Andre Hoogeveen

Specialist, Apple Computer Inc.

This conversation is closed.

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!

  • Aug 9 2013: A Monetary system Is an accounting tool, for a resource-based society.

    The fact is: money does not exist, and everyone knows it intuitively; but comes back to the reality of “you can’t live without money”.

    A Monetary system & Money are simply a system for measuring Value.
    Value exists only as an opinion of people, and is, as real as the people expressing the opinion.

    “You can’t live without Value” - Many people live without money all over the world.
    Working, is simply an effort taken to create enough value, to balance out the value you must consume to live.

    I think that the dominant Western Monetary system is a “comprehensive accounting of the planets resources”, physical & intellectual. TED is a bank of intellectual resources.

    *Ownership of resources
    In Australian Aboriginal culture the concept of Owning something is non-existent.

    In that culture value is not placed Owning something, value is belonging to & caring for something. Ownership is not, an asset, it is a liability.

    When a young Aboriginal child is educated about their totem, say the River, the child is compelled to spend much time learning about, and caring for, the River. The River is not an asset they own, this is a liability. A responsibility that they invest much time into, the River becomes their contribution to society. They become as valuable to society as the River.

    *Sustainability
    •Indigenous cultures have existed for 10,000s of years, Western “Ownership” has existed for 5000 or less.
    •Western cultures have increased environmental risks, while Indigenous cultures adapted to environmental risks.
    •Indigenous cultures belong to the land & move through the world. Western cultures cling to hopes of permanence.

    * Usership vs Right of possession
    The desire to use not own, is a growing trend exhibited through the rise of the…
    •“The sharing economy”
    •Peer 2 Peer
    •Crowdfunding

    Conclusion – The Monetary system is an accounting tool for a resource-based society. Money does not exist.
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    Aug 14 2013: As the time on this conversation is nearly finished, I wanted to offer a sincere thank you to everyone who participated!
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    Aug 13 2013: I lay dormant in your every thought for I am your freedom. I am your servant and your leader. I am your gluttony. I am your fear. I am your conqueror. I disguise myself as education at times in trade of gluttony. Many have been believing I am their inspiration for I am your drive. I am a conqueror of many generations. I am your guilt. I am your anger. I am highly attached to your ego. I have taken many children from a parent. I am your good health. I have been known to break up homes. I have easily striped people of their innocence. I am a manipulator. I am crime. I oppress. I am your only way to justice. I am your success. I am your failure. I am the only way to your dreams. I am your only chance. I am risk. I am stuck to your ass or in your fanny pack. I am involved in everything. I am ... I am...

    M-O-N-E-Y Now, how do I weigh on your best logic scale morally?
  • Aug 13 2013: Any product developed for the sole purpose of maintaining wealth is man driven for obviously personal gain. Where society values scarce items such as Gold or any new supply starved product to hold wealth is simple manipulation of the system to continue the devastation money had created. Real poverty is Economics driven and wealth of society relies heavily on the creation of poor by starving resources and artificially inflating prices by starving supply. Nothing on earth has any real value outside food, Clothing and shelter. Everything else is just desire driven. Banking system take the money from the poor or the depositors or the tax payers to recover their losses and maintain the financial systems function. How is this or any other element of the monetary system of value to the general population where those in control of the money take huge slices from the funds/deposits etc and then when it all goes wrong call on the same depositors to give them more money without incurring debt so they can recover.

    Society needs to take a good long hard look at itself and remove money and the concept of money from society for it to progress from the pillaging that has gone on over the last century.
    without money we can only trade items of real value. Goods and services do this. Convenience is the only benefit of money but to what degree of penalty to society
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    Aug 4 2013: thank you Andre! I will make a point of reading "Cloud Atlas" Bellamy's book is one of the few books I have read twice. I'll be curious as to what another thinks.
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    Aug 4 2013: has anyone read 'Looking Backward' by Edward Bellamy? it speaks to a futuristic social structure similar to this. It was written in 1888 so does not include present day challenges such as environmental issues. It is a good read.
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      Aug 4 2013: Hi Mary, thanks for your response!

      "Looking Backward" is on my reading list, and I look forward to checking it out! [Incidentally, I just finished "Cloud Atlas," and cannot recommend it highly enough. David Mitchell is a brilliant writer, especially when it comes to period languages and speaking styles.]
    • Aug 13 2013: Fictional utopias (and all utopias are fictions) are fiction for a reason: They cannot exist in the real world.
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    Aug 4 2013: :)))))))))))) Isn't the purpose of the human race is to enjoy themselves. Invading the universe and creating as much as other human fellow as possible is just another point to secure our human future and therefore can enjoy ourselves even more! :))
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      Aug 9 2013: Well, Simon, I think you have hit the nail squarely on its head! [Sorry it took me a bit of time to get around to acknowledging this.]

      One of my principal motivations for pondering the challenging questions I do is to find the best way for each and every one of us to reach his/her greatest potential...and to truly enjoy the life they are living! Sadly, I think achieving this goal is very challenging for an increasing percentage of the world's population. The skewing and concentrating of wealth has locked many out of the opportunity for even the most basic improvement.

      Nevertheless, I remain ever optimistic that the greater good within each of us will see that a different and better way exists!
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        Aug 9 2013: :))) Reduce the world population for what? to increase the happy quality of each individual (physically)? :)))) May be enjoying ourselves is not such a good idea :))) Just look at the son and daughters of the richest man is the world, they are not very happy as I see it. It's the contrast that make it look better than others. :)))
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akdrDJCy7Yw
        here you should watch this :))) This is the battle which will never able to win. :)))) If to have every thing you want is your highest goal :)))) be careful, when you rich that point, you will have a different goal. :)) which make you be as much as miserable as before.
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        Aug 9 2013: :))) It's rather the mental attitude that directly affect our happiness. But in order to achieve that , you have some physical need, such as eating, and ......pooping.
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    Aug 4 2013: Market-Monetary system: An ideology, created hundreds of years ago where scarcity was real, and where certain people having more than others was a sort of normality at the time. Therefore principals and theologies, justifying this inherent inequality, were proposed. Wealth consolidation and scarcity are in fact created and amplified. Not matter what ideology (socialist, communist, capitalist, fascist), the underlying mechanisms are still money, labor, and competition; which creates wealth gap, resource exploitation and consolidation (scarcity), inequality, and most importantly, a rich ruling class. (if you want more details, try studying the information presented by; The Zeitgeist Movement)

    Resource based economy: The scientific method applied to society. This is remind you is free of human opinion. Conclusions are arrived at, not made. Where strategic safety, preservation, efficiency, and allocation are the foundations at which resources, and hense human well being, is calculated. Not by the "invisible hand", labor, money, and profit. A resource based economy recognizes the advantages of using technology to free humans of useless labor (which is needed in our current system; in order for cyclical consumption to continue, and money to be continuously circulated), which can in turn create an abundance of human needs. We will end up in a RBE one way or another, how we get there is a different story.

    Ive left ALOT out of this, so for more information on a RBE, type in "the venus project" or "the zeitgeist movement" in google. Or watch the "zeitgeist moving forward" documentary (highly recommended)
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      Aug 12 2013: Thanks, Huey, for your thoughtful explanation of these two systems!
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    Aug 2 2013: I see the idea of 'no money' pop up over and over again... And it always makes me wonder why.
    There is so much good use of money, and it can be coupled to a resource-based system, where you calculate earth's produce and use that as the 'gold standard'. Each coin would represent a fraction of the wealth.

    That said: I do think we need to take the limitations of our earth into account in any Economics 101 class... and start thinking from that point onwards. One can estimate the produce we can make without earth degradation, and then go and figure out how we can optimize towards more abundance.

    C2C and system-thinking would be needed, as well as a good and comprehensive mapping of the supply and waste chain.
    The distribution of the wealth should be partially equal (where everbody gets a minimum wage for example, and all the other coins are the playing field for those who wish to innovate or go to market or do research or just wish to get more wealth &c) This also evades technological unemployment, as we'll all get more and more time to do as we want (withing the limits of our earth)...
    • Aug 2 2013: The ultimate problem with money is that it seems to have lost it's original meaning. Back in the days, it was a currency for exchange. Now? It's something that defines your life and most of it's aspects.

      That being said, while I find the idea of resource based economy amazing, it's just unrealistic. Much like true democracy, where we would have idols-esque voting system for new laws and such - it's unrealistic as long as people are willing to give their votes for things they do not understand and are not willing to take a deeper thought about how big consequences their vote might have.

      I like the the C2C part, however. I'm a big believer for "transparency", which I find that we really lack in the age of globalization. And unfortunately, that's why there's 50 different answers when you ask from 50 different economists about why did the last recession occur. The further away we get from the recession and it's direct cause, the more different answers you'll get.
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        Aug 2 2013: But buy in large, money is still needed for exchange, is it not? How would you propose another idea for efficient exchanging?
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        Aug 2 2013: If the problem of money is it define our life; In your model we can get a car with out money, so then it come again, who has the most car define his life , is it not?
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          Aug 2 2013: Public transportation, greatly improve pubic transportation; it is absolutely horrible in this country. no need for a car unless you want to go joy riding or rent one.
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        Aug 2 2013: There is no need for personal car? are you sure? so each time a family want to visit their grandparent house, they have to carry all the food and take their child and wait at the bus station?

        Finally, a modern woman knows what the hell I am talking about. :)))) ALRIGHT! :))) KICK THESE GUYS ASSES :))))
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          Aug 3 2013: I did happen to say greatly improve public transportation to where your child wouldn't know what the hell a bus stop ever was.

          There is an edit button at the top right corner by the way.
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          Aug 3 2013: Hi Simon (and Victor)! Here are a few examples of how transportation might change:

          - Driverless cars. Numerous companies - most notably Google - have been working on this, and this could be a way to move toward more "shared" vehicles. Imagine that no one "owns" their own personal vehicle, but rather calls one up from a pool of vehicles that are stationed in various lots around any given metropolitan area. Perhaps there are three or four models of high-quality vehicle to choose from: four-seat compact, 6 to 8 seat van, two-passenger cargo hauler. Using your home computer or smart phone, you call up the type of vehicle you require, and input the use period. The vehicle shows up as scheduled, drives you around, drops you back at home, and returns itself to the lot. If it breaks down while you are using it, the vehicles computer calls up a replacement. Finally, each vehicle is inspected at the lot prior to departure to make sure that it does not go out dirty or damaged.

          - Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). PRT consists of four-passenger driverless pods that ride along a guideway at, above, or below grade (ground level), and take you directly to your destination without stopping (which driverless cars still may have to do). The pods are air-conditioned, feature solar glass, and offer access to the Internet. Furthermore, stations would be set up on a grid, separated from each other by no more than a quarter-mile in any direction. Finally, the seats can fold up to accommodate bicycles, wheelchairs, and luggage.

