56 minutes | Jul 9, 2019

21 Ownership

Ownership has been culturally and legally defined for millennia. You either posses something, or you don't. But in a mere 10 years, we've fully transitioned from purchasing an album, a movie, a book, or a map, to subscribing to these media as services. Spotify, Amazon, YouTube and the rest offer us access to all the media imaginable at a fraction of the cost. But if said media resides on corporate servers and not on your bookshelf, who really owns it? And what happens when these companies remove content you've already paid for, restrict access, or go out of business? This is a radical shift in how we value media, both culturally and economically, and we're only at the beginning. Technology has also completely disrupted how we own and share physical goods, from our cars (Uber, Lyft) to our very homes (Airbnb). While sharing networks take the latency out of the economy and connect people 1:1, those people don't own the network on which they share value, which can create new problems altogether. This week we dissect the philosophical importance of ownership in the 21st century and beyond.
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