Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



It's Only A Miracle If You're Not In The Business Of Selling Loaves & Fishes

from the unauthorized-reproduction-of-food dept

Aaron DeOliveira was the first of a few of you to send over Kevin Carson's amusing re-imagining of a few Biblical stories if they were written in a world with similar laws to what we have today. Creating food and wine out of nothing? Infringement!
After reportedly feeding a crowd of five thousand with five loaves and two fishes, Jesus Christ of Nazareth was recently served with formal legal notice from industry trade associations, demanding that he cease and desist from what they charge is an illegal food-sharing operation under the terms of the Miracle Millennium Anti-Replication Act (MMAA).

Miracle-working rabbis like Mr. Christ, and their alleged property rights infringements, have been the center of controversy in recent years. They’re the subject of a public education campaign by the Foodstuffs Producers Association of Galilee and Judea. Loaves and fishes producers argue that unauthorized replication of food, since it deprives them of revenues to which they are entitled, amounts to stealing. Sympathetic rabbis in synagogues throughout Palestine are reading FPAGJ public service announcements, aimed at countering public perceptions that “everybody does it” and “it’s just a little thing,” to their flocks: “Don’t bakers and fishermen deserve to be paid?” Many Torah schools have adopted FPAGJ “anti-foodlifting” curricula.
There are some more such examples, including concerns about turning water into wine and healing people without a physician's license. Good stuff. Of course, as was pointed out in the comments to that post, others have come up with similar ideas, including this Nerfnow comic, in which a bread seller complains that "bread piracy will kill the bread industry."

The thing is, there is a flipside to all of this. Just as people talk about the ability to create new things out of nothing or through some sort of magic replication as being "a miracle," it does seem worth noting that the digital era, and the fact that we've turned a ton of goods from scarce goods into abundant goods, is something of a miracle for society. It's really still quite stunning to think that so many people don't recognize how abundance is a good thing for the economy. The only people it hurts are those who continue to rely on business models that believe the abundant good is still scarce. Everyone else is better off.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:07pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    This reminds me of a particular post on Boing Boing...

    Found it: http://boingboing.net/2010/10/14/piracy-jesus-did-it.html

    "Jesus copied and distributed loaves and fishes, thus he violated the copyrights of the bakers and the fishermen. The disciples participated in this food-sharing network as well, so they're also liable for contributory infringement.

    He also format-shifted water into wine and thus engaged in unfair competition with the vintners.

    The crucifixion was one hell of a DMCA takedown notice. "

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

    Re:

    Doh! One minute behind...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Mike42 (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    Re:

    So I guess we should be happy just paying a fine?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

    He made those loaves available....

    $750 to $100k per slice of bread, Jesus.

    The RIAA/MPAA are the moneychangers in our temple of culture. Let's go turn us over some tables, shall we?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    christ

    give up your spoiled entitlement, free-for-all, pro-piracy religion a rest for one day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Jeff Rowberg (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Matter replication

    It's an interesting thought experiment: how would things change if/when somebody does create a way to transform raw molecular compounds into complex things like food or building materials? 3D printing is the beginning of this, and it's difficult to say how for it will actually go, and how long it will take to get to its technological peak. Obviously creation "ex nihilo" is impossible, but I wouldn't rule out matter transformation of this kind.

    The licensing wars will not be pretty.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    Re: christ

    Give up your rent-seeking, then we'll talk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Matter replication

    Let's not get started on how the train industry, the airline industry, Fedex and USPS would flip the shit if quantum teleportation ever became a reality...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    A Dan (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Re: He made those loaves available....

    You've made a reference showing too much knowledge of biblical tales. Every argument you make is now suspect, because you obviously can't think rationally.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Andrew, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Matter replication

    I heard that teleportation devices are really easy to make using aluminum foil, diamonds and other common stuff, but that the airline industry has bought up of all the prototypes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    acutally, the real recipe for a teleporter is: obsidian, diamonds, iron, and red dust. Just make sure a creeper doesn't enter the chamber while you transport

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Matter replication

    It's an interesting thought experiment: how would things change if/when somebody does create a way to transform raw molecular compounds into complex things like food or building materials? ...
    "Not pretty" is an understatement and I suspect there will be aggressive attempts to outlaw and bury such technology as it could be potentially so disruptive that the mere introduction could cause devastating consequences across all economies world-wide.

