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Stuart Dobson (M)
Melbourne, AU
Immortal since Dec 1, 2008
Uplinks: 0, Generation 3

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We all change. The future is emergent and dynamic, evolving with our minds and our society. Technology plays a fundamental part in this evolution, this evolution of complexity. So I ask, how does technology affect society? How does technology affect our minds and then society in turn? How does our economic and political system affect society and technology? What are the products of this evolution – and what are our goals?
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    A technocratic society has the goal of:
    Producing optimum quality goods and services at the lowest possible energy cost, and distributing the maximum amount of goods and services to everyone.

    Our broken economy has so far prevented this from being possible. The constant need for money has forced producers to continually produce poor quality goods, essentially, in order to keep the consumer buying. If you have to keep buying, you have to keep working. In today's developed world, we have far more than our parents did, yet we still continue to slave away, even massively increasing our debts to own more and more.

    Essentially, all we really need is:

    * Clean water
    * Food
    * Shelter
    * Basic clothing

    Secondary needs are:

    * Consumables
    * Electricity
    * Communications infrastructure
    * Transportation

    Tertiary needs are:

    * Luxuries
    * Science
    * Art
    * Entertainment

    The technocracy attempts to solve these needs from the bottom up, to rethink production and distribution without the need for money. While I don't agree with all the ideas of technocracy, 3 specific points cannot be ignored.

    1. Too many people go without the essential needs.
    2. Providing the essential needs, even the secondary needs, for everyone on the planet, is really not as hard as we've made it out to be. It can be done by technology, namely automation.
    3. Once everyone has been provided with the essential and secondary needs, the need to work will be eradicated, changing the fundamental shape of society.

    Whatever we all think about the political economic systems of the world is soon to become irrelevant. The days of the dollar are numbered, the fuse connected to the entire system of money has been lit. Shortly, the systems of capitalism and socialism will barely matter.

    Lets focus on how to achieve step 2. We need to harness all the energy we need from renewable sources, storing and distributing it automatically. The sun, sea, wind and geothermals can provide more energy than we'll ever need, and it's all environmentally friendly. Maintaining these energy harnesses, as well as creating clothing and consumables, will eventually be taken care of by automation. However, these tasks will be minimal, due to the increase in build quality. Genetic engineering, nanotechnology and other new technologies are set to solve current issues of food and water shortage. Eventually, extraction of raw materials, creating consumables, and maintenance of machinery, will all depend on one thing - the one thing we have in abundance - energy.

    Scarcity, which has so far fuelled our doomed financial system of debt and greed, will be replaced by abundance. Automation will be helped by exponentially increasing scientific and technological breakthroughs. Regardless of whether artificial intelligence becomes reality or not, we are already well on the way to destroying the current economic system. This is thanks to the increasing awareness of the potential for abundance.

    Fulfilling the essential and secondary needs of the planet will then free us up to focus intensively on the tertiary needs of society. We'll work because we'll want to. Human beings will learn to reconnect with their creative sides, providing value for society with creations and discoveries.

    Once this situation comes to pass, technocracy will have made socialism obsolete, as the previous generations will have paid for the essential needs of all future generations. Whether or not capitalism is also likely to be dissolved, is up for debate. There'll be no need to sell anything as you'll have all your essential needs, and many people will probably share their creations just "for the love of it", but perhaps competition in the creative industries could help continue to drive innovation and art. If a money system did still exist, it would only be applicable to the tertiary needs, and in this case, it would be beneficial to society.

    What can I do?

    Once built, the infrastructure for the technocracy will obsolete the money system, and this is what those in power are afraid of. This is why you won't see your politicians putting too much effort into fully renewable energy sources. There always needs to be a cost involved, some kind of maintenance. However, what's becoming apparent is that the ability to build this infrastructure is being taken out of the hands of politicians, and being put into the hands of individuals. This power needs to be realised.

    As individuals, we can help this situation by creating technology that will bring abundance. Basically anything that is highly efficient, and preferably automated, falls into this category. We need to show the world how easy it really is to provide the essential needs to everybody. And we need to show them how technology will create abundance, obsoleting the money system in favour of harnessing the immense quantity of free energy available to us.
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