[extropy-chat] gm biodiesel 'em

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sun Oct 30 03:51:31 UTC 2005

On Oct 29, 2005, at 7:41 AM, David Lubkin wrote:

> Jack Parkinson wrote:
>> To my mind, a successful extropian future is partly dependent on  
>> making a
>> transition from economics of scarcity to economics of plenty -  
>> just having a
>> more radical juxtaposition of haves and have-nots is never going  
>> to do this.
> I see those expressions -- "economics of scarcity" and "economics  
> of plenty" -- occasionally. They seem like a hand-waving fancy.
> First, I don't see how there's more than one economics.

It is a bit sloppy but seems to be shorthand for the difference  
between relative scarcity of even necessities compared to demand as  
compared to relative abundance of even many "luxuries" much less  
necessities relative to demand.

> Second, it seems to me that there will always be scarcity.

Depends a lot on scarcity of what.  Some things are not easily (if at  
all) replicable even with universally available MNT.  But the ones  
that aren't might be a lot less crucial to economics in the future.

> You may mean a future where what we today consider the essentials  
> of life are trivially available to all. That may happen. But the  
> goalposts keep moving.

I am not sure they of necessity  will always move that much relative  
to demand.

> Want will always exceed supply, since the former is effectively  
> infinite and the latter is effectively finite.

This is a standard assumption but it is not completely obvious (to me  
at least).

> There also seems to be a socialist tinge in talking of haves and  
> have-nots. One of the consequences of technology has always been,  
> and will continue to be, increasing the gap between the top and the  
> bottom of the asset curve.

This seems like a  different conversation.  Under some scenarios of  
conceivable future tech the gap could narrow significantly.

- samantha

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