this is part of as days pass by, by Stuart Langridge

I'm toying with the idea of the "weightless economy", a phrase that was mentioned on PM on Radio 4 in connection with the Chorus shutdown. The point here is that manufacturing industries are finding it harder to do work, as more people become involved in this "weightless economy", by which I think that they meant the world of the net and telecommunications and so on; dealing with information rather than raw materials. Presumably there must come an event horizon beyond which you can't stop producing raw materials, since cars and computers and beer bottles have to be made of something. But could we cleave away a lot of the manufacturing industry without a problem? Is it, in its current state, vital to the economy, or could it be cut in half and still provide what it does? Is this "weightless economy" the way things are bound to go?

© Aquarius, February 2001