          With either of these transportation systems, "commercial" vehicles could be part of the system, solely designated to deliver supplies and packages.
        • Aug 12 2013: Victor Delta: I wonder if you have ever tried to operate as a family in the modern world using Public Transportation, no matter how elegant and improved?! It is a nightmare. You are severely limited as to what you can carry, impossibly limited if you have to stop for children's , (or adults) emergencies, or stopping off for a snack , or a view, or a great many other reasons. I was a great admirer of the New York subways, but such uses have severe limitations.
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          Aug 4 2013: If you had something to say better than this to support your argument I would continue to read your posts.
          Happy trails.
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        Aug 3 2013: Dear Ted Blair,

        While I do think a switch towards resource based economy is very difficult, it is not impossible. I don't have all the answers (nor do economists), but once you start taking it into calculus, you ought to see the effects on the system, and think about it explicitly... and maybe we can start to drift in that direction. There are a myriad of mixed models (probably the current reality is one), so there are directions that can be taken ... and in my opinion should be taken.

        As for democracy... a bit off topic but I'm more of a defender of the wikipedia model of democracy; a way to use group intelligence and leave mass stupidity out. This means that only improvements can be made (with scientific and other evidence back-up); as we have right to our opinions, but not right to our own 'facts'.
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        Aug 4 2013: to -
        Victor Delta

        Well, if we can build greatly improved pubic transportation, it still cost a lot of money, and time, and it may fail. And if it fail in many way, it's probably put the country into chaos. :))) China just build a country length sub way , costing 300 billion U.S dollar, they fail miserably, they double the ticket cost to balance the budget, which make it more acceptable to use. Lucky, :))) china has its way with its citizens, or at least, that's what I heard. We should build a similar system then. Cooler too :)) a trillion dollar sub way will be at your services, sir! If only there was supper man to help us build it.

        Like communism? Good intention, but doesn't work very well. If there is no money or bartering involve, does we still have ownership in this one ?. If there is still is ownership in your system, what good is that if you remove money from the system. Every one has very different need, if there is no bartering system, it would be a lot of inefficient in the economy system. If there is no sense of ownership, then we will have big problem. The two things above is the backbone of our economy.
        Well, this only can able to apply in the real world if and only if every one is well educated, under the influence of Confucianism may be, but if it can be that way, there is no need to change our economy system.
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          Aug 6 2013: Hi Simon,

          Perhaps you misunderstood a key element of transitioning from a monetary system to a resource-based society: there is no money or bartering to speak of. There would be no arbitrary or market-based price tag on anything.

          With the best understanding that we can muster at the moment (knowing that our knowledge and technology are always expanding), we prioritize the use of resources to their greatest potential benefit.
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    Aug 2 2013: The greatest challenge is the fear of change. Such a change would be good for society and a positive step in the right direction. The people most dependent on the monetary system are very powerful and will resist any such change. It is something we should be preparing to implement if the financial system eventually collapses.
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    Jul 31 2013: Positive- More free time to do the things we like doing. A better social structure. Being able to help a team do something or an idea with out fighting for the opportunity. Less stress in society. Better honest team work. A step closer to freedom for everyone. New technology can be used by everyone. The earths resources would be well spent economically. Tools would be used rather than owned and mass produced. Poverty is eliminated. Mental health would increase. Better family structures. Job searching would end. Equality. No one will have a reason to go to a gym as exercise could be put to positive means to benefit people as well as the individual :)

    I keep editing and adding to the list.

    Negative- If the technology is not there people, all people, will have to share work the majority may not like doing (others may see this as a negative, I don't because it will be on a small scale of time. However, it can be organized as which chores someone would rather do). Controlling the birth rate without taking away rights.
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      Aug 2 2013: Thanks for responding, Victor!

      Indeed, this is a paradigm shift of epic proportions. In adding to one of your "negative" observations, even if automation developed at a steady clip, it could take decades before the majority of people were completely free from work. However, as every able-bodied person could be trained to participate in a variety of tasks, the hours "worked" per week would (and should) be *much* smaller than it is now.
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    Aug 14 2013: i'm starting to formulate my theory about the venus project, but also other proposals, like world government, world currency, election reforms and many other things.

    the core of my theory is that the essence of these sentiments is to find excuse for not thinking. all these have one thing in common: they are explaining all the irrelevant aspects in great detail, while dealing with the actual problems by waving a hand, simply dismissing them, or claiming that it should not be hard. therefore i suggest the name "somehow proposal". we rearrange the problem, and then claim that it will be solved "somehow".

    as an example, my plan to get to paris is: "pack my clothes, get some cash, get tips what restaurants to visit there, get a book to read on the way, and then find some vehicle or something that gets me there". i covered a lot of things except the solution to the very problem i set to solve.

    and another example is the venus project crap. the real problem is to acquire how much natural resources, distribute them to what production lines, and distribute the products how. the vp's answer is something like build futuristic cities, get rid of money, etc etc, none of which are actually solve the problem at hand. then they say: "computers!", and we are done. computers will somehow solve the problem. it shouldn't be hard.

    except that is the actual problem. on what basis computers decide? that is the problem we solve today with the free market. the free market is a self-organizing system, in which individual's valuations set things in motion and direct resources to the most wanted ends. it is a system composed of 7 billion consumers and 7 billion supercomputers making economic decisions on the spot, with field knowledge, with introspection, in the given moment. this is a working system, and we understand how it works.

    and the alternative from the vp is "somehow!", "A.I.!". but they have nice pictures of futuristic cities.
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      Aug 14 2013: Much of what you say here makes very little to no sense in relation to what I have been talking about throughout this entire conversation.

      The main purpose of my question was to look at the benefits and challenges of eliminating money from our current system. Tied closely to this was the idea that we might come up with some concrete solutions (to the challenges) instead of abstract, meaningless criticisms.

      Anyway, thank you for participating in this conversation!
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        Aug 14 2013: wow, you didn't read your own opening statement? it is not about abandoning money. it is about abandoning money *and* transitioning to some "resource based society". which is, we all know, means the venus project.

        eliminating money is an idea in line with "we don't exchange, there is trade, ownership, etc, and we organize the economy ... somehow!"
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      Aug 14 2013: I have never read the materials on the Venus Project website, so I cannot speak to that as you can. But I have recently noticed the same propensity you have in other sorts of proposals for economic or social reorganization.

      It is this part of your post that rings true to me as a common phenomenon: "explain all the irrelevant aspects in great detail, while dealing with the actual problems by waving a hand, simply dismissing them, or claiming that it should not be hard. "

      I am not referring here to the proposals in this thread, which I have not followed, but rather to the approach many people have in formulating utopias or new economic systems. I have noticed a reluctance to think through the fundamentals- a real simulation in the mind of how things would work at the most fundamental level.

      The disposition really to think things through at the most fundamental level is, I think, perhaps the most important disposition education should cultivate and a key attribute of those who have successfully implemented fundamental change.
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    Aug 14 2013: Why should we forsake a system that has relentlessly and continuously decreased the scarcity of resource availability. (http://www.masterresource.org/2010/04/population-consumption-carbon-emissions-and-human-well-being-in-the-age-of-industrialization-part-i-revisiting-the-julian-simon-paul-ehrlich-bet/#more-9145)
    That has provided us with a near perfect mechanism to let supply meet demand, one that incorporates our best (wisdom of crowds) estimate of future supply and demand, so that impending shortages are caught early on and dealt with as fast as possible. And a system that has without exception broken through any Malthusian plateau ever encountered
    How many bureaucrats in ‘resource accounting’ could ever come even close to resource estimation abilities of the ultra dynamic market system, of resource amounts that are seriously in flux and changes, due to technological development, economics, social political events and the weather among things, every second.

    My best guess for the greatest challenge for a resource-based society, would be the billions dying because of the scarcity it will cause. Because incentives will lack for suppliers to meet demand, and the shared ideology, which is needed for it to work, will not be ubiquitous, some will abuse the system (just like in communism).
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      Aug 14 2013: What about the hundreds of millions who are suffering in poverty NOW, Victor? As more and more jobs disappeared due to technological development, when will our money-bound system finally work for them? Rest assured, wealthy industrialists and factory owners have no problem displacing people with machines and robots.
  • Aug 13 2013: Assessment of value to resources, objects, skill sets, and property would be one hurdle. Every exchange would be a bartering experience.
  • Aug 13 2013: Oh, let me be more specific.

    A capitalist form of a fire department is stupid. We used to have that in this country.

    A capitalist form of health care also has serious drawbacks. Do you really want to share the bus or train with someone who can't afford to get a cough checked out? People sitting in the same car with viral infections they can't afford to treat? Do you want kids going to school who are sick? I think it is obvious that it is in societies best interest that we have a social form of medical care.

    A third example would be public schools. It is clearly in the best interest of society that every child is educated, regardless of whether the parents can afford it or not. Since this "public" education represents the largest sector of society by a large margin it is also in the best interest of society that they protect this institution from changes that would erode the effectiveness of public schools.
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      Aug 13 2013: I don't know what country you are from...
      We still have capitalistic fire departments in my area, they are volunteer departments and as nonprofits receive funds from contributions, fundraisers and some have fees from potential users.

      All most all of our healthcare is capitalistic, some pay for care as they go, most people have health insurance that they pay for or receive as salary compensation. Some have insurance through the government, but mostly health care is a capitalistic system and we have the best medical care in the world.

      Our public schools are governmental operated, however, these local governments (school boards) have capitulated their responsibilities to the federal government and now the quality of our education has slipped to 30th place in the world and the cost of education per pupil has risen 4 times the rate of inflation, so this social endeavor has gotten us a poorly educated young adult and great cost... so much for social governance.
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    Aug 13 2013: What's the difference between paying someone a set amount of money to preform a job or them doing it because they were assigned to accomplish the task? Everyone in the Military makes almost the same salary each month and they accomplish much more work than the civilian sector. What you are describing is similar to how a military complex is run.

    Large groups of people could make a claim for more resources and validate it on the size of their organization or their importance considering the current overall situation. This is mirrored in the behavior of the differing branches of the Military as the Navy competes with the Army for more resources.

    Before anything could be done, we would need to index and measure all the available resources and decide how they would be used to maintain a technological, progressive society and do so for the whole planet. Right now all our data concerning the earths available resources are mostly estimates. We would also, have to establish a median baseline for maintaining the current population with food, housing and transportation, which the military has already done.

    To get everyone on board we would have to launch a world war. That is, it would be easier to rebuild to such a civilization than to convert to one. That is what happened in Europe after WWII. It is how their health care system came to be. They had many people hurt and no jobs or money. Once established, it is easier to maintain than to restructure.
  • Aug 12 2013: Andre: I don't see any apriori reason why money has to lead to abuse. My relatives were Quakers, and they used to make deals with a handshake, and honor them. I've heard that various Jews, Chinese, and others did the same at various times.
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      Aug 14 2013: I think it's fair to say that most people do not abuse money, and the vast majority of the people I know are honest and fair. However, I think it is also fair to acknowledge that there is enough large-scale waste, fraud, and corruption in the world to warrant long-term global change.

      Many of us have heard the phrase, "too big to fail". We should also contemplate the saying, "too big to go to jail". All to often it seems that corruption at the upper echelons of many institutions - the corruption that affects thousands to millions - goes unpunished and sometimes uncorrected. This is criminal, a shame, and - I think - holding us back from creating a far better world.

