This article is going viral The Age of the Homebody Has Only Begun
We now have available to us more home entertainment options, and of a higher quality, than ever before. With so many top cultural institutions making their performances available to all online, aficionados are growing accustomed to watching the best live performances—from pop stars performing in pyjamas all the way up to opera and ballet—from the comfort of viewers’ own homes. If anything, people lament not having sufficient time to watch all of these excellent offerings.
Many of us have been forced to homeschool our children. In doing so, some of us have been realizing a parenting fantasy or living a parenting nightmare, or both. Either way, we’ve become aware of the many ways in which teaching and learning can take place at home. Even many adults have had time to pursue the wealth of excellent learning materials available for free or limited cost—including classes and lectures from the world’s best universities.
In 2016-2017 in a series of posts I predicted that careerism and socializing would increasingly be replaced by introversion, gig work, and at-home entertainment (such as Netflix or surfing the web). In agreement with these forecasts, the Pandemic has only hastened these trends.
nightclubs, Disneyland, cruises, concerts
People staying home watching Netflix and streaming live content; cheap entertainment such going to the park or beach (assuming it is not closed). A possible positive consequence of the pandemic will be a renewed interest in outdoors activities such as camping, as opposed to expensive and crowded cruise ships and theme parks.
extroversion is more important
With the rise of the social distancing meme and more people staying at home, introverts have more status especially online. We’re living in the ‘era of the home-busybody,’ the ‘era of the introvert.’
Offline retail, ‘mom and pops’ (well before before Covid, retail was already struggling against Amazon and Walmart, but this only made it worse)
Offline economy replaced/subsumed by the online economy (Amazon, Shopify, Door Dash, Uber Eats, etc.); ‘mom and pops’ replaced by giant discount retail such as Target and Walmart.
low unemployment rate, lots of jobs (even if many of them suck)
Rise of the gig economy. I predicated a month ago the gig economy would boom as a consequence of the virus, due to laid off workers have no other option. Same for the rise of contracting. Similar to post-2008, the trend is towards increasing economic productivity and efficiency, with people being paid for results, ‘hustle,’ and initiative, not just punching-in and doing what is told. Similar to 2008, people with overpaid jobs that do not produce much economic value relative to pay, will be lost or replaced by cheaper alternatives. Any job that can be automated, outsourced, contracted, or eliminated, is at most risk.
As mentioned in an earlier article, coding jobs will boom due to increased demand for apps and software, such as delivery apps, video conferencing apps, e-commerce apps, etc. The wage premium between college graduates, especially in STEM, versus high school grads, which pre-covid was already very wide, will only widen post-covid. The US economy will become increasingly bifurcated, with high-paying creative and professional jobs (such as tech, medical, legal, consulting, STEM, etc.) continuing to thrive, while less-skilled workers are shuffled between unemployment and just getting by. The post-covid decline of retail will predominantly hurt low-skilled workers. Post-cvoid, IQ will become even more relevant as a sorting mechanism for who succeeds and who falls between the cracks of society.
As more people stay home, and government spending increases to bail-out companies and fund social programs, we’re transitioning to post-scarcity economy funded by the sale of near-zero yielding government debt, as well as tax revenue from the wealthy and immensely profitable tech corporations. However, emerging markets and weaker economies such as that of Italy, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, and Russia do not have the luxury of printing free money and will struggle with high inflation and low economic growth, made worse by the virus. The economic disparity between the US and the rest of the world will keep widening, with the US pulling further and further ahead of the rest of the world economically, culturally (in terms of cultural influence), and militarily. America will be bigger and stronger ad more relaxant than ever before in spite of the virus, similar to post-WW2, post-2008 (the financial crisis), and post-911.