post scarcity

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pages: 280 words: 74,559

Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani

"Robert Solow", autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, computer vision, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, G4S, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, land reform, liberal capitalism, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post scarcity, post-work, price mechanism, price stability, private space industry, Productivity paradox, profit motive, race to the bottom, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, working-age population

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola In bad times, I did not abandon the city; in good times, I had no private interests; in desperate times, I feared nothing. Cardinal De Retz Contents Acknowledgements Introduction: Six Characters in Search of a Future I. Chaos under Heaven 1.The Great Disorder 2.The Three Disruptions 3.What Is Fully Automated Luxury Communism? II. New Travellers 4.Full Automation: Post-Scarcity in Labour 5.Limitless Power: Post-Scarcity in Energy 6.Mining the Sky: Post-Scarcity in Resources 7.Editing Destiny: Age and Post-Scarcity in Health 8.Food without Animals: Post-Scarcity in Sustenance III. Paradise Found 9.Popular Support: Luxury Populism 10.Fundamental Principles: The Break with Neoliberalism 11.Reforging the Capitalist State 12.FALC: A New Beginning Bibliography Index Acknowledgements Special thanks are due to Leo Hollis, my editor at Verso. A congenial yet critical voice, you have made this an infinitely better book than it otherwise would have been.

While the Second Disruption was marked by a relative freedom from scarcity in motive power – coal and oil rather than muscle and wind moving wheels, pulleys, ships, people and goods – the defining feature of the Third Disruption is ever-greater abundance in information. For some this signals the completion of the Industrial Revolution, marking an era in which machines are increasingly able to perform cognitive as well as physical tasks. This new situation of post-scarcity underpins what will be referred to as ‘extreme supply’, something not only limited to information, but – as a consequence of digitisation – labour too. Here, continuous improvements in processor power, in combination with a range of other technologies, means machines will be capable of replicating ever more of what was, until now, uniquely human work. As with preceding disruptions, this shift represents a transformation in energy as much as work.

For Marx, communism was a condition of abundance, a society where labour and leisure dissolved into each other, and where our natures were developed in a manner consistent with play. This was a world where scarcity – or as Keynes refers to it, ‘the economic problem’ – would finally be vanquished. In 1930 Keynes speculated about something remarkably similar and, amazingly, even had the confidence to put a date on it – foreseeing the arrival of post-scarcity as soon as 2030. Other than Keynes’s stated disdain for Marx’s class-based politics in ‘preferring the mud to the fish’, what was it precisely that separated the two? The answer is the relationship between progress and politics. Unlike Marx, Keynes viewed capitalism as inevitably shifting to greater abundance, this resulting from its ability to become ever more productive over time while reducing the demand for labour.


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Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, anti-globalists, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, David Graeber, different worldview, do-ocracy, feminist movement, garden city movement, hive mind, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, liberation theology, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Naomi Klein, open borders, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, the market place, union organizing, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

., p. 201 38 Ecology of Freedom, op. cit., p. 320 39 See ibid., p. 218 40 Ibid., p. 312 41 Ibid., p. 344 42 Ibid., p. 266 43 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 81 44 Toward an Ecological Society, op. cit., pp. 29, 193 45 Ibid., pp. 201, 202. See also Remaking Society, op. cit., p. 136 46 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 188. See also Toward an Ecological Society, op. cit., p. 208, and The Modern Crisis, op. cit., p. 168 47 Toward an Ecological Society, op. cit., p. 222 48 Ibid., pp. 126, 118 49 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 167 50 Ibid., pp. 19–20, 221 51 Ibid., p. 21 52 Toward an Ecological Society, op. cit., pp. 259, 245 53 Ibid., pp. 264, 274 54 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., pp. 119, 115 55 Bill Devall and George Sessions, Deep Ecology (Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1985), p. 75, quoted in ‘Social Ecology’, op. cit., p. 12; The Modern Crisis, op. cit., p. 119 56 Ecology of Freedom, op. cit., p. 315 57 Ibid., p. 342 58 ‘Thinking Ecologically’, op. cit., p. 36; Remaking Society, op. cit., p. 203 59 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 116 60 Ibid., p. 119 61 Ibid., p. 130 62 See Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society (New York: Vintage, 1964).

., p. 342 58 ‘Thinking Ecologically’, op. cit., p. 36; Remaking Society, op. cit., p. 203 59 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 116 60 Ibid., p. 119 61 Ibid., p. 130 62 See Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society (New York: Vintage, 1964). For a broader discussion of the issue, see Carnes & Zerzan, eds., Questioning Technology, op. cit. 63 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 134 64 Ecology of Freedom, op. cit., p. 339 65 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 23 66 See ‘Social Ecology’, op. cit., p. 17; ‘The Population Myth, I - II’, Green Perspectives, 8 (July 1988), pp. 1–6; 15 (April 1989), pp. 1–8 67 ‘Thinking Ecologically’, op. cit., 31, 34n, 32 68 Ibid., pp. 36, 26 69 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 27 70 Toward an Ecological Society, op. cit., p. 256 71 ‘Social Ecology’, op. cit., pp. 19–20.

., p. 17 Chapter Thirty-Nine 1 John Clark, The Anarchist Moment, op. cit., p. 188n; Theodore Roszak, quoted on the back cover of Murray Bookchin’s Remaking Society (Montréal & New York: Black Rose Books, 1989) 2 Bookchin, Toward an Ecological Society, op. cit., p. 280 3 Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., pp. 68–9 4 Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom, op. cit., p. 4 5 Ibid., pp. 94, 127 6 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 21 7 Bookchin, ‘Thinking Ecologically: A Dialectical Approach’, Our Generation, 18, 2 (March 1987), 11–12 8 Post-Scarcity Anarchism, op. cit., p. 64; Ecology of Freedom, op cit., p. 237 9 Ibid., p. 11 10 Ibid., pp. 353–4 11 Toward an Ecological Society, op. cit., p. 109 12 Ecology of Freedom, op. cit., p. 355 13 See ‘Thinking Ecologically’, op. cit., pp. 6–7; Bookchin, ‘Freedom and Necessity in Nature’, Alternatives, 12, 4 (1986); The Modern Crisis, 2nd edn.


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The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

assortative mating, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discrete time, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, income inequality, iterative process, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, Mason jar, means of production, NetJets, new economy, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, post-industrial society, profit maximization, Richard Florida, selection bias, Silicon Valley, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, Tony Hsieh, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Veblen good, women in the workforce

Not in the late 1800s, as the Industrial Revolution gave us a middle class and the beginnings of mass consumerism, not in the early 1900s with Henry Ford’s Model T, not in the 1950s with dishwashers, fridges, and A/C for all, and not in the twenty-first century’s mass luxury business. In some respects, our constant quest for the meaning of life (which becomes more possible in a post-scarcity society where we have time to ponder and pursue more existential questions because we know we have food for dinner) has confused matters even more. For the aspirational class, post-scarcity society has allowed them to invest in practices that at first seem constructive: motherhood, exercise, acquisition of cultural capital. Ostensibly, these activities should make people happier, but they too have become status markers and signs of achievement, and in that process have created more pressure and less happiness, not so dissimilar from material signifiers of social position.

Starbucks may stamp “fair trade” on its pounds of coffee, but Intelligentsia buyers actually become friends with their coffee farmers and fly them to Los Angeles to meet the rest of the staff (and some of their customers). THE RISE OF CONSPICUOUS PRODUCTION This latter point is the key to understanding not only Intelligentsia but also the rise of a social and economic consciousness and awareness emerging across the Western world and its cultural, post-scarcity goods. The rise in specialty coffee is really the story of conspicuous production and it can be seen at grocery stores, clothing boutiques, farmers’ markets, and restaurants across the world. Conspicuous production goods are a key type of aspirational class consumption. For the aspirational class, we are what we eat, drink, and consume more generally, and this is why for some goods the opaque process of production has been replaced by transparency for every step.

