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Technology and the inevitable collapse of the monetary system.

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posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 11:29 PM
Hello ATS members. I rarely post here because of time restraints, and because I rarely have an idea that I feel hasn't already been covered to death here. I've recently been thinking about the subject of technology evolving society and how certain technologies can completely solve particular social problems very quickly. Just to give a few examples:

Medicine - Modern medical technology has allowed humanity to overcome some of the world most deadly diseases such as smallpox, ebola, and polio just to name a few. Many physical injuries that would have meant certain death in the days before modern surgical practices have been reduced to maybe a few weeks of rehabilitation.

Transportation - I really don't think much needs to be said here. Ancient man had no way to even know there was another side of the earth much less get there overnight. And now as I type this humanity has the technical ability to create massive magnetic trains that could be built over the whole globe allowing one to theoretically move from London to New York in maybe 10 minutes. Which would make even air flight obsolete. (Good luck getting the corporations to see the cost effectiveness of this.)

Leisure - Every facet of human leisure time has been affected by technology. In fact, in our capitalistic society, Leisurly activities are so intertwined with technology that it is probably the biggest reason for technological advancement there is. Think about it: If video games didn't exist or were nowhere near as popular as they are in our society would there be as big of a push to get more polygons on the screens of users?

With those (slightly simplified) examples of how technology has shaped our lives, and the lives of everyone on the planet, I must ask the question... What about society itself?

I am an avid supporter of the futurist Jaque Fresco and The Venus Project. If you have not heard about him or the program he has started then I very much suggest that you do look it up. In my opinion Mr. Fresco is probably the most accomplished man who has ever taken a breath. I really urge you to do some research on him and his movement. Put simply laissez faire capitalism, our monetary system and the "Greed is good" lifestyle that comes from it is the reason for all problems faced by humanity and the planet itself.

The venus project supports a social system call Resource Based Economy. I will attempt to summarize it below:

In Mr. Fresco's vision of a RBE there would be no system of currency so as to not distinguish one man above another.(Oh noes not tha commies!) There would be no government because as Fresco believes most of what the government does is to regulate, with laws, the conflicts men have over property, money and feelings of inadequacies caused by economic inequality. The central planning hub of society would essentially be a massive piece of cold calculating software that would continuously scan the earth's resources and allocate them as needed. There would rarely be work as far as simple menial labor goes, because as technology advances have shown automation of work is in fact the future of production and it can be expanded to include nearly everything. This would leave every human mind available to work on intellectual pursuits or in fact whatever they feel like doing.

The reason for this thread and what I've actually been considering is how such a society can come about? I believe I have the answer. It will come about out of inevitability. The rate of technological advancement is so fast that there will literally come a day where any problem posed by any human can and will be solved by technology.

How can a government continue if there is no crime?

How can an economy continue if matter can be duplicated using nanotechnology?

These are some of the questions that I pose to myself in my spare time and I am now posing them to you.

Documentary about The Venus Project

Some links:

Jacque Fresco Wikipedia entry

The Venus Project

Please do not completely flame me if it seems my post is amateurish or if you have an opposing veiwpoint. I would love to hear your views, just not in a hurtful way. thanks!

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 11:55 PM
The idea of technology taking the reigns of our everyday lives and allowing us to fully dable in the possibility's of the universe is a double edged sword. As we learn more we will teach our machines more.

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. - Omar Bradley

posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 12:36 AM
reply to post by coven83

Thanks for your response. I also believe that with our current system technology has been more often than not a tool of the conqueror, and a means to control and destroy. But under a more just system I believe it would be used for the betterment of life.

My real question posed in the post (quite enigmatically) was: Do you think that, with the onset of large scale automation, deepening artificial Intelligence and the introduction of nanotech to the general public, the monetary system will begin to wither away naturally? I mean seriously how can you sell something if it can be made by nanobots for free in an average citizen's home?
edit on 21-9-2012 by boot2theface because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 02:32 AM
All these optimistic futurian visions are based on two completely unwarranted assumptions:
  1. The Enlightenment paradigm (humanism coupled with faith in the power of rationality, science and progress to improve our lives) will continue to dominate world civilization.

  2. Cheap energy will always be available.

Both assumptions are false. The Enlightenment paradigm, so called for its origins in the historical period of that name, is in retreat everywhere except, possibly, in China and Southeast Asia, where it may survive for a generation or two longer.

