The USS Quad Damage

Is Quora a POS?

The correct answer is "yes", because it doesn't let you log in using twitter or facebook, and you need an account to do anything. It's old timey like television or email.

Here’s an answer to a question on Quora. I can’t answer it on Quora because it’s a massive pain to create an account on there just to answer someone else’s question.

Q: Will the virtual/digital goods industry provide a positive yet environmentally sustainable influence on the economy? Why / Why not?

A: Possibly both. On the one hand, it takes resources to up-keep virtual goods. A real vase takes no resources to exist, yet a virtual vase needs power to sustain it. However, if vases get thrown out a lot, then the virtual good may be preferable to the real good.

It also has the benefit of pandering to the very human tendency to “keep up with the joneses” without having an enormous negative impact on the environment. People might be able to “own” fewer physical goods, or be happier sharing them, having a “minimalist” physical lifestyle, while having a lavish virtual lifestyle.

However, this is both plausibly bad training for humanity (training for consumption of infinite goods; a failure to understand that resources are actually not free), as well as having many negative externalities (carbon generated by transfer of information, the “goods” actually being stored and transmitted from long distances) — sort of like how societies grew with the Car in mind, with people living far apart from both each other and from their work, and now society can’t adjust. Similarly data being “far away” from it’s intended destination may result in an inefficient information society.