aaron kinney     Wed, Jan 28, 2009  Permanent link
Very interesting. At first I was like "wtf how can you eliminate an exchange medium without another one taking its place?"

But then I realized that you were talking about the elimination of scarcity. Only with scarcity is trade needed, and only with trade is an exchange medium needed. So, without scarcity, there would be no need to trade or quantify value. Everything would be freely given to you in abundance, like an idealized gift economy.

Id like unlimited amounts of sex, drugs, and rock n roll please :)
Manuel Dahm     Mon, Dec 28, 2009  Permanent link
Sounds like the always promised utopia where machines work for us, and men can indulge in leisure and contemplation. A promise that will never become real, its like the catholic promise of paradise "you'll be there, you just have to wait until your'e dead"

I also do think that it's the wrong approach to assume that everybody on this planet wants the same thing, namely access to technology, and be part of the very same future, that in my eyes is the same spirit that conquered the world for capitalism. Respect the differences.
Infinitas     Tue, Dec 29, 2009  Permanent link
Respect the differences.

I think this Eutopia is very possible; though it should only be available to those who want it. I like the more libertarian route: stay out of people's lives (I'm looking at you big govt.)

If this were/became the case, what happens to everyone else when, for example, the U.S. becomes a completely self-sufficient, automated nation, developing like crazy, living wonderfully healthy and content lives, eventually moving off of Earth? If they want a piece, I don't see any reason why the U.S. wouldn't share what has essentially become free to them. If others wanted no part in this system then they don't have to play a part. The U.S. culture would not negatively affect third world countries by exploitation because there would be no need for cheap labor, resources or goods.
klaitner     Sun, Jan 10, 2010  Permanent link
The notion of superabundance as inevitable is challenging. Not because it is inconceivable that we could solve the technical challenges around energy and molecular assembly, but rather precisely because we could currently provide the basic needs of the entire world, but do not.

Human nature includes individuation and advantage seeking. Something will always be scarce, as if we provide abundance in all things, we will create scarcity elsewhere. Scarcity relative to basic needs currently exists and is possibly avoidable, but scarcity as a concept is created by mind, and could only be eliminated by the enlightenment of all beings.

Let us for a moment allow for the singularity. If we were to transform human beings into incorporeal beings without basic needs, would we need money? Would we exchange value? What form would it take, Attention? Trust? How would greed express itself?

If we were all provided tomorrow with a machine that provided anything we desired, would we all be whole, satisfied and willing to apply ourselves to the betterment of all beings?

Also worth considering, if value exchange is to persist, what form will it take (beyond money?). Will we still need a universal medium of value that can be transformed into any other form (and is represented by something utterly useless and hard to make more of)? Will a recent history of specialization and trade be replaced with self sufficiency?