As for cheap energy, it has already ceased to be available.

Forget the Singularity, folks, forget the brave new world the old folks dreamt about. The future that lies before us and our descendants is a descent, more or less rapid, into a new Dark Ages.

posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 04:45 AM
First of all, I would recommend thinking and reading very carefully before pinning your colours to the Futurist banner. There are some decidedly dodgy wordings in the manifesto of that particular branch of political and social thought, which rather put a crap-smear up the finely polished skin of its construction, namely that one could read an awful lot of right wing agendas into it.

But if what you mean is that technological advancement may mean the end of currency as a driving force of mankind, then I think it is a reasonable assumption, but it does have some issues to work through, before it has a hope in hell of becoming more than an idea. The biggest amongst these reasons would be, that without financial incentivisation, the sort of infrastructural advances in travel, communications, and power production that are POSSIBLE, are not comming to market fast enough, because the corperations are nerfing (in gamer speak: To reduce the effectiveness, or strength of something, to make it fit better into a pre exisitng competitive environment) all the good advances to make them saleable. Here is an example... Microsoft, and Apple. Both would have us believe that they are using the raggedy edge of computing expertise in order to give you a better product. What they do NOT tell you, is that they are building in obseletion, and in some cases back doors to virus programming, so that they can then sell you thier add ons, upgrades, and so on, rather than giving us a product that works, and will continue to do so for a minimum of twenty years.

Despite the fact that the technology exists to build hardware which could build and program its OWN damned upgrades, and do it for FREE, rather than by monthly contract, the tech market needs to exist as it is apparantly, and as such builds in niggles and failiures to its products, to keep its people in work, and its executives in gobs of money! This is the block over which we stumble.

posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 02:49 PM
reply to post by boot2theface

I am in the hospitality industry. As such, I know tons of folks from all over. The absolutely most wealthy person that I know on a personal level (worth several billion dollars), but am not anything related to being 'friends" with, told me today about something that is currently emerging called "GTL" or "Gas to liquid".

Basically, they can take natural gas and convert it into sulfur free diesel. This will revolutionize the energy industry, and shift the balance of power from the Middle East to the US in energy exporting (we have enough reserves to meet world energy demands for 200 years....and we are finding new reserves daily in shale deposits).

The initial investment will be around 10bil. And the long term benefit is that the US finally gains energy independance and becomes an energy exporter. The ultimate benefit is that it will choke revenue from those who seem to want to wage war against us the most via "jihad".

posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan

I star'd you because I agree with the idea that we have been trying to find alternative solutions to this problem, but I fear that we've had solutions already for a long period of time.

It seems that the US's idea of energy HAS to involve current corporate players. No matter how insane, we've had the technology to make vehicles run on water and even others that would be more cost effective than oil or gas, the problem is that there is not enough margin or profit in doing this. We've had electric cars since the beginning of the modern automobile era, but once there is not enough profit. I would have rather have our government nationalize all energy needs if it meant lower energy cost.

Our current problem is our governments lack of caring, they've all been bought.

posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 04:22 PM
reply to post by FoxStriker

I don't disagree with you, and share your disdain for corporatocracy. In fact, the company I work for operates "lean and mean" so that we avoid having to invoke a corporate structure. Growth is strictly managed, and non growth is wholly accepted as smart strategy. "Undercommit then overdeliver" is the cornerstone of our business model. And operating at the top of your industry yields the biggest return on your investment.

With that caveat, I add that we will not see an energy alterntive ever come to market unless it can be charged in a toll type system (like now, where you have to continue to buy units of energy via liters/gallons of gasoline/ include my friends across the pond). Matter of fact, the term "market" is the key term here. The world operates in a capitalist manner.

Now, I hear people decry the "evils of capitalism". But consider that capitalism is merely the action of natural law. You have something that you sell to people using the perceived value as the price point. Everyone agrees that it is worth what you charge, and you make your money off of it. You build it, you earn from it. It is the rights of the individual that are maintained. That is, until you start to think that the individual isn't smart enough to think for themselves, and begin to regulate silly things like claims that could not possibly be true but that morons still choose to fall for.

