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Mats Kaarbø

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Is There a Future for Money?

In our digital age, where banks and even nations fail through reckless monetary spending and policies, it seems that our monetary system is becoming the big elephant in the room, yes even obsolete. Automation replacing humans seems to be one of the fundamental contradiction of capitalism and may be the demise of the system itself leaving the looming possibility of fascism or military dictatorship to arise and flourish if we fail to arrive at any alternatives.

While some believe taking us back to the gold standard will fix things, and others believe that debt forgiveness is the solution, we hear talks about access/resource based economies, where we simply declare all of Earth's resources as the common heritage of mankind and make goods and services available to all without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude, through technological abundance.

In fact, let's rephrase the question. At what point in the future do you think that our technology will make automated systems possible and allow us to move out of a monetary system?

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    Aug 20 2012: >There's no such thing as a free lunch.

    You talk in context of traditional economy model when resources are scarce and people need money
    >in order to gain the benefits and basic necessities to live

    The described _hypothetical_ model is post-scarcity. So:
    1. Resources are unlimited
    2. Manufacturing and service providing are completely performed by machines including repair, producing and evolving of these machines themselves.
    So no human is forcedly involved in the process and no machine asks money for its work. Also no resources are scarce and they don’t have their value since they are renewable.

    People involved only in creative labor and have no need in money. They can only satisfy their higher needs such as self-actualisation, esteem and love/belonging w/o necessity to satisfy basic needs like physiological and safety needs. Where is the need of money in such model?
    >There's still some amount of work/service to society that you need to perform

    what exactly? Why people need to perform some amount of work? because they have to use some amount of resources and work of other people. This is the only objective reason of _necessity_ to perform some work. But these work and resources are not scarce now. So in post-scarcity it is not required. But people will still perform some work for society and w/o money. Why? Higher needs. Self-actualisation, esteem and love/belonging. Why an artist with money paints what he wants and not what his customer wants? Because he needs to satisfy his creativity and he doesn’t need to draw ads banners for food to satisfy it. In post-scarcity this artist will continue to paint works of art and when he became hungry he’d just switch on the magic box which would made a burger for him.
    The only scenario when it’s not possible in post-scarcity is preventing people from using non-scarce resources and services _forcing_ them to work for it. But what is the reason of forcing inefficient people to work while the machines do it much better?
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      Aug 20 2012: Money is simply just a tool, an incredibly flexible representation of material needs. It's just a universal measurement that people can use to do whatever they want, only after they've done their share of work and contributions.

      "So no human is forcedly involved in the process and no machine asks money for its work. Also no resources are scarce and they don’t have their value since they are renewable."

      The machine still requires maintenance, it still needs raw materials to work with, it still takes a fixed amount of time to perform its services, and it still needs to be repaired when broken. The machine does"ask" money. It demanded effort, time, and possibly money to be able to be created, which without time and effort, it could not be made.

      Everything is scarce and everything has a cost. For example, time is a cost to everything we do. So even when something is seemingly "free" it still costs some time to do it. If it does not cost any time and effort to do something, then we pretty much become Gods and break laws of physics lol.

      "But what is the reason of forcing inefficient people to work while the machines do it much better?"

      Exactly. This is when the inefficient people getting replaced needs to find new worth in society. Some may die out fast because they couldn't, while others may find new skillsets, a new market of demand, and niche off of that instead to adapt to the new playing field. This is natural selection.
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        Aug 20 2012: >The machine still requires maintenance

        Maybe I wasn’t very clear describing the _hypothetical_ model in my start comment and in several other comments. The machines will maintain, evolve(develop), produce new ones and repair themselves. This is so called superintelligence in conjunction with renewable and unlimited resources and energy. So no scarcity. Yes, it is hypothetical model as I mentioned since we are discussing future and we are free of current technology level in discussion. So we can discuss the concept, but not its implementation.

        >For example, time is a cost to everything we do

        What do you want for your 10 mins of labor of love if you have 100 billion dollars? For example I don’t want anything for my labor of love since I don’t _need_ anything.
        It’s a conceptual discussion. I just suggested my model with its constants and it’s more interesting to discuss it as concept because discussing the possible future implementation is like proving god’s existence(or the main question of Universe and everything) since we can’t verify yet. So if you disagree that such concept can exists even hypothetically we just have different views on the subject of this debate, not on the subject of this concept.
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          Aug 20 2012: "The machines will maintain, evolve(develop), produce new ones and repair themselves."