      Thanks again for all of your comments!
  • Aug 12 2013: How would usership be established? In the Army , there was no particular ownership, or money required, but there were certainly supply procedures. How could this idea be made to work? Surely it would not be very stable to just give everyone a "share" of whatever it is. Many people would not even want their share, so some sort of trading or barter, would start immediately, leading to reinventing money, no doubt. Either that , or setting up some logbook of transactions, which would be awkward and annoying . Then there would be also feelings of "ownership" ; have you ever tried to take an old bone away from a dog?
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      Aug 13 2013: I think the baseline or starting point for usership would be whatever it is we have in our possession at the moment. The car I am driving now is mine as long as I want it until I give it to someone else; then they maintain possession until they decide to give it away. The same paradigm would apply to your toaster, CD collection, and house. Through this method, no one would feel that they would have to share everything immediately, or that something will be arbitrarily taken away.

      With regard to naturally-occuring resources (i.e., un-mined iron or uncut trees), these would belong to everyone, and would be acquired and divided according to a universally-declared global agreement (based on a list of fundamental priorities).

      Moderately refined resources, such as gold or diamond jewelry, could remain in private possession for as long as the "user" wishes, but larger quantities of these items (i.e., gold reserves) would also be redistributed based on the previously-established global agreement.

      Of course, this process would be difficult as people have become accustomed to "ownership" over the course of centuries. On the other hand, once such a system is well-established, I think people will enjoy the opportunity to "escape" their possessions to travel more easily, live in different parts of the world, and experience new items without having to save for purchasing them.
  • Aug 12 2013: Andre : I think you are right, and luckily there are signs in the scientific world that this change in "Consciousness" is real, and really happening, I wouldn;t be surprised to see a development of Jung's "Collective Unconscious" , via a sort of neo Buddhist Theory , coming around to the idea that all Consciousness is a "Field" , in Physics, similar to the ElectroMagnetic Field Theory. That would neatly explain a lot of otherwise puzzling paradoxes in both Religion and Science.
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      Aug 13 2013: That is interesting, and good to hear.

      I think it is important to acknowledge that we do not have to agree on every aspect of life, but as long as we can agree that we largely share the same basic needs and desires (clean water, healthy food, safe shelter, peaceful companionship, and the opportunity to reach our greatest potential), then we can eliminate the artificial barriers that separate us.
  • Aug 12 2013: Andre : I sympathize with you general goals, but I still do not have a plausible vision in mind of how it might work. Perhaps you know of the many experiments along these lines, from the Soviet Union, Brook Farm,, Israeli Kibbutzes., and many others.; They usually start with some Charismatic leader. but run afoul of ordinary life. Most people tend to let the enthusiasts do most of the work, unless there is some strong "shaming" going on, or some overly organized administration. It comes down to "Fairness". In times of crisis, many people are willing to pitch in, even to an extreme degree, but after he crisis seems over, people tend to relax (let others do the work). This attitude undermines the whole scheme, and leads to calls for "Privatization" Something similar happened in England in the Middle Ages, when the Common Land custom broke down, by "Enclosures". How do you plan to deal with that?
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      Aug 13 2013: Shawn: I do not think there is a simple answer for any challenge related to transitioning to a resource-based society. Any one problem will likely have a multi-faceted solution.

      With regard to work/labor, technology and automation will play an increasingly significant role, much more than they did in any "utopian" experiment. I think that "technological unemployment" is a very real - and growing - phenomenon, and needs to be addressed head-on. Naturally (one might presume), the owners and operators of businesses and factories will be attracted to further cutting back their overhead by replacing human workers with machines. Why not embrace this trend and stay ahead of the curve, so that people may be freed from danger and drudgery, and at least given the option to do something meaningful?

      As to laziness, there may always be a subset of any population who choses do to little to nothing, and - short of public humiliation - I do not know if there is a simple solution to rectifying this. However, I am confident that most people either have or will develop a desire to do something with the time they have. Furthermore, I see education and training being entirely different in a resource-based society. With no artificial cost structure limiting access, people will more easily train or re-train in a variety of fields. Education will become more hands-on and real-world, with technology making learning more engaging and interesting.

      Finally, as we progress further into a resource-based society, fewer and fewer people will have to work "traditional" jobs. For those jobs that do remain, there should be a large enough well-trained populace so that no one person has to work more than a few hours per week.

      I remain optimistic that this is possible if we "work" together in coming up with solutions!
  • Aug 11 2013: Do you mean eliminate all forms of currency? Money refers to a medium of exchange of assets, currency refers to the paper or coins used to transmit perceived value (even if there is no real asset).

    Gold is an asset, if it is stamped into a coin with the seal of an issuer then it is currency, but it is the form of currency known as "money" because it has an asset value. If they use a copper coin and keep the gold in a vault it is still money if you can at any time redeem your copper coin for gold. But, if they say you can no longer trade in your copper coins for gold it is no longer money, now it is currency.

    The use of money has been a critical component of Man's development from a hunter gatherer. The excess and greed are associated with currency much more than with money.

    In my opinion we currently use a fiat currency as a method of keeping score in a purely capitalist society. There are three errors here. First, get rid of "Fiat" currency and return to a standard (gold, etc.). Second, get rid of the "purely" capitalist society, it is inhumane. Third adjust the method of "keeping score" to include the stewardship of natural resources.
    • Aug 12 2013: There are no purely capitalist societies and never have been. Government has colluded with and/or exerted direct control over the producers in every organized society. In a capitalist society, no business, no matter how big, would get any special favors from government.
      • Aug 12 2013: "No business, no matter how big, would get any special favors from government."

        I think that is something that has never been.
        • Aug 13 2013: Exactly--just like capitalism has never been. Thus, only a fool would whine about what happens "in a purely capitalist society".
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    Aug 10 2013: Dude, I've already seen this episode of 'Lost'.
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    Aug 9 2013: You mention ownership that is where the biggest problems would arise and make things no better than the way they are today. We live in a society based on written laws that are subject to interpretation and/or the right lawyer. We would need to change are thinking to that of true justice instead of broad pre-defined definitions of what is right.
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      Aug 11 2013: Hey Ray, I believe ownership should begin at whether the product is produced with the use of technology doing the work in the place were once took many labor jobs to produce. The more technology used to produce the product the lower the price should become. Then slowly to the point of owning the product is not beneficial in relation to tools. All other products are taught how to be made with a share in the resources to make them or like a chief that enjoys to cook cooks for more than just a dinner for two. It's almost what we have today with the amount of information at our fingertips.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MtzyxQiqKo
      She seems to be enjoying what she is doing and not forced to doing it 8 hours a day. Moderation.
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    Aug 9 2013: I believe the disadvantage of where this idea comes from is it is not a non-profit organization. It works against the whole idea, don't you think? Is it just like the preacher emptying his buckets at the end of the week? I don't know, kinda weird. If we only knew how much and where it all goes.
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  • Aug 9 2013: I'm not clear on what you mean by ending barter. Seems to me that bartering is a natural form of sharing of resources practiced on very small scale as part of the relationships between individuals. Is this what you mean and why and how would one end this practice?
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      Aug 9 2013: The concern I have - and perhaps it is misplaced - is that anytime we weigh the value of one item against another, easily manipulated "market forces" come into play, and a warping of the true value of the resource(s) occurs. In addition, the situation can become even more complex when we begin to barter objects for services.

      Of course, this type of system could work very well on a small, person to person scale, but I am concerned that we would simply revert back to abuse should it grow too large.

      As to ending the practice of barter (or using money/credit), it is difficult to say exactly how this might come about. Global catastrophe? Gradual, decades-long transition? Either way, there will need to be a shift in global consciousness to an acutely shared sense of common goals. Anyway, though this is grossly oversimplified, I sometimes find myself thinking back to an earlier Nike advertising campaign: "Just Do It"!

      Please let me know if you have any other thoughts!
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        Aug 9 2013: :))) In short, it's communism that you are looking for. It has good intention, but....You have the right intention, :))) only focus on the wrong matters :))))
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        Aug 9 2013: And no :)) we should not live just to enjoy ourselves :))
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          Aug 14 2013: Simon, I think we should strive for a world where each of us has the opportunity to achieve his or her greatest potential, and - through this - the ability to truly enjoy their life. I certainly do not suggest that people should perpetually "live it up".
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        Aug 9 2013: I don't think we will able to achieve maximum happiness through your ideology. :)))) When we are done with physical resources, then comes the fame part :)))) fame is a limited resource that create by people and only few can have it :))) YEAH!
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        Aug 9 2013: barter is stupid. i want you to show up at my house, mow the loan, and i don't give you anything in return. deal?
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          Aug 12 2013: Though, in a resource-based society, one person could do something for another in exchange for some thing or service, it certainly would *not* be required.

          Haven't you ever given something away simply for the pleasure of doing so? Similarly, have you ever performed a service just because you wanted to?
      • Aug 12 2013: Andre : I have always thought of money as an inspired , automatic bookkeeping system , to keep track of "value". Of course, as with any great invention, it is subject to abuse. But without it, how could we make any trades, or exchanges? Not everyone has the same needs, interests, etc. Barter is just a crude first approximation of fair exchanges of value. How could you even have Yard Sales without either money or a substitute for it? As to environmental stewardship, that is of course of great importance,, and our society has been very negligent about ignoring social costs in business. But how would getting rid of money help?.. As to "Fairness", it a matter of education, and a growing realization that all People are a Family, since there is only one "Race". This realization in Science is very recent, so the deniers have had a case, but not much longer. As to the idea that a certain Elite is entitled to "own" valuable assets that they did not personally , actually create, that seems merely a primitive superstition, quite incompatible with the complex inteconnected realities of modern production of "Wealth".
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          Aug 12 2013: "But without [money], how could we make any trades, or exchanges?"

          Consider the proposition of "usership" as opposed to "ownership". In an established resource-based economy, people with no longer own anything. Rather, they would *use* anything in their possession for as long as they would like to, until they are ready to give it away (by their own choice). Under this paradigm, people would more easily be able to move about (living in different places, for example) without being "weighed down" by ownership of their possessions.
  • Aug 7 2013: This idea has already been tried many times and has always failed (see communism). What would be different this time - how exactly would you put it into practice?
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      Aug 8 2013: One of the differences would be the complete abandonment of any form of money or bartering. Even those nations under Communist rule used money.

      The idea is to bypass the corruption, fraud, and abuse that seems to be inherent in a monetary system; simply look at any single problem in our world, and it usually leads back to something having to do with money. During the Great Depression, everything needed to operate the factories was there...except money. It's a tool that I believe has outlived its usefulness in our ever more technologically advanced world.

      Indeed, how to initiate a resource-based society is a good question (and one that I have no qualms acknowledging). Some believe it will require a global catastrophe before it can come into existence, while others think it is an inevitability that we will slowly transition to.