The evils of capitalism are more the evils of the corporations. And those are allowed to happen because our nation was, at some point in the past that people will argue over, made in the image of a corporate franchise. Our nation operates like a corporation. They operate on the same premise and structure that those they regulate do. One key clue to this is the corporate tendency to always operate in "emergency mode" (where they scream and panic to get the highest productivity out of their now over stressed staff). For examples of this in government, see the Terror Alert system, or just about any political speech (especially when they demonize the other party who is, apparently, far more evil than the terrorists judging by the amount of energy spent on demonizing them).

It is certainly part of the corporations "buying" government officials. But it is just as much created by the corporate system that has infected our government.

posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 07:20 AM

Originally posted by boot2theface
reply to post by coven83

Thanks for your response. I also believe that with our current system technology has been more often than not a tool of the conqueror, and a means to control and destroy. But under a more just system I believe it would be used for the betterment of life.

My real question posed in the post (quite enigmatically) was: Do you think that, with the onset of large scale automation, deepening artificial Intelligence and the introduction of nanotech to the general public, the monetary system will begin to wither away naturally? I mean seriously how can you sell something if it can be made by nanobots for free in an average citizen's home?
edit on 21-9-2012 by boot2theface because: (no reason given)

Yes, but how long will it be before an average citizen with nanobots can create a laser beam and split the earth in two? Or any other number of equally frightening scenarios? What will happen when the average citizen can create a flexible force field around their body that can withstand a nuclear blast or the vacuum of space and go on an unstoppable rampage? Have you heard of the "grey goo" scenario with nanobots? What if someone decides to commit suicide and take the rest of the world with them? Maybe we will need to borrow that first guys plasma beam and slice off the portion of earth taken over by Goo? Then we will be left with what? 75% 50% 25% of the earth left?

I think there is a reason why technology is being suppressed... Even if you were the most benevolent leader, you would want to reduce the population to manageable, CONTROLLABLE numbers before you could allow such magnificent technology to be released upon the public... And you would still always want to have the best tech to overpower any maniacs...

The ONLY way we can EVER take the first step into a world like that would be to surrender total control to a governmental entity. Look how easy it is to make homemade explosives in this day and age? Well what if neighbor Joe gets fired and finds out his wife is cheating on the same day and decides to blow up a few city blocks by overloading the capacitator to his home's power system? You would want a way to stop him right? Audio Video devices throughout each home would help. So would a micro chip in Joe's brain to either kill or render unconscious, or maybe even control like a toy robot, with micro cameras installed in his eye or forehead.

But that means EVERYONE will have to accept this... Would you be ok with it? But who controls the controllers? What if a religious wacko and his crew sneaks his way to the top positions, and demands everyone to adapt to a very strict adherance to Muslim or Jewish or Scientology or other religion... Or else they flick the switch on your chip? What then?

I guess we can never have technology... Well, we can, for a short time and then we all die... Or we can submit to a dictatorship and life will be transformed like never before and will not be recognizable to the point you could comfortably and assuredly say that "life has ended"...

posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 01:58 AM
I'm a big fan of the Venus Project. Completely agree with the OP.

Its not a flawless system as yet but its better than anything we have and I really think it could work.

IMO the arguments against it are always rooted in current paradigms. The point is that the paradigm will change.

Markets and economies, capitalism and politics is all built on one principle: scarcity of resources and the need to control distrubution. The core principle of the Venus Project is abundance - i.e. that there's more than enough to go around if individuals don't take more than they need. It is worth pointing out that the scarcity of resources in an ILLUSION perpetuated by those in power. There are more than enough resources to go around currently, let alone after the necessary technologies are developed to make everything sustainable.

Economies simply CANNOT exist when there is abundance - they become obsolete overnight. You can't sell someone something they already have plenty of. All of those concepts will become irrelevant. Also, the focus will shift from instant profit to sustainability, since there's no benefit in short-term trade-offs when you personally have nothing to gain but everything to lose. For example there'd be no reason to make cheap, unhealthy food (McDonalds I'm looking at you) if there is no cost associated with using healthier ingredients and no profit from minimising costs. Everything instead shifts to "What is best for people?" and "What is most sustainable?".

