Re: playing catch-up

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Mon Dec 31 2001 - 09:26:05 MST

> In a world where all material items (except fixed land resources
> and so on) can be had simply by asking the local nanobots to dig
> up the pattern and produce it, what exactly would property
> rights apply to and why would you care?

Last time I checked, nanotech doesn't get around conservation of
mass-energy, so property rights are no less useful when everyone
on the planet is a billionaire than now. The total amount of
resources remains the same--the amount of solar energy the planet
can harness. It's only the efficiency with which we can use it
that will grow exponentially. When we move out into the galaxy,
then the pool expands even more, but it's still a fixed pool,
and humans will disagree about how to use those resources--indeed
there will be even more disagreement than there is now, because
there will be more people with different desires, and more /kinds/
of people (AI, etc.) with desires we can't even imagine now.

Just because it's harder for humans to visualize the difference
between 1 and 2 billion than to visualize the difference between
1 and 2 hundred doesn't mean the difference doesn't exist. As I've
said before, when everyone on the planet is a billionaire, the guy
with 10 billion still gets the girl, the bigger spaceship, the
asteroid in the better neighborhood, and the nicer toys. "Scarcity"
is a relative thing.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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