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How soon will a moneyless society change the way we percieve each other?


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#222 CraigD

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 11:38 AM

I like your idea better than most Craig, but who's gonna pay for it?

In a capitalistic society, big business would never allow the cost of all goods to decrease so much that money was no longer useful. it would be financial suicide, and who's going to invest in that?

If history is any indication, people wanting to make a lot of money will.

A characteristic of businesses is that many of them will commit great resources toward short term profit. The computer microelectronics industry is a case in point. Early computer manufacturers didn’t plan to reduce the cost per transistor of computer chips to the extent that per-unit revenue was reduced from 1960s millions of US dollars to 2000s hundreds. They did it because they, and their competitors, could, resulting in short term gains in market share, but the eventual near collapse of profitability and exporting to other nations of an entire industry. As a result, electronic devices equivalent to ones costing more than a hundred dollars 30 years ago are in many cases now actually free.

In much in-depth speculation about post-scarcity – nearly all of which, in my experience, is in the domain of speculative fiction – the disappearance of present day economic system and instruments occurs not due to a peaceful or violent revolution, but because they can no longer win customers from their moneyless competition. We see something of this in such modern industries as software, where support service-based free software such as Linux operating systems and open-source applications are increasingly gaining market vs. their proprietary commercial competition. Although software, and to a lesser extent microelectronics, are an unusually dramatic example of reduction in cost and price, they show that such dramatic reductions are in principle possible.

In short, arguments, albeit very speculative ones, exist suggesting that the same psychological and sociological tendencies that invented money – tendencies including competition and greed – may also create conditions rendering it obsolete. I find this cause for optimism, because I think that changes in means of production, distribution, and trade are more likely than changes in psychological and sociological tendencies.

#223 Buffy

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 01:04 PM

We see something of this in such modern industries as software, where support service-based free software such as Linux operating systems and open-source applications are increasingly gaining market vs. their proprietary commercial competition. Although software, and to a lesser extent microelectronics, are an unusually dramatic example of reduction in cost and price, they show that such dramatic reductions are in principle possible.

The dramatic reductions in microelectronics however is due solely to unbelievably rapid technological innovation (entirely underwritten by large profit margins!), in combination with a consequent enormous cost reduction through economies of scale. None of it is ever going to be free because there are still manufacturing costs. This is no different than any other phase of technological innovation throughout the history of man.

The "free software movement" however has been incredibly misrepresented. Software is highly unusual as a commodity, because although R&D costs are high, manufacturing has been reduced to virtually zero, making it possible to deliver it for "free" to those who probably would not buy it in the first place, because for the vast majority it is "inferior to" the dominant market leader (Alex: "inferior" here meaning "lack of broad market support and functionality" not "technologically inferior" which the majority of the market does not care about!).

Except for Linux, open-source has not been a raging success precisely because people have a hard time figuring out how to make money off of it. Service/support based economic models simply move the costs over from one General Ledger entry to another in most software organizations, and its considered a "Loss Leader" for most of them. Linux support companies benefit from the fact that the operating system represents such a huge part of the overall software market (in units) that the incremental cost of service is low, thus becoming marginally profitable even given that the "perceived value" of services and support has always been quite low. In fact a long-term trend in the software business has been to shift to subscription pricing which muddles together the cost of R&D and Services, making it possible to call the effect of "free software" much broader than it really is in practice. Because of the cost of R&D and decent services though, there is a limit to the ability of otherwise unsubsidized organizations to actually innovate based on the free-software model.

As an example of this, while Sugar CRM has had some success, and they have exerted a downward pressure on prices (not surprising given how overpriced products are in the ERP/CRM/BPA space!), they are having increasing trouble competing technologically and support-wise vis-a-vis Salesforce.com and even more stodgy firms like Oracle and SAP.

Even Mozilla gets a lot of its money from advertising Google and handouts from various places. As anyone who had fun raising money in the dotcom boom knows, that's a great racket, but only a very few can get a big enough base and strong enough brand to pull it off, which they were able to do because they were funded for so long by Netscape's initial cha-ching payday and later, AOL's loss-leader support.

Down market from there, I've got horror stories about fun with niche "free" solutions like Filezilla....

Bottom line is that shifting what you charge for to different buckets--whether to "services" or simply having "loss leader product lines"--is not the same as "making it free," and with microelectronics, in software there's still lots of "fat" being trimmed due to technological innovation making it look like there's a trend to zero.

To see this as an example of market forces bringing about "post-scarcity" is, I think, a bit misleading....

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic,...can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, :hihi:
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#224 charles brough

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 04:57 PM

I cannot agree with the Peacemaker's original premises and she asked only for those who agree with her to respond.

So, I'll direct this to the others: we have had money and the growth of civilization---both---for thousands of years. They have gone together with us. In prehistory, we had barter.

