Thursday, 14 March 2013

Truth About Scarcity

Scarcity is no more imaginary than reality. Even air, which we can continually touch all around us, is scarce, but the scarcity of air is not severe thus there is abundance but certainly not superabundance or Post-Scarcity.

The vastness of Space for example has very little air and underwater on Earth air is very scarce. When you can access any amount of minerals with a click of your fingers via ultra-efficient molecular-assemblers (nano-printing-bots) then you can truly say scarcity is utterly obsolete but in the meantime scarcity is very real, there is nothing artificial about our requirements regarding the supply of resources; we need a lot of resources but we simply don't have enough resources in the year 2013. When resources are excessively surplus to requirements then scarcity has ended. It is an illusion-delusion to think scarcity can be created artificially.

There are three levels of resource availability regarding a burgeoning technological civilization with sufficient intelligence to appreciate truly how resources are relevant:

1. Abundance.
2. Superabundance.
2. Post-Scarcity.

Scarcity only ends a civilization reaches the third stage of resource availability. During the abundance stage people can suffer immensely due to scarcity because while abundance can be good it does not have the resilience, ubiquitousness, or dependability of superabundance or the utter certitude of Post-Scarcity. The superabundance period of civilization happens very shortly before the Singularity (Post-Scarcity), it lasts perhaps only five or ten years, it is a very brief transition period into Post-Scarcity. Scarcity persists in varying degrees during both the abundance and superabundance periods. 

Prior to abundance I would tentatively define this period as Crude Survival. Circa 2013 we can clearly see, by looking at our civilization based on abundance, how Crude Survival is not too distant, we can see the legacy of Crude Survival within our civilization or within any civilization based on abundance. The legacy of Crude Survival only disappears completely when we enter the Post-Scarcity stage. 

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