      Take some time to think constructively about how the entire world might benefit by sharing in the bounty of the world through thoughtfully developed technology. What would you do with your time if you did not have to "work" more than a few hours per week, and could pursue what it is that you would really like to do? How might your family (or your community) benefit?
      • Aug 12 2013: In other words, government confiscates all value and property. Government assigns all work. Government assigns all materials and outputs. There will be no compensation for anything, merely the government assignment. After all, if you give access to a "resource" based on that person's "labor" or based on ANY OTHER CRITERION than that person merely existing, then you have barter and you will have competition for people to get to those situations that obtain the most resources. All against all. And what of those who husband vs. those who squander? Does there have to be another redistribution to make sure everything stays "even"

        Go read "Harrison Bergeron".
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          Aug 12 2013: in another conversation (out of the many) i got the answer that it would be voluntary. there is no government, but computers that tells what to do, and it is up to the people to follow or not.

          there are many problems with that, but the most problematic for me is that it is never like that. first, all such ideologists tell you that they just propose. they are explaining what is good. but there is a logical followup to that. anyone not following the good way is obviously following the wrong way. it does not take long for people to start to force the good behavior. the thinking that X is bad, but we allow it because we value freedom is just not working. intentional or not, the VP is just another communist manifesto. only the wording has changed.
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          Aug 13 2013: Bryan, thank you for your response.

          Transitioning from our current system to one that is based on the optimal use of resources and escalating use of automation is - admittedly - very complex, and wrought with challenges. Consequently, one of the purposes of this conversation is to work through some of these challenges.

          While I do not think any one form of government would necessarily be the best or only method of exiting a monetary system, some form of central organization would probably help.

          Also, I don't think there would necessarily be a need for any form of (forced) mass exchange or redistribution. If we were to transition from "ownership" to "usership," people would be able to keep their existing property for as long as it is in their possession. For example, as long as you want to continue to use your current car, you may do so. However, once you decide to give it away, or trade it with someone else, then it falls within the sphere of "usership" of the recipient.

          I would love to hear your thoughts - if any - on this specific matter. Thanks!
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          Aug 13 2013: Krisztián, I would like to respond to your comment regarding the use of computers.

          Based on how I see computers being used in a resource-based society, I do not think they will tell anyone what to do. Rather, they will simply be a tool that is very fast and efficient at compiling and analyzing data. They will present information, which will then provide the user(s) with some options.

          For example, imagine a database that is being compiled regarding global sources of iron, both raw and from recycled sources. Information from around the world is entered via terminals located around the globe into a central computer. This ever-changing information is compared to another (ideally linked) system that follows the worldwide demand for iron. An AI algorithm may be used to help illustrate which source best suits a corresponding need (related to location, ore type, and priority). Those who ultimately set the wheels in motion to distribute the ore may or may not use the information or suggestions provided by the computer. As the database becomes more accurate (because of greater accuracy in measuring both ore supplies and demand), people may begin to rely more upon the computer, but it is not a requirement.

          Finally, I imagine that the priority of distribution could be controlled by a commonly held and agreed to "global declaration of universal rights," (explained further elsewhere in this conversation) where the ore would be used for the construction or rehabilitation of schools and hospitals before it is used for the construction of a roller coaster or dragster. This is just an example, of course, but I think you get the idea.

          Please let me know if you have any ideas for improving this!
      • Aug 13 2013: The first step will be to kill all humans, since this proposal runs counter to all human nature. We all innately value things differently, and it is impossible for these different values to perfectly mesh. What to do with dissidents? Kill them? Send them to the Gulag? If there is nobody with lots of guns around to kill people who don't play by the "no barter, no money" rule, people WILL come up with barter and then some form of money, simply because NO SYSTEM IS INFALLIBLE. Somebody will end up with something they want less than something someone else has. Either the two will barter/sell, one will steal from the other, or one will build up smoldering resentment that expresses itself in antisocial behavior. Money/trade/barter function as social pressure releases. The "fairness" of the schoolyard can only happen if we are dealing only with children and the adult has both no interest in the resources and absolute power over the children. You wish to reduce adults to tyrannized children.
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          Aug 14 2013: "You wish to reduce adults to tyrannized children."

          Far from it, Bryan. Please read carefully my other responses, and you will see that one of my repeating imperatives is to provide everyone with a broad, meaningful education. A well-educated population is one who is better able to prioritize people over things, better able to understand that a reasonably managed set of resources can provide for everyone, and better able to communicate and work through their differences.

          Sure, there will be exceptions, just like there are now. And it is certainly reasonable to think that we will have police, courts, and jails for some time to come...but the idea is that the need for these institutions will decrease as we move further into a society where necessities are more easily met, and the desire to steal or hurt is sharply reduced.

          Instead of assuming that everything will go to hell in a hand-basket, why not come up with ideas to help prevent that type of scenario. Thank you for your time.
      • Aug 14 2013: If an idea is simply blindly stupid, there is no point to trying to come up with ways to "make it work"--it will not and cannot work. This alleged "educatin" amounts to no more than diversions--bread and circuses for the plebes. No system is infallible. Somebody will be dissatisfied. So, you will either have to kill or imprison them. I live in something called "reality". In "reality", centralized control of economies will always end up in greater injustice than even the evils of unrestricted dog-eat-dog competition. No amount of airy-fairy fantasy will change this. What you call "education" could just as easily be called "indoctrination" or "brain-washing".
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          Aug 14 2013: Well, I find it hard to believe that you are truly happy with the current state of the world. Surely you can acknowledge the hundreds of millions who still live in poverty. How will our current system work for them, especially when more and more jobs are replaced by machines and robots? All I know is that this type of situation cannot go on indefinitely.

          Anyway, thank you for participating in this conversation!
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    Aug 7 2013: These are interesting thoughts. I don't feel I know very much either, I just like to think about ideas. ;) This was a thought-provoking conversation to read through.
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      Aug 8 2013: Thank you for your feedback, Jessica!

      As you can tell, I very much like to ponder the possibilities and the challenges. I firmly believe that doing so is the only way to make progress toward meaningful change. While no "system" is perfect, I think that a resource-based society is better than what we have now (at least for a majority of the world's population).

      Let me know if you have any ideas!
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    Aug 7 2013: Great question Andre. The benefits are obvious and the challenges are immense. You bring up education which I see is the foremost important tool of a resource based economy and the society it would need to sustain it. Ownership of recources, I see would be the most difficult hurdle for our present leaders to give over peacefully, unless there was incentive for them that they understand. "Usership" might need to be proven as a dramatic waste and cost reducer. Technological unemployment while a wolf in sheep's clothing to this system will have to be replaced by steadfast ambition to learn or be the same "evil" just by people having too much idle time. As in Candide,"...and we find that the work banishes those three great evils, boredom, vice, and poverty."
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      Aug 8 2013: Justin, thank you for your thoughtful comments!

      I see what you are saying about people possibly having too much time on their hands, and falling prey to the "three great evils"! Perhaps this is inevitable regardless of the system, but I am optimistic that as we move further into a resource-based society, and people see the benefits of group participation, the challenges will begin to drop off.

      Here's another thought with regard to "usership" and duplicitous products: what if there were community tool/equipment depots scaled to the size of the area they serve where someone could order and have delivered the implement they require for a few hours or several days? Of course, the tools would be of very high quality so as to last, and delivery/pickup would be automated. Fewer of these items would need to be made since they are shared, and since they are free to use, no one should feel the need to steal them. I'm sure there are other details that would need to be worked out, but I am sure they can be.
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        Aug 8 2013: Right on. I work construction and have witnessed the waste of materials and the planned obsolescence of equipment, and why, because it turns a buck? While i like your idea of the community tool/equipment depots, I feel, they are already here with all the Lowes and Home Depots around. On the East Coast anyway.
        Short term goals like exposing the systemic waste and offeringcommon sense solutions without the attack on money could start offering faster results.
        Most that I have encountered can't wrap their head around functioning without money, after all, isn't it people's/governments misuse and abuse of this social tool the root cause of the injustice?
        It may still take many years for a sufficient amount of people to leave the monetary system for a resource based economy, and even then I can imagine a money-like voucher could save people a lot of time and resources in the exchange process.
        In the meantime, let's keep the reasoning sound, the ideas coming, and the voice loud.
  • Aug 5 2013: Sorry if i'm being skeptical but there are issues that never be solved by our society, such a religion differences and the man greed. That's became impossible changes like that.
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      Aug 6 2013: Thank you for your response, Carlos!

      Indeed, religious differences are a tricky subject, and it may be a long time before there is worldwide respect and tolerance. Perhaps an overall higher level of education may more quickly bring about this desired tolerance.

      As for greed, please allow me to ask: do you think greed is an embedded characteristic of human nature (genetic in origin), or is it rather a learned trait that has developed societally over the course of centuries?

      [Gracias por su respuesta, Carlos!

      En efecto, las diferencias religiosas son un tema complicado, y puede pasar mucho tiempo antes de que exista el respeto y la tolerancia en todo el mundo. Tal vez un nivel general más alto de educación puede traer más rápidamente acerca de esta tolerancia deseada.

      En cuanto a la codicia, permítame preguntarle: ¿Crees que la codicia es una característica incorporada de la naturaleza humana (de origen genético), o es más bien un rasgo aprendido que se ha desarrollado socialmente a lo largo de los siglos?]
      • Aug 7 2013: Sorry for my English, I can understand Spanish but I can't write. I speak Portuguese.

        There are two different answers, one considering religiousness and other not.

        First (Considering Religiousness): Almost all religions believes that there are good and evil, and both are in our essence, depending of our education level, environment that we grow and the proximity of the spiritual things in our live, one of them will prevail, but we always have both, good and evil inside us. Greed, selfish and others behaviour are consequences of this nature, and in this scenario we could believe that greed is an embedded characteristic of human nature (Genetic or Spiritual).
        Second (Not Considering Religiousness): Sometimes when we see a child behaviour, even in their very begging life, seeing some animals’ behaviour and analysing some indigenous culture as well, that even without money they create a society where greed is strong, we can realize that are some genetics information in our DNA that makes some of us more selfish than others.
        But I really believe that is possible minimize this characteristics and build a better world with less corruption through a high level of people education, and this people demanding for justice and the minimization of impunity.
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          Aug 8 2013: Hi Carlos,

          No need to apologize; your English is quite good. I (mistakenly) responded in Spanish as well because sometimes my writing can be very nuanced, and I wanted to make sure that you understood.

          Anyway, thank you again for your thoughts. My sense is that most negative behaviors (greed, selfishness, etc.) are learned, and an effort can be made to either unlearn them (which may be difficult to impossible to do in some/most adults), or - better yet - avoid their appearance in the next generation to begin with. I think it should be obvious by now that a parent's or teacher's or peer's behavior can vastly influence or shape a child's attitudes and actions.

          A smarter society will be more aware of this and its long-term negative consequences.

          [Oi Carlos,

          Não precisa se desculpar, o seu Inglês é muito bom. I (erroneamente) respondeu em espanhol, mas também porque, por vezes, a minha escrita pode ser muito sutil, e eu queria ter certeza de que você entendeu.

          De qualquer forma, obrigado novamente por seus pensamentos. Minha sensação é que a maioria dos comportamentos negativos (ganância, egoísmo, etc) são aprendidas, e um esforço pode ser feita a qualquer desaprender-los (o que pode ser difícil ou impossível de fazer em alguns / a maioria dos adultos), ou - melhor ainda - evitar sua aparência na próxima geração, para começar. Eu acho que deveria ser óbvio, agora, que um dos pais ou professor ou o comportamento de pares pode muito influenciar ou moldar atitudes e ações de uma criança.

