Over the past few decades, a quiet inversion has taken place that few notice. During the industrial age, the value of the physical content of goods was enormous compared to the value of the mental content. The bending of steel and other metals, the welding or bolting of them together, the processes of replication-- the smelting, pounding, twisting, stretching, cutting, assembling-- and sheer amount of metal, other material, and labor required to produce a typewriter, automobile or other product dwarfed the value of design or other mental content.
With the advent of computers and other micro-electronic technology, the value of the mental content of products and services began to grow in relation to the value of the physical content. The value of the mental content of a micro-chip is enormously greater than the value of the physical content. The value of the mental content of a computer or a smart phone is enormously greater than the value of the physical content.
Over the course of a half-century, the value of physical content to value of mental content of most products and services steadily approached a median point, crossed, and has now reversed. We have no idea what this means for societal organization or environmental relationship in future, though it is certain to be huge.