webinars are available for free on most IT topics.

- Instant messengers and web-cams have made video phones a reality, again for free; almost without anyone noticing it. We used to dream about video phones, now no one even mentions that AOL and Windows IM allow the same features plus much more at no cost.

- Video conferencing is seamlessly integrated into the next release of Windows office. You'll be able to include a video into most documents the same way you now do with pics.

All of this is available now, but requires expertise or money and is limited by bandwidth/memory. Within just a few more years people will consider the cost of sharing information via video/web as essentially free, the same as we currently consider paper and pens.



Absolutely. All these advances and cost improvements, combined with air travel becoming unappealing for many reasons (which did not exist 6-7 years ago), is a climate ripe for the classic gales of creative destruction, or at least a partial substitution.

Gang of One

Good morning GK and usnjay,

True, I mostly come here to read the insights and glory in the incisive debating skills of GK and other posters, but I am just a bit curious and confused. GK, you posit:

air travel becoming unappealing for many reasons (which did not exist 6-7 years ago), is a climate ripe for the classic gales of creative destruction, or at least a partial substitution

I certainly have no problem grasping the reality of dwindling use of airtravel for the obvious reasons. But I don't understand the term 'creative destruction.' I think I grasp your playful oxymoron, but I am at a loss ... are you refering to the destruction of the airline industry due to the current circumstances regarding terrorism and the emerging technology of video webinars and the like, coupled with the creativity in new software and hardware that makes video conferencing accessible, or to some other idea? Please, elaborate on this my friend.


Gang of One,

'Creative Destruction' is a term from Joseph Schumpeter to signify when old technologies are made obsolete, and replaced by newer ones.

For example, digital cameras replaced film cameras, which put that little kiosk at the grocery store for film development out of business. But consumers are still better off with the new technology.

DVD players put VHS cassette makers out of business, but a download model may eventually put DVDs out of business.

In an accelerating world, these cycles get shorter and shorter.

Vinyl records lasted 5-6 decades. Audio tapes lasted 3 decades. CDs were at the top for 1.5 decades. Mp3s have been around for just 7 years, and the cost of the storage to store a 4 MB mp3 file drops by 40% each year at this point (an iPod has gone from 5 GB to 60 Gb in just 5 years, at the same price).


Joseph Schumpeter built his work on top of Kondratief who view the new emerging technology during a deflationary depression as the reason that capitalism would always renew itself and not breakdown.

Computers might not be the new technology. It is fairly mature. Perhaps genetics will replace it as the new leader in economics and politics.


The Impact of Computing goes far beyond merely computers - it is the paradigm of the true long-term trend.

Read : Milli, Micro, Nano, Pico to see how genetics, nanotechnology, and others are predictable within this context.

Gang of One


Thank you for explaining the phrase. I read the Wikipedia link.
I'm not an economist nor a mathemetician, but I do recall from my trig class the curve of the exponential function.
Seems like that is what we are looking at.

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