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Implementing a Star Trek Economy

Implementing a global holistic Star Trek economy, here on Earth, that is based on the needs of mankind and not the acquisition of wealth. Where our incentives would lie in bettering ourselves and those around us. Where we would live beyond the need for money, politics, poverty, war, national border and social stratification.

Through technological abundance and automation of labor this is not just feasible, but rather easy to attain. And with an educated population the transition to such a society would be much smoother when the predicted economic collapse, which is seemingly looming upon us, breaks out.

With that, I hope for a healthy and fun discussion on this topic and sharing of many other great ideas that can help build a better future for us all. LLAP.

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    Gail .

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    Sep 1 2012: I'm 99% behind you in that. Education, as you said, is key. We are a functionally uneducated people. We are "trained" in certain fields in preparation for certain things, but we are not educated because too much is being withheld from our educations.

    Part of a full-bodied education includes understanding that our economic model is one of many possible social unifiers, and that it may be the worst possible one.

    Another part of a proper education should include study of who and what a human is. If more people understood that we do in fact manifest our own realities, so we may as well take control of our thoughts, emotions, & feelings in order to manifest the most beautiful life possible, we could assure ourselves of how well we take care of ourselves, and in this way, let money (including barter) go without mass riots, hunger, and other social ills.

    I don't think we can get to your better future until we go through my process. Life doesn't work the way we have been taught that it does. My preferred economy is the gift economy. We give and accept gifts -building social bonds - but never in payment for services or products. Where our economic model is based on scarcity, the gift economy - that never plunders resources - is based on prosperity.
  • Sep 7 2012: People do their jobs so that they can can earn their is just a concept that was created so that the resources are utilized properly,but now people feel money itself is everything.even if u have trillions and trillions of dollars or whatever currency what will you do with that if the natural resources are dead?? the earth is free.nobody has the right to own it .and whats the point of having this economic race when we know that the earth is a lone planet in solar system.shouldn't every body in the world be educated and given equal rights and corporate sectors there is constant tug of war for power.what do you gain from wars and the arms race.having armies and weapons just indicates that every country is just waiting for a war to happen.the earth is not owned by anyone so why aren't people allowed to move freely.why the racism.why just don't believe in science and stop wasting your time with religion and divide people according to cast, color,race,country etc
    instead of many companies being in a race for launching a better product why can't there be a single firm for everything so that we don't waste the resources.scientists should work on enhancing the human body so that we can create more stronger,intelligent beings.
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    Sep 4 2012: Once again. Whose gonna clean the toilets?
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      Sep 4 2012: robots!

      (that is the v.p. stock answer for every question)
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        Sep 5 2012: Now I get it.
        Q) Who's gonna build the robots?
        A) Robots
    • Sep 4 2012: During the transition, people would still need to clean the toilets until we get to a point where we can automate it. Who wouldn't want that, right? And this is nothing new in fact. Wash machines for example is an automation of how we previously washed our clothes (with hands). Also automated vacuum cleaners are on the market today. Hope this helps.
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        Sep 5 2012: During the transition people will still need to clean the toilets so they will need some sort of reward for doing so assuming they don't do it for their own enjoyment. This cost will be less than the cost of automation so this situation won't change. You only automate a system if the automation saves you money or allows you to use the time to make more money doing something else. We've had robotic vacuum cleaners for nearly 20 years now and I still don't know anyone that owns one because they are expensive and vacuuming doesn't take long. You can pay some one to do it for you for less than the expense of a robotic vacuum.
        • Sep 7 2012: My proposal is going beyond the use of money and any medium of exchange. Money in a Star Trek economy is no longer relevant because of an abundance of natural resources.
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    Sep 3 2012: you know europe is doomed if its people plan to use a lousy piece of science fiction to design a future.

    i propose jaunte.
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    Sep 3 2012: I've said as much to friends. I've sited the Star Trek global culture as a plausible goal to shoot for.

    I think there are many paths to the top of this mountain, with many massive steps to be taken.

    This is my best foot forward with regard to righting this world. Please give it a look and let me know if you'd like to help; I'm currently recruiting a developers' community.