    ..or it could unleash the true potential of the human species - both worthy of fear from those in power...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    I can't quite tell if you're serious at the core of your joke, but if you are I would consider that it's far more irrational to ignore the world's most influential stories simply because you know they aren't literally true. I'm not a believer either, but all-out ignoring religion is a surefire way to guarantee you will never understand humanity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Two fish sound about right. They should easily make about 5K of McDonalds' Filet-of-Fish, with enough left over for 5K more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Dave, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

    Re:

    Go easy on the diciples. They at least sugested using a legal alternative, by sending the people to 'them that sell' first. Jesus overrode them out of a misguided sense of concern that the people were so hungry, they might faint along the way!

    Civil rights like not being hungry don't overide food property rights!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Matter replication

    "ex nihilo" could be possible because if it wasn't you and I wouldn't be here, where did all the matter in the universe come from?

    It was always there?
    It had to come from somewhere right? was that somewhere full of nothing?

    Aside from that particles pop up into existence from nothing apparently according to physicists.

    So I wouldn't discard the possibility, it may be hard but not impossible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Matter replication

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/14/markets/thebuzz/index.htm

    More devastating than the current depression that turned the tables and now is the "emerging markets" that have to bail out the "industrialized world"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Matter replication

    On another world there was a debate about "the age of abundance" I think it was called "Are We Ready For the Coming 'Age of Abundance?' - Dr. Michio Kaku".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    You've made a reference showing too much knowledge of biblical tales. Every argument you make is now suspect, because you obviously can't think rationally.

    Actually you're argument (a pure ad hominem) displays a lack of rationality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    "your argument"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    You missed the point of my post entirely and are basing your thinking on the current world. If there were a means for anyone to replicate anything they wanted or needed, what need would there be to make anything other than replicators?

    This would mean all companies other than replicator manufacturers (during the first production run) would go out of business and all the employees would loose their jobs as there was nothing for them to do...and no one would be paying taxes...and...and...

    Society could conceivably collapse...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Kevin Carson, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    Thanks, Mike

    Jay: Actually, a few years back a French taxicab company tried to get an injunction against carpoolers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    "Society could conceivably change..."

    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    The question (and it's an open one) is whether society can change fast enough to avoid breaking.

    It's already the case that many of our social preconceptions are going to have to change as various kinds of job are automated out of existence, being replaced by maintenance tasks for software and robotics.

    The assumption at the core of our modern economic system is that there's something useful for everyone to do that someone else will pay them for. Reliance on social safety nets is meant to be the exception rather than the rule.

    As more and more "essential" tasks related to provision of food, water, shelter, power and other core infrastructure become heavily automated, however, the number of roles for humans will drop significantly while the nature of the roles that remain will be technical rather than manual. So there either needs to be a rise in the "non-essential" roles that are getting funded, or else some of our core assumptions about the nature of social safety nets are going to have to change.

    Nobody in 1911 could have predicted what society was going to look like in 2011. The multiplicative effect of pervasive communications technology is likely to drive even more profound shifts between now and 2111.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Matter replication

    View the time periods following the life of Mr. Guttenburg and you will find examples of upcoming behavior. Doesn't history repeat itself?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Nick Coghlan (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    Oops, forgot to log in before posting that...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:05pm

    What mp3s would jesus pirate?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: christ

    Somebody doesn't know their biblical commandments: Number Eleven, Thou Shalt Not Copy or Pasteth!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Jesus' Punishment for sharing

    Of course, the punishment for Bread/Fish-sharing at the time was...you guessed it, crucifixion. But on the cross, it wouldn't have said "INRI", it would have said "PPQM" for "PISCVM PANVMQVE MVLTIPLICATIO" (or "Multiplication of Fish and Bread").

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    funny. Those that always worry about a collapse in society do to advancement of technology, point that we are basing our thinking on the current world when they are the ones doing so.
    This is the main failure of many discussing the future development.
    You're still thinking about social safety nets in the same paragraph that you essentially eliminated the need for one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    ...it would also mean nobody would ever have to worry about food or goods anymore.

