RE: my take on a nanotech-gift economy...

From: Alejandro Dubrovsky (
Date: Tue Jan 18 2000 - 21:06:14 MST

Robin Hanson wrote:
> At the moment, the "manufacturing" industries are less than
> 18% of GDP, and
> such industries do a lot of non-manufacturing spending (like sales,
> transport, storage, ...) Total spending on the design of
> manufacturables is
> probably much less. So even making manufacturing and design
> free still
> leaves people paying for >70% of the things they pay for now.
Yes, but what percentage of the services industry lives on the fact that
people have no access to free manufactured goods?

> The fraction of software effort now using the open source route is
> miniscule, the gains to specialization in production are now enormous,
> and people don't give away raw materials with low enough transport and
> processing costs to be useful.

Yes, but even if it is minuscule, it is enough for lots of people.
Transporting this to the nanotech scenario, how many people would drop out
of the trade system because the open source designs are enough to live on
and don't care (or learn not to care) about the rest. I know i haven't paid
for any software for a very,very long time (and this does not mean i have a
bookmark to I would be very tempted to do the same if it
applied to materials.
> There are thus many reasons to doubt the imagine of an early nano-gift
> economy, where trade is distant memory and people get
> virtually everything
> they want from essentially free open source designs running
> on essentially
> free generic factories built from essentially free raw materials.
this is, IMHO, going way too far, but i wouldn't be surprised if
survivability becomes a non-issue.

Alejandro Dubrovsky

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