Finally, after centuries of diametrical opposition, these two groups have banded together as the aspirational class, and they want and value the same things.3 The emergence of conspicuous production in the twenty-first century revolves around three key forces: the backlash against globalization, the rise of information and the premium on transparent information, and the luxury to care about these things as a result of a post-scarcity, postmodern society and its values. We see this transformation in where we buy groceries, the restaurants we frequent, what we wear, and even our toothpaste. Capitalism, historically dividing the capitalist from the proletariat, has been turned on its head. MORE THAN JUST ARUGULA: FOOD AS CONSPICUOUS PRODUCTION We may thank Starbucks for introducing the idea of the $5 cup of fair trade Kenyan coffee, but Whole Foods is the mainstream, mass-produced leitmotif of the conspicuous production movement.


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, G4S, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Zipcar

In 2005, I read two posts by marketing visionary, author, and blogger Seth Godin about companies that just didn’t care. He inspired me to blog that we could now create new competitors. “Small is the new big,” I wrote. At the same moment, Godin, similarly inspired, wrote the same line on his blog (and he beat me to using it as the title of a book). “Get small,” Godin blogged. “Think big.” The post-scarcity economy We are entering a post-scarcity economy in which Google is teaching us to manage abundance, challenging the bedrock rule of economics, first written in 1767: the law of supply and demand. Many industries built their value on scarcity. Airlines, Broadway theaters, and universities had only so many seats, which meant they could charge what they wanted for them. They were scarce and thus more valuable. Newspapers owned the only printing press in town and you didn’t, so they could charge you a fortune to reach their audience.

Google Rules New Relationship • Give the people control and we will use it • Dell hell • Your worst customer is your best friend • Your best customer is your partner New Architecture • The link changes everything • Do what you do best and link to the rest • Join a network • Be a platform • Think distributed New Publicness • If you’re not searchable, you won’t be found • Everybody needs Googlejuice • Life is public, so is business • Your customers are your ad agency New Society • Elegant organization New Economy • Small is the new big • The post-scarcity economy • Join the open-source, gift economy • The mass market is dead—long live the mass of niches • Google commodifies everything • Welcome to the Google economy New Business Reality • Atoms are a drag • Middlemen are doomed • Free is a business model • Decide what business you’re in New Attitude • There is an inverse relationship between control and trust • Trust the people • Listen New Ethic • Make mistakes well • Life is a beta • Be honest • Be transparent • Collaborate • Don’t be evil New Speed • Answers are instantaneous • Life is live • Mobs form in a flash New Imperatives • Beware the cash cow in the coal mine • Encourage, enable, and protect innovation • Simplify, simplify • Get out of the way If Google Ruled the World Media • The Google Times: Newspapers, post-paper • Googlewood: Entertainment, opened up • GoogleCollins: Killing the book to save it Advertising • And now, a word from Google’s sponsors Retail • Google Eats: A business built on openness • Google Shops: A company built on people Utilities • Google Power & Light: What Google would do • GT&T: What Google should do Manufacturing • The Googlemobile: From secrecy to sharing • Google Cola: We’re more than consumers Service • Google Air: A social marketplace of customers • Google Real Estate: Information is power Money • Google Capital: Money makes networks • The First Bank of Google: Markets minus middlemen Public Welfare • St.

We also have new ethics and attitudes that spring from this new organization and change society in ways we cannot yet see, with openness, generosity, collaboration, efficiency. We are using the internet’s connective tissue to leap over borders—whether they surround countries or companies or demographics. We are reorganizing society. This is Google’s—and Facebook’s and craigslist’s—new world order. New Economy Small is the new big The post-scarcity economy Join the open-source, gift economy The mass market is dead—long live the mass of niches Google commodifies everything Welcome to the Google economy Small is the new big Mind you, big is still big. Wal-Mart is the largest company on earth. Bigbox stores such as Home Depot continue to drive mom-and-pop hardware shops out of business. Media companies are conglomerating. Airlines are merging.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

The left was largely without a meaningful and desirable economic programme, having focused primarily on the critique of capitalism rather than the elaboration of alternatives. This is a crisis of utopian imagination, but also of cognitive limits. A series of emerging contemporary phenomena must be thought through carefully: for instance, the causes and effects of secular stagnation; the transformations invoked by the shift to an informational, post-scarcity economy; the changes wrought by the introduction of full automation and a universal basic income; the possible approaches to collectivising automated manufacturing and services; the progressive potentials of alternative approaches to quantitative easing; the most effective ways to decarbonise the means of production; the implications of dark pools for financial instability – and so on. Equally, research should be revived on what postcapitalism might look like in practice.

This would mean, most immediately, rethinking classic leftist demands in light of the most advanced technologies. It would mean building upon the post-nation-state territory of ‘the stack’ – that global infrastructure that enables our digital world today.26 A new type of production is already visible at the leading edges of contemporary technology. Additive manufacturing and the automation of work portend the possibility of production based on flexibility, decentralisation and post-scarcity for some goods. The rapid automation of logistics presents the utopian possibility of a globally interconnected system in which parts and goods can be shipped rapidly and efficiently without human labour. Cryptocurrencies and their block-chain technology could bring forth a new money of the commons, divorced from capitalist forms.27 The democratic guidance of the economy is also accelerated by emerging technologies.

Some forms of anarchism, such as South American ‘platformism’, explicitly avoid consensus decision-making. 7.Uri Gordon, Anarchy Alive! Anti-Authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory (London: Pluto, 2007), p. 20. 8.While we remain unconvinced of the large-scale prospects for direct democracy in its face-to-face and/or consensus-driven forms, this certainly does not preclude thinking about how participative democracy might be conceived along more complex, technologically mediated lines. 9.Murray Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism (Edinburgh: AK Press, 2004), p. xxviii. 10.Ibid., p. 58. 11.Manuel Castells, Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age (Cambridge, UK/Malden, MA: Polity, 2012), p. 11. 12.The origin of the form of consensus decision-making used in contemporary left activism is generally thought to have been with the Quaker religious movement around 300 years ago. The procedure was introduced to political activism via Quaker participants in anti-nuclear campaigns.


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Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Desktop versions of Drexler’s fabricator might someday offer capability similar to the “replicator” used in the television show Star Trek. Just as Captain Picard’s often-repeated command of “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot” instantly conjures up the proper drink, a molecular fabricator might someday create nearly anything we desire. Among some techno-optimists, the prospect of molecular manufacturing is associated strongly with the concept of an eventual “post-scarcity” economy in which nearly all material goods are abundant and virtually free. Services are likewise assumed to be provided by advanced AI. In this technological utopia, resource and environmental constraints would be eliminated by universal, molecular recycling and abundant clean energy. The market economy might cease to exist, and (as on Star Trek) there would be no need for money. While that may sound like a very inviting scenario, there are a great many details that would need to be fleshed out.

While most Western countries would likely be very squeamish about anything with echoes of eugenics, there is evidence that the Chinese have few qualms about the idea. The Beijing Genomics Institute has collected thousands of DNA samples from people known to have very high IQs and is working on isolating the genes associated with intelligence. The Chinese might be able to use this information to screen embryos for high intelligence and drive their population to become smarter over time. * You can watch Michio Kaku discuss the post-scarcity economy in the video “Can Nanotechnology Create Utopia?,” available on YouTube. Chapter 10 TOWARD A NEW ECONOMIC PARADIGM In an interview with CBS News, the president of the United States was asked if the nation’s dire unemployment problem was likely to improve soon. “There’s no magic solution,” he replied. “To even stand still we have to move very fast.” By this, he meant that the economy needs to create tens of thousands of new jobs every month just to keep pace with population growth and prevent the unemployment rate from rising even further.