    So they be free to work on whatever they want to work is that terrible?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    Also I find that nature is resilient, ants, bees and other living creatures that live in group don't need markets or money to make their living, somehow they live and prosper with societies based on very, very simple rules that when applied to every individual result in complex behaviour as a group, maybe it is time to go back to the fundamentals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:29pm

    Re:

    Oh Come All Ye Faithful?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    That is to say that your vision of society may collapse but human beings will find a way to keep living with or without replicators.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    actually we have/still do live in a class society. With technological development however, that has started to change somewhat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    Can people start being nice to each other and start learning how to entice others to help to do some job?

    Because in the world of plenty you won't be able to count on money to force others to work for you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    This is already a reality. All you have to do is look at the Free Software foundation. Linux and thousands of programs are free and open source, developed by people for people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2011 @ 8:04pm

    Oh look, stinky propaganda.

    Mike, you are a truly classic person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    If anyone ever says that they understand humanity, they should be locked up in a nice padded room for their OWN protection.

    Being humans we will never fully understand ourselves, though somehow I doubt Aliens could either, though if they ever did it might not be a good thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 9:13pm

    Re:

    The title is misleading!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 9:26pm

    Re: christ

    Kopimism - now taking new converts!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Sep 14th, 2011 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    If anyone ever says that they understand humanity, they should be locked up in a nice padded room for their OWN protection.

    Agreed. But I do think we all pursue that understanding for our whole lives (even if achieving it in full is impossible) and that avoiding knowledge of something as pivotal as religion will guarantee you never make any progress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Prisoner 201, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    Enter my personal political conviction:

    Hedonistic Robo-Communism

    In a nutshell:
    * All tasks that no human feels like doing are done by robots.
    * Humans do whatever they enjoy doing.

    The only currency would probably be "Kudos".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    Absolutely, and the more you know about the history of religions and the many faiths, creeds, etc out their (not just the Abrahamic ones) the more likely that you really understand why things like Last week's Gruen Transfer pitch topic (a show about Advertising and what makes it tick on ABC in Australia) which challenged Melbourne based agency Loud & Clear Creative and Sydney's Play Communications to sell the idea of 'banning all religion in Australia' should be not just be an innocuous 'tongue in cheek' pitch at selling the 'un-sellable' but a REAL campaign world wide.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:00am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, this post is just another example of how no one can bring the 'fringe' when it comes to infringement better than Mike Masnick...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    Look at Soviet Russia to see how well that worked...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    Ummm...except that they substituted extreme nationalism and statism in the place of religion.

    It's when you can break away from all those things that you will truly be free.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    EngineerZ, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 6:20am

    I wonder if Mr. Christ tried video recording the ensuing interaction with the cops when the local market president tried shutting down his free food giveaway / protest. Was recording a peace officer legal in Galilee, or was that considered wiretapping?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    Actually, Nick's post above captures the essence of what I was saying. Certainly, should such technology be developed and made widely available, the long term consequence would most likely be closer to what the vision is of those who are looking at the Star Trek scenario: abundance means the human species can concentrate on "bettering" themselves and society in general.

    The rub is when you look at the short to mid term scenarios where society is struggling to adapt. With great disruption comes a period of chaos; it's just human nature and would take time to clear itself up as society realigns itself to absorb said changes and then move forward. Change sometimes can be smooth, but when you have something that could be as destructive as this to the very order of society, you have a period of extreme turmoil and uncertainty.

    I am far from being a Luddite, but I do recognize that when some things move too quickly, humans tend to lag behind the curve and thus introduce "turbulence" into the equation. Don't naively believe that a Utopia will suddenly appear and be universally embraced...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: christ

    ...Number Eleven, Thou Shalt Not Copy or Pasteth!

    Watch out if you break that one.

    God doesn't need three strikes, maybe two if his aim is a little off with the first lightning bolt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    Can people start being nice to each other and start learning how to entice others to help to do some job?

    Last guy to suggest this and was taken seriousl found himself nailed to two pieces of wood next to two copyright infringers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re:

    Give it a couple years they will be pushing for the death penalty ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    A Dan (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    No, I am not serious. Obviously I understood the reference, so I know the tale he's referring to, as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    A Dan (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    Sorry Richard, I was not serious. It would be an extremely amusing ad hominem to attempt in the comments of an article directly referencing the biblical tale of the fish and bread.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, this post is just another example of how no one can bring the 'fringe' when it comes to infringement better than Mike Masnick...

