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Old 02-18-2012, 09:12 PM   #9
Ralph Sir Edward
Gentleman & Cynic
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Posts: 5,654
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: 5 generation native Texan
Device: BeBook/Openinkpot, CYbook 3rd gen awaiting RTF software upgrade
Here's a projection for you. I don't think it has been used, (but I don't read much comtemporary S/F.

The "New Pioneers". Look at the various tech approaching econmic viability. Solar energy, improved energy storage, cheap ubiqutious telecom, 3-D printers, cheap human scale robots, and yes, large-scale I.P. piracy. What might happen with this witches brew?

A massive drop in scale of interdependence. What does that mean?

Throughout the industrial revolution, wealth was created by large-scale specialization (a la Adam Smith's pin producers). This caused more and more interdependence. You worked to get the money to buy all the things it was more effecient to produce by other people doing other specialized tasks.

So what happens when you have enough cheap power to handle your energy needs without any centralized producer? You can make most of your gadgets with your 3-D printer? It might be more expensive, but you'd get exactly what you want, not what some other marketing think tank thinks you want. (And you can make them last longer...) A robot to make your clothes and do the stoop labor of gardening? Stealing the I.P. patterns, and entertainment. But still in touch with the whole world.

Look at how little interdependence is needed. Not none, but a major step down from, say 1950. (or even 2000).

What sort of lives will be lived in such an environment...Beats me, but this is coming in the next 20-50 years. Every trend is well on it's way...

What will happen if you live in a sunny, warm climate, put enough solar panels to run the house, and power the car, and can produce enough vegetable material to feed a modest family from keyhole gardens in the back yard? (Solar needs to drop another 3-5 fold, and batteries/fuel cell need to get cheaper by the same amount. Keyhole gardening already exists. Sort of a raised garden/hydroponic hybrid.)

It's coming soon to a neighborhood near you...
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