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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How Capitalism Thwarts Technological Innovation

Capitalism is often hailed as a driver of technological innovation - and to some extent it is, when the system is working as-intended. Venture capitalists risk funds on technology research in conjunction with government funding where available, and they fund the projects they suspect will be valuable in the long-term.

However, disruptive technologies are often embattled, with large corporations and wealthy investors fighting to retain the value of their investments in existing infrastructure for as long as possible.

They do this for several reasons:

1. As the value of their equity in infrastructure drops, they are less able to leverage that equity as loan collateral to secure credit.

2. As competitive technology takes away business, their profits fall, also affecting their access to credit.

3. Employees of older-technology businesses may resist technological change for fear of losing their jobs - which under current capitalist systems can lead to homlessness, destitution, and the breakup of marriages and families.

Capitalist old-tech companies may resort to all kinds of methods, including criminal acts, out of fear. They've bought and supressed patents, run intimidation campaigns, killed technological innovators, sabotaged property, and all other sorts of nefarious activities.

Another way capitalism inhibits innovation is by gobbling up massive blocks of time from the brightest and most capable workers in this age of "shove as much work as possible on as few people as possible." Only the best and brightest workers have managed to stay employed the the endless stream of corporate layoffs and outsourcing. These workers are prevented from networking and starting up with any ideas they might have by abusive patent agreements in order to remain employed, and exhaustion and severe sleep deprivation from being overworked.

Additionally, the current patent system is expensive and combative, making it very difficult for average individuals to take advantage of the new system and stifling creativity.

Techism would change this invseveral ways that promote innovation and research to achieve maximum technological evolution:

1. Workers would be garaunteed a secure home, food, clothing, basic health care, communications services, and transportation as a human right. If they were creative and wanted to take time away from work to develop a new idea, they would be allowed the time, raw materials, work space, and collaboration tools needed to try it.

2. Workers in production sectors would have the same garauntees, and retraining on new technology as technology evolves. No one would lose their means of existence or status in order to bring new tech online.

3. Without a money-based system, there would be no need for patents to protect financial interest in a new idea. The originator would bw credited on record, and anyone could participate in development and deployment.

4. Non-hierarchal artificial intelligence and consensus management systems would bar the "fiefdom" effect, removing territorial human instincts from most of the process.

This is far from an exhaustive compariaon on this subject, but it gives one a good basic idea of the differences in the two systems.

The Universe is waiting for us.

Dan

Planetary Resources - the budding asteroid mining consortium that portends a new era of unlimited resources to come

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_Resources

This consortium was just announced yesterday - but they're in the forefront of bringing us beyond the limits of global geography and raw materials constrictions. In time, there will be no need to keep resources away from any human being.

  • Automation will banish the costs of low-skilled labor and free human beings up for creative work.
  • Cheaper and better access to space will make space mining, farming, energy production, and colonization a way around the limits of space and arable land on Earth.
  • Electronic, and eventually quantum communications technologies will allow human communication and connection across vast distances within the solar system.
  • Artificial Intelligence will allow the production of goods and services to continually evolve for better sustainability and recyclability.
  • Collective decision-making will be enhanced with technology, eventually bypassing the top-down autocratic systems of the past and making greed and hoarding nearly impossible.
  • Cheap and ubiquitous access to mass publication and surveillance platforms will render privacy obsolete - but it will also do so for secrecy - meaning that criminal organizations, commercial operations, and governmental institutions will find it increasingly hard to keep their activities secret. This will make corruption unsustainable.
  • All of the above will eventually eliminate the need for money. Demand for goods and services will be trackedthrough their life-cycles by artificial intelligence and no one will have to do without the basic necessities of life, which will greatly reduce the impetus for corrupt actions. Creativity and innovation will become the new hallmark of societal status.
The Universe is waiting - for us to grow up. We're almost there...almost...

Dan

Just a brief post to get things rolling...

This blog is intended to be a focused discussion of a new vision for societal organization that bypasses all the old "isms" - capitalism, communism, socialism, plutarchism, oligarchism, egalitarianism - with the founding principles of a technologically-oriented society that does efficiency without heartlessness. All other forms of social organization were based on methods of organization and resource allocation that were designed when paper was the highest technology going.

In the modern era of information technology, automation, and the budding access to the raw material resources of the entire solar system, it is time to design a new and constantly-evolving system for society, one that leaves no one behind and puts only those who perform at the forefront.

There is far, far more to this vision than these simple words, and this is only the barest start on creating a formulated structure for this vision for humanity, but it will come.

The Universe is waiting...

Dan