FastForward Radio — The Coming Era of Abundance

By | August 11, 2009

The World Transformed, Part 8

What would life be like in a world without poverty? How about a world in
which everyone is, essentially, rich? The answer may be just around the corner.

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Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon welcome a panel of futurists to discuss
how the end of scarcity will revolutionize society, the economy, and life
as we know it.

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Archived recording available here:

Listen to FastForward Radio... on Blog Talk Radio


About our guests:

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Paul Fernhout writes essays about future-oriented themes (including Post-Scarcity Princeton and The Lion and the Butterfly), does free and open source software development, and shares homeschooling duties with his wife, Cynthia Kurtz. paulimage.jpg
Joseph Jackson is a philosopher
and social entrepreneur. A graduate of Harvard College AB (Government
2004) and the London School of Economics Msc (Philosophy of Science 2005),
he leads the Network for Open Scientific Innovation, a 501(c)3 organization
seeking to promote the emergence of Open Source models in the life sciences.

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Sally Morem writes essays on science,
science fiction, political philosophy, and the future of technology, including
The
Problems with Linear Projections of the Future,
Yes,
the World is Round
, Nanotechnology
Explained
, and The
Magic Universe of George Lucas
.
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  • Harvey

    The Queen’s contribution on education…a brand new video…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSp2kAQzPUk

  • Kirk

    Phil,

    Any hope for a transcript of these conversations? I never seem to manage to listen to them, but I would love to read through them at a later date. If not, I understand, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask.

    Thanks.

  • Harvey

    Well, my favorite thing to do yesterday, was going to the Doomsday channels I’ve found on Youtube, and typing, “replicators replicating replicators in your face!”, or “soon we’ll be dancing and printing sandwiches”.

  • http://wheretheresawilliam.blogspot.com Will Brown

    Interesting viewpoints; the difference of perspective between Sally and the two relatively much younger gentlemen was quite apparent. My own thoughts and commentary can be read here. I wish my work schedule allowed me live participation still.

  • http://www.pdfernhout.net/ Paul Fernhout

    Thanks again for inviting me on the show.

    One point I’d like to add, especially in relation to Will Brown’s insightful blog post, is that I feel what sort of world we have in the future does depend a lot on how social issues connect to what sorts of technologies we chose to invent and how exactly we link them together (Langdon Winner talks a lot about this). I feel this will apply all the way up to the point of any Singularity (which might act like a mirror of our virtues). So, I feel the kind of choices we make now will affect what kind of Singularity we get, whether they are choices about universal health care and a “basic income” for all globally as a basic human right, ending rankism and emphasizing human dignity, working towards aspects of both egalitarianism and meritocracy as opposed to reinforcing a social pyramid based on other factors including control of artificial scarcities, trying to move beyond competition (as Alfie Kohn suggests) and towards more cooperation, and so on for a whole host of social issues. So, how we approach these issues that are in our lives now may very well affect the future of humanity (and any spinoffs) for a long time to come. One thing that has concerned me is that many people working towards a Singularity or any sort of high-tech future are often doing so within a competitive commercial context as opposed to a free and open source context. This worries me, for exactly the sorts of reasons that Will Brown suggests. I wrote elsewhere that I feel humanity needs to get to “100 social-technical points” to have a post-scarcity society and that these points are multiplicative (social points times technical points), in the sense that better technology makes it easier in many ways to be generous despite a crowded planet, but likewise a compassionate crowd makes it easier to use what technology we have to bring about abundance instead of scarcity for all:
    http://groups.google.com/group/openmanufacturing/msg/a7abadb8867dae79?hl=en