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The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism Paperback – Mar 5 2001

3.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; Reprint edition (March 5 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585420824
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585420827
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #634,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Amazon

He's been called the postmodern Chicken Licken, but it so happens that the sky really is falling down. Jeremy Rifkin pulls the plug on the trend away from property ownership and free public life in The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism, Where All of Life is a Paid-For Experience. As usual, he's a bit ahead of the curve--most of us aren't yet fully immersed in the sea of leased products and packaged experiences that he sees awaiting us. Still, his eerie visions of a world of gatekeepers paying each other for access to nearly every aspect of human life brings a chilling new meaning to the phrase "pay to play" and should spark some debate over our new cultural revolution.

Using examples from business and government experiments with just-in-time access to goods and services and resource sharing, Rifkin defines a new society of renters too busy breaking the shackles of material possessions to mourn the passing of public property. Are we encouraging alienation or participation? Can we trust corporations with stewardship of our social lives? True to form, the author asks more questions than he answers--a sign of an open mind. If property is theft, leased access is extortion, and The Age of Access warns us of the complex changes coming in our relationships with our homes, our communities, and our world. --Rob Lightner, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his latest synthesis of business analysis and academic philosophizing, Rifkin (The End of Work, The Biotech Century, etc.) argues that we are in the midst of a new age in which "concepts, ideas and images--not things--are the real items of value" and where "the purchase of lived experiences becomes the consummate commodity." In the book's first half, Rifkin contends that ownership of property has become increasingly devalued. Today's companies avoid amassing physical capital, which can later prove "an albatross" that prevents them from keeping up with rapid technological advances. Instead, they prefer to "outsource ownership," contracting third parties to provide and maintain equipment. This trend combines with others, such as the proliferation of service relationships, to put more emphasis on access than ownership, heralding a time when what companies sell will be human experience itself and all cultural activities will be commodified. In the book's second half, Rifkin shows how "experience industries"--such as travel and entertainment--are coming to dominate the new global economy. "More and more of the global cultural sphere--its natural wonders, cathedrals, museums, palaces, parks, rituals, festivals--is being siphoned off into the marketplace," he says, where it serves as a backdrop "for enacting paid-for cultural experiences" that is divorced from historical context. As in Rifkin's earlier works, the author asserts the truth of his ideas in considerable detail without offering much supporting evidence, leaving readers either to believe him or not. Even so, his larger historical and social perspective and lack of technological boosterism is refreshing. Agent: Jim Stein. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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September 1, 2002
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