Re: TANSTAAFL vs. Peer Economics

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 15:12:55 +0100 (MET)

On Tue, 26 Nov 1996, Joel 'Twisty' Nye wrote:

> Yes... scarcity economics. Funny how different Roddenberry's vision
> is from Heinlein's... So different, in fact, that recent eps of Star
> Trek Voyager seem grossly naive about how much they rock the boat when
> they leave their heavenly riches to decent to a planet where their
> very presence is taxing on the other inhabitants. From post-scarcity
> to scarcity economics, they just don't seem to realize the huge
> difference.

This seems similar to what Ian Banks explores in his Culture novels: the
Culture is post scarcity and transhumanist in a lazy way; the almost
complete mutual incomprehension between the do-gooder Culture agents and
the inhabitants of less fortunate empires form the basis for most of the

Just the feeling of audaciousness we tend to feel at the idea that huge
interstellar warships give themselves *humorous* names like "Size Isn't
Everything" (80 km long) or "What Are The Peacetime Applications?"
suggests how much we take scarcity for granted.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y