Eric, 241–242, 243, 244–245, 246, 247 driverless cars, See autonomous cars drone-based delivery, 190n drug prices, 170–171 Drum, Kevin, 188 Dunning, David, 18–19 dystopian future, automation and predictions of, 31–32, 219–220 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), 271, 277 eBay, 16, 76 economic argument for guaranteed income, 264–267 economic growth, 65, 212–215 economic mobility, decrease in, 46–47 economic policy, 57–58, 217–218 Economic Policy Institute, 127, 158 economic recoveries, jobs created during, 49–50 economics, mathematical models and, x, 205–206 economic trends bear market for labor/bull market for corporations, 38–41 declining incomes and underemployment for college graduates, 48–49 effect of information technology on, 58–61 income inequality, 46–48 job creation, jobless recoveries, and long-term unemployment, 43–46 labor force participation, 41–43 polarization and part-time jobs, 49–51 stagnant wages, 34–38 economists on impact of automation, 60 on income inequality, 202–206 economy complexity of, 211–212 defined, 266n effect of climate change on, 282–283 post-scarcity, 247 e-Discovery software, 124 Edison, Thomas, 234 education basic income guarantee and, 263 collaboration with machines and, 121–128 diminishing returns to, 250–253 effect on income, 48–49 nature of unemployment problem and, 249–250 See also higher education educational robots, 7 edX, 132, 133, 137 Egypt, 46 EITC. See Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Elance, 95 El Camino Hospital (Mountain View, CA), 154 elder-care robots, 155–158 electricity, information technology compared to, 72–73 electronic offshoring, 59, 116 Elysium (film), 219–220, 220n email response program, 93–94 Emanuel, Ezekiel, 164 emerging economies, consumer demand in, 223–227 employment autonomous cars and, 176, 181–191 nanotechnology and, 246 offshoring and, 119–121 relationship between technology and, 175–176 3D printing and, 176, 177–181 See also unemployment Employment Policies Institute, 14 Engines of Creation (Drexler), 242, 244 ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), 32n environmental degradation, economic insecurity and, 283–284 equity endowments, 273–275 ESPN, 201 essays, machine grading of, 129–131 eugenics, 236n “Eureqa,” 108–109 Europe, college graduates overqualified for occupations in, 251 European Union, job polarization and, 50 Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing (Lipson), 180 Facebook, xvi, 89, 92, 106, 114, 137, 152, 175, 231, 236 factory reshoring, 8–12 Fallows, James, 71 Fantastic Voyage (Kurzweil & Grossman), 235 fast food industry, 12–16, 209, 210 Fast Food Nation (Schlosser), 210 Fazzari, Steven, 199, 200, 214 Federal Drug Administration (FDA), 150n, 152, 171, 172 Federal Reserve, 218n Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, 44–45 Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 54 feedback effects, 206, 208 Fernald, John G., 265, 266 Ferrucci, David, 99–100, 102n, 115 Feynman, Richard, 241, 243 Final Jeopardy (Baker), 96n, 102n financial crisis, debt and, 200, 214, 218–219 financial derivatives, 219 financial elite, political influence wielded by, 47–48, 59–60 financialization, 55–57 financial sector, 55–57, 103 Fluid, Inc., 103 food fabricators, 180, 246 food stamps, 201–202 Forbes (magazine), 84 “For Big Companies, Life Is Good” (Wall Street Journal), 39 Ford, Henry, 80 Ford, Henry, II, 193 Ford Motor Company, 76, 193 401k retirement plans, 222, 274 Foxconn, 10, 11, 14 fractional reserve banking, 218n France, 24, 41 Freeland, Chrystia, 51 freestyle chess, 122, 123 “freeters,” 221 “Free Trade’s Great, but Offshoring Rattles Me” (Blinder), 118 Frey, Carl Benedikt, 59, 223 Friedman, Milton, ix, 210–211 Friedman, Thomas, 133 The Gap, 17 Gates, Bill, 236 GDP (gross domestic product) consumer spending and, 199 corporate profits as share of, 40, 202, 203 finance-related activity as percentage of, 55 GDP (gross domestic product) deflator, 38n Genentech, 234 General Electric, 154, 179 General Motors, 76 The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (Keynes), 206 genetic programming, 108–109, 110 Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), MOOCs and, 134–135, 142 Geraci, Robert, 235 Germany, 41 Ghayad, Rand, 45–46 globalization, 53–55, 116 glucose monitoring, 159 “Goggles” feature, 22 Gold, Jenny, 164 Goldman Sachs, 56 Good Data, 107 Google, xvi, 121, 236 Android system, 6, 21, 79, 121 artificial intelligence and, 231 autonomous cars and, xiii, 94, 182–183, 184, 186, 188, 189 big data and, 86 cloud computing and, 104, 106 cloud robotics and, 21 glucose monitor, 159 “Goggles” feature, 22 keyword-based search algorithm, 98–99 online language translation tool, 89–90, 130 personalized email and social response program, 93–94 profit and employee numbers, 76 revenue generation and, 76 robotics startup companies, acquisition of, 21n Singularity University and, 234 Thrun and Norvig and, 132 Udacity, 134 YouTube acquisition, 175 Gordon, Robert J., 65 government funding, of nanotechnology research, 242–243 government regulation of markets, 265 GPS (Global Positioning System), 209n Grabit Inc., 7–8 graphene nanotubes, 70n “gray goo” scenario, 244, 247 graying workforce, 220–223, 224 Great Recession corporate profits vs. retail sales during recovery from, 39–40, 202, 203 debt and, 200 increase in part-time jobs and, 49 jobless recovery and, 44–45, 280 productivity and, 207–208 “The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks” (Beaudry, Green & Sand), 127 The Great Stagnation (Cowen), 65 Green, David A., 127 Grossman, Lev, 111 Grossman, Terry, 235 Grötschel, Martin, 71 guaranteed income.


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Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle by Dan Senor, Saul Singer

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Boycotts of Israel, call centre, Celtic Tiger, cleantech, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, friendly fire, immigration reform, labor-force participation, mass immigration, new economy, pez dispenser, post scarcity, profit motive, Silicon Valley, smart grid, social graph, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, web application, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

Quoted in Gallup, “Gallup Reveals the Formula for Innovation,” Gallup Management Journal, May 10, 2007, http://gmj.gallup.com/content/27514/Gallup-Reveals-the-Formula-for-%20Innovation.aspx. 5. Dov Frohman and Robert Howard, Leadership the Hard Way: Why Leadership Can’t be Taught—and How You Can Learn It Anyway (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008), p. 7. 6. Quoted in Ronald Bailey, “Post-Scarcity Prophet: Economist Paul Romer on Growth, Technological Change, and an Unlimited Human Future,” Reason Online, December 2001, http://www.reason.com/news/show/28243.html. 7. Ronald Bailey, “Post-Scarcity Prophet”; and Paul Romer, “Economic Growth,” both in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, edited by David R. Henderson (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007), http://www.stanford.edu/~promer/EconomicGrowth.pdf. BIBLIOGRAPHY PUBLISHED SOURCES Abadi, Jacob. “Israel’s Quest for Normalization with Azerbaijan and the Muslim States of Central Asia.”

