Jun 242014

Someone asked me to comment on this video. So I did. And then, having written all those words, I figured I might as well throw them up here as well in case I need to refer back to them (since Facebook is a terrible archive).

I’ve run into Zeitgeist before, and I love their idealism and ideas. But I think as a society we’re already meeting most human needs. No one starves to death in America, and the vast majority of sustained homelessness is not due to lack of shelter but rather for mental health reasons. While they’ve got a neat model for post-scarcity economies, they don’t say how we can get there. We’re already halfway to post-scarcity, and powerful corporate entities are gobbling up all the gains society has produced, leaving the rest of us no better off.

He keeps straying into “We need to move away from a market-based outlook” and I get all excited and want to jump up and say “YES! This is why I’m here! Tell me more!” But then he veers away. :( Please tell me how to do this, and what we can replace it with. Even just a first step and a vauge goal-like image in the distance would be enough. But there’s never anything concrete to go on. Just lots of talk talk about how awesome future tech will be. So much frustration! That’s why I gave up on Zeitgeist previously, and why I think they are struggling to build up steam.

He spent too much time on tech solutions. I’m not interested in speculative tech, that’s not why I came here. Tell me how to CHANGE THE SYSTEM. Otherwise the current capitalist market system will simply take this new tech and use it, in exactly the same way they’ve taken and used all previous tech advances. Like On-Demand Production of Everything. Great idea, which the corporations will control and dole out just like they do now unless there are systemic changes implemented between now and when it becomes a reality.

I *LOVE* the emphasis on sharing of tools rather than owning (seriously, every single house in a neighborhood does NOT need a lawn mower! One per block *at most!*). But he doesn’t address the problems of who is responsible for maintenance and upkeep, and who can use it when. The difficulties of administering such a sharing system is the reason most people chose to fix the problem with the wasteful-but-much-simpler-expedient of “everyone owns their own damn mower” in the first place.

He also never addresses how their system would handle free rider problems, aside to assert there won’t be any.

It was nice to finally get a useful definition of property though! :) I will now use property as short-hand for “the legal right to declare who gets access to a physical object”, and modify as needed.

In the Q&A he kinda gets into how we get there from here, but extremely briefly. I guess there are some ideas. I really wish there was a talk that focused on THAT aspect of it.

  3 Responses to “How to get There from Here?”

  1. From the SO: There are several resources (and real life examples) of people starting/running tool sharing programs. Nothing is without it’s challenges. Care to put your money where your mouth is? We can team up and try starting one?

    • :D If you’d like. I haven’t bothered because I don’t want the headache of dealing with other people. But if you’re willing to endure the inevitable issues, I’m down.

  2. You are willing to try it as long as someone else does all the work?

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