As evolved primates, we are like the chimp in that we have a reciprocity instinct in that we expect someone who we do a favor for to reciprocate. That is the basis of our economic system.

The author seems to have an ideal utopia or heaven in mind. Most of us would go insane in such a society. We need the bad and evil in order to appreciate what is good. We get tired of cloying sentiment, platitudes and pollyanna. We are happiest when we are struggling to achieve goals.

#225 Symbology

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 06:03 PM

I cannot agree with the Peacemaker's original premises and she asked only for those who agree with her to respond.

So, I'll direct this to the others: we have had money and the growth of civilization---both---for thousands of years. They have gone together with us. In prehistory, we had barter.

As evolved primates, we are like the chimp in that we have a reciprocity instinct in that we expect someone who we do a favor for to reciprocate. That is the basis of our economic system.

The author seems to have an ideal utopia or heaven in mind. Most of us would go insane in such a society. We need the bad and evil in order to appreciate what is good. We get tired of cloying sentiment, platitudes and pollyanna. We are happiest when we are struggling to achieve goals.


Not me. I'm happiest when I am fat and lazy :) The reason why I enjoy a challenge is that I might as well enjoy whatever I am doing, and do the best I can at it. And either way I am going to be challenged. So I might as well make the best of it it.

If I had the choice between choice A of a fully funded challenging situation, or choice B a fully funded non-challenging situation, I would happily explore my true Type B personality. ;)

Maybe when I was in my early 20s I might have chosen differently. But I am tired of it at this point. I've met my challenge quota and I am ready for greener pastures. But for now back to the traces :)

#226 freeztar

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 07:49 PM

Not me. I'm happiest when I am fat and lazy ;) The reason why I enjoy a challenge is that I might as well enjoy whatever I am doing, and do the best I can at it. And either way I am going to be challenged. So I might as well make the best of it it.

If I had the choice between choice A of a fully funded challenging situation, or choice B a fully funded non-challenging situation, I would happily explore my true Type B personality. :epizza:

Maybe when I was in my early 20s I might have chosen differently. But I am tired of it at this point. I've met my challenge quota and I am ready for greener pastures. But for now back to the traces :)


I don't believe your statements Sym. :)

I *know* what you are saying, but we must never submit to delinquency. It is unbecoming of scholarly folk. ;)

#227 Overdog

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 04:53 PM

I don't believe your statements Sym. :shrug:

I *know* what you are saying, but we must never submit to delinquency. It is unbecoming of scholarly folk. :)


But it is how people behave.

#228 Symbology

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 07:50 PM

I don't believe your statements Sym. :naughty:

I *know* what you are saying, but we must never submit to delinquency. It is unbecoming of scholarly folk. ;)


Well, I will have to admit that I come to this site to intentionally find some challenges. And nobody pays me to be here. But it is relatively little effort to spout my opinion. ;)

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
~Oscar Wilde



#229 Peacemaker

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 03:38 PM

It's done this way:

Define the Utopian Transition as:
-----------------------------------
Step 1: Make everybody want to live in a utopian world
Step 2: Execute Utopian Transition
Step 3: We live in a utopian world.
-----------------------------------

Now, execute the Utopian Transition as an infinitely recursive process!

See how easy it is!!! :eek_big:


Thanks for that Pyrotex. Yes, that is EXACTLY how it works, Thanks for compressing my theory 'in a nutshell'. If that helps any peruser of this thread to fully understand how simple it is to achieve, you have done much good.

All the best,
Peacemaker

#230 Peacemaker

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 04:01 PM

Well, I will have to admit that I come to this site to intentionally find some challenges. And nobody pays me to be here. But it is relatively little effort to spout my opinion. :eek_big:


Thanks for that Symbology. I am glad that my idea challenges you. It is intended to. It is intended to inspire thought patterns which are different to the 'norm'.

Try this for a challenge;

The only reason we can't do this tomorrow is that people refuse to think 'outside of the box'. The majority of earthlings appear to be incapable of ultimate 'Blue Sky Thinking', despite the fact that someone invented the term.

We dare not imagine this planet being anything better than it currently is. We can thank the church for this. They instill in us from a very young age that we are here to suffer before we go on to some eternal paradise, where, having had a thoroughly miserable time here on earth, we get to spend eternity praising Him who put us through it all in the first place. Their teachings hold us back. They are wrong. Our place in heaven should be right here, right now. Where we know for a fact that we are conscious enough to recognise it...
and if the stories are true, can you think of ANY better preparation for what is to come?

We just have to be brave enough to WANT it, and then help in any way to make it happen.

Oh, and as to this;

'I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
~Oscar Wilde'
Good quote - My idea is an exception. The advice I give is extremely useful to me.

I never speak with a forked tongue... EVER.

