Wikipedia defines Post-Scarcity as:
A hypothetical form of economy or society in which goods, services and information are free, or practically free. This would require an abundance of fundamental resources (matter, energy and intelligence), in conjunction with sophisticated automated systems capable of converting raw materials into finished goods.
I suppose it is one possible outcome of the 3D printer discussion - a society where we have enough everything for humans to live on in peace and harmony.
Here's a TED Talk by Andrew McAfee: Are droids taking our jobs? which touches on how we're getting there through our advances in technology and I thought it was a fantastic watch.
Robots and algorithms are getting good at jobs like building cars, writing articles, translating -- jobs that once required a human. So what will we humans do for work? Andrew McAfee walks through recent labor data to say: We ain't seen nothing yet. But then he steps back to look at big history, and comes up with a surprising and even thrilling view of what comes next.
The very idea of this kind of Utopia (or Dystopias) existing is exciting, and we're moving towards it at a rapid pace. It seems at this point in time, post-scarcity is the ultimate goal of the human race. Isn't everything we do, done to make our lives easier?
When you go to the shops, looking at things comparing them to the most primitive functions
- We leave our house, a permanent shelter that replaces a tree or cave.
- We drive to the shops in a car so we don't have to walk and carry our shit, or drag it along by an enslaved, stronger animal like a horse.
- At the shops we pick up meat and vegetables we didn't grow or kill ourselves.
- We also buy cereal, bread and diced garlic - highly processed combinations of basic foods prepared by someone or something else.
When you compare our day to day actions with what people did 5 generations ago, this is ludicrous. Yet this seems normal to us.
Computers are the difference, and according to Moore's law (which has apparently been broken, mind you) our technological advances will progress exponentially as discussed in the video.
- What do you think is the major obstacle in our path? Energy? Greed?
- What do you think humans would do if we lives in a post-scarcity utopia?
- What advances do you think are just around the corner?
I wonder what the future has in store for us..