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Mats Kaarbø

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Debate: Does Ownership Lead to Unnecessary Waste?

Is it logical and sustainable for every single human to have one of everything made? Regardless of their usage? Wouldn't that be extremely wasteful and inefficient? If a person has a need for a good, but that need is only for about 45 minutes a day on average. Wouldn't it be much more efficient if that good was made available to others when needed?

Many forget that it isn't the good in and of itself they want, but the purpose of that good. When we realize that the good itself is only as important as its utility, it seems that "external restriction" or what we might call today "ownership" is extremely wasteful and environmentally illogical in a fundamental, economic sense.

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    Nov 8 2012: It certainly is silly when every house on the street has to have its own lawn mower, weed eater, edge trimmer, and branch trimmer. There is a town on the Mississippi (Can't remember the name) where bikes are placed in two locations downtown. Need a ride? Take a bike and return it to either location when you're done with it. It's a small town, so the bikes are within walking distance for all. What's wrong with that?
  • Nov 7 2012: "If a person has a need for a good, but that need is only for about 45 minutes a day on average. Wouldn't it be much more efficient if that good was made available to others when needed?"

    This is wasteful, but often managing a sharing system will use up even more resources, not to mention potential problems with hygiene.

    Public transportation, but also hotels and airlines are services that do improve efficiency through sharing.
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      Nov 8 2012: "This is wasteful, but often managing a sharing system will use up even more resources, not to mention potential problems with hygiene."

      How would it use up even more resources? Could you give an example?
      • Nov 8 2012: To share things you have to clean things after use and carry them around, this takes time (that someone could have spent recycling resources in a factory) and fuel.
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    Nov 7 2012: "Is it logical and sustainable for every single human to have one of everything made?"

    I am not sharing my pants, no way!
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      Nov 7 2012: ^ That is what happens when you take things out of context.
  • Nov 9 2012: Some things I would not like to share: My computer, my phone, my pants, and oh, a lot of other things that are mine. Computer/phone are access points to server time I'm sharing, but also store a fair share of personal data -- intellectual property, for instance. Yes, sharing certain things should improve the overall efficiency of society, but how to tell people to share? This is the reason communism fails in most cases.
    Furthermore, we are sharing a lot already. Server time is one such thing. Wireless spectrum, via operators. Air, water. Genetic code. Recycling is also a form sharing. When I recycle something, resources needed for that item are reallocated to something else -- a plastic container, a fake Christmas tree, you name it.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that we only truly own something up until it stops being useful or meaningful to us in a long term, or we die, in which case things we own will be redistributed anyway. Therefore abolishing ownership makes no sense.
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      Nov 9 2012: marxism also does not make sense, yet it burned down half the world. just watch, how these ideas will form the basis of this neo-marxist ideology, like the venus project crap for example, or the chomskian left anarchism. these are on the rise.
      • Nov 9 2012: You know... I think the Venus Project is some sort of a joke. I mean, they even have a logo in that futuristic sci-fi film villain style. Like Weyland-Yutani. I can see how people become attracted by his ideas: this guy can design! Surely if he rendered pictures of his dream society, it must be possible!
        Complete resource sharing can only occur if there is no free will. Programs on a computer don't care about which core they like the most, or where in the memory they like to sit, but if you write a truly intelligent and self-aware program, I bet you ten bucks it's going to try to consider some memory addresses and a core or two its property, and will proceed to kick every other process off it. In fact, I'd like to see that step happen in AI research.
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    Nov 7 2012: "Is it logical and sustainable for every single human to have one of everything made?"

    i want a davinci-s surgical system!
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      Nov 8 2012: Really? You would want that big thing in your house? Wouldn't it be much cooler to access it when needed instead of having to store up your house? What if you move to another place? Imagine all that hassle...
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    Nov 7 2012: It would make absolutely no sense for every single individual to have one of everything made. That's an easy one! It would be absurd on many levels.
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      Nov 7 2012: I'm obviously not talking about _everything_, but stuff people use only for a very limited time in their life which could be used by others when they are finished with it.
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        Nov 7 2012: Yes, renting, sharing, and recycling are all good strategies for efficient resource allocation.
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          Nov 7 2012: and many more, like division of labor (i don't need a vacuum if i have a maid, i don't need bread making tools if i can buy bread), pay for service (washing machines, washing services)