Case Library, Harvard Business Publishing. Avishai, Bernard. “Israel’s Future: Brainpower, High Tech, and Peace,” Harvard Business Review, November 1991. Avnimelech, Gil, and Morris Teubal. “Venture Capital Policy in Israel: A Comparative Analysis and Lessons for Other Countries.” Research paper. Hebrew University School of Business Administration and School of Economics, October 2002. Bailey, Ronald. “Post-Scarcity Prophet: Economist Paul Romer on Growth, Technological Change, and an Unlimited Human Future.” Reason Online, December 2001. http://www.reason.com/news/show/28243.html. Ball, Julie. “Israel’s Booming Hi-Tech Industry.” BBC News, October 6, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7654780.stm. Barzilai, Amnon. “A Deep, Dark, Secret Love Affair,” July 17, 2004. http://www.israelforum.com/board/archive/index.php/t-6321.html.


pages: 410 words: 119,823

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield

3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, post-work, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

We’ve lived with scarcity for so long, have so long enshrined it at the very heart of our assumptions about value, choice and necessity, that it’s difficult to imagine the contours of a life unmarked by it. It doesn’t take any particular clairvoyance, though, to see that the psychology of everyday life, the structure of the economy, and the form of our cities all stand to be utterly transformed in a post-scarcity world. The ability for any individual to make more or less whatever they want, whenever they wanted it, would sunder the long-established circuit between advertising’s provocation of desire and the market’s sovereign capacity to fulfill it. While this would by no means necessarily mean an end to consumerism and its familiar arsenal of tools aimed at the manipulation of desire, it would tend to undercut their sustaining logic.

At present, the great majority of digital fabricators on Earth remain sequestered in limited-access workshops like these, or still harder to get at facilities belonging to universities and private research institutions. Despite their operators’ best intentions, many of these spaces still intimidate the people who would most benefit from using them, their very language, branding and framing confronting more than a few would-be users with an insuperable psychic challenge ramp. Any vision of post-scarcity utopia that is predicated on distributed, democratized production would require such sites to be not merely free and formally open but actively welcoming, and that has yet to be achieved just about anywhere. What about the ability to work with a usefully wide variety of materials? Though 3D printing techniques have been successfully extended to concrete, food-grade edible materials and even living tissue,11 at the moment a boxfresh Replicator 2 can only print with PLA and ABS plastic.

As one reads, it’s impossible to avoid thinking of our own world, of the 300,000 discrete objects said to be contained in the average North American home. This is our own embarrassment of riches: even objectively poor people in the global North live with an absolute standard of daily material comfort that would have been aspirational for most of history’s wealthy. In any raw material sense, we already live in a post-scarcity world, even before any particularly elaborate digital fabrication capacity is brought on line. And yet we still seem to suffer from a pervasive sense of want and lack. And this points out a profound confusion that’s seemingly shared by everyone from Bowyer to Srnicek, Williams and the stalwarts of Fully Automated Luxury Communism. Contra Bowyer, wealth is not quite the same as having many things, not even the same as having something whenever you want it.


pages: 405 words: 103,723

The Government of No One: The Theory and Practice of Anarchism by Ruth Kinna

Berlin Wall, British Empire, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Graeber, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, friendly fire, ghettoisation, Kickstarter, late capitalism, means of production, moral panic, New Journalism, Occupy movement, post scarcity, Steven Pinker, Ted Kaczynski, union organizing, wage slave

Writing under the pen-name Lewis Herber, he published Our Synthetic Environment in 1962 to promote social ecology. In the latter part of the decade he developed the concept of post-scarcity, finding a foothold in the countercultural movements that blossomed in the 60s. In 1971 he co-founded the Institute for Social Ecology in Plainfield, Vermont, and started teaching at the liberal arts Ramapo College of New Jersey, becoming a full professor in 1977. In the 1960s and 70s Bookchin lectured across the US and Canada and was active in number of anti-nuclear, civil rights and anti-Vietnam War campaigns. He wrote nearly thirty books, including the collection Post-Scarcity Anarchism (1971), The Ecology of Freedom (1982), Urbanization without Cities (1992) and Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm (1995).6 TOM BROWN (1900–1974) Brown was an anarchist syndicalist born in Newcastle-on-Tyne in the north-east of England.

Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent (New York: Pantheon Books, 1988). 71 Rebecca Solnit, ‘Worlds Collide in a Luxury Suite: Some Thoughts on the IMF, Global Injustice, and a Stranger on a Train’, Huffington Post, 22 May 2011, updated 22 July 2011, online at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-solnit/worlds-collide-in-a-luxur_b_865307.html [last access 27 November 2011]. 72 Rebecca Solnit, ‘Democracy Should Be Exercised Regularly, On Foot’, Guardian, 6 July 2006, online at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jul/06/comment.politics [last access 27 November 2011]. 73 Murray Bookchin, ‘Listen, Marxist!’, in Post-Scarcity Anarchism (Edinburgh and Oakland: AK Press, 2004 [1970]), p. 135 [108–43]. 74 Murray Bookchin, ‘What is Social Ecology?’, in Social Ecology and Communalism (Edinburgh and Oakland: AK Press, 2007), p. 45 [19–52]. 75 Murray Bookchin, The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (London: Verso, 2015), p. 71. 76 Bookchin, The Next Revolution, p. 70. 77 Murray Bookchin, Preface to Urbanization Without Cities: The Rise and Decline of Citizenship (Montreal: Black Rose, 1992), p. x. 78 Guy-Ernest Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, ch. 7: ‘The Organization of Territory’, para. 174, online at http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/24 [last access 4 June 2018]. 79 Bookchin, Urbanization Without Cities, p. 3. 80 Bookchin, Preface to Urbanization Without Cities, p. x. 81 Bookchin, The Next Revolution, p. 66. 82 Bookchin, ‘Radical Politics’, in Social Ecology and Communalism, p. 66. 83 Bookchin, The Limits of the City (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1974), p. 137. 84 Bookchin, ‘Radical Politics’, p. 61. 85 Bookchin, The Next Revolution, p. 87. 86 David Graeber, ‘Enacting the Impossible (On Consensus Decision Making)’, Occupy Wall Street, 29 October 2011, online at http://occupywallst.org/article/enacting-the-impossible/ [last access 2 December 2017]. 87 Murray Bookchin, ‘What is Communalism?


pages: 424 words: 119,679

It's Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear by Gregg Easterbrook

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, coronavirus, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, failed state, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, The Chicago School, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, uber lyft, universal basic income, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

European Union nations spend less per capita on health care than the United States, yet achieve as good or better outcomes, in part because their systems are less stressful, and stress does medical damage. Whether single-payer could happen under US political conditions is a book unto itself. But however desirable, single-payer emphatically would not be “free.” There was never a Good Old Days when health care services were both high-quality and cost nothing, and there never will be, unless a post-scarcity economy someday can be achieved. Today’s Medicare and Medicaid, financed mostly on the “somebody else pays” premise, may be what keep their recipients alive to take Bertrand Russell’s advice and complain. In 2017, the Wall Street Journal quoted seventy-nine-year-old Carole Siesser of Delray Beach, Florida, who needs a specialized drug, saying, “They really take advantage of seniors” because she must cover $5,600 of the drug’s annual $26,000 price.

If the top CEO pay average had been capped at $1 million, with the savings uniformly distributed, each American household would have received $25. In 2015, Honeywell CEO David Cote paid himself $36 million. Suppose he’d earned $1 million, with the yield evenly distributed to Honeywell employees. Each would have received $268. There just isn’t enough in CEO windfalls to alter the basic equation of equality. Until such time as there may be a fundamental breakthrough in the structure of economics, such as a post-scarcity economy, market forces are in everyone’s interest, which may mean tolerating a few individuals who end up with far more than they’ve done anything to deserve. So if executive pay restrictions won’t solve inequality, what about taxing the rich? THE US UPPER CLASS, THE top quintile, received 53 percent of the nation’s income and paid 69 percent of the nation’s federal taxes; the poor and working class, the bottom quintile, received 5 percent of the nation’s income and paid just shy of nothing in federal income taxes, according to Congressional Budget Office data on the most recent year for which statistics are available.

