Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Concerts in a Post Scarcity Society

One argument you might hear or even be motivated to make regarding the feasibility of a post scarcity society is that there will always be something that's scarce.  A common example is that people would still need money to pay for tickets to attend concerts, because the musicians, availability of concerts, and number of seats or space for concerts is limited.  I'd like to provide a different perspective by analyzing the situation and dynamics involved, to show that there might not necessarily be support for this argument with concerts as an example.  It seems to me that in a post scarcity society, the abundance of concerts might actually increase.

Musicians are dependent on ticket sales, just like everyone else is on our trade-based economic system of today, to put roofs over their heads and food on their plates.  For that, they're dependent on and utilize resources and tools relevant to their business, such as marketing, ticket sales, and copyright laws.  Although these kinds of things are necessary for bands and musicians in a scarcity and trade-based economic environment, in a post scarcity society they're obsolete and unnecessary.

The creating and marketing of singer or music personalities and bands - like name brands for products or services - is done by the music industry to generate and maximize record and concert ticket sales.  This kind of thing plays a significant role in attracting demand for entertainment to concerts, which results in concentrations of a large amount of fans and audience members.  Since people need day jobs, it creates a scarcity of audience members for musicians by limiting the days and times that concerts can be scheduled, such as after business hours, weekends, or holidays; so, this also plays a role in contributing to the concentration of audience members at concerts.  In a post scarcity society, people won't need day jobs; so they'll have more availability for attending concerts at any time or day of the week.  This will free up more time and days for musicians to hold concerts, resulting in smaller concentrations of audiences for each concert.

In our present-day economic world, the number of professional or career musicians are relatively few and far between, compared to the overall population.  How many people would rather spend more time practicing and making music instead of having to work at some day job that has nothing to do with making music?  In a post scarcity society, more musicians or people interested in providing this form of entertainment will have more free time to hold concerts, thus increasing the abundance or availability of even more concerts.  There are many people who are either skilled at singing or playing an instrument, but can't play famous songs in concerts because they'd get stonewalled by the issue of copyright infringement.  Some fans are more interested in a song or genre of music rather than the personalities or bands.  In a post scarcity society, where intellectual property protection will no longer be necessary, anyone who enjoys making music will be free to do so.

There might be some people who are big fans of certain musicians or bands, and they might attend them more frequently, but that just means they won't be at any other concert.  People will eventually get bored or tired of attending concerts frequently, or attending the same concert over and over.  It's like listening to a broken record repeat the same segment endlessly; ever know anyone who enjoyed this?  Die-hard fans of a certain band or musician are probably so rare that it's not going to pose a dilemma.

Is there an example, besides concerts, that can be used to make the argument that there are some situations that still require money in a post scarcity society?  Maybe - maybe not.  Even if there are a few obscure situations where there is scarcity of some sort, I don't think there would be enough to prevent a society that's predominantly based on the post scarcity system from being feasible.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why do some people think that global warming is a hoax?

There are people who don't believe that human beings are causing any global warming at all.  Some people refer to them as "global warming deniers."  No amount of persuasion or browbeating will change the mind of these so-called global warming deniers.  As far as they're concerned, there isn't any conclusive evidence that it's real, or it's a hoax.

There's actually a plausible reason for why these individuals won't believe that global warming is happening, or that humans are causing global warming to happen.  The rationale is that there's no way to know for certain that the evidence that shows that global warming is happening isn't being tampered with or manipulated to personally benefit someone, somehow.  This should not be ignored or dismissed, because it's the same kind of argument that's used against scientists who argue that there is no conclusive evidence of global warming or that humans are the cause of global warming.  This conflict-of-interest controversy goes both ways.

The next question that might come to someone's mind is how to get around this dilemma.  As long as we live in a society based on trade and money, there is practically no way to resolve it.  We would all have to become experts on climate science, make direct observations ourselves, and come to a conclusion on global warming and the role that humans play in causing global warming.  The problem is that this isn't a feasible solution.

The only other option that I can think of is to eliminate the conflict of interest itself.  Fortunately there might be a way to do this; but right now it's not possible, and no one knows when (if ever) it will become possible.  In order to eliminate the conflict of interest, we're going to have to transition to a post-scarcity society.  There's a bonus to transitioning to a post-scarcity society when it comes to the issue of anthropogenic global warming, which is that in such a society we will be able to better manage, more efficiently improve, and even eliminate the need for some of the activities that are responsible for producing pollution in general.