Re: true abundance?

From: Emlyn (
Date: Tue Jan 30 2001 - 21:01:49 MST

Chris Russo wrote:
> >Based on what you saw of life in India, Chris, what effect do you
> >think a guraranteed income would have on individuals (assuming that
> >such a thing were possible at no cost to anyone else, such as with
> >nanotechnology)?
> Would they stand on that bedrock to try to do more with their lives
> in terms of achieving educational and career goals? Or would
> standing around talking to their friends be what they'd do every day
> of their lives - because they could.
> If the very act of getting food for themselves and their families
> isn't motivation enough for some people, how much motivation will
> those same people have in life when even food isn't a concern?

Hmm, I think I might do that for a while, too. Why, after all, if you can
afford "limitless" abundance through nanotech, is this actually a problem?

Given this premise of providing a base for everyone at no cost, there's no
moral imperative for these people to behave in any particular way. May we
all do what we will.

> I think that if you gave everyone in India who is starving a
> "limitless" supply of food, you'd see a population explosion there of
> unimaginable proportions. How far will even miraculous
> nanotechnology be able to be stretched before we once again have
> people starving?

Depends on why people have kids. There is a strong argument that people in
conditions of third world poverty have big families, not because they are
mindless rabbits, but rather because it is a survival advantage in
conditions of such scarcity (because children rather quickly begin to
provide a net profit to the family unit). Going down that path, it seems
reasonable that the population growth would slow, rather than increase,
under conditions of abundance, and I think that's a common experience where
levels of wealth have increased in previously poor populations. Add
education, and you might hit zpg rather quickly. Well resourced & educated
people tend not to breed all that much.

So there's a pretty good solution to the population explosion. Get everyone
wealthy & educated, and it takes care of itself. Well, after a bit of delay
anyway (say 50 years); admittedly that interim period promises more
immediate population problems...


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