Best regards,

Ken

#231 Peacemaker

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:13 PM

[quote name='charles brough']I cannot agree with the Peacemaker's original premises and she asked only for those who agree with her to respond.

So, I'll direct this to the others: we have had money and the growth of civilization---both---for thousands of years. They have gone together with us. In prehistory, we had barter.

As evolved primates, we are like the chimp in that we have a reciprocity instinct in that we expect someone who we do a favor for to reciprocate. That is the basis of our economic system.

The author seems to have an ideal utopia or heaven in mind. Most of us would go insane in such a society. We need the bad and evil in order to appreciate what is good. We get tired of cloying sentiment, platitudes and pollyanna. We are happiest when we are struggling to achieve goals.[/quote]

'QUOTE=charles brough;243878]I cannot agree with the Peacemaker's original premises and she asked only for those who agree with her to respond.'

Thanks for your contribution Charles. I see that you haven't taken the time to read this thread in full, or you would know that I am of the male gender. My given name is Ken. I will take your error as a compliment. Women are usually seen as the more caring of the species. Thank you.

'So, I'll direct this to the others: we have had money and the growth of civilization---both---for thousands of years. They have gone together with us. In prehistory, we had barter..

No arguments so far Charles. We have covered this fairly comprehensively, previously in the thread.

'As evolved primates, we are like the chimp in that we have a reciprocity instinct in that we expect someone who we do a favor for to reciprocate. That is the basis of our economic system.'

This is where our differences begin to surface. We are mostly NOT like the chimp. We are many stages of evolution ahead of them. They have yet to evolve through phases of sophisticated shelter building, agriculture, reading and writing, communication and an understanding of science before we can consider ourselves 'like the chimp'.

Unlike the chimp, we are now in a position to control our own destiny. We are the most evolved species in the known universe. By using our massive intellects to promote unity and team work, we move to the next stage of our evolution. THAT'S how simple this is, and we get people on this website who can't understand and absorb even that small piece of information.

'The author seems to have an ideal utopia or heaven in mind. Most of us would go insane in such a society. We need the bad and evil in order to appreciate what is good. We get tired of cloying sentiment, platitudes and pollyanna. We are happiest when we are struggling to achieve goals.[/QUOTE]'

In the first part of this paragraph we are entirely in accord. I do have an ideal utopia or heaven in mind. What's wrong with that? if yer gonna think... Think BIG!

You go on to make the statement that 'most of us would go insane in such a society'. On what living standard do you base this assumption Charles? Sitting in a hole in the ground and masturbating for our whole lives? What part of living a healthy life with honest work, good food, world class amenities and the love and comradeship of the whole of humanity would send 'most of us insane?'.

What do you do for a living Charles? What bad and evil do YOU spread on an everyday basis? Which bits of bad and evil do you welcome on an everyday basis?.. to make your life more interesting and 'sane'?

Do you perhaps live in a war zone? The Gaza strip? Maybe you and your family live with AIDS and starvation? Torture? Daily brutality? Robbery perhaps? Racial intolerance? Poor housing? infected water? Do your family get killed and injured working for slave wages down mines? Do you have to walk forty miles and pay a week's wages to a doctor to come to your house to help your ailing family member?

You appear to believe that these ills, and all the others I havn't mentioned are NECESSARY to mankind to 'make us appreciate the good things'. Perhaps you should try taking your family and friends to the places on earth where these things are happening, every day. Feel the benefit of looking to distant shore where they are not so common, and wishing with all your heart and health that you were 'there', and not 'here', where it is a reality. See if you feel the same way about it then, my friend.

I await your answers with high anticipation

Best regards,
Ken (Peacemaker)
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#232 belovelife

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:48 PM

WOW-my name is ken also.
now to clear the flavor pallet, i will state my theory.

with the introduction of computers to humanity, we have a new option availible for currency distribution.
economics are partially based (currently) on availible resources vs amount of availible currency.

with a simple formula you can define the amount of potential resouce (ie. food, commodities, tecnology, housing, etc.) that would be a world average. Remember that in the united states even the homeless are rich incomparison to some nations. (food, health, entertainment, etc.)

Now as a global village, we could distribute these in an orderly fashon. Although it needs to not only be socialistic, but also competative. This is because the old aphorism, "give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish he eats for life."

Basically the more you contribute, work, and effect society in a positive way, the more "credit" you should be allowed.
Now for children this should be independant from the parents. If you were ever a child in school and everyone else had money but you, understanding may be in your perspective.
So say there was a base of "credit' allowed for every child. This could be used as a teaching device for fuure economics. Good grades, good morality, community involvment, etc., would all be bases for increased credit. This would differ from current economics drasticly, but it would instill a better average for morality then the current system. Also this could be easily introduced to areas like refugee camps and that area of stability/instability.

