As the industrialized world sprints headlong towards an economy dominated by cyberspace, ownership is becoming an anachronism, and markets are giving way to networks, where concepts rather than objects are traded. In the age of access a company's greatest asset is not physical property but intangible ideas.
Cutting-edge businesses now talk about a person's 'lifetime value'UV), the theoretical measure of how much a person is worth commercially from birth to death. Soon every aspect of our lives - travel, sport, entertainment, health, fashion, food, and even social causes - will become part of the 'experience' economy, as giant media corporations like AOL / Time Warner, Pearson, Sony and Disney exploit the digital revolution in communication to turn human culture itself into a commodity.
Jeremy Rifkin warns of the dangers this new form of global monopoly poses to the way we live our lives, to our individual freedom and to the traditional values which cement human relationships. If this is the future, can such a society survive?