          Sure they'll be perfect laborers/soldiers, but things change in the future and they would need to be able to adjust to the change too. I think we can reach this state you're describing, but it would have costed many many years of effort for us to reach that point. Also, they would still take up space, because as of right now, I don't know if it's possible to accomplish that state of utopia without 0 space.

          "What do you want for your 10 mins of labor of love if you have 100 billion dollars?"

          If I can improve education instantly within that 10 minutes, and be able to reach out to everyone my ideas, I would do it.
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        Aug 20 2012: >Also, they would still take up space

        yes. Even w/o post-scarcity we’ll need much more space and resources than our planet can offer. And at this point I think about Space.
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          Aug 20 2012: Hmm...

          I'm not sure if we can achieve something that takes 0 time or 0 space to accomplish, unless we somehow harness the power of wormholes or something. If we do that though, wouldn't we pretty much become Gods? We create something without literally losing a thing.
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        Aug 20 2012: >I'm not sure if we can achieve something that takes 0 time or 0 space

        hmm it seems I’ve misunderstood you. Could you explain why we need 0 time or 0 space to accomplish it even hypothetically?
        >We create something without literally losing a thing.
        e.g. I have 1 kg of material. I create a thing of it. I want another thing to replace this one. I recycle this thing back into material and create the new one w/o wastes(e.g. material is made of nanobots). This is recycling.
        There are plans to mine asteroids. It is a great source of resources. This is _conditionally_ unlimited resources(the way to asteroid is made by machines and they have enough mining to fulfill their needs). There is also a concept of inorganic life. Forcing inorganic matter to divide. Everyone knows what would have happened with planet if the bacteria began to divide indefinitely. It’s just a couple of concepts not more.
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          Aug 21 2012: Well I was under the impression that these things would have 0 cost, which to me, also meant that it would have 0 cost in time/space as well.
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        Aug 21 2012: >Well I was under the impression that these things would have 0 cost, which to me, also meant that it would have 0 cost in time/space as well.

        I see. Well:
        1. Universe/Space is unlimited. Besides recycling I think it is also possible to go beyond the limits of the Earth with such ultimately high technology level
        2. Time. Time is unlimited too. Time of the individual w/o the needs is his will to spend it or not(may be such ultimately high technologies will also offer us the immortality?) Time of the machine is energy which is consumed. And which is theoretically renewable.
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          Aug 21 2012: wow, time is unlimited? that's certainly new to me
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          Aug 21 2012: There's quite a few theories that say that time and even space is finite. Light can only travel as fast as the space, the medium, which allows it to.

          But we don't know for sure whether time/space is finite/infinite, they're all just theories.
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          Sep 1 2012: Unlimited Universe and space.

          You know, if I think about it,
          if in the beginning there was nothing, wouldn't there be nothing still, having nothing to alter that situation with?

          Does that imply that something has always existed?

          Could we call that eternity?

          Wouldn't it be great if there was a thumbs down button?
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        Sep 1 2012: In the very near future, machines will repair themselves and each other. It's being done now.

        Machines will replace "ALL" labor in time.

        This was understood at the turn of the 20th century and this path will forever be pursued. The intellectual elite coupled with the wealthy have always understood that the world they wanted to live in could not exist unless the worker could be replaced by machines or turned into a retarded slave that would never complain.

        Algorithms will replace most white collar workers. The big dream of most old people today is a radio controlled Lawn mower, so they have already been developed and are being sold. There goes the lawn maintenance service along with the majority of immigrants jobs. The list goes on.

        Excessiveness on an individual scale has never really been a problem because an individual can only eat so many fish at a setting. On a larger scale, excursiveness becomes an issue. Nature abhors excessivness and constantly creates remedies. Nature wants balance.

        The world you guys are talking about existed for a short time after the plague. The wealthy had to grow their own corn and the peasants were rich with food and comfort. It didn't last long.

        Study how that short age of comfort was transformed back into chaos and you will have a good understanding why most of you suggestions and ideas won't work until mankind has evolved in some way, which may (more than likely) never happen.

        Technology will continue to grow until someone creates a suitcase sized fusion bomb or some home-hobby-genetic-lab creates a virus that wipes us all out. Then it's game over.

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