The POTUS said something remarkable in his NSA surveillance speech. Most listeners may have missed it. Obama pointed to a truth reaching far into the future while acknowledging that truth requires paying special attention to what the truth speaks to. He said:
“….And the power of new technologies means that there are fewer and fewer technical constraints on what we can do. That places a special obligation on us to ask tough questions about what we should do….”
Nowhere is this more clear than among the Copiosis staff. In our recent technology meeting, where we were determining the math and inputs behind our Net-Benefit Calculation, we came to the same conclusion the POTUS did about what is possible…pretty much anything. Anything we might want to do technology is enabling. From here technology make what we want to do easier and easer. Whether it’s spying on the world, extracting every last milliliter of oil and natural gas from Earth’s crust, or finding more stupefying ways to create wealth from nothing.
That places a special obligation on us to ask tough questions about what we should do….”
While the first part of his statement is almost a “no duh” statement. The second part is something we need to seriously consider. Is perpetuating transactional-relationship economies, making them more efficient, making people work harder, compete more, carry more debt and feel less secure, really something we should be doing? Should we continue to use technology to increasingly spew carbon into the air, create ever-more sophisticated military ships, planes, missiles and guns, and fill our storehouses with fossil fuels while increasing millions go without food and without jobs or a future?
Or should we turn our technological prowess to solving these problems permanently, reconnecting communities and their people, making wealth available to all not just a few, ending unemployment, providing healthcare to all at no cost to them and with no impact to our nations wealth or security?
We talk about remarkable possibilities that become our reality when we transition to a post-scarcity gift economy: Solving many persistent problems once and for all, making space travel and colonization viable, eliminating competitive barriers preventing technologies, such as renewable energy, from becoming mainstream and, most importantly, freeing people to follow their passions in activities they choose without being constrained by having to earn a living.
Our technological prowess is formidable. It can be used for great good. Or it can continue perpetuating the status quo. We hope humanity will choose the former.