Damien Broderick wrote:
> In the longer term, with the advent of molecular
> nanofacture and AI, we will *all* be in this
> position, to some extent. But those
> technologies will perhaps change the landscape
> so drastically that we will have to start again
> from scratch in thinking these issues through.
Molecular manufacturing certainly puts a new spin on these problems. With MNT everything can be recycled, and once everything can be recycled - nothing is free. This causes a serious problem for those who live off other people's waste. Also, because MNT brings most items down to near-zero cost, nobody can afford to give things away. If rice (something they need) and microchips (something you need) cost the same (near-zero) then you can no longer afford to give rice to the starving masses (there is no difference in the price of rice rising and the price of everything that's more expensive than rice decreasing).