Awareness of impacts

John Fullerton – Are We Not All Jasmines Now?

Nicely put John.

Now we just need a few more people to take the next step, and see that the very concept of market valuation works against our interests when automation passes a certain critical threshold.

[followed by]

Hi John

It comes back to the point that markets value scarcity.
It doesn’t matter how important something is, if there is no scarcity, then there is no market value.
Just consider oxygen. The single most important substance for human survival, yet so universally abundant in the air that it has no market value.

There is a level within our modern complex market based systems, where optimisation of market value is a key systemic driver (an incentive). At this level, it is not simply a matter of there being no incentive to produce anything to the level of abundance of oxygen, there are actually massive incentives to prohibit any such abundance.

We are now rapidly approaching the technological ability to produce a set of machines that are solar powered, and use basically any rock as raw material, and from those two sources, produce duplicate sets of machines, and a basic range of goods and services necessary for human survival and human self actualisation. Such abundance essentially makes markets redundant for all matters of survival, and relegates them to minor importance in the greater scheme of things.

Up until reaching this point in our technological evolution, there has always been real scarcity of key requirements of human survival, and it has made systemic sense to use markets and market valuation (money) to optimise the creation and distribution of such resources.

Now that automation is nearing the self sustaining point, market values and market incentives actually invert, and work against the delivery of human values.
Once this point is reached, the very concept of money creates incentives that threaten the lives and liberty of a substantial portion of humanity.

We need more people to become aware of this, and to be ready to transition away from market values when required.

We also need forward thinking individuals to be prepared to invest money into creating conditions that disestablish the monetary system itself. It is clear to me that such investment is actually in everyone’s best interests long term, and that cannot be proven within the monetary model of value, one needs to use different metrics.

[followed by]

Hi Alexis

I grew up on farms and hold a degree in zoology, and spent 17 years working as a professional fisherman, so am well aware of the abundance of biological systems that you describe. And at the same time, there is substantial variance in that abundance from time to time and place to place. Species and areas vary in abundance, as does water supply if gardening. Many of the great advances in agriculture have been around ensuring water supply; and major climate changes can and do still happen, with resulting famine in some areas.
In the space of a mere 15 thousand years we have gone from a basically hunter gather type lifestyle that required between 20 and 50 hectares per person, depending on the hunting to gathering ratio, and various factors around group size, to mostly living in cities and being able to feed and house 5 people per hectare in 1st world conditions, or 15 people per hectare in 3rd world subsistence. At those high subsistence densities, there is little room for systemic failure.
So while it is true that nature can and does provide an amazing abundance, it is also true, that at the local level of individuals living a normal human lifespan of some 70 or so years, that most people in most ages would experience frequent failures of key requirements for survival. And the frequencies varied with space and time.

Contrary to popular mythology in the 60s, a modern understanding of the mathematics of living systems is that there is no such thing as a grand equilibrium. Certainly some things are held within close limits (like body temperature in mammals) and other things come and go in fairly constant cycles (like cicada abundance), but the system of life as a whole is an open system, dynamic, and it is only our relatively short lifespans that give the illusion of balance.

What I meant, is that we are rapidly approaching the stage in our technological evolution where we are able to create machines that will allow us to harvest solar energy directly into electricity, and to use that energy to manipulate matter at the atomic level to create whatever machines we reasonably need, and to meet all of our survival needs (tend gardens, store water, cook, clean, recycle, manage our communication, education and transportation needs). When we achieve this level of personalisation of the means of production, we will have achieved a level of abundance that makes almost all of our current markets (and the market based valuation measure of money) redundant.

When one combines this, with an in depth understanding of the process of evolution, with how new levels of cooperation are what characterise all new levels of development in living systems; then one can see how we might develop a set of behaviours that can promote and sustain security, peace and diversity for every living person.
It is clear to me that the mathematics of market values work against such universal abundance, however powerful they have been in getting us to this point in our development.

I hope that makes what I am getting at a little clearer.

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
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