It's here again: another skirmish in the battle of econo, econo, econo - fought between Mark Buchanan (econophysicist) and Paul Krugman (economist).
Buchanan's rebuttal to Krugman's "acerbic rebuttal": slow steaming is still dreaming. It's about possible limits of material resources (especially energy) to economic growth.
Beyond slow steaming
There's one point that I want to add to this discussion: yes, innovations can help to save resources and non-material goods have a great potential for growth. But there is no such thing as an abstract program, video, music, course … They all need matter to run at.
From my time in manufacturing I know: in part logistics it's not so important how long transportation takes, if it arrives at the scheduled time, precisely. The same with the corresponding information (production and operation plans, control programs, ...)
But, I want to have a train that takes me from Linz to Munich in an hour.....