Will Wealth Destruction Breed Necessary Innovations?

I got a great tweet on the wire today from Tim O’Reily who is one of the kings of Twitter, but also a really smart guy. It was link to a column from Scott Adams (Dilbert) about the economy and where he sees it going.

Some Excerpts:

“I wonder what people mean when they say the economy will recover in 2010. The only way that can happen is if another irrational bubble forms thus creating an illusion of wealth similar to our previous illusions. If you take illusions out of the equation, there isn’t anything to get “back” to. The wealth was never there in the first place.”

“In California we’re facing a severe budget deficit, and this will demand cuts in education among other things. I can imagine a future economy where everyone is home schooled over the Internet, and the average result is an improvement. With the Internet you could leverage the best teaching methods to the entire country. No one gets the bad teacher or the disruptive class. There are no bullies and no cliques.”

He goes on to talk about how things like wasting of resources will just no longer be tolerated because it will be absolutely necessary for societies to run lean. But that this problem along with the Internet may finally make us as a society make fundamental changes in the ways we think about recycling, transportation, education and commerce. Look, there are a lot of trade offs, and things are much more grey than black and white especially when it comes to the benefits of social interation….

…And rethink we must. I often think about city skyscrapers, or my own office building for that matter and how many resources are consumed every day by utilities, heat, plumbing, and transportation, when most people (myself included) take up an office or a cube and sit in front of a computer all day.