Salon has a neat article on desktop manufacturing (yes you have to view an ad to get to it, but on the bright side it’s probably a John Mayer Trio ad). It looks to be the first step toward a Star Trek-style replicator. A device like that always makes me wonder if, as technology continually removes the physical and financial restraints of production, supply might change its relationship to demand. It’s the same issue as file sharing – if demand becomes near-infinite, what happens to demand and value? And if some desktop device can replicate the manufacturing processes of hundreds of industries, how does that affect their bottom lines? If the aim of technology is to make life easier and do more for us, what else is left for us to do to make a living? Could such a device eliminate commodity-based industries, leaving us only with service industries? If a device can make you anything you want, what’s left to want?