I have a whole theory on this. At this point I will wait to see if there is interest, or if it is off-topic.
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#233 Symbology

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:04 PM

Excellent idea Belovelife. The challenge for this theory though is who or what defines what is good morality. The good grades and community involvement are fairly measurable.

I have been fascinated with the concept for the last 20 years of the need to instill a conscience in our automated systems. Basically a stronger implementation of Asimov's 3 laws of Robotics. This last week there was an excellent interview on Fresh Air with the author of Wired for War. where they discussed our automated killing machines and the lack of moral judgment behind the decision to pull the trigger, and upon whom. As they said, a machine sees a grandmother in a wheel chair just the same as an enemy tank.

It seems like the first start would be to begin to automate our Judges for the simple cases. Having computers that could adequately and fairly assess our laws could then be used to judge the morality of peoples behavior. It's a long long way off I think. But it seems like it is past time to start that process. The hardware is certainly sufficient. We just need to begin to build the foundational "conscience" or moral judgment libraries - and to begin debating the ethics.


I think if we could give kids something truly constructive to do there would be alot less social terrorizing going on within high schools.

Paul Graham has a good bead on this subject in his essay Why Nerds are Unpopular

Adults can't avoid seeing that teenage kids are tormented. So why don't they do something about it? Because they blame it on puberty. The reason kids are so unhappy, adults tell themselves, is that monstrous new chemicals, hormones, are now coursing through their bloodstream and messing up everything. There's nothing wrong with the system; it's just inevitable that kids will be miserable at that age.

This idea is so pervasive that even the kids believe it, which probably doesn't help. Someone who thinks his feet naturally hurt is not going to stop to consider the possibility that he is wearing the wrong size shoes.

I'm suspicious of this theory that thirteen-year-old kids are intrinsically messed up. If it's physiological, it should be universal. Are Mongol nomads all nihilists at thirteen? I've read a lot of history, and I have not seen a single reference to this supposedly universal fact before the twentieth century. Teenage apprentices in the Renaissance seem to have been cheerful and eager. They got in fights and played tricks on one another of course (Michelangelo had his nose broken by a bully), but they weren't crazy.

As far as I can tell, the concept of the hormone-crazed teenager is coeval with suburbia. I don't think this is a coincidence. I think teenagers are driven crazy by the life they're made to lead. Teenage apprentices in the Renaissance were working dogs. Teenagers now are neurotic lapdogs. Their craziness is the craziness of the idle everywhere.



#234 Symbology

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:40 PM

Try this for a challenge;

The only reason we can't do this tomorrow is that people refuse to think 'outside of the box'. The majority of earthlings appear to be incapable of ultimate 'Blue Sky Thinking', despite the fact that someone invented the term.

You are correct. Based on statistical studies of the Meyers-Briggs personalities, about 75% of the population are the Sensing type, and only 25% are the Intuitive group. And only half of those Intuitives are the Intuitive Feeler type also known as the Idealists. Basically nature has deemed its safe to only have about 13% of us. The rest of the 87% remain busy making the world go round. It just means that we have to build a good enough argument to convince the rest of them, and present it when its time has come. And the 35% that are the Sensing Judging stick-in-the-muds are super hard to budge off of "what has always worked". In fact what you actually have to do is convince the young SJ's before they finish college, because after that their minds are pretty much hardened cement.

a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
- Max Planck
Waited 18 years before receiving his Nobel Prize in Physics


The first challenge though is to get past the fellow Intuitive Thinkers that are on this message board that demand sufficient concretes to get some credibility going :hihi:

You've got an uphill battle. But if you manage to win, then to my observation, we all win. So keep dreaming the good dream... er fighting the good fight.

We dare not imagine this planet being anything better than it currently is. We can thank the church for this. They instill in us from a very young age that we are here to suffer before we go on to some eternal paradise, where, having had a thoroughly miserable time here on earth, we get to spend eternity praising Him who put us through it all in the first place. Their teachings hold us back. They are wrong. Our place in heaven should be right here, right now. Where we know for a fact that we are conscious enough to recognise it...
and if the stories are true, can you think of ANY better preparation for what is to come?

We just have to be brave enough to WANT it, and then help in any way to make it happen.

I will have to disagree with you here on that one. I think there could be no religions in the world, and you would still find a ton of suffering people... maybe even more because you would likely have fewer people motivated to help each other with no one prodding their consciences. Religion just attempts to come up with a model that explains the suffering, and formulates a plan with how to deal with it.

I will admit some plans are harsher than others. But don't judge the whole group based on a vocal "moral majority" because as it has been shown, they are neither. Any fundamentalist aka "polarized" group is dangerous - religious or otherwise.

I have a list of religions that don't choose to pre-judge people. If you are interested, give me a write for the list.

Church is not a haven for saints, it is a hospital for sinners


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