This post attempts to clarify my I-hate-money position and also shed some light on my philosophically-driven career plans.
Back when I was in the summer after high school, I worked with my dad at his company in San Jose. Since at the time, we lived south of the Santa Cruz mountains in Aptos, CA, we would take the nearly hour-long drive together as a carpool. During these drives, we talked about some philosophy, and got into a discussion about money.
Now personally, I am an idealist, so I have never let feasibility stop me from dreaming up scenarios. One thing that really bothers me about traditional economies is that there are haves (people with wealth or the capability of generating it) and have-nots (people without those means). There are a lot of good things about economy – specifically, providing comparable incentives and allowing specialization – but to me, the cost is too high. I would prefer a world where everyone had what they wanted. Of course, we can’t have that world as long as the goods and services people want are scarce – meaning, resources are limited.
So why not remove scarcity? What would it take? This was the crux of my discussion with my father, and over time I came up with the following plan:
- Get humanity onto a power source system that provides far more power than we consume now. The probable answer is nuclear fusion, the kind of power that stars use, since it is the second most efficient form of energy production (matter-antimatter collision is the first) and it would provide power for all of civizilation for millions of years at very little resource cost to the Earth. And that’s why, around the time I was having these discussions with my dad, I decided I wanted to learn Physics and go into nuclear fusion research and development.
- Use that power to fuel new technologies – specifically, space colonization, matter replication (a la Star Trek) and automated/efficient disbursement of human necessities.
- The logical conclusion is that humanity would be freed from working toward survival, and instead could engage in enrichment activities exclusively. And also that all members of humanity would be equal insofar as all basic needs (food, water, shelter, etc.) would be provided to all individuals.
Honestly, I hate money only because it purely represents economy, and economy exists because of scarcity. However, as long as we live in a normal, scarcity-bound society, I am forced to obey its rules and “work hard for the money” ♫.
What do you think? Am I crazy? Would your “utopia” be different?