RE: Property Rights
Tue, 11 May 1999 03:36:20 -0700 (PDT)

O'Regan, Emlyn [] wrote:
>Surely an increase in
>technological/sociological/xxxxological state implied by the Singularity
>must leave in tatters our ideas of property/free market, just as it
>leaves in tatters most other concepts of current western culture,

It's worked well for four and a half billion years, so I think perhaps it can work for a little while longer.

>Rugged individualism indeed. But are there alternatives?

Yes, but how are you going to stop the rugged individualists? You are free not to use more resources than you choose, but then you're just fodder for the first expansionist entity which comes your way looking for more resources for itself. You seem to be another borganist who believes that they can -- and should -- force everyone else in the universe to think their way. Well, it ain't gonna happen.

>If there were some viable system of managing it (anyone?), then why not
>have resources available to all who need them.

Um, because that's been tried, ooh, about half a bazillion times already, and it always fails when tried on a large scale. Always. Otherwise the world would be full of wonderful happy communist utopias and there would be no argument as to whether they're better. On a small scale they are, on a large scale they've always failed.

>I'm not in favour of a socialist system, however - is anyone disposed
>this way on this list? Everyone seems to love the government...

Sorry? I guess you've missed all the anarcho-capitalism discussions... and I have a hard time not seeing your utopia as a socialist/communist system.

>What about some form of techno-anarchy, where we use the excellent
>communications which are now just developing across the world, and are
>going to advance wildly in the next couple of decades, to allocate
>resources to anyone who asks for them, on some kind of loan system.

And what do you do when you don't have enough resources (e.g. I want to a Jupiter-sized brain to run universe simulations, and I want it *now*), or someone refuses to give it back after you've loaned it to them? And who's going to do the shitwork of digging up all these resources that you're giving out? Capitalism has answers to all these problems, these kind of utopias never do.

>This is pretty basic, re-inventing the wheel kind of stuff, but I think
>it's important to realise that capitalism (or owning things) is not the
>only possible social system

Capitalism is not a social system, it's just what entities do when there's no-one to forcefully interfere with their interactions. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than anything else we've ever tried.