An entire world living at the Western standard would bring stress and materialism to the whole world, and not even the rosiest optimist knows where all the cars will park. But society can succeed at a universal Western standard or can fail, and success is a lot more appealing. If the entire world had the living standards, longevity, and education levels of the West, the conditions required for a serene post-scarcity economy might come about. * * * THE REASON SO MANY PROBLEMS seem unsolvable is that we have not yet attempted to solve them. The past holds innumerable difficulties that seemed as if they could never end. Then they did. Being sanguine about the human prospect does not justify laissez-faire—“I don’t need to worry because things will work out.” Things will work out only if society and individuals take action.


pages: 381 words: 78,467

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, disruptive innovation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

Page, The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007). 52 Cox and Alm, Myths of Rich and Poor, 49. 53 Romer’s ideas are widely discussed, but perhaps the most interesting current summary can be found in Sebastian Mallaby, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending Poverty,” The Atlantic, July–August 2010, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2010/07/the-politically-incorrect-guide-to-ending-poverty/8134/. 54 Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), 352. 55 Ibid., 14–15. 56 Ronald Bailey, “Post-Scarcity Prophet,” Reason, December 2001, http://reason.com/archives/2001/12/01/post-scarcity-prophet/1. 57 Max More, “The Myth of Stagnation,” in Death and Anti-death, ed. Charles Tandy, vol. 7 (Palo Alto, CA: Ria University Press, 2010), www.maxmore.com/mythofstagnation.htm. CHAPTER 5 1 Rahul Bedi and Kate Devlin, “Indian Woman Has First Child at Age of 70,” The Telegraph, December 8, 2008, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/3684395/Indian-woman-has-first-child-at-age-of-70.html. 2 Lisa Belkin, “70-Year-Old Woman Gives Birth,” New York Times, December 9, 2008, http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/09/pregnant-at-70/. 3 William Saletan, “Motherhood at 70: Meet the World’s Newest Oldest Mom,” Slate, December 9, 2008, www.slate.com/id/2206334/. 4 Andy Beckett, “Time, Gentlemen,” The Age, May 8, 2006, www.theage.com.au/news/in-depth/time-gentlemen/2006/05/07/1146940408372.html. 5 Lawrence M.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Banks' “Culture” books, set in a distant future when a technologically advanced humanity has colonised swathes of the galaxy, and enjoys mostly peaceful relations with a host of alien civilisations. The humans are kept company and aided by vastly superior and extraordinarily indulgent machine intelligences, and they lead lives of perpetual indulgence. As Banks put it in a 2012 interview, “It is my vision of what you do when you are in a post-scarcity society, you can completely indulge yourself. The Culture has no unemployment problem, no one has to work, so all work is a form of play.”[cclxxxviii] Abundance The Star Trek economy is the post-scarcity economy, the economy of radical abundance. In their 2012 book “Abundance: the future is better than you think”, Peter Diamandis and Stephen Kotler argue that this world is within reach in the not-too-distant future, thanks largely to the exponential improvement in technology. Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf urged that we should “enslave the robots and free the poor”,[cclxxxix] and who would not welcome such an outcome?


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

Well, AI and replicator machines have functionally eliminated resource constraints and the necessity of cost for the vast majority of goods and services in this universe. Need something? Print it on your replicator. For those things that do remain scarce, and to help smooth transactions within the socialist society, there are Federation Credits. These at one point allow the government to bargain for access to a wormhole, for instance. The economy is post-scarcity, post-profit, post-deprivation, post-inequality, post-exploitation, and post-money. Neither Keynes nor The Jetsons dwells on the economic particulars, alas. But the famed British macroeconomist was imagining a future iteration of our capitalist society. In that world, facing mass technological unemployment, a permanently lowered demand for labor, and great material abundance, individuals might work fifteen hours a week, he wrote.

Understanding Trends in Long Work Hours Among U.S. Men, 1979–2004” (NBER Working Paper no. 11895, Dec. 2005). “Labor cannot be distinguished from leisure”: Manu Saadia, Trekonomics: The Economics of “Star Trek” (New York: Inkshares, 2016). “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren”: Keynes, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren (1930).” help smooth transactions: Matthew Yglesias, “The Star Trek Economy: (Mostly) Post-Scarcity, (Mostly) Socialism,” Slate, Nov. 18, 2013. dystopian visions: Yglesias, “The Economics of The Hunger Games,” Slate, Nov. 22, 2013. “The future is already here”: Pagan Kennedy, “William Gibson’s Future Is Now,” New York Times, Jan. 13, 2012. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Annie Lowrey is a contributing editor for The Atlantic. A former writer for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, and Slate, among other publications, she is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

It is no accident, says the psychoanalyst Darian Leader, that as soon as we abandoned cigarettes, the mobile phone appeared in our hands – as though we can’t face one another without some sort of medium.34 But the smartphone is not a prop for social interaction. It is an escape route, a way to connect with someone who isn’t there; or is only there as a written trace, a ghost in the machine. The fantasy of plenitude, the superabundance of online shit, may allow us to experience our social poverty as affluence, as in the fantasy that the internet and the social industry are ‘post-scarcity’.35 Like many fantasies, this has some basis in reality when not just ‘free stuff’, but even affection and romantic excitement can be accumulated in an objectified form as ‘likes’ and ‘matches’. But as with so many fairy tales, it is the fantasy, the wish fulfilment, of the poor. Social media are not the cause of this social impoverishment, any more than drugs are. They are just a more sophisticated remedy than booze and fags.

See, for example, ‘Under-25s turning their backs on alcohol, study suggests’, BBC News, 10 October 2018; Linda Ng Fat, Nicola Shelton and Noriko Cable, ‘Investigating the growing trend of non-drinking among young people; analysis of repeated cross-sectional surveys in England 2005–2015’, BMC Public Health, 18 (1), 2018; Sara Miller Llana, ‘Culture shift: What’s behind a decline in drinking worldwide’, Christian Science Monitor, 3 October 2018; Denis Campbell, ‘Number of smokers in England drops to all-time low’, Guardian, 20 September 2016; ‘Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2017’, Office for National Statistics, 3 July 2018; ‘Why young people are now less likely to smoke’, BBC News, 7 March 2017; Frank Newport, ‘Young People Adopt Vaping as Their Smoking Rate Plummets’, Gallup, 26 July 2018. 33. Analysis of American . . . Jean Twenge, iGen - Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – And Completely Unprepared For Adulthood, Atria Books: New York, 2017. 34. It is no accident . . . Darian Leader, Hands: What We Do With Them – And Why, Penguin Random House: London, 2016, Kindle Loc. 686. 35. . . . ‘post-scarcity’ . . . for one version of this fashionable theory, see Jeremy Rifkin, ‘The Rise of Anti-Capitalism’, New York Times, 15 March 2014. 36. The literary critic Raymond Williams . . . Raymond Williams, Television: Technology and Cultural Form, Routledge: London and New York, 2003, pp. 19–21. 37. The psychoanalyst Colette Soler . . . Colette Soler, Lacan: The Unconscious Revisited, Karnac Books: London, 2014, Kindle Loc. 3239. 38.


pages: 561 words: 167,631

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

agricultural Revolution, double helix, full employment, hive mind, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Kuiper Belt, late capitalism, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, pattern recognition, phenotype, post scarcity, precariat, retrograde motion, stem cell, strong AI, the built environment, the High Line, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent

Genette frowned, unable to deny it. Swan said, “I can’t believe anyone would try to kill so many people. And actually do it, too, in the Yggdrasil. When so much space is available… so much everything, really. I mean, we’re in what people call post-scarcity. So I don’t get it. You talk about motive, but in a physiological sense, there isn’t a motive for stuff like this. I suppose that means that evil really does exist. I thought it was just an old religious term, but I guess I was wrong. It’s making me sick.” The inspector’s attractive little face creased in a slight smile. “Sometimes I think it’s only in post-scarcity that evil exists. Before that, it could always be put down to want or fear. It was possible to believe, as apparently you did, that when fear and want went away, bad deeds would too. Humanity would be revealed as some kind of bonobo, an altruistic cooperator, a lover of all.”