    The sooner we get this, or something like it online, the sooner we can fix the world without doing anything horrible.
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    Sep 2 2012: This is a very good idea. But you dont seem to have a solution to the worst of human nature that usually brings failure to well conceived systems.
    • Sep 2 2012: What do you mean by 'the worst of human nature'?
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        Sep 3 2012: I'm sure you had the ideal humanity in mind. But in the real world as it is, hypocrisy, greed, selfishness, and other vices do exist.
        • Sep 4 2012: Hypcrisy, greed, selfishness and other vices are behaviors that stem from our environement and are not inborn. If you were brought up in the Amazonas in a headhunter family and saw nothing else you would become a headhunter. And if I traveled down and asked you: "Aren't you sad for having five shrunken heads on a stick?" You would say: "Yes, my brother has twenty." So, are you bad? No, because that kinda behavior is normal in that particular environement.

          Realizing this, the values and behaviors of people therefore relies on education and awareness. Phasing out or even eliminating all unsustainable values and behavior (such as the one you mentioned) is easy if we design an environement that takes into account the needs of the people and create a system that can make that environment sustainable.
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      Sep 3 2012: Human error is a systemic anomaly that can be provided for in design, and it must be for any system to effectively tackle global problems.
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    Sep 2 2012: God god! You socialist/communist/fascist evil monger!!! Just kidding. The world has been driven by capitalism and consumerism for the past 100 years and until we completely eat our own legs and have nothing left to stand on, we will continue to foster a competitive, exploitative, dystopian way of life. I think the world, unfortunately, needs a rude awakening - as Roddenberry wrote about in the pre-Star Trek myth - they had a massive war that nearly wiped out mankind - before we can actually begin to address this. Perhaps future generations will be able to realize and attain this, and our job at this time is just to imagine that future and keep trying to design and accomplish it in small ways everywhere over and over again....
  • Sep 2 2012: Are you implying that if supply far out strips demand we could have an "economy" similar to star trek?

    1st. Your question implies that the acquisition of wealth is undesirable, but that doesn't seem fair. The acquisition of wealth isn't about money but about goods, food, property, etc. Property still exists in Star Trek even if there is no currency, and even if individuals themselves don't own property (as governments could also own the property).

    I think this is another biased question that assumes a position before the question is even attempted to be answer.
    I believe the conclusion which this questioner already makes in his "question," is ignorant of the economics that underlines questions like these.

    Star Trek assumes a few things:
    1. Infinite energy. If supply were to be virtually infinite this would be possible. Replicators require power or some form of energy for use. If replicators were ever possible, they would still require lots of energy. While fusion would give us enormous amounts of energy/power cheaply it won't exactly be infinite. Without, infinite energy there will still be a scarcity of energy and with that scarcity currency still lives on.
    2. All services could be automated. Barbers, waiters, etc could be replaced by droids or substitutes. This premise, if given enough time and research may very well be possible although not proven true yet.
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    Sep 1 2012: I think, just like in Star Trek, it will take a visitation from aliens. I think that would focus just about the whole planet.
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      Sep 1 2012: I hope the ones that visit us first are Vulcans and not Klingons. The results would be quite different. Like Steven Hawkings says, just because we assume an alien race would be benevolent because they are more intelligent, it is just as likely, or even more likely, to be hostile. Look at the history of Man as we moved into new territories. We weren't very friendly to the residents there at the time. And the most prevalent reason we as humans look to move to other planets is to exploit them for their resources.
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        Sep 1 2012: Steven Hawkin"s ideas about alien technology (god bless his soul, ) are inferior when compared to Carl Sagan's very well grounded understanding of how intelligent species are ruled by technology.

        Carl Sagan proposed the idea that there are many more dead aliens than successful aliens. For instance:

        If we create fusion technology we also create the one tool that can completely destroy this planet and everything on it in a blinding, sun-like explosion. (This is what the math reveals).

        Carl Sagan challenges us to come to terms with our ideas about the impact our technology can have when combined with our passions.

        An intelligent species that has to power to build a sun also has the power to destroy itself. While nuclear weapons are a threat to our survival, there is also the probability that some would survive if all of them exploded at the same time. Not so with fusion bombs.

        So, any intelligent species that have solve the problems of energy supply and intergalactic space travel will also have learned to control their passions, making them none hostile.

        The Drake equation gives us some glimpse of the probability of life on other planets but has no way to factor the probability of how many intelligent civilizations can overcome their primitive passions and evolve into a super intelligent species. Super Intelligent life would be considered to be Gods, even if they visited us today.

