Monday, March 30, 2009

The Economics of Star Trek

What is the economy like in Star Trek. It seams everyone happily exchange goods without any exchange of currency. Perhaps everyone is embedded with IDF chips. Aaaanyway.... The Zeray Gazette explores the economy of Star Trek by analyzing what life would be like when anything can be replicated and holigrams can offer anything to anybody. His arguments are compelling that society might not collapse (like in the movie Idiocracy) but might just go to the next higher level.

What would it take to condition someone to the point that they wouldn't want to simply spend all their time in the holodeck, running Roman Orgy v1.0? The methods to alter a human's natural desires to the point that they would shun such fleshly delights in order to strive to contribute to society essentially would warp them into something that I wouldn't even recognize as human anymore.

The higher and less obvious: patterns, designs, inventions. Dropping the cost of manufacturing to zero would do for tinkerers what dropping the cost of distrubution to zero (internet again) has done for writers. You wouldn't see stagnation. You'd see an explosion. The internet didn't leave us merely happy that we could finally get free porn and games. Perhaps for the first little bit, but then it turned tons of people into writers and public intellectuals who otherwise would have led private lives. So it would go with replicators. We might be content with the free food at first, but not forever. Soon we'd be giddy about the ability to design, say, our own working model train sets.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey there....
Thanks for leaving a comment. I appreciate you taking the time to contribute.
--- Patrick H.