TED Conversations

Andre Hoogeveen

Specialist, Apple Computer Inc.

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What benefits and challenges might arise as a result of transitioning from a monetary system to a resource-based society?

In other words, if we were to eliminate all forms of money and bartering, what changes - large and small, positive and negative - might we see?

Thus, imagine a world in which there is a comprehensive accounting of the planet's resources, such as fresh water, arable land, minerals, and animal life. Further contemplate that technology and automation have begun to eliminate dangerous, boring, or repetitive jobs. Finally, take a moment to ponder the possibilities if each person were given the opportunity for a quality education and the ability to reach their highest potential.

Indeed, there is a lot to take in, and no single answer could account for the many facets of such a scenario. Nevertheless, from a position of sustainability, I think we must realistically look at what the monetary system has done, and what ever-developing technology will do.

As you consider your possible answer(s), please reflect on the following:

- The effect of education on the birthrate.
- Ownership of the Earth's resources.
- The concept of "usership" as opposed to the "right of possession".
- The inevitability of "technological unemployment".

I thank you kindly for reading this, and for taking the time to answer!


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    Aug 2 2013: ..

    My answers:

    (1) Money is the root of greed; greed is root of all evil.
    (2) Technology is the root of greed, too.
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      Aug 2 2013: Thank you for your contribution, W. Ying!

      Though I would largely agree with your first point, I am not as certain about the second. In the ideal form a resource-based society, no one would own the machines, or their output. Products would be freely available, based on demand and available resources.

      Of course, virtually any technology can be a benefit or a hazard (put to sinister use), but if everyone's needs are fulfilled, I think it will be less likely that nefarious intentions will come into play.
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        Aug 4 2013: .

        Yes, you are right!

        Technology can be used to:
        (1) Detect the invalid (harmful) happiness and prevent it making greed.
        (2) Make greed even more quickly than money does.

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