According to this vision, we are moving toward manufacturing highly customizable, on-demand goods that are locally produced from raw materials and globally distributed digital designs. This could lead to extreme product customization, decentralization of production and, perhaps surprisingly, much lower costs of everyday goods ranging from smartphones to medicine.
The industrial revolution introduced a highly effective way of driving prices down. This involves very large capital investments, high energy use, extensive amounts of repetitive manual labor, long distance transportation, and the underlying assumption that the consumer base is sufficiently large and homogeneous.
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