In the early nineties Bill Gates began using the term “frictionless capitalism”. He imagined technology making exchange radically fast and easy. Capital would be fully networked. The market would transcend the old inconveniences of the physical world. It would become weightless, wireless, and ubiquitous.
Today, trillion-dollar tech firms trade in this market, and their work is everywhere. Their frictionless ideal is embodied in high-end consumer devices. Sleek and seamless, a smartphone or tablet is otherworldly in its detached perfection. Their smooth surfaces are unmarked by tradition and the weight of experience.