Home Economics Vaporized

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Learn the key ideas of the book by Robert Tercek


Understanding digitalisation to avoid being vaporized

Robert Tercek invites us on a journey of discovery into the depths of our reality: a magic world defined by software in which we are used to having all the information, all the time, instantly and anywhere. The birth of the internet has facilitated the liberation of information from the physical prison in which it was being held, into the form of ethereal files. The advent and diffusion of smartphones ensures that all the knowledge in the world is available to anyone, anywhere at any time. The vaporization of our society is forcing us to take on a difficult challenge: to do more and to do better, by using software to help reduce wasteful use of natural resources and to minimise our harmful impact on the planet.

Read in 13 min.
Listen in 16 min.

Atoms become bytes and our society is suddenly defined by software

Richard Buckminster Fuller, architect and American philosopher, one of the great innovators of the twentieth century, introduced the concept of “doing more with less”. He even got as far as to propose the hypothesis of “doing everything with nothing”. At the heart of his idea was the notion of improving people’s lives without draining the resources of our planet. Thanks to globalisation, the dematerialisation of knowledge and the expansion of connectivity, Fuller’s dream has become our reality. Useless matter tends to disappear, leaving room for the essential; a process made possible by digitisation, so bytes replace the atom. Digitalisation has not only invaded the information world and that of production and the world of work, it has become a factor that permeates every environment in our existence. We are a society defined by software, where the digital shapes us and conditions our lives.


The key ideas of "Vaporized"

Atoms become bytes and our society is suddenly defined by software
The objects that contain information shed the packaging that contains them
Solid, liquid and gas: the three states of matter and of information
The digital transformation has created consumers with superpowers
Products and companies can disappear into thin air without even leaving a trace of their existence
Television slowly vaporize and members of the audience become the stars of the show
Every digital business is an exchange, a link between a seeker and a seller
Reform education to prepare the next generation of workers
Take-home message
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