          Uma sociedade mais inteligente será mais conscientes deste facto e as suas consequências negativas a longo prazo.]
        • Aug 12 2013: Hi Carlos:
          Because "greed" is such a vague term, it is hard to tell whether it is learned or genetic. But elsewhere in our experience, group characteristics (stereotyped behavior ) seems really to be a combination of both, as evolved in a social setting.
          Because studies of foreign cultures in Sociology reveal such extreme variations in ideas of "Ownership" , or Morality in general, it seems unrealistic to say that Greed means only grabbing all the "Stuff" for oneself, and ignoring the needs of others, as a basic Human characteristic. There are just too many variations for it to be a general rule. Our particular society, because of its Christian background, does apparently tend to get carried away with" Selfishness" what with "Free Will" and all that. The conduct of the Wall St. Financiers shows just how extreme this can get;, stealing people's pensions and calling it Clever. But by no means is everyone like that.
      • Aug 12 2013: Andre: I am having a lot of trouble imagining how a "resource based economy" would work (Isn't that what we have?) I take it that you are trying to get rid of the corruption and cheating that money enables. I am afraid that , like the Founders envisioned, people , politicians, lawyers , and other "Elites" cannot be trusted to police themselves. No system can be produced with guarantees that cannot be thwarted. The only answer is group awareness, education , and vigilance. We are in a semi-civilized condition right now. We have a dim recognition of some of the problems of complex modern life, but are still too primitive to take seriously the idea that NO official has the right to murder people for any reason,for example. This view has attained at the level of many cities of miillions worldwide, whose Mayors cannot even think of having enemies murdered. No so with "Presidents" of whatever Banana Republic you can name, including the US.
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          Aug 12 2013: "I take it that you are trying to get rid of the corruption and cheating that money enables."

          That's it in a nutshell, Shawn, but of course there is more to it as well. Another major facet of moving toward a resource-based economy, in my view, is to create an environment where each person can reach their greatest potential. This doesn't mean no one will have to work, but rather everyone would have the opportunity to make their best contribution to society.

          As you alluded to, being able to do this will require a massive change in societal consciousness. I think this is inevitable, though it could very well take quite some time.
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    Aug 4 2013: My idea of a possible transition: We are taxed on a percentage of what we make. Could this and has this started to be the case in the "free market" system? Everything slowly transitions to a pay scale market (food to be the next item on the list). I know some doctors operate on a pay scale rate similar to this somewhat. If you are unemployed they charge a minimum rate and if you are employed they charge full rate. However, it would be best to charge by a percentage of how much one makes for everyone just as you are taxed. The more technology is used for mass production the more this percentage is applied. Bad idea, right?
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      Aug 6 2013: It's an interesting idea, Victor, and if it is one that may lead us toward a moneyless and barter-less society, then "pay scale pricing" could have its place.

      Of course, sadly, I think it would only be a matter of time before someone figures out a way to abuse or take advantage of the system. As such, I am still in favor of finding that paradigm which reduces or - better still - eliminates the opportunity for abuse and corruption. And I believe that paradigm involves the elimination of money and its related forms.

      Thanks again!
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        Aug 7 2013: There must be a way possible to create a system that corruption only advances the transition to a resource based economy.

        Maybe what we are presently in is already it!
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          Aug 8 2013: Perhaps people will so tire of rampant greed and corruption that, indeed, it will precipitate the necessary change!
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    Aug 4 2013: I think all economic ideology (capitalism or communism) will ultimately come to the the goal of abundance resources. The question is what will you do, when you can do any thing and don't have to worry about any thing.

    When some will still reach out to lead, some part of society will mostly find way to enjoy them self, and some will become complete legal addict-ers.
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    Aug 4 2013: You have made a strong case for the proposition, but I am old and skeptical of humanity. Even in the history of the original Americans (I don't like the term Indians, either) who lived most closely in the manner of which you are speaking, there was some ownership and there was conflict in acquisition of resources. In studies of their spirituality and moral codes, there is evidence of some falling away from social norms.
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      Aug 4 2013: good point.
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      Aug 4 2013: I can appreciate your historical perspective, Mike, but I think it is also important to note the tremendous technological and scientific differences between the golden age of the Native Americans and now. Resources are still finite, but our abilities to extract, produce, distribute, and recycle/reuse have come a long way, and allow for the introduction of a different paradigm.
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        Aug 5 2013: Andre, I am old and I am of the opinion that those tremendous advances in science and technology that you are expecting to lead us into a new social order leaves me to wonder where you are going to get the new people to accept these changes. (If you are born here, you are a Native American... that's why I use Original Americans).

        Here is the problem. When the Original Americans roamed the North American Continent, they never totaled more then a million population at best guess. There were vast herds of buffalo and a preponderance of other foodstuffs, they could live off the land and hardly make a dent. They had simple needs and almost no wants so the resource base society was a no brainer.

        Today, after all the immigration into North America, the population of the continent is probably north of 450 million, buffalo are gone and so are most of the other resources available 600 years ago. Now, the Original Americans are just as involved in this money based society as the rest of us. Compounded by the fact that now we have global interaction on a minute to minute basis, not even conceivable 600 years ago. Worse yet, our needs have increased and our wants have gone out of sight.

        A well known science fiction writer projected an earth-wide resource based society in the distant future after the earth was united by the arrival of sentient aliens and it became a matter of united we hang together or divided we hang separately. And maybe it will become true in the distant future.
        Right now, this is a conversation of "Wouldn't it be nice..."
      • Aug 12 2013: There was never any such thing as a "golden age of the Native Americans". That's just racist rubbish cooked up by people who wanted to romanticize "the Indian" and use their romantic fiction for various commercial or political purposes. They had wars. They had famines. They killed each other. Entire civilizations grew and collapsed before any Europeans showed up. This is well established. The so-called "pristine wilderness" that the Europeans found was CREATED BY European disease! European disease ran far faster across North America than did European people. By the time most regions were finally "explored", smallpox, measles, etc. had crashed the local populations long before, giving time for "the wilderness" to reassert itself.
  • Aug 4 2013: (I am sorry in advance for my mistakes in English, I am not a native speaker)
    Money is a great tool. It's a tool that was invented to allow people to speak a common language when trading, exchanging, providing services. It also allows people to be equals, if not in the amount of money they possess, at least when it comes to the prices of the ressources they want to buy.

    Any single kind of currency causes inequalities. Start making water a currency and some powerful/skillful tradesman will get a sufficient amount of it to be considered "rich" and thusly will threaten your access to water. Money is not the problem and I don't think we can ever find a better system. Do you try to change mathematics if your equation shows you cannot fly and it is so unfair ? (I'm carricaturing a little bit here...)

    I think it would be a terrible mistake to make ressources a currency of any kind. Look at what happens with oil for example... You will not change a system by changing the elements it's hinged on, but by changing the perception and the use people make of it.

    So money is a great tool... and it is misused. And it is so because it is used based on selfish interests and on the principle that you can get as much as you want, it is not moral for anyone to limit your "success" (since success is measured by the amount of money you manage to get your hands on). When some people can possess as much money as some extremely poor countries can spend in years, to me there is something wrong.
    As a society, I think it irresponsible to not limit the access to money. I am not talking about comunism here. I think to give value to things we need people richer than others, it gives an authenticity and a reality to "success". But still, being successful and being allowed to get so rich you can out-influence governments are too different things. (aaaaaand I'm out of characters... :( )
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      Aug 6 2013: I agree with you completely: Whatever the currency at hand is, many of the chief power brokers will find ways to control and exploit it. However, I think the change that we seek has to take place in our collective social conscience. I am encouraged by the fact that I've noticed more and more "open source" projects, for example, Britta Riley's innovative gardening project. More good examples can be found in the book "Half The Sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide". This book showcases the efforts of small organizations, run by the people who need them the most, changing the status quo one life at a time. I feel that it is grass-roots efforts of people helping each other that may help to equalize some of the power inequities that we see presently. Then again, I'm just wishing, not really sure of the concrete impact of such efforts.
      • Aug 6 2013: It is indeed a matter of changing the way we see our own role in our soeciety (if this is what you mean by our collective social conscience). Yet, I would worry about the fact that this is not a all what our politicians seem to be aiming at. I'm young and may be wrong, but to me politics are about showing people the path, the solutions to nowadays issue. What strikes me more and more is how very often politicians point at today's issues rather than at tomorrow's solutions.

        While I grow more and more convinced that we need a change in the way we live together, to get to logics of groups rather than of individual comfort, I have a hard time seeing any sign from the politicians in my country towards such dynamics. Am I wrong or over simplifying things ? Probably, I certainly am aware of all the things I don't know and don't understand yet to believe others are just dumb while I'm a prophet having all the answers.

        The current problem with illegal downloading is to me a striking example. How can governments keep applying laws that massive amounts of users/consumers/citizens ignore simply because they KNOW they are being abused ? Although I do not download myself, because of principles I hold dear, I completely agree when friends tell me the price is clearly a rip off considering the benefits hollywood (for one) makes for each blockbuster they release. And the situation is stuck simply because people do it individually, despite the fact that they form bigger and bigger communities (the pirate bay for example), because these communities have no tool, no credibility to be heard by our leaders and decision-makers.

        By the way, it seems to me that some of the most influent groups that are not lobbying and still manage to have some sort of influence on their ways of consumption are great at using the internet as a way to stand for themselves. In truth, apart from these, I don't know of any other group managing influence without resorting to political lobbies.
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          Aug 12 2013: "I have a hard time seeing any sign from the politicians in my country towards such dynamics. Am I wrong or over simplifying things?"

          Unfortunately, Alex, I do not think you are wrong or that you are over-simplifying the issue. People in positions of power, or who have great wealth, will certainly do their best to avoid any change in the current (monetary) system.

          Also, as this is a complex issue, no single solution will resolve all of the challenges. However, I continue to believe that we need to move away from the corrupting effects of money and toward an open system based on true need versus available resources. Virtually every television program I watch, and every radio program I listen to that discusses some societal ill ends up tracing it's root cause back to some form of greed or corruption having to do with money.

          One example had to do with a program that discussed the fines banks were made to pay for the (U.S.) financial meltdown of 2008. The fines added up to billions of dollars. If money makes for such a great fungible commodity or resource, then we have simply wasted so much of it through greed and corruption. Imagine the billions of dollars currently tied up in the banks of the relatively small number of wealthy people around the world. What could we be doing with this "great resource"?
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    Aug 4 2013: And so we have the gold standard for an exemplarary system whereby we have discussed and divulged the sequence of steps that need to happen to make the posited post a reality.... and then the conversation closes... or rather we were just starting to make inroads and then the conversation closed!!!

    My point here being that , clearly as one of the challenges, we will not most likely be able to resolve the question here and even if we did... what next?

    The reality is, the ENTIRE WORLD functions predominately in a monetary way and as such any proposition to the contrary would effectively be a minority viewpoint.

    In this case, incremental change is the only possible scenario as is leading by example and to me the only viable option forward for a monetary less society.

    That said, there are such things already in play with respect to barter within our modern societies... (see bartercard from memory).

    I have mentioned via TED posts my viewpoints and would now profer the following here.