Ultimately what we get by not enforcing a universal law is some kind of accidental libertarian free-for-all. So we’re in trouble. This is what I’m seeing. When you combine political inadequacy with the physical problems of being in space, it may be too much. We may be trying to make an impossible adaptation out here.” “So what do we do?” she said again. Genette shrugged again. “Hold the line, I guess. Maybe we need to understand out here that post-scarcity is both heaven and hell at once. They are superposed, like options in a qubit before its wave function collapses. Good and evil, art and war. All there in potentiality.” “But what do we do?” Genette smiled a little at that, shifted and sat cross-legged on the table before her, looking like a garden Buddha or Tara, slim and stylized. “I want to talk to Wang. I’ll figure out how. And to your friend Wahram.


pages: 360 words: 101,636

Engineering Infinity by Jonathan Strahan

augmented reality, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, gravity well, low earth orbit, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, post scarcity, Schrödinger's Cat, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski

In the 1950s it was where the best tales of space exploration were forged; in the 1960s it was the heart of near-Earth science fiction; in the 1980s it was the radical centre for the British drive to the new space opera; and in the 1990s, with the arrival of both quantum mechanics in science fiction and the singularity, it was the basis for Kim Stanley Robinson's meticulous and demanding Mars trilogy, Greg Egan's explorations of human consciousness, and Charles Stross's post-scarcity space operas. This, however, is the 21st century and I think things are becoming more complicated and complex. Science fiction no longer subscribes readily to a single view of its own history. There's far more to our past than the Gernsback continuum, or indeed more recently the Gibson continuum (the past and future history of cyberpunk), and science itself seems to be an ever more wriggly and complex beast as we come to better understand the universe in which we find ourselves. Frankly quantum mechanics often sounds indistinguishable from magic. We're also well into the Fourth Generation of science fiction: the genre has been born, passed through adolescence, into adulthood, and is moving into a post-scarcity period of incredible richness and diversity.


pages: 104 words: 34,784

The Trouble With Brunch: Work, Class and the Pursuit of Leisure by Shawn Micallef

big-box store, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deindustrialization, ghettoisation, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, knowledge worker, liberation theology, Mason jar, McMansion, new economy, post scarcity, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Thorstein Veblen, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

Florida argues that though they don’t see themselves as a unique social grouping, creative people share enough similar tastes, desires and preferences that class coherence is emerging, though not one as distinct as the industrial working class. Some of the shared values Florida goes on to list include individuality, meritocracy, diversity and openness. On the face of it, these seem like exactly the kinds of values a just and fair class identity should be based on and are in line with the principles expressed by most existing progressive organizations and people. However, in a section of his book called ‘Post-Scarcity Effect,’ Florida looked at the work of Ronald Inglehard, a political science professor at University of Michigan who conducted his own world-values survey that found there was ‘a worldwide shift from economic growth issues to lifestyle values, which [Inglehard] sometimes refers to as a shift from “survival” to “self-expression” values.’ This can happen in industrial work too. Thinking back to the collective world view I shared with my fellow Windsorites, survival was always part of our identity – when would the ‘big one’ happen and what would we do?


pages: 178 words: 47,457

A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne

conceptual framework, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, impulse control, Isaac Newton, post scarcity, War on Poverty, working poor

Conclusion Her study also challenges the thought that "if pushed, the poor can become self-sufficient through work." It, in essence, supports "the existence of a permanent `culture of poverty,' an argument first advanced in the modern American context by political scientist Edward Banfield in a 1970 book." Freedom is now defined by the amount of choice a person has and by "the development of human resources of men and women in a post scarcity society." "Results from the Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics suggest that the majority of these children will not escape poverty throughout their childhood, making the intergenerational transmission of poverty more likely" (Duncan, 1984, 1991). ("These" children refers to those "living in chronic material hardship.") Sennett, Richard, and Cobb, Jonathan. The Hidden Injuries of Class.


pages: 762 words: 246,045

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

Admiral Zheng, fixed income, Khyber Pass, land tenure, Malacca Straits, post scarcity, South China Sea, trade route

'In any case, the great degree of primitivity in Yingzhou actually gives us a view into social structures that might be like the Old World's pre agricultural societies. They are curiously modern in certain respects. Because they had the basics of agriculture – squash, corn, beans and so on – and had a small population to support in a forest that provided enormous numbers of game animals and nut bearing trees, they lived in a pre scarcity economy, just as we now glimpse a technologicallycreated post scarcity state in its theoretical possibility. In both, the indi vidual receives more recognition as a value bearer him or herself, than does the individual in a scarcity economy. And there is less domination of one caste by another. In these conditions of material ease and plenty, we find the great egalitarianism of the Hodenosaunee, the power wielded by women in their culture, and the absence of slavery – rather the rapid incorporation of defeated tribes into the full texture of the state.

Whereas in the north it was completely different, first because the Hodenosaunee were able to defend themselves in the depths of the great eastern forest, never fully succumbing to either the Chinese or to the Islamic incursion from across the Atlantic, and second because they were much less susceptible to Old World diseases, possibly because of early exposure to them from wandering Japanese monks, traders, trappers and prospectors, who ended up infecting the local populace in small numbers, thus serving in effect as human inoculants, immunizing or at least preparing the population of Yingzhou for a fuller incursion of Asians, who did not have quite as devastating an effect, although of course many people and tribes did die.' Bodur moved on, thinking about the notion of a post scarcity society, which in hungry Nsara she had never heard of at all. But it was time for another session, a plenary affair that Budur did not want to miss, and which turned out to be one of the most heavily attended. It concerned the question of the lost Franks, and why the plague had hit them so hard. Much work had been done in this area by the Zott scholar Istvan Romani, who had done his research around the periphery of the plague zone, in Magyaristan and Moldava; and the plague itself had been studied intensively during the Long War, when it seemed possible that one side or another would unleash it as a weapon.

'I begin to think that this matter of "late emergent properties" that the physicists talk about when they discuss complexity and cascading sensitivities, is an important concept for historians. justice may be a late emergent property. And maybe we can glimpse the beginnings of it emerging; or maybe it emerged long ago, among the primates and proto humans, and is only now gaining leverage in the world, aided by the material possibility of post scarcity. It is hard to say.' He smiled again his little smile. 'Good words to end this session.' His final meeting was called 'What Remains to be Explained', and consisted of questions that he was still mulling over after all his years of study and contemplation. He made comments on his list of questions, but not many, and Bao had to write as fast as he could to get the questions themselves recorded: What Remains to be Explained Why has there been inequality in accumulation of goods since the earliest recorded history?


pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, basic income, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lifelogging, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

Dunne. Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity into Prosperity London: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2013. 175 Swan, M. “Social Economic Networks and the New Intangibles.” Broader Perspective blog, August 15, 2010. http://futurememes.blogspot.com/2010/08/social-economic-networks-and-new.html. 176 ———. “New Banks, New Currencies, and New Markets in a Multicurrency World: Roadmap for a Post-Scarcity Economy by 2050.” Create Futures IberoAmérica, Enthusiasmo Cultural, São Paolo Brazil, October 14, 2009. 177 ———. “Connected World Wearables Free Cognitive Surplus.” Broader Perspective blog, October 26, 2014. http://futurememes.blogspot.com/2014/10/connected-world-frees-cognitive-surplus.html. 178 Lee, T.B. “Bitcoin Needs to Scale by a Factor of 1000 to Compete with Visa. Here’s How to Do It.”


