TANSTAAFL vs. Peer Economics

Joel 'Twisty' Nye (me@twisty.org)
Tue, 26 Nov 1996 10:16:52 -0800

On Mon, 25 Nov 1996 12:57:12 -0500, QueeneMUSE@aol.com wrote:

>>Wasn't it Heinlein who coined it? IMHO it is often used a bit >>entropically.

>I was thinking about this too.
>1. Entropians love to propigate a "lack" mentality, for without the
>sense of hopelessness - it is harder to impose limits on people.

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

>2. I get a lot of lunches and dinners free, and it is the
>great pleasure of those who dine with me to provide them.
>And I am happy to do the same for anyone who is very fun to talk to. Or
>very pretty to look at, for that matter ; - )
>Now this doesnt mean that you should freeload or we need to abandon the
>notion that trading and exchange should and can be beneficial to both
>parties, but the negativity behind these little sayings can be
>subconsciously daunting.

Indeed, it is sometimes enough that one *can* give free lunches that
makes it just cause enough to do so. Socrates spoke of producing good
instead of repaying evil with evil (as later that Jesus person did as
well). It is a greater issue of what you can give/perform/do than
you can take/consume/want.

>3. Life is full of thess little catch phases-homilies, old
>wives tales, fables.... a meme, a myth...
>the benefit would be, parents and elders can tell us our
>limits, try to warn us, I guess...
>But I avoid them all, and even try to avoid repetitious,
>obviously pat, thoughts of my *own*. If I have decided
>"it is so", and invented a little mental script, I am probably atrophy
>There are to many NEW patterns to explore to get stuck
>on old ones.
>LL (lifting limitations)

Here here! I've got a new theory burning on my brain...
I haven't even thought of how to add it to my 'Theories' webpage.
I refer to it as "Peer Economics."

Modern Economics are based on stabilizing life through securing
propriety of resources, and then weighing the production/abundance
of supply against the desires/scarcity of demand. Yet I think the
point at which they fail is the notion of the "Client - Server"
relationship. The almighty dollar is the monopolistic Server (or in
most cases, the served,) and the humans are the clientele.

What would happen if the paradigm were replaced with the modern
business model of the network? What if, like organizational
flowcharts, we flatten the heirarchy and move to "quality control
circles in constant communication"?

We'd likely ditch the paradigm of "Boss - Employee" first thing.
Instead of the philosophy seen in Plato's day in which the Strong
Always Rule (not by merit of rulership, but by Might-Making-Right),
we'd likely see a total change in the job market. The goals of the
company/organization whould no longer be the end-all-and-be-all of the
worker's existance, but rather the company-A would seek work from
company-B, yet company-B agrees only if it gets its goals achieved
by company-A.

Just as a person's resume includes both their skills and their
salary, other expectations and job perks may become commonly listed.
The *Interests* of the superhuman organization may become Peers with
the Interests of the human individual.

Anyone care to speculate further?

- me@twisty.org, aka Joel 'Twisty' Nye