    TED can provide a conduit for positive social change. If participants can refine their ideas via this medium and then refine their ideas to commercial ready applications, then they could be rolled out and transferred into mainstream society via democratic endorsements via petioned support from the general public, or endorsement and support from political representatives canvassed! : D
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    Aug 4 2013: In responding to the comments of others, I have largely tried to focus on the benefits that might arise from a transition toward a resource-based economy. Here are some possible challenges that I do not think have been brought up (my apologies if I missed one of these in an existing comment):

    - The ongoing challenges with religious differences.
    - The practice of civil and criminal litigation.
    - The dissemination of existing goods and property (if the transition is sudden).
    - The continued sovereignty of state and national borders.

    Any thoughts and possible solutions would be most welcome!
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    Aug 3 2013: I think what you're describing here, Andre, is a world government with the world's largest "Resource Distribution Department" with the most gargantuan bureaucracy ever conceived of. The department, which (like all departments) will be staffed by dullards who make as many mistakes as right decisions, is supposed to decide who gets what of all goods for all of the world's 7+ billion souls (not to mention the 80 million we're adding annually). If you need an extra shirt you'll have to apply to this department.

    That sounds terrific.
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      Aug 4 2013: Thanks for your continued interest in this discussion!

      I suppose one possible outcome of transitioning to a resource-based society will be the eventual disintegration of the borders between nations and their governments. Would this necessarily be a bad thing?

      Also, please keep in mind that a resource-based society will be largely decentralized. Automated manufacturing technologies can work on-demand and with small batches, and will serve a local population. Large tower farms can hydroponically grow fresh fruits and vegetables locally. In addition, the tracking and controlling of materials and services will be largely computerized, so there will be no need for a "gargantuan bureaucracy" or staff of dullards.

      Finally, as one who appears to be interested in "peace on Earth" and "improving the human condition," I would very much enjoy hearing your ideas on how we might go about accomplishing these goals. Thanks!
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        Aug 5 2013: Andre,
        Indeed, I'm in favor of peace, justice, and overcoming poverty and disease. But I shy from bureaucracy as from the plague (I'm not reassured by knowing that the bureaucracy will be run by computers), and I hope many of our problems on Earth can be solved with a minimum of top-down command structure.

        You've jumped directly to what you consider a complete workable system. I think rather that some elements of what you've outlined may crop up gradually. Certainly, hydroponic farming is in the future as we lose more topsoil - one of our most serious problems. The idea of accounting for total available resources and recycling most of these will become necessary.

        It's still important to allow for individual enterprise and innovation, for artistic and commercial liberty, for dissent and protest. Revolutionaries who think they've found a final system tend to distrust these disturbing factors. Top-down command systems are notoriously inflexible.

        The world's most serious problem, in my view, is the population growth, which multiplies every other problem we face. An already unmanageable India will double again in population well before the end of this century. Many other countries are in the same boat, like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Such countries will put enormous immigration pressure on the industrial societies, as we see now in Europe. Social and technical progress have not kept up with their young and still booming populations, and the gaps - the number of people who don't have clean drinking water - will continue to grow. These countries need to stem the population growth by reducing the birth rates (they've known this for decades), while attacking practical problems like building water purification plants, instead of spending the budget on atom bombs and rockets.

        It's been an interesting proposal, though.
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          Aug 6 2013: Thank you for your insight and observations.

          I will happily acknowledge that a resource-based society is not perfect, and certainly not a solution for every contingency. However, I very much believe that it could provide a sturdy foundation for the next stages of human existence on our planet. Part of this foundation is the idea that a well-educated population will be able to solve problems together, a kind of "crowd sourcing" for challenges. Computers and automation will merely be the tools that people use to achieve the best outcomes.

          Another desired result of a resource-based society is the notion that people will increasingly have the time to pursue the interests of their desire. They would not be hindered by a lack of money, and could then become the engineer, scientist, artist, or author that had been hidden within. And, for all we know, this released creativity could yield the next big development for humankind.

          Indeed, population growth is a grave challenge. In the long term, it is my belief that education will play a large role in bringing population growth under control, if not reversing its upward expansion. Certainly, other factors also influence population, but I am confident once people become acutely aware of the long term effects of unmitigated reproduction, we will be gin to see a change.
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    Aug 3 2013: Eugenics might be a good place to start.

    What you describe is a complete re-tooling of global human consciousness and how we describe our relationship to the universe. It seems to be a logical, and perhaps inevitable next step in evolving as a species.

    There are two fundamental truths which drive economics: Resources are scarce and demand for finished goods is unlimited. For resource allocation we need to choose. For the method of production we need to choose. For distribution of finished goods we need to choose. In classical economics, the 'invisible hand' brings balance to the system because it is a system based on 'unbounded rationality' - meaning, when presented with choices, we always choose the optimal over suboptimal.

    But we human beings do not have unlimited rationality :-) All value is perceived value.

    One of my favorite concepts of economics is called 'pareto-optimality' which sets a point of satisfaction in an exchange wherein the buyer cannot add more satisfaction without the seller giving up satisfaction, and vice-versa. This is not a natural condition for price setting, and seems to be what might be the 'evolutionary stem' to evolve a market system towards a quasi-utopian system as described above.

    In order to change global consciousness, you need a conciousness-changing event. Those aren't fun. As we see so many times in so many of the great novels or films about future society, usually there is a disaster of epic scale. It aligns the vision of everyone on the planet and proposes a clear incentive to adopt a belief/value system that contradicts millions of years of evolution in our biology in terms of competition and selection, as well as thousands of years whatever sociological belief systems that shaped their life-choices.

    Your vision would afford a person a chance to 'pursue their happiness'. We would all need to have the desire to be happy and the actions and choices needed to optimize in that direction.
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      Aug 6 2013: Thank you for your response, Chris!

      Indeed, transitioning to a resource-based society will be a paradigm shift of the greatest kind, and not without difficulty. But I think such a transition offers our species the greatest long-term opportunity for survival and prosperity.

      Generally speaking, there are two ways this could come about: 1) some form of global catastrophe (physical and/or economic) which brings forth an opportunity to start over, or 2) a very gradual, decades- or centuries-long transition which could be largely imperceptible.

      Finally, should such a society come to pass, it would be foolish to think - as you have alluded - that everyone would be on board and willing to participate at all levels. Still, I think it's interesting and fun to discuss the possibilities and challenges!
    • Aug 12 2013: Chris: in the modern world, do you think it is accurate to say that resources are scarce , and finished goods demand unlimited?! The creation of new resources, such as subsituting Aluminum for steel, sand for copper wire, etc. , along with automation, AI and Robots changes everything. Also, I gather that the sale of "Finished Goods" often runs into potholes, so to speak. And thanks to the past 150 years of cheap power, we have come me to a point where unsold overproduction of finished goods is an ongoing problem.
      As for Global Consciousness, is this not a practicallly unstoppable tendency? At the very highest levels of international finance, (pretty important) we have already seen the almost total collapse of "National Sovereignty". Some of these amorphous entities obviously have more power than a great many "Nations". Of course, this may not be as widely perceived as it should be. Thanks no doubt to clever distracting manipulations, the "Bread and Circuses" of our Time, such as the nonsensical "War on Terror".
  • Aug 2 2013: Andre,

    Could you define what you mean by resource-based society?
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      Aug 3 2013: Hi Wayne,

      In the broadest sense, a resource-based society (or economy) eliminates all forms of money, credit, and bartering, and instead freely provides all human needs based on an accurate accounting of the Earth's resources. In addition, such a society takes advantage of developing technology - notably automation - and works toward the elimination of all dangerous and boring jobs, allowing people the time to pursue their greatest potential.

      I would love to hear your thoughts, and let me know if you have any other questions!
      • Aug 3 2013: Are you assuming all production will be done by automation? vegetable production, animal production, etc. by production i mean growing or capture, processing, and transportation?

        how will the resources be allocated?
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          Aug 4 2013: Hi Wayne,

          I think it will be some time before ALL production is accomplished through automation (if ever). However, as with the development of computers, I believe the development of automation technologies will be exponential. Furthermore, robots and computer systems will eventually be able to repair and replicate themselves.

          Of course, this doesn't mean that all human participation will end. The human mind is fertile with imagination and innovation, and there will always be a "desire" for improvement.

          As to the question of allocation, one idea is that there would be a global declaration of universal rights. This might be something like, "every human is entitled to clean water, healthy food, safe housing, a quality education, and the opportunity to reach their greatest potential." Okay, there might be a different or better way to express this, but I'm sure you get the gist. This declaration could be used - at least initially - to direct and funnel resources where they are needed most.

          What are your ideas for allocation? Thanks!
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        Aug 3 2013: "...freely provides all human needs..."
        Not more than the (minimum) needs, then. Not any Apple products, probably.

        "an accurate accounting of the Earth's resources"
        To put it nicely, I'd say that's a pipe dream.
      • Aug 4 2013: resources are limited

        Hence allocation should be done by need vs want. how you control it I do not know. I also question the general population striving to do anything. the society of Star Trek was driven by a need to work since the basic needs were fulfilled. I am not sure we have reached that level of maturity - some need activity/work but how many?
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          Aug 12 2013: "I am not sure we have reached that level of maturity."

          I would agree, Wayne; this is definitely a hurdle that needs to be overcome. While there are many people who are probably ready to enter into a resource-based society, there are likely just as many who have been willingly or unknowingly entrenched into our monetary system.

          Star Trek is a good example to look at, but the show really never explained much - from what I remember - of how they arrived at their present state.
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    Aug 2 2013: Mr. Hoogeveen, I came across this article today and it runs counter to my earlier arguments, so I thought you might like it. It seems to support your idea of a possible future society:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23529849

    The title is, "Selfish traits not favoured by evolution, study shows."
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      Aug 3 2013: Thanks for sharing this, Daniel!

      I can see how some people would come to believe that human behavior is controlled by "nature" (as opposed to "nurturing"). For some time now, I have been one to follow the notion of human "behavior," which more easily allows for the shifting of attitudes, actions, and beliefs over time. If a resource-based society is ever to be, there will need to be a global shift in how people see the future of humankind, and their powerful and personal role in making it work.
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        Aug 3 2013: The notion that egotism can be bred and trained out of people was perhaps the corner stone idea behind the seventy-year long experiment with communism in the USSR. Starting with incessant training of the citizens in altruism, the idea was that once the first generation was trained, the improved citizens' qualities would be passed on both socially and genetically to their children, who would then be even more altruistic, until eventually the New Soviet Man would be created. This was based on T. Lysenko's misunderstandings of genetics, and of course it failed miserably. The longer the training programs went on, the more egotistical and anti-social the people became. They became world champions at cheating, lying and deceiving, both against the all-powerful state and against their neighbors, all in their effort to get a little more of the pitifully small pie of social goods.

        Cheers to them. They eventually toppled the monstrosity.
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    Aug 2 2013: This was a plot in one of those science fiction movies I saw a long time ago. As I remember, it ended when all the robots figured out that all the biotics who sat around philosophizing were taking up space and did them all in.

    OK I'll reflect
    Highly educated people are bad at reproduction.
    Earth resources? Ownership? We don't even know what all the resources are or where...
    Usership vs. right of possession? see Earth resources above...
    Technological unemployment? Go see the movie... those robots knew what to do with the unemployable....
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      Aug 3 2013: Hey Mike, thanks for chiming in!

      As to your thought on reproduction, it is my understanding that highly educated people have a greater appreciation as to the impact of children on their personal resources, as well as those of the planet.