As far as energy goes - we know for a fact that energy technologies are suppressed. We know for a fact that renewable resources work - most of the arguments against them are because they aren't economical. Or in other words, they don't generate enough profit for companies to invest in them. But forget that, because "profit" and "capital" are words that will no longer be relevant. If you just take some resources and build renewable energy facilities then they will sit there and produce energy practically forever, for almost no further investment of resources. It doesn't matter if you can't sell the energy to someone else.

Crime could still be a problem and there might still need to be something equivalent to prisons. However, the motivations to commit crimes almost all disappear overnight as well. There's no need to steal anything when it will be given to you for free. There's no reason to be a suicide bomber when all your friends and family have everything they need and no-one is invading your country to take your recources.

One argument I've heard against this idea is "That there's always someone who will go around and take everything for themselves - its human nature". Well I'd argue that its not human nature. More to the point, the "its always been this way so it won't be any different then" arguments hold no water, because we have NEVER seen humans in an environment of abundance (at least since history began). So we don't know how we would react, but we know that almost all of the driving forces behind greed, control and abuse of power would be gone, so its likely those behaviours that come from that are gone too.

Personally though, I just like it because I am sick of living to work and would rather just live and persue my interests and passions. An idea that goes along with this is the idea of of "Social Currency". In our current society its basically money and power - if you have those things then you are seen as successful and this influences everything from how people think of you to which mates you are likely to attract. In a world of abundance everyone becomes equal in that regard. I think the new "social currency" will become contributing to the human race - i.e. anyone will be able to sit around all day and do nothing if they want, no skin off anyone's nose. However if you genuinely want to go out and make the world a better place, then not only will you have the resources to do that, but people will love you for it. Basically, the new celebrity would be those who contribute positively to the world, rather than those that have accumulated the most resources for themselves.

The last point I want to make is about jobs and work. At the moment, people get REALLY up in arms about the idea of machines doing their work for them. This is a massive reason people don't like this idea. Once again though, it is a fear rooted in the current paradigm, where you NEED to work to be able to live. People are literally enslaved by needing to work to make other people rich in order to survive. In a resource based economy, you wouldn't need a job to survive, you would just be given the resources you need to live for free. This is a sticking point for a lot of people since we've been so conditioned to accept the current paradigm. People will rail against this idea saying that it promotes people being lazy etc - but it all comes back to an irrational fear based on thousands of years of living under artificially created scarcity of resources.

posted on Sep, 25 2012 @ 02:04 AM

Yes, but how long will it be before an average citizen with nanobots can create a laser beam and split the earth in two?

This is the kind of argument I'm talking about. Ok, maybe its possible at some unspecified time in the future that someone could do that. But why? Why would someone do that? Just because they could? I think not. For someone to actually want to do that, they'd have to have major psychological problems, no doubt because of the inequalities that exist in our current society. Take all of those inequalities away and suddenly everyone is happier by default and less likely to go on murderous rampages.

Perhaps there would still be crime related to jealousy and the like, but with free psychological care for every person and a culture in which its acceptable to ask for help (I am assuming these changes would be part of the process) then people are better equipped to deal with their emotions and less likely to be violent.

Besides, we currently have the technology to annihilate all life on earth (Nuclear Weapons), yet it hasn't happened yet. So its hardly a reason not to invest in new technologies.

If not intentional then you may be suggesting that someone does this by accident, which is possible. However, this idea is based on the current paradigm, where there are relatively few people trained in specific disciplines. The majority of the population has poor knowledge of technology outside of our day-to-day lives. Why? Because of the need to work. The average "1st world" person has to spend ~8hrs per day (i.e. most of the productive time) in a job to earn enough to live. Factor in sleeping, travel time, eating and family life and most people have very little free time. Factor in exhaustion from working all day and most people spend their free time on leisure persuits, not learning.

What would happen if people didn't have to work? Suddenly you have a lot of free time on your hands. Time that you are encouraged to use to better yourself and learn more. With no elite ruling class in place, there is no danger of "normal" people becoming educated - in fact it serves a critical function which is to ensure that everyone knows how the technology works and is the best possible position to come up with new ideas that benefit the whole human race by default (since ownership is no longer a thing, all information and advances are instantly available to all humans). Or at least well enough that they won't be stupid and blow us all up.

edit on 25-9-2012 by Cecilofs because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-9-2012 by Cecilofs because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-9-2012 by Cecilofs because: (no reason given)

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