Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Social/Technology Experiment

I love science. I love technology. And I also love experiments. Over the past few weeks, starting on December 21st with my 'Time Must Be Spared For Self Education' article, I have been looking to see what the reactions would be for a topic of this nature; the implementation of what The Venus Project (TVP) has in mind and the ideals it holds for a social structure.

I was interested to see if the conversations would go more towards the social aspect of what's been proposed, or more the technical aspect. After several debates in the comments section of various articles I've posted, I have concluded that the easiest argument revolves around the social construct, specifically the money construct. Now I fully admit, I pushed the money button on purpose, just to see if people would bypass that and go right towards the technology implied. That never really happened and I didn't want to push it that way. I wanted to see if people would push it that way, finding the technology aspect more important than the idea of abolishing money and restructuring our global system accordingly.

I'm a little saddened by this, because I figured the people who visited this blog would be more prone to shift the debate towards the technology and science behind the idea. I was actually hoping to get someone who would ask me to do an article on the technology proposed and how that may work, or how we could start implementing the idea, or build a test city as a research facility.

Clark was the only guy who got close to that line of thought. Thanks Clark. I did enjoy our debate, although I was hoping you'd pull away from the money argument and shift towards the technology bit. You somewhat did that at the end, which is what prompted me to wrap this all up by writing this article. I didn't make it easy for you though, as I flowed with what you wanted, a social/econ debate, but I did throw out technology enough times to see if you'd bite on that. :)

All in all, here's my point: It's easy to get all wrapped up in the social part of TVP. Thinking you can change the world by just talking about it is stupid. I've told them as much. Now, in the long run, I'm in favor of abolishing the monetary system and moving towards a more resource based system. Systems change as needed, and it would be unwise for us as a species to hold on to a system that is outdated. We upgrade things all the time. None of you have 386SX computers with a monochrome green monitor anymore, do you? Of course not. When better systems became available that made things easier, you upgraded. There is no reason why we can't do the same thing with our socioeconomic system.

However, I am a firm believer in the, "Build it and they will come," theory. What we need to do is build a fully functional, self sustaining test facility (town) that accurately models a majority of the aspects of what the RBE (Resource Based Economy) would be like. This is not like the biosphere experiment. It's more dynamic than that, and less isolated. If you take the time to look at how TVP has designed its cities, they make wonderful use of technology as a means to help run the city with extreme efficiency, making life better for every resident. I'm all for that!

Then put webcams all over the place (except in private living areas of course) and show the world how it all works. 24/7/365 live webcasting of something like this, with interviews and streaming shows that educate people as to how things work, would go a long way in opening the eyes of the world to a much better life. Once people see that something like that is possible, then there will be a move to make it happen, town by town, city by city.

So, as you can see, I'm more interested in the science/technology aspect of TVP than the social construct. That will come in time. Try not to get bogged down in the social ideology debates. If you are a fan of science and engineering, and space exploration, the ideas involved in the technical aspect of TVP are very appropriate. What needs to happen now is a serious effort to build the test facility to showcase how the system would work. The fun part is figuring out how to accomplish that.


Gordon said...

I can’t get away from the “no money” part of your plan for a future utopia. The nearest model we have is surely communism and that has not stood up well when compared to capitalism.

I like the idea of a world without money, I just don’t see it getting started and those videos you recommend have not convinced me otherwise.

If I ignore the no money part then I am fascinated by the notion of designing a city starting with a blank piece of paper, fully utilising the technology of today and the likely technology of the future.

I want you to make me believe that the world can charge ahead, sending colonies out into space with the rate of new scientific discoveries continuing at the pace that has been set over the last 50 years.

Norman Copeland said...

Well I think that an invention of a really significant advance in warp engine technology that was publically announced to the world would bring a new theology to our world, but, what worries me is the gangsters and war crime greed optimists that have not been apprehended and controlled with the proper measures, they would certainly represent an unchartered danger in the next step of our 'freedom for all space travel entitlements'.

Douglas has, so, justly and rightly focused on the ITAR planning implementation, but, as I've said, socioplanning is among our community at every level...

Just not sorted yet in the lab...


Douglas Mallette said...

Gordon - I never said Utopia. Never once do I or anyone else claim this to be Utopian nonsense. In fact, we hate that term. That's a
fairytale, and sadly the one thing everyone jumps too as a way to shoot down the idea.

This is just a different system, an alternative
to what we're doing now so that we better utilize the resources of this planet for all humanity, and not a select few, mainly because we finally have the technological capability to do so.

I go back to resources and technology to refute your Communism argument. You're exactly right, that system sucks in practice. Why? Because those who tried it only cared about social class, or the abolition thereof. They never really looked at the big picture. It also focused on government ownership of everything, which in and of itself is ridiculous. People in governmental positions will abuse that position, which is exactly what happened. In fact, that's even happening now in the U.S. and everywhere else. They never considered advanced resource management by the technological control of the system, removing people and their greed, bias and flaws from the
system completely. They didn't have the technology to do so.

The RBE system removes money by its very nature because if things are plentiful and easy to acquire, then money has no value. Robotic
automation can completely govern food production and product creation, even house building. There are systems already developed that can build a house using an automated system in under 24 hours. It's called Contour Crafting. Here's a news story on the process:


Notice how NASA is thinking about this for Lunar Construction. It's no joke, it's real and it's possible! Hooray technology!

People become oppressed when other people run and ruin the system. On paper the ideals of Communism sounds fair, just, honorable and right, such that all humans benefit. It's when people run the system that it gets mucked up, because power, control and greed have been programmed into our global culture.

I guarantee you this, give the whole world
amnesia save for the ability to know how to work all our advanced technology, and all war, corruption and ills would stop due to the
plentiful capabilities the technology provides, and the lack of historical memory to be crappy based on things of the past.

We're not born to be bastards, we're taught to be bastards by our culture and history used as an excuse. Over time, through the use of technology, false scarcity and power control will fall to the wayside.