      Indeed, at present, there is no single, comprehensive accounting of the Earth's resources, which is why - in order for a resource-based society to come about - one will have to be compiled. I have little doubt that various independent groups have conducted their own surveys of specific resources (copper, fresh water, forested land, etc.), but these studies will need to be compiled and updated. The good news is, we have the (ever-improving) computing power required to formulate such an evolving database.

      Ownership (right of possession) versus "usership". It has been posited that people will eventually no longer own anything; they will simply maintain use of it as long as it is in their possession. Though this concept is ripe with intricacies that would have to be ironed out, the essential idea is that - as people would be free to travel as they desire - they would not necessarily be tied down by owned things. Another benefit might be - as common tools and appliances could be more easily shared - that fewer things would have to be made, saving additional resources.

      Technological unemployment and the attack of the robots! Indeed, I have seen this theme unfold in a variety of films, and it is one that could be largely avoided. One way might be through the adoption of Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics," which would prevent machines from harming people. Could or would someone intentionally overwrite these protections? Sure, and the requisite vigilance will have to be maintained.
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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: .
        Thanks.

        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.
  • Aug 1 2013: I believe our current monetary system is quickly dying. I.e. the rise in bartering, the use of the YEN, the "euro" etc. Our current monetary system is based on worthless paper.
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      Aug 2 2013: Hi M-L, thanks for your thoughts!

      This very well could be the case, as we have been moving toward a credit/debit/EFT system for some time. Regardless if the system is based on paper and (precious) metals OR 1's and 0's, it still keeps the door wide open for greed and corruption.
      • Aug 2 2013: ...and it's this very same greed and corruption which will cause the downfall of every institution on this globe, financial as well as everything else. It's only a matter of time. Money will be worthless and only one's personal resources will have any value. i.e. water, food, shelter, clothing. The transition will be rather chaotic since most people won't be aware until it's too late.
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    Aug 1 2013: I am a cynical curmudgeon with a profoundly pessimistic world view. Keep that in mind if you decide to read this comment. Man are you outside the box! No money=Doomsday through gradual decline into anarchy, chaos, and global self-destruction. Mad Max will be the last to die. A "comprehensive accounting of the planet's resources"? Only if a miracle occurs! Everyone plays nicely together with no bickering, whining, genocide, or corruption? You are a true man of faith sir! Do not build your platform on theses ideas if you plan to run for office. I am not scoffing at your proposal, I am astonished at the condition of Man that makes your proposal seem so far-fetched. Keep the faith, sir, keep dreaming.
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      Aug 2 2013: Ed, we will keep dreaming. Technology is hauling ass. It's exponential [lol, edit] . Money is linear. What do you suggest the best solution to this problem? Man, get out of the past. What was work 30-40 years ago compared to what it is today, as in productivity in an 8 hour day. Humans don't work half as hard as back then. Ever hear the saying, "man of steel made wooden boats, now wooded men make steel boats? The industrial revolution is done with or rapidly improving (if you rather look at it that way) to the point of not needing people doing jobs any longer, there are still a few fields yes. Do you not see this? I don't believe your view is pessimistic I believe it is stuck in one spot as others. So, do we all go on welfare except for the exclusive rich? Where is the middle class today? Gone. Do you really believe this is just another recession that will soon fix itself with the help of the right political leader?
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        Aug 2 2013: You urge me to get out of the past to sally forth into your "resource-based society" where people work together in altruistic harmony? Sorry, no sale. My theory is that the replacement of the Federal Reserve System with a gold standard economy can restore America. It could work but it will not be a LaLa Land utopia like you portray where human nature evolves magically into a whole new intelligent, reasonable, kind, considerate being. Ain't gonna happen VD! Ain't gonna happen.
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          Aug 2 2013: I agree, it will not be a La Land utopia but it is not mine. I do remember getting into arguments with my friends at times and too bad we were not in harmony all the time, BUT it was not pulling pistols on each other either or stabbing each other in the back trying to get ahead in this world.
          I just believe it is the best solution to the troubles of today and tomorrow. May as well start in that direction now. Gold isn't the best answer we can come up with. It doesn't keep up with the population nor the technology. I believe it would be worse. Thanks for the input.
        • Aug 2 2013: Wait, Edward, you're saying that your theory is not at least as ideological as resource based economy?

          Though unfortunately, you never really gave a precise description - do you want laissez-faire capitalism exactly or what? See, no matter what you propose, you're still going to get at least as many arguments of the similar kind. Economical science is not the "real" science as many portray it. In the end, nobody could have known that Marxism won't work until they actually tried it. Even Popper, he wasn't right until they proved him right.
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      Aug 2 2013: Hey Edward and Ted, thanks for contributing!

      Again, I think it is *critical* to state that a resource-based society would not be without fault or room for improvement, but - in its idealized form - it has never been tried, so we don't know that it will fail terribly (or succeed brilliantly, to be forthright).

      Also, as Victor has noted above, our technological capabilities have expanded exponentially, and have opened the door to a real shot at automation. And this push toward robots and computers taking over jobs is not going to stop. If we allow it to proceed unaltered, we will simply have more and more unemployed people. If this is to be the case, then we might as well go all in, and work toward automating as much as possible. Sure, there will (likely) always be a need for some form of human intervention, but if we spread out what labor requirements remain among a large, trained group, then no one will have to "work" but a few hours per week.

      Finally, I remember Jacques Fresco (of The Venus Project) mentioning some time ago that, during the Great Depression, numerous factories were closed because there was no money to operate them. The buildings were still there, the machines could still function, and people were available to operate them, but that didn't seem to matter...it was the lack of money that held everything back. How sad.
  • Aug 1 2013: Continued.
    And don't solve the problems the money was appropriated for.
    Economy is not about money. It is about not wasting, using wisely, keeping prudent reserves,
    not polluting, not doing harm. And if it is not some of those, then we need to change or add
    to the definition of economy.
    As I have said before here on Ted, many laugh, use derision, minimizing and even try to humiliate
    new ideas and those people who actually will have to live during these future times and want change, but no one among all of them has been working for over 75 years to try and find, build, create, and solve our problems with constructive, wise and difficult but certainly workable ideas for re-engineering world societies, than has Jacque Fresco. No one, yet these posters who scoff have nothing, have done nothing and contribute nothing except to say, "man will never fly!"
    Is his idea perfect? Of course not, but it is workable and better than anything else there is (there is nothing else available), and humans need something really bad and really soon.

    What if you had a presidential debate and all the candidates were on stage? What if you knew, as did everyone else, there was only one candidate present who had accomplished almost everything he said he would do and had done so for 40 years? What if you knew the others only made promises they have never kept, have never done anything to help the people of the nation, except to help themselves get richer and more powerful?
    Who would you vote for him? The answer is no. Ralph Nader was that man. Lived in a tiny, one room apartment for 25 years while he worked for the people, did great things, knew how to get things done, and refused the offers of vast amounts of money from the "good-ole boys" network, to turn the other way, stop what he was doing, to stop doing so much good. Was he elected? No. Americans worship lies and they believed political jokes about him, let him be marginalized and pushed aside and his message gone from the media
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      Aug 2 2013: Thanks for your detailed response, Mr. Chance! Now, some general thoughts and observations:

      Indeed, "artificial scarcity" has been needlessly played upon us myriad times simply to increase not only the price of the resource or component in question, but also the profit margin in the marketplace. While the Earth's resources are largely finite (taking into account improving recycling technologies), proper management of these resources would go far to eliminate false availability.

      One of my primary motivations for undertaking to discuss this topic is to not only improve the world for my son, but to create a better existence for the generations that follow his. I would like to think that a majority of the world's population might also admire the same notions.

      As you have noted, there is no perfect future, no untarnished "utopia," but there has to be something better than what we have now. Is it the Venus Project or some variant thereof? Maybe, maybe not. But, we have to start somewhere, and we need to have a constructive conversation that addresses problems head-on!
      • Aug 3 2013: Andre.
        Sorry it took so long for me to get back to Ted and thanks for your comments.
        If one of your primary undertakings is to improve the world for your son, something
        many and many here on Ted are apparently unwilling to do for their own and others children,
        then I would suggest you educate your child in how to change their system, the one they will live
        in and not how to be successful in the unjust and corrupt one that currently exists.
        That system, the one we have now, is corrupt through and through and in order to be
        successful in it, one must become corrupted. It lives and thrives on corruption.
        We all know this. To think for one moment that it is good is to simply lie to one self and then
        you must lie to your own children.
        They will be taught honesty and integrity and all that, and then as young adults you will send
        them into the world that doesn't value those attributes, doesn't live by them and seeks only the
        success of power and money at their direct expense.
        Too many are trying to teach their kids how to succeed instead of how to actually change,
        get rid of and create a just system in which to live and thrive.
        After all, as you seem to recognize, it is going to be their world, not yours, and the changes that may
        be very hard on you (the parents) and older generations, are in fact, changes that are not
        for you and the older generations. They are the ones who have allowed all the corruption to
        thrive, infest and infect the system in the "good-ole rich and powerful, corrupt boy" network they use to keep it alive. It has to die.
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          Aug 3 2013: Indeed, one skill I will work hard to instill in him is the ability to think for himself. He needs to see beyond the horizon, and realize that one day the world will belong to *his* children. Thanks again for your thoughts!
  • Aug 1 2013: Andre.
    The first hurdle will be getting people to simply think, taking time to understand and envision rather than just make fun of, minimize or quote phrases they have been told, have heard or read and simply accepted without too much thought.
    They want to not think and that is part of the problem. They have been brainwashed into what to believe, think, say, and do and what not to believe, think, say and do. They are artificially intelligent and are mental robots. In America, they are Manchurian Citizens. They even elected a Manchurian Candidate, Or, so they think they elected.
    Communism failed because it had money. Money is the cause, the reason for corruption. Studies over the last 100 years show money to be the direct cause of almost all crime, so it would get rid of close to 100% of all world-wide crime. Some sneer at this because it isn't 100%, failing to think what the world would be like with close to 95-98% of all crime gone.
    Most laws could be done away with providing humans handle this properly. All Human Needs should be Human Rights and freely given. By who? The people who already work as slaves to provide them. Humans do corporate work. Not corporations, More is to be automated but people are provided for, so there is no reason to horde, no reason to steal. It can't be sold!
    Certainly a huge benefit would be to take the management of the earths resources out of the hands of those who mismanage them and use fear mongering to get people to believe there is not enough to go around and people will have to die. End the absurd and ludicrous idea in practice that the earths resources can be owned or controlled by one person, a corporation, a country or a government. They were here before anyone, and for every form of life on the planet, free.
    Not having money could mean humans no longer make decisions based on money. Money-based decisions are almost always the wrong ones. Ones that pollute, kill, create injustice, scarcity, waste and no economy at all.
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    Aug 1 2013: wow, we did not have a venus project conversation for ... at least a month!
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      Aug 1 2013: Welcome! I'm glad to see you my polar opposite friend. Please join us, I beg. Poke some holes so I can patch up. I beg the challenge. Anything but filling out another freaking job application; just about out of resources in that department. :) ... Human resources I believe it's called ;)
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      Aug 2 2013: Hey Krisztián, thanks for chiming in!