        Check out Carl Sagan :
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          Sep 2 2012: I'm familiar with Sagan's views and agree with him on most areas. The question for m/e is if we were to become inspired by a Super Intelligent alien race that we could only perceive as "Gods", what would that "focus" us to do? Form another religion? Would we have a true perspective of what really was happening in that case?

          I don't think Hawkings' concept of an aggressor alien race can just be disregarded so easily. To just blindly assume that a species that attained Super Intelligence would also be benevolent seems fairly risky. Intelligence between species is relative. Would an insect consider us super intelligent? Would you hesitate to kill a spider in your house?
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    Sep 1 2012: Problem I see is that it is a "ideal" or "utopian" concept. Will only work once all people...let me repeat that...ALL people...agree to set aside their personal wishes for the sake of everybody else. Is that achievable? Probably not without a transition period where some entity (government, like Starfleet Command or whatever) "forces" many people to adopt the concept. Expect a lot of rebellion during that transition. Maybe even enough rebellion to prevent the transition from ever happening to the "ideal" or "utopian" stage.

    Also, even if that "utopian" stage is reached, unless you have truly infinite resources available, restrictions on what each individual could "acquire" would need to be in place. I just couldn't be allowed to make as many things as I wanted to make in my (what was it called?) wall unit that starts with nothing and ends up giving me a 4-course meal anytime I wanted. Unless technology found a way to truly recycle EVERYTHING so there was an infinite supply of resources, supply and demand would still have to be in place.

    And don't give me a holodeck. I'd never leave it. ;-)

    (Above presented "tongue-in-cheek" in the spirit of a "fun" discussion as stated in Mat's topic post).
    • Sep 1 2012: I don't envision a Utopian society based on an ideal way of doing things, but an emergent society where we continuously update our systems to the best of our knowledge. This could be done by applying the scientific method for social concern, arriving at decision instead of making them.

      While I agree that the people will have a lot of trouble adapting to such a society and the potential for an army of "rebellion" fighting against it (especially those in power in this system), I don't see government forcing people to adopt the concept. If governments were put in a role to "lead" the people during a transition, it would be based on education, how to "survive" the transition and providing people with the necessities of life. Then it would be up to the people themselves to decide if they want to live in such a society. If the majority don't, it won't happen.

      Keep in mind, it doesn't take the whole world to agree on this and certainly not the whole world to build such a society. I believe that it only takes a single country to embrace such a system, make it work and show it to the rest of the world and other countries and the people within those countries will eventually demand such a system that will eventually create a ripple effect throughout the whole world, when people see the benefits of living in such a society.

      In terms of finite resources, during the transition, I think a reeducation of values and learning basic concepts such as dynamic equilibrium would make people more apt to move from their environment that perpetuated shallow-interest and competition to an environment that perpetuate common good and cooperation. However, there is more than enough resources to feed, clothe, shelter and make a high standard of living to everyone on the planet if we choose to allocate our resources based on human needs. Through technology we could easily design goods and products with the intent of recycling, eradicating waste, leaving an abundance of resources and material.
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        Sep 2 2012: I was responding to the concept of the Star Trek society as posed in the question. Seems to me that concept would require a society that utilizes rational thinking by all members of the society. But Game Theory would describe that as a "Cooperative Game", and in that type of "game", irrational decisions can actually be more beneficial to the society.
        (selet Cooperative Games on the left for the spefic example)

        I always wonder when I see ideas presented by anyone who claims, "If we could just get all Human Beings to think rationally, we could solve all of our problems", if they are familiar with Game Theory at all. It is a very powerful discipline used in many, many areas (science, politics, economics, world affairs, psychology, etc) that indicates irrational thought (decision making) is in many cases the best decision when it comes to large groups of people if you are looking to achieve the most benefit across the entire group (society). Pure rational decision making can actually result in the group (society) being worse off in the end.

        In that regard, I agree with you that not all the members of the society would have to agree on everything. But there would still be discontent, dischord, etc within the society from the disagreement, so what has really changed from what exists today? Thus, I don't envision any Star Trek society ever where everybody is happy and content.

        I still want my holodeck for those times though, so I can go inside and fantasize about that perfect world.
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      Sep 3 2012: OK

      How about a participatory global 'immune system', built with today's web tech, to aggregate and catalyze interest in resolving global crises?