TED Conversations

Andre Hoogeveen

Specialist, Apple Computer Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Aug 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.

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