Beyond Money

Beyond Money

I have not read your book in detail, I have simply read all the chapter titles.

You seem to have a good understanding of the history of money, and I agree with your principles in part, and there does seem to be one logical flaw in you principles.
The pursuit of money, or business under the market model, cannot deliver universal abundance.

Money is a market measure of value, and as such is the product of two complex functions that we each create within ourselves.
One function is how much we value something, which is extremely complex and personal, and will have components including survival values, aesthetic values, cultural values, etc.
The other function is a scarcity function (the rarer we perceive something to be, the more we are willing to pay for it).
Both of these functions multiply together to deliver what we consider a market or monetary value.

This is a great mechanism for allocating scarce resources, and has had great historical utility, but it does not and cannot deliver universal abundance.

Anything that is abundant, however valuable it is, has zero scarcity, and therefore zero monetary value (anything multiplied by zero equals zero).

Oxygen in the air is a prime example of this, extremely valuable to every human being, yet so abundant that (under normal circumstances) no one is prepared to pay any money for it.

Thus, the idea that market based business can every deliver universal abundance is a logical nonsense.

It seems to me that the exponential growth of computing, robotics, and solar power are poised to give us the technical capacity to deliver universal abundance in the near term (within 20 years certainly, and perhaps within 10), but the dominant social paradigms of money and market valuation are the greatest single impediment to delivering that abundance.

My question is, are you really committed to delivering universal abundance, and if so, would you like to work with me and (with luck and hard work) a few million others, to deliver it to every person on the planet.

This will involve technical, political, social, and business aspects.

You can see more about me on my other sites:
http://www.tedhowardnz.com
http://www.solnx.org
http://www.fishnet.co.nz/ted/ted.htm

[followed by]

Hi Thomas

I started working with computers 39 years ago.
I have seen them go from things the size of a house requiring enough power for a small village, to things that fit within a matchbox and use a couple of watts or less.

Over the next decade or so, automation is going to really kick in, at all levels.

This automation has the possibility of providing everybody with everything that they need, at the same sort of level of abundance as oxygen in the air.

That sort of abundance is not compatible with money.

Money is a market measure, and markets are fundamentally scarcity driven.
Once we have real abundance, then money loses its meaning.

It is going to happen, all of the trends are going that way.

We just need to start thinking about how we are going to organise when we don’t need (nor have) money – but we do have all the food, education, house, communication etc that we want.

The price of freedom is always going to remain eternal vigilance – that is unlikely to ever change – but just about everything else will, and we had better be prepared when it does – that’s all I’m saying.

[followed by]

Hi Thomas
I have bought your book, downloaded to my kindle last night.

My point is, that we have the technical capacity to create abundance, but we do not do so.
Sure there are power elites doing their own thing, and I suspect that most of what we see is simply people working within the incentive structures that exist in their awareness.

My objective is to transform that incentive structure, and in doing so deliver real freedom to everyone.

I don’t see any real need for money in such a system.

An open-mesh system of self organising trust networks seems to me to have far greater utility in that regard than any sort of monetary system.

We have had the capacity to feed everyone on the planet for over 100 years, and we have not. There is no incentive within any economic system to meet the needs of all members – that is a fundamental aspect of any market based system (as market are scarcity driven, there must always be scarcity for some).

With automation, robotics, and solar energy – we are entering an age where scarcity will not exist. Markets lose there meaning in such an environment.
We need to truly start thinking beyond money.

[followed by]

Hi Thomas

Yes – that is indeed the question [Yes, we will probably some day have no need for money, realizing the truth of abundance and living in a “gift economy.” The question is how to get from here to there?].

For me, the idea of reforming the monetary system doesn’t seem particularly useful in that regard, because of the fundamental flaws in the concept of money (as outlined previously). Therefore, it seems to me, that there is far greater probability of success if we simply accept that the whole idea of money/markets/economics is flawed, and on its way out, and simply use those parts of it that are useful to deliver the technological base required to support humans in the coming age of abundance.

A sketch of the sort of technologies required can be found on one of my websites http://www.solnx.org
When I was at the foresight conference on nanotechnology and the future last year, it was clear to me that we have the people, and the knowledge, but that the incentive structure of money will never deliver abundance in and of itself.

Thus the approach is two fold.

One aspect is raising levels of awareness. This means talking to people, at golf clubs, lions clubs, doctors surgeries, supermarkets – wherever, and sharing aspects of what exponential growth can deliver, at whatever level the other person is capable of listening.

The other aspect is political. It is about building a grass roots political movement that demands abundance for the masses, ecological sustainability, health, security, integrity.

These things are not easy, and it seems that they are what is required, in reality, at this time.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s