      Indeed, much of what has been stated here has also been expounded upon by those familiar with The Venus Project.

      Unless I conducted them improperly, searches for "venus project" and "Jacques Fresco" on this site came up empty. I would love to see what else has been discussed.

      Finally, what are your constructive thoughts regarding the development of a resource-based society?
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        Aug 2 2013: none. it is a buzzword. i'm still trying to understand what is so appealing about it for people. the venus project is a just a colossal pretending of a proposal, without actual content of any sort.
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          Aug 3 2013: Well, I find the idea of a resource-based society appealing - in part - for the following reasons:

          - It separates tangible, measurable, and meaningful materials from artificially created economic paradigms, which can be easily manipulated to benefit a few and harm many.
          - It can speed up the development and distribution of beneficial technology, which might otherwise be held up by "a lack of money."
          - It can also eliminate waste in the form of duplicitous, low-quality products by redirecting the time, energy and materials used in creating them toward a handful of high-quality, long-lasting products.
          - It may speed up the process of pulling hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Admittedly, it will not place everyone in the lap of luxury, but - as has been noted before - they will certainly be better off than they are now.
          - It places an emphasis on an open and comprehensive education for all, unlike our current system, which relies upon funding that may or may not be there (and future generations end up paying the price).
          - It may eliminate inefficient, corruptible systems whose sole existence is to perpetuate and take advantage of the monetary system. A few examples might be tax collection and banks.

          There is more, but I would like to ask you, Krisztián, are you satisfied with the current state of affairs in today's world? If not, what would you like to see changed? How would you go about implementing these changes? Thanks!
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        Aug 2 2013: Krisztian is right that the Venus Project has been discussed here very often. When I put those words into the search box, here is what I got: http://www.ted.com/search?cat=ss_all&q=venus+project

        There are also conversations in which people avoid using the familiar labels (so they don't come up in your search) but are on the same subject or based on claims in the Zeitgeist movie.
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          Aug 3 2013: Thanks, Fritzie!

          I must have been looking for "talks" instead of "conversations".
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    Aug 1 2013: Anarchy or a totalitarian state, in both cases....

    -The effect of education on the birthrate will be negligible, because one half of the population still won't be thinking with their head, they'll be thinking with their....

    -Individuals need to have sole ownership of things, because they tend not to care very much for those things that they don't own. If we cared about things we didn't own, we'd take much better care of the environment. Resources will be hoarded. People will hold tight to a fistful of whatever they can get their hands on that has value.

    'Usership' is fine, but ownership is power and people will want it and power must be defended and the vicious downward spiral back to our modern day circumstances results. Resources will be hoarded.

    -People will want to control other people and will force some sort of quasi-employment on them. They will be controlled even if they aren't employed.

    People are way too optimistic about the future.
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      Aug 1 2013: 1, Half (or much less) of the population still and will continue thinking with their, you know what it's like? :)...This does not mean reproduction will become out of hand and uncontrollable if we are educated about the matter at hand. Presently, our welfare system promotes reproduction instead of discouraging it. Look, kids are paychecks! As a father I know this, it is very wrong to withhold a parent from being a parent unless a payment is made. We have so much more to offer than a simple paycheck/every other weekend worrier parent ...which is the current warped default setting. It is inequality; the system present knows this and has also figured out a way to get their slice of pie as well from it. It is just another horrible inequality sexist cash crop. Go on, ask me what I believe a "dead beat dad" truly is.

      2. I and many others don't "need" to have sole ownership of things to "be" somebody (where is my airplane!?) and if a tool is damaged it gets replaced easily because production is not for the masses which is presently another form of waste. Got a drill? If you are not a carpenter how often do you use it? It's clutter. Resources have been and are still being hoarded, this is stepping away from hoarding and promotes sharing for everyone, who needs countries with borders anymore? What are we afraid of? Power? manipulations? ....unity?

      3. Control by force will not be allowed. This is not anarchy nor a police/totalitarian state (which we nearly have today). I can see people trying to talk you into helping them with something just as your friends did when you were a kid. If you did not want to do it, did they force you into it? No, not if they were really your friends; they went about and found others of common interest for help or ideas.

      This will not be a perfect world, just a better one or closer to a perfect world.

      Cheerio!
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        Aug 1 2013: Victor Delta, I never figured you for such a nice friendly guy... Your optimism brings me great sorrow. Monks in monasteries and nuns in convents still have power struggles and they solved the ownership problem only by owning next to nothing and often the resources they do share are meals, monetary contributions, and chores.
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          Aug 1 2013: I'm sorry Daniel, I still love you greatly! To be honest, I don't like times when the creative painting ideas begin to rush in. It is during a rather painful part of my life but it is a relieve to some extent. Do you think we should all continue to treat each other like shit and we can all become creative artists?

          :( Com'on now, deluded utopian idealest? Take it back, please with sugar on top...cherry, sprinkles, whip cream, nuts, and plenty of honey. How about brussel sprouts too? Do you like those as well?
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        Aug 2 2013: There.
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      Aug 2 2013: Its effect on birthrate aside, an *open education* will be one of the biggest factors to help us transition our consciousness (and conscience) from one of self-preservation to one of fearless cooperation. Impossible? Nope. Idealistic? Perhaps, but why not? Why should we not go for the no-holds-barred betterment of humankind?

      As for hoarding, how many of any one functioning item would someone need?

      Furthermore, when I mentioned a resource-based society to one of my brothers, his initial response was something like, "well, what if everyone wants a house on the beach, four sports cars, a yacht, and a private jet?" A legitimate question? Sure, why not? But, realistically, how many people would want or even use all of these things? Even with automation, they would still have to be serviced and maintained, and you would likely need someone to pilot the jet and/or yacht. Again, a proper, open education (as a foundational element) would begin to shed some light on folly of such an endeavor.
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        Aug 2 2013: "All life is pain and suffering, because we have wants and desires that are inherently unsatisfiable." Those are the first two of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.

        Also, oxytocin (not Oxytocin) receptors have been found in fossil evidence of creatures tens of millions of years older than humans. Are brains are so hard-wired for stimulation through food, sex, power, success, etc. that while I admire the contemplative and enlightened society you are asking us to imagine, it simply seems too far-fetched to ask.

        The last century was the most violent and the deadliest in all human history, We've yet to see how this century turns out (fingers crossed). As a species, our capability for good seems to always be matched with our capability for bad.

        The question isn't "why should we not go for the no-holds-barred betterment of humankind", it is how are you going to get a world wide consensus on us striving for that objective, because all it takes is one rotten apple to spoil the entire planet.
  • Jul 31 2013: Assessment of value to resources, objects, skill sets, and property would be one hurdle. Every exchange would be a bartering experience.
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      Aug 1 2013: Why would every exchange be a bartering experience? What if there were common materials every home would have and what you did not use on an average basis is shared by the community like checking out a library book but of course every book there is more than one of. This would de-clutter a home/shed.
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        Aug 1 2013: Unless you had one of every kind of resource in the world you would have to exchange something you have for something you hadn't. And that is referring only to goods. Services are a whole other issue. There would have to be bartering on some things at some times. Exchange of some kind.
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          Aug 1 2013: Not if the world is unified in these terms of resources. We are all citizens of the planet. Like kids we all share the crayons from one big bucket. We are presently using these resources where an alternative can be put in place. We simply don't do it because how much of a negative impact it would be on our current monetary system. If there is a big eye in the sky then it is very disappointed for not being able to follow what we preach.

          Services would be the last to exit the monetary system....Waiters and such. Pamperers
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        Aug 1 2013: The image of crayons in a bucket cheers me. I love the smell of crayons, especially if they have been stored in a tin can. In college I kept a small pack of crayons in a desk drawer and sometimes smelled them.

        Manual laborers will not be the last to go. Human overlords of the machines will be. There will always have to be monitors.

        The human mind is far from capable of sharing with a group 8 or 9 billiion people in size, which is a billion or two more than what it is today, but that's the population size I predict for any erehwon daydream of the future.
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      Aug 2 2013: Thanks, Robert and Daniel, for your comments, and Victor for your continued insight!

      Allow me to touch upon the raw materials aspect (as opposed to the human element) of a resource-based society. Until we acquire materials from off-world, our resources are finite, with some leeway taken into account for recycling.

      As I look about any given retail establishment, it occurs to me that there are myriad duplicitous products of varying degrees of quality. All of those "inferior" products are using up resources that could be channeled toward higher quality products. In other words, rather than have 10 to 15 different garden hose nozzles, why not develop one model that simply works and lasts. The materials that would have gone toward an inferior design could now bolster greater demand for the "best" design...or excess materials could go toward another product altogether.
  • Jul 31 2013: This idea has already been tried many times and has always failed (see communism). What would be different this time - how exactly would you put it into practice?
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      Jul 31 2013: This is always the very first impression and debate. I understand.

      Lee, there is a huge difference. People are not told what to do like you are told what to do at your J-O-B where you are owned or in communism. It's about collective thought/innovation and putting it to use. Take one step beyond what is today and slowly dieing.

      Here is a link to get you started on how the world is slowly changing. You have a better solution after watching this video? Or does the majority go on financial welfare support forever filling out application after application?

      http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_mcafee_are_droids_taking_our_jobs.html?c=541090

      How to put into practice I believe is the focus of this question if I'm not mistaken.
      • Aug 1 2013: So, all we need for this to happen is for everyone to agree with each other, and to be honest, selfless and humble? Well why didn't you say so - that seems easy enough.

        Seriously, I'll repeat what I said before. This type of idea has been tried many times and it never works, because people are not and never will be totally honest, selfless and humble. People who believe this are like people who insist that their pet tiger is completely tame… one day they will get mauled.

        The most humane economic system would be based on the opposite assumption. Only by accepting that people are selfish, deceptive and disagreeable could we guard against those things. You are kidding yourself if you think you can change human nature.
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      Aug 2 2013: Lee, thanks for your participation!

      Just curious, why do you think that "people are selfish, deceptive and disagreeable"? Is it, perhaps, because of genetics or so-called "human nature"? Is there a chance that it might have something to do with generation after generation being exposed to the corrupting effects of some form of monetary system or another?

      I must admit, quite often the initial response to a resource-based society is that it is a form of Communism. However, Communist societies still used money and credit, whereas a true resource-based society does not.
      • Aug 2 2013: OK, I have a question. In this resource-based society, how are the resources divided up? Who decides who gets what?
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          Aug 3 2013: That is a great question, and one that is admittedly difficult to answer.

          One idea is that there would be a global declaration of universal rights. This might be something like, "every human is entitled to clean water, healthy food, safe housing, a quality education, and the opportunity to reach their greatest potential." Okay, there might be a different or better way to express this, but I'm sure you get the gist.

          This declaration could be used - at least initially - to direct and funnel resources where they are needed most. Once global conditions "equalize" (abject poverty is on its way to being eliminated, etc.), then resources could be redirected toward other projects that would benefit specific regions (redevelopment of the rain forests) or groups of people (inner-city children). Of course, there would be more to this, such as resources being used for the development of technology that would further help the global population.

          How do you think they might be divided up?
      • Aug 6 2013: But WHO does the redirecting of resources? A government department? A committee of some sort? What sort of qualifications do these people have? How long do they hold the position for? All these things will influence how well the system resists corruption.