    Struck me that the author of the original piece was, like many others, seeking an analogy that might finally get through to maximalists just how insane the relatively recent explosion of claims of rent and "rights" over everything tangible or intangible is. I am unsurprised again to find that De Nile is not just a river in Africa....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Matter replication

    > Let's not get started on how the train industry,
    > the airline industry, Fedex and USPS would flip
    > the shit if quantum teleportation ever became a
    > reality

    Reminds me of a short story by Stephen King called "The Jaunt". A father in some indeterminate future entertains his family as they wait to to be teleported to Jupiter with the story of how the device was invented, and why people have to be sedated before being put through the machine.

    Inanimate object teleported just fine. However anything living/conscious kept coming out the other side dead or near dead. In order to find out more, they finally decided to offer death row inmates a deal if they volunteered to go through. If they survived, they'd get a pardon. The one guy who took them up on it, came through the other side nearly catatonic, and whispered four words before dying, "It's forever in there..."

    Turns out, while matter tranported instantaneously, the mind/consciousness took eons to make the trip, and the person's psyche was driven insane from the isolation and loneliness.

    Pretty cool story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Matter replication

    > "Not pretty" is an understatement and I
    > suspect there will be aggressive attempts
    > to outlaw and bury such technology as it could
    > be potentially so disruptive that the mere
    > introduction could cause devastating consequences
    > across all economies world-wide.

    The security issues alone would be monumental. Can you imagine trying to secure the Pentagon or the White House or a presidential speech site if there were people out there with the ability to just appear wherever they liked?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    > Also I find that nature is resilient, ants,
    > bees and other living creatures that live in
    > group don't need markets or money to make
    > their living, somehow they live and prosper

    Hive species aren't exactly something on which I'd like to base human society.

    Each individual in a hive is expendable and will be instantly sacrificed for the 'greater good' of the hive without hesitation, and all members of the hive are essentially mindless drones in subservience to the queen.

    Saying we should go back to fundamentals like that is like watching Star Trek and thinking that the Borg would be the goal to which huamnity should aspire.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Nick Coghlan (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    Yup, Iain M. Banks has done a great job of running with exactly this thesis in his "Culture" novels.

    The Culture is so rich in resources that people work only because they want to, not because they need to in order to get what they need to survive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Nick Coghlan (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    Currently, our primary mechanism for managing resource distribution is money. At the most basic level, the preferred mechanisms to gain money as an individual are:
    1. Labour (you are given money for your time - employees and self-employed individuals rely on this mechanism)
    2. Investment (you are given money now in return for providing money and/or labour in the past - investors and business owners rely on this mechanism)

    The fallback mechanism, which has strong associated social stigma, at least for now, is relying on government benefits and charitable institutions. It is this fallback mechanism that I'm referring to as a social safety net. It supports those who do not gain sufficient income from labour and investment to provide for themselves and their families.

    In a culture of abundance, the viability of many forms of labour as a means for gaining access to resources begins to fail, as more and more essential tasks are handled by robots.

    Thus, the idea that people are entitled to a certain share of the available resources just for being alive will likely need to lose its social stigma and become part of the normal fabric of society. That's a fairly radical prospect when you contrast it with the abuse directed at "dole bludgers" and those on any kind of welfare benefits these days.

    Personally, I *don't* think society will collapse. I figure we'll muddle through, just as we muddled through the transition from barter-based economies to currency-based ones. But it's going to be an interesting ride, and some closely held preconceptions aren't going to survive the trip.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Nick Coghlan (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Matter replication

    There's a strong case to be made that an insect hive is more analagous to the human body than it is to human society.

    Each cell in a body is expendable and will be instantly sacrificed for the 'greater good' of the body without hesitation, and all cells in the body are essentially mindless drones in subservience to the path dependent emergent behaviour of the body as a whole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Jimmy the Geek (profile), Sep 18th, 2011 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re: He made those loaves available....

    Because, obviously, being able to quote from star wars movies means that someone can think. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    icon
    Watchit (profile), Apr 10th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re:

    can't pirate that it's public domain

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This