From: John Stick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Aug 11 2001 - 11:03:53 MDT
James Higgins asked:
> At 04:52 PM 8/6/2001 -0600, John Stick wrote:
> >In sorting out what a sysop would likely do,
> >it might help to separately consider its various functions: What
> >will it prohibit and use force to prevent, what protections will it give
> >your person, what scheme of property rights and markets will it
> >what activities will be permitted only if regulated, what disclosure
> >will be enforced, where will the sysop independently provide information
> >warnings even if it doesn't mandate disclosure from one of the
> Reffering to "markets" above. Do you expect there to be trade & commerce
> post Singularity? What would it be based on?
> James Higgins
What is there to trade? Information, code, personal services (teaching,
conversation, security), art, journalism, entertainment, resources
(computational and real), space, devices (nano and macro) that someone else
can design and make better or more efficiently.
And all that is possible long after singularity even if all citizens upload.
Shortly after singularity and if some citizens remain wetware or merely
augmented, much more of the current set of markets are likely to survive
(though seachanged into something rich and strange).
And I would be very surprised if new markets of goods and services undreamed
I am not forecasting the survival of the corporate form of business or
"capitalism as we know it". I have no clue as to exactly how finance and
large scale operations will be conducted. With large bandwidth networks,
even barter may become an efficient large scale activity again. But
markets are just too handy for coordinating things when multiple people with
differing abilities, situations and preferences have to interact. And I
expext the singularity to make people more different, not more similar.
Someone (Carl Feynmam?) who posted earlier was exactly right to point out
that the fear that nanomanufacturing would permanently trash the economy or
put 95% of people out of work is economically illiterate. (Major short term
dislocations are of course likely). 200 years ago more than 95% of people
in the world worked in agriculture. In advanced economies that is now less
than 3% (even less if you only count those who work the land). A similar
crash in manufacturing employment has already occurred. In the US, there
are not as many manufacturing jobs to lose as have already gone. Services,
from software design to sex work, have more than made up for them. In an
economy of abundance, the creation of new types of services is endless. I
live outside Santa Fe. You would not believe the number of massage
therapists, personal trainers, aroma therapists, not to mention artists, who
live in the area. Why wouldn't the singularity just increase the types of
services you might want to consume?
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