Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pull Economy and Push - Pull Systems

The subject of this post by Burce Nussbaum has condensed a thought process begun recently from work on Ultra Light Fabrication and a general interest in Economics.

Let's say that the industrial economy is a Push Economy, and a Do It Yourself, 3D Printer kind of economics are a Pull Economy. As 3D Printers become faster, better and more capable we'll be "printing our own" more and more.

The usual mathematics of Push Economy require massive economies of scale to efficiently produce physical goods. In contrast, the production of a mobile phone in a Pull Economy requires time and energy and raw materials. While the time is in a practical range, we can count it as "zero" relative to the macroeconomy. We can expect that energy and materials will be in practical ranges, as well.

The macroeconomy will have hybrid Push Pull Markets. That is, Push products competing with Pull products in terms of technology and features. An open question concerns the dynamics of effective trade offs where Pull products win.

A great deal is implied. Design, open source, private source, communication, trade and commerce. The "multiple inverse femtobarns" of implications includes a family friendly work place at home, new choices, and new engineering of software and hardware by problem not component.

The individual facing the "buy versus print" choice is electing to consume a product or materials. In electing to print with materials, one directly employs design information which may be commercial or free and may be open source or private source.

There's also an interesting exo-economy. Printers as advanced as envisioned here will have implications for manned and unmanned development of extraterrestrial space. For example, in situ planetary development and interstellar maintenance and development.

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