Replicators – would you like that upsized?
Yes, likely we are still dealing with the vestiges of old paradigm thinking – for a little while anyway. So what happens when you can pour out the cornucopia of plenty to your heart’s content and possible demise.
I am going to make a really big assumption here. I am going to assume those providing us with the replicator technology also imbued them with Artificial Intelligence. That AI would be able to determine if use is abuse or not. Now that would be something. So no heroin, no cocaine, no excessive alcohol or other substances that could be abused. I could just imagine one of these refusing a request for more chocolate with the message “sorry you weigh 300 pounds and have a heart condition – I ain’t gonna do it!”
Ok so that may be quite an assumption. Let’s say that is not the case and we are having to do this the hard way – having to deal with all our foibles ourselves – no on board replicator police. Then maybe it is programmed for certain products initially and in a phased manner. This could meet the “upsizing” issue as well as one relating to the economic restructuring that would necessarily accompany this technology.
Clearly as the replicators produced our needs, at the same time they would be bringing about redundancies in the industries and producers who previously provided those needs. Businesses would, well, go out of business.
For this reason it would be critical to get this technology distributed very quickly (as suggested in my earlier article) into those areas most affected to offset their losses. Do they get compensated for the fact that the business they have built up with their sweat and hard work is now worthless? Not sure. But the replicator technology in their hands would provide them with their needs and some. Same for all those employed in the businesses up stream and downstream.
This is, of course, not happening in a vacuum. Along with these technologies come the prosperity funds and the neutralisation of debt.
Additionally as people are freed up from traditional ways of earning a living, many will turn to the creative. Whether that is in the form of creative work or art for art’s sake, who knows. But we can certainly expect a creative explosion – massive innovations and huge advances in all the arts and sciences.
What about intellectual property and replication? Now that could be a tricky one. Those things with copyright and intellectual property rights no doubt retain them. Same as Digital Rights Media. But in an abundant economy where making a living is less an issue, can we expect people to start producing goods as “copyleft” public domain or patent free? We see it already in the form of Open Source Software. It would certainly provide the opportunity for this area of reproduction and redistribution rights to be opened up completely. Those areas known as creative commons and “free culture” would be openly encouraged and endorsed as the new culture of sharing.