Keep running, Logan – The Property Chronicle
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Keep running, Logan Are new forms of technology as disruptive as we think they are?

Head Of Research

Businessman goes along a corridor at modern office

Liberty, freedom, justice. Now things have changed. Now everything comes to us on a platter. Man’s got nothing left to fight for.” — Logan’s Run

In the classic 1967 novel Logan’s Run the world of 2116 is an idyllic place where people have a blissful existence, total freedom and a ‘Thinker’ (artificial intelligence) that makes all decisions. It’s a vision not dissimilar to that of many prominent ‘techno-optimists’, including Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson, Alec Ross and Peter Diamandis, who envision future technological advances that reduce the need for human effort. In their future world, humans will receive a ‘guaranteed minimum income’ (i.e. free money) so they can be free to paint, contemplate the universe, recite Plato and eat grapes. But perhaps there is one small catch these techno-optimists should consider as part of their Logan’s Run-esque utopia: When the good people of 2116 turn 21, they must voluntarily go to a ‘sleep shop’ and kill themselves.

This reminds me a bit of how some people fear the potential elimination of certain commercial real estate sectors from the forces of technology. It’s true that new forms of technology, led by the internet, wifi and its progeny the ‘sharing economy’, may reduce the need for brick-and-mortar retail and office property. Taking the technology argument to its logical extreme, the only forms of commercial real estate that may be absolutely necessary are industrial (a place to store stuff) and multifamily (a place to live).

Head Of Research

About Spencer Levy

Spencer Levy

Spencer Levy is Americas Head of Research and Senior Economic Advisor for CBRE. In this role, Spencer is part of the global team setting Research strategy for the company, leads a team of more than 350 professionals in the Americas, and is the chief spokesperson for CBRE in the Americas on economic issues. He is a regular speaker on national television, including CNBC, Fox Business & Bloomberg, as well as being an actively quoted economist in the print media. Spencer is a 22-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry as a lawyer, investment banker, capital markets leader and researcher. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School.

Articles by Spencer Levy

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