pages: 532 words: 155,470

One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility by Zack Furness, Zachary Mooradian Furness

active transport: walking or cycling, affirmative action, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, back-to-the-land, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, dumpster diving, Enrique Peñalosa, European colonialism, feminist movement, ghettoisation, Golden Gate Park, interchangeable parts, intermodal, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, place-making, post scarcity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Yom Kippur War

., University of pittsburgh, 2002), 46–54. For more on primitivism, see John Zerzan’s Elements of Refusal (Columbia, MO: Cal press, 1999) and Running on Emptiness: The Pathology of Civilization (los angeles: Feral House, 2002). Fifteen, “petroleum Distillation,” Choice of a New Generation (lookout! records, 1989), lp. Mumford, Technics and Civilization, 21. This view is well put in Murray Bookchin, Post-scarcity Anarchism (Berkeley, Ca: ramparts press, 1971). With respect to “technoskepticism,” i concur with andrew ross when he describes this disposition as a necessary condition for social change in “Hacking away at the Counterculture,” Postmodern Culture 1, no. 1 (1990): 39. For one of the best analyses of the political prospects and limitations of technoskepticism, see Carol Stabile, Feminism and the Technological Fix (Manchester, UK: Manchester University press, 1994).

“introduction: impossibilities of automobilities.” in Against Automobility, edited by Steffen Böhm, Campbell Jones, Chris land, and Matthew paterson, 3–16. Malden, Ma: Blackwell/Sociological review, 2006. Bonham, Jennifer. “Transport: Disciplining the Body That Travels.” Sociological Review 54, no. s1 (2006): 55–74. Bookchin, Murray. The Limits of the City. new york: Harper and row, 1974. ———. Post-scarcity Anarchism. Berkeley, Ca: ramparts press, 1971. ———. Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: The Unbridgeable Chasm. San Francisco: aK press, 1995. Boothroyd, Sarah. “Spraypaint Slingers, Celebration, and a Tidal Wave of Outrage.” in Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration, edited by Chris Carlsson, 23–29. Oakland, Ca: aK press, 2002. Borden, iain. “a performative Critique of the City: The Urban practice of Skateboarding, 1958–98.” in The City Cultures Reader, edited by Malcolm Miles, Tim Hall, and iain Borden, 291–297. london: routledge, 2004. ———.


pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

AltaVista, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, en.wikipedia.org, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, Mitch Kapor, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Table of Contents About Doctorow: Cory Doctorow (born July 17, 1971) is a blogger, journalist and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is in favor of liberalizing copyright laws, and a proponent of the Creative Commons organisation, and uses some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, Disney, and post-scarcity economics. Source: Wikipedia Also available on Feedbooks for Doctorow: I, Robot (2005) When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth (2006) Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2003) Little Brother (2008) After the Siege (2007) All Complex Ecosystems Have Parasites (2005) I, Row-Boat (2006) Printcrime (2006) Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (2005) Eastern Standard Tribe (2004) Copyright: Please read the legal notice included in this e-book and/or check the copyright status in your country.


pages: 202 words: 62,901

The People's Republic of Walmart: How the World's Biggest Corporations Are Laying the Foundation for Socialism by Leigh Phillips, Michal Rozworski

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carbon footprint, central bank independence, Colonization of Mars, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, corporate raider, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Elon Musk, G4S, Georg Cantor, germ theory of disease, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, liquidity trap, mass immigration, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, post scarcity, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing

This was, all of a sudden, a frowning but managerial kind of a place, a civil and technological kind of a place, all labs and skyscrapers, which was doing the same kind of things as the west but threatened—while the moment lasted—to be doing them better … The era when the place seemed to be in a state of confident, challenging, expansive maturity has fallen off our mental carousel. Khrushchev was so confident in his country’s growing prosperity that he predicted the USSR would overtake the US economy by 1970, reaching aspects of the fully equal, post-scarcity society of luxurious abundance and ever-shrinking requirements of labor promised by Marx—from each according to their ability, to each according to their need—by 1980. But we all know that nothing remotely like this occurred. So what stalled the Soviet economy? The economist Alec Nove, whom we have met before in this book, argues that planning inevitably leads to authoritarianism. Spufford, being more sympathetic than Nove to this period of Soviet history, evinces more nuance, but his conclusion, like that of Nove, and many other authors, is still that it was the consequence of the attempt to coordinate an economy without the use of the price signal in the marketplace.


pages: 245 words: 64,288

Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That's OK: How to Survive the Economic Collapse and Be Happy by Pistono, Federico

3D printing, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, future of work, George Santayana, global village, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, illegal immigration, income inequality, information retrieval, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, longitudinal study, means of production, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, patent troll, pattern recognition, peak oil, post scarcity, QR code, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Rodney Brooks, selection bias, self-driving car, slashdot, smart cities, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, women in the workforce

Actually, I would object even to that (inexhaustible source of knowledge and references), but I get what you mean. Physical stuff. Things that you can use to live. Right. I will just give you one example, but there are many. Marcin Jakubowski is an incredible man. There are plenty of people who talk about building a better world. Many have great ideas, too, futuristic visions of how the world could be, if we just wanted to. But one of them is actually building it. His goal: no less than creating a post-scarcity society, where people have to work only 1-2 hours per day to live, so that they can use the remaining time for higher purposes. He is building the foundation for the next paradigm in social evolution, and he is open-sourcing all of it. A visionary, but with solid grounding. The story is best told by Marcin himself, who spoke at TED in 2011. This talk has been watched more than 1.5 million times and it was translated in 41 languages.222 “I started a group called Open Source Ecology.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

The libertarian, voluntaristic communities that briefly flowered in their thousands in California and New Mexico find their modern counterparts in the open-source communities listed on SourceForge and the virtual homesteaders of Second Life, as they create their own rules and currencies. Collage and pastiche, recombining ingredients provided by others, were central not just to Situationism but to futurism, cubism, Dadaism and pop art. The rip, mix, burn generation of Apple iPods, hip-hop music and YouTube videos is Debord’s heir. The We-Think generation is living out the hopes of the 1960s radicals for the creation of a harmonious, post-scarcity society that is free, decentralised and yet apparently egalitarian, a world in which as Fred Turner put it ‘each individual could act in his or her own interest and at the same time produce a unified social sphere, in which we were “all one”’.19 As an offspring of the 1960s the web also carries many of the congenital weaknesses that afflicted the counter-culture. The communes collapsed because they could not govern and work efficiently.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

What I’m doing is trying to help everyone realise that what made companies big yesterday is likely to be their unravelling tomorrow. The tools of life and business are now in the hands of everyone. Mass is quickly fragmenting into a world of niche, smaller and more distributed things. And big businesses that need a new survival manifesto need to embrace the fragmented nature if they want to stay ‘big’. We are entering the age of post-scarcity abundance. The great fragmentation isn’t just great because it’s huge or amazing — although, in fact, it really is. It’s much more than that. It’s a move to a more equalised and humane society where the power to know and the power to participate are being handed back to everyone. Both economically and socially, just about everything is being democratised for good. I think it’s better than good … I think it’s great.


pages: 312 words: 91,835

Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization by Branko Milanovic

"Robert Solow", Asian financial crisis, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, means of production, mittelstand, moral hazard, Nash equilibrium, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Paul Samuelson, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, post-industrial society, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, stakhanovite, trade route, transfer pricing, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

