TED Conversations

Gabriel Ray

Student, The Venus Project

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A new global economy with relation to the natural world, rather than the fluctuation of 'value'.

In order to validly support the human race, we have to understand that our economy can not be based on something as trivial and abstract as value. Value is relative and has no true manifestation. While one person may be attracted to this particular golden rock, another may be just as captivated by a lump of coal. Our economy must reflect what we have on our planet, what we need for our planet, and how we can make the very most of what is available. With our current system of value, that which there is little of holds the most value. In this sense, if all the oranges in the world were to go extinct but one, it would be an incredibly valuable orange.. but what good would it do. It does not make sense to power our homes and our machines (vehicles and otherwise) on finite, limited resources such as hydrocarbon fuels. In a true economy, based on the principles of sustainability, we would focus more on what there is a lot of and what can easily be renewed and updated. Our cities, our homes, and our very way of lives, must evolve constantly with the introduction of new information if we ever hope to survive and spread through the cosmos.


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  • Aug 16 2011: "Value is relative and has no true manifestation."
    Wrong, the quantitive manisfestation is the economy. It is how we measure value through mediums such as supply and demand. Whereby that which is highly demanded with a low supply is worth more than that which is high in supply and does not have a high demand.

    "Our economy must reflect what we have on our planet, what we need for our planet, and how we can make the very most of what is available"
    Surely this is covered by supply and demand. Materials in high demand with low supply have a higher value placed on them than those with low demand and high supply.

    Whilst you may be right concerning the powering of homes with finite resources, the ability to do this on a large scale is currently not available to everyone for a low enough cost, why? Because the materials and construction is currently high in demand (Through green initiatives) and low in supply.
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      Aug 18 2011: I believe that there is a difference with our current economy and the one envisioned by Gabriel. Our current economy is highly wasteful in the practice of supply and demand. This is because a person creates the supply and then observes the demand for the supply. This is wasteful. In Gabriel's statement, the goal would be to do a more direct demand where the supply was initiated after demand was realized creating a quantity that would encompass everyone's needs fairly while not overproducing to the point of our current waste.

      Also when it comes to powering our homes, we have the materials and there are more than enough people out there to create the technology's needed. The problem is that in our current system, it pays to have demand high and supply low so that prices stay elevated and the demand runs out slower.

      I see this type of economy as a viable alternative to our current economy, we just need to have open minds and a little courage.

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