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Subject:  Re: OT: Man in the White Suit Date:  2/16/2009  12:40 PM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  25985 of 35877

Let's assume everyone stops printing pictures

But let's not, since to assume that you have to crash Hewlett Packard's printer division (a good part, anyway), and ink refills, and clear the shelves of "photo paper" at Staples and Office Max, you have to get rid of all the kiosks at Walgreens and CVS, reduce Photoshop sales to almost zero, pull the remaining film stock from the hotel gift shops in Las Vegas and drug stores everywhere, and so on. All of this seems pretty unlikely.

But even if you do, you still have airtime charges for sending the pictures from your phone, and bandwidth charges for sending them from your camera (via your computer), and if I can't identify exactly what or where those airtime or bandwidth charges are, that doesn't mean they don't exist. That may make it harder as an investment thesis, but not as an economic one that a new industry has replaced - and probably surpassed - the old one.

It also seems extremely unlikely that people are going to stop sharing pictures. Whether that is electronic or physical, there's a market. It's certainly a different market than before, but it's still a market. People now pay for web space, or use advertising supported websites to share, or e-mail to friends, or print out and mail to Mom - or whatever. That all counts as "economic activity", even if it's not "manufacturing rolls of celluloid" in Rochester.

There is no doubt that markets appear and disappear. Once upon a time there weren't really "newspapers" as we think of them. It became an industry in the late 1800's, and (for example) New York City had 20 of them printing a daily edition. The