Dismal forecasting of the 2008 global financial crisis, even once it had started, is documented in Wieland and Wolters (2012). 2. It is also remarkable that the writers of this period were unable to define the “new society” except negatively, that is, by what it no longer was. Hence, the proliferation of “post” prefixes in Bell’s Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1973): a cursory review reveals “post-industrial,” “post-bourgeois,” “post-Marxist,” “post-capitalist,” and “post-scarcity.” 3. Limits to Growth (1972) was also the first report of the Club of Rome. The second report, Mankind at the Turning Point (1974), by Mihailo Mesarovic and Eduard Pestel, was even more quantitative and ostensibly scientific. 4. Sicco Mansholt, then the president of the European Commission, was a strong proponent of zero growth. See also Kahn and Wiener (1968). A much more realistic, and in some areas like migration, strikingly prescient, picture was painted by Alfred Sauvy in his excellent Zero Growth?


pages: 422 words: 89,770

Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, Pearl River Delta, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Inside Out: A Memoir of the Blacklist. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Blitzstein, Marc. The Cradle Will Rock. Fairfax, VA: Library of Congress Federal Theatre Project Collection at Fenwick Library, George Mason University. Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Works, Vol. 16, Conspiracy and Imprisonment, 1940-1945, trans. by Lisa E. Dahill. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006. Bookchin, Murray. Post-Scarcity Anarchism. Edinburgh: AK Press, 2004. Boorstin, Daniel J. The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. New York: Atheneum, 1961. Bourne, Randolph. The Radical Will: Selected Writings 1911-1918. Ed. Olaf Hansen. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1977. ———. War and the Intellectuals: Collected Essays 1915-1919. Ed. Carl Resek. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1964. Briggs, Asa and Burke, Peter.


pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

He has written articles and book chapters as well as a book, The Political Economy of Trust: Interests, Institutions and Inter-Firm Cooperation, published by Cambridge University Press. Cory Doctorow is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favor of liberalizing copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics. His novels include Down and Out in the Magic, Kingdom, and Little Brother. James Grimmelmann is a professor of law at the University of Maryland. He studies how laws regulating software affect freedom, wealth, and power. Astra Taylor is a writer and documentary filmmaker. Her films include Zizek!, a feature documentary about the world’s most outrageous philosopher, which was broadcast on the Sundance Channel, and Examined Life, a series of excursions with contemporary thinkers.


pages: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

“At the end of this first decade of the twenty-first century, the line between media producers and consumers has blurred,” Michael Mandiberg writes, “and the unidirectional broadcast has partially fragmented into many different kinds of multidirectional conversations.”60 This blurring and fragmentation pointed to an even more fundamental problem. No matter how much havoc the digital revolution might wreak upon commercial media business models, the Internet offered no solution at all to the core problem of funding and organizing media content. If a shrinking number of people could make a living producing content, what sort of culture would society produce? The online logic seemed as much pre-surplus as post-scarcity, as much Dark Ages as Age of Enlightenment. In short, the need for the PEC, the need to develop effective systems and policies, was and is more important than ever. Journalism I separate news media from the rest of commercial media (entertainment) for three reasons. First, journalism has developed out of a somewhat different tradition than entertainment: from the beginning of the republic, it has been a key part of the governing system and has been understood that way.


pages: 515 words: 143,055

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game

The statistics bore out a sense that there were countless voices speaking (if sometimes only to themselves, but never mind). In 2005 Nielsen estimated that 35 million Americans were reading blogs; yet that same year, another organization estimated there were 50 million blogs in existence, suggesting more blogs than readers.10 Collectively, the blogs exerted the influence of a kind of ongoing national conversation. In his somewhat obscure way, Jeffrey Jarvis declared that “in our post-scarcity world, distribution is not king and neither is content. Conversation is the kingdom, and trust is king.”11 In 2006, Time magazine, struggling to stay hip to it all, named “YOU” as its person of the year. “Yes you. You control the information age. Welcome to your world.”12 The journalist Jon Pareles wrote that “ ‘user-generated content’ [is] the paramount cultural buzz phrase of 2006….I prefer something a little more old-fashioned: self-expression.


pages: 471 words: 147,210

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

experimental subject, gravity well, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, microbiome, pattern recognition, post scarcity, remote working, side project, telepresence, theory of mind

Lot’s entire being was transmuted from optimism to bitterness on his flight down the cable into the gravity well of Damascus, a well he knows he will never escape. The one piece of knowledge that would bleaken his outlook further would be to know that the mistakes of his people are a mirror for the mistakes of their creators. Lot has like-minded followers, some utopianists who fled with him, others just as desperate and lost, attracted to his almost messianic demeanour. Lot has seen a future of glory and post-scarcity. The experience has marked him out, given his body language and Guise a radiance few others can match. Certainty is not a currency the octopuses are comfortable dealing with, most of the time, but Lot’s followers have lost everything, enough that they will make the cardinal sin of following without question someone who seems to know what they are doing. Lot’s orbital community burrowed deep into the oldest records, looking for breadcrumbs of knowledge left over from their progenitors – the People of Senkovi, as they are tagged within the databases.


pages: 700 words: 201,953

The Social Life of Money by Nigel Dodd

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Kula ring, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mental accounting, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, predatory finance, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, remote working, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, Scientific racism, seigniorage, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Veblen good, Wave and Pay, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

Modernity at Sea: Melville, Marx, Conrad in Crisis, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. Castells, M. (1999). “Grassrooting the Space of Flows.” Urban Geography 20 (4): 294–302. Chaum, D. (1983). “Blind Signatures for Untraceable Payments.” Advances in Cryptology: Proceedings of Crypto 82. D. Chaum, R. L. Rivest, and A. T. Sherman, Eds. New York, Plenum Publishing Corporation. Chernomas, R. (1984). “Keynes on Post-Scarcity Society.” Journal of Economic Issues XVIII (4): 1007–26. Chick, V. and S. C. Dow (2013). “Financial Institutions and the State: A Reexamination.” Monetary Economies of Production: Banking and Financial Circuits and the Role of the State, L.-P. Rochon and M. Seccareccia, Eds.. Cheltenham, U.K., Edward Elgar Publishing: 99–111. Choonara, J. (2009). Unravelling Capitalism: A Guide to Marxist Political Economy, London, Bookmarks Publications.


pages: 717 words: 196,908

The Idea of Decline in Western History by Arthur Herman

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, David Attenborough, European colonialism, George Santayana, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, Joan Didion, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

Through poetry and art modern man could restore his sense of “the simple onefold of earth and sky, divinity and mortals.” The new man would learn to abandon technology and consumerism and accept his humble place in the unity of nature. “Self-assertive man,” he wrote in 1926, “whether or not he knows and wills it as an individual, is the functionary of technology.”35 Heidegger’s student Herbert Marcuse brought these assumptions to his own view of “post-scarcity society” in One-Dimensional Man. Its bold images of a technological capitalism poised to subjugate the vital energies of man as well as nature infused German cultural pessimism into the New Left. Marcuse galvanized American conservationist sentiments on the Left, which derived from the writings of figures like Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. The New Left’s attacks on American capitalism included its systematic “degradation” of the natural, whether in sexual terms (a favorite topic of Haeckel’s, who strongly advocated free love) or in terms of the environment.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

His blog (which you can find by typing “Seth” into Google) is one of the most popular in the world. In 2013, Godin was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. Recently, Godin turned the book publishing world on its ear by launching a series of four books via Kickstarter. The campaign reached its goal in just three hours and became the most successful book project in Kickstarter history. “Trust and attention—these are the scarce items in a post-scarcity world.” “We can’t out-obedience the competition.” TF: I like this so much that I wanted to mention it twice. More context next time. Be a Meaningful Specific Instead of a Wandering Generality On saying “no” and declining things: “The phone rings, and lots of people want a thing. If it doesn’t align with the thing that is your mission, and you say ‘yes,’ now [your mission is] their mission.