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Author Topic: View on Communism  (Read 11402 times)

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Offline Pointless Digression

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #100 on: May 15, 2011, 04:26:28 PM »
Hmmm. A very conservative and skeptical reply. I think I share your unwillingness to make predictions about the far future, but I think it may be on the verge of possibility with nano-assembly to see some parts of a post scarcity society appear in our lifetimes.

Offline Jude

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #101 on: May 15, 2011, 04:36:53 PM »
I have to confess, beyond a bit of reading I've done on carbon nano tubes, I don't know as much about nano tech as I should.  You could be right.

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #102 on: May 15, 2011, 08:59:46 PM »
Post-Scarcity societies can only be possible when we have the kind of surplus energy that is so cheap and so effective, that a handful of people could support thousands, or even millions. That is not possible in the foreseeable future, and it is best give to the speculations of science fiction writers than political scientists.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #103 on: May 15, 2011, 09:03:29 PM »
Kardachev 1.0 at least, so yeah, way too far away for serious consideration.

Offline Sure

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #104 on: May 16, 2011, 03:34:40 AM »
Ultimately, a post-scarcity society is impossible because something will always be scarce. Even if we invented replicators that could make anything, the manufacture, power requirements, and infrastructure requirements (among other things) would be scarce. Prestige would still be scarce, as an intangible. As a tangible, seats for a performance would still be scarce and other such things, as would things with the quality of 'originality'. A replicator can make a perfect replica of the Mona Lisa but it is still not THE Mona Lisa.

Offline Pointless Digression

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #105 on: May 16, 2011, 04:08:57 AM »
As a tangible, seats for a performance would still be scarce and other such things, as would things with the quality of 'originality'. A replicator can make a perfect replica of the Mona Lisa but it is still not THE Mona Lisa.

That's a great topic for a philosophical debate. Let me take the counter position. First of all, this quality of "originality" you mention is impossible to quantify or measure. If I send the Mona Lisa through my nano-duplicator, and it recreates a second Mona Lisa identical to the original down to the brushstroke, down to every last pigment, down to every last molecule and atom, then you would have no way to distinguish between the two of them. If I put my nano-assembled Lisa on the wall at the Louvre, and no one was able to tell that it was a duplication, then it seems to me that they would have the same experience of having seen the Mona Lisa, had whatever personal experience with the artwork that they would have had with the original.

If this quality of originality cannot be demonstrated, if its absence makes no difference to people who encounter the work without knowing its providence, then what difference does it ultimately make whether or not the work was created by da Vinci in the Renaissance or me with my nano-assembler? What is this quality of originality, and why should I consider it?

Second of all, even when we know works of art are replications, it doesn't universally hold in other arts that a duplication is less worthwhile than the original. I have on my bookshelf in front of me As I Lay Dying. It is certainly not a first edition of the book, published in 1930. Nor is it Faulkner's original manuscript. My edition was published by Vintage Books in 1996. Yet the contents of the book are the same; it is the same story that contributed to the body of work that won Faulkner the Nobel in 1949. Even for a work I know at a glance to be a recreation 66 years after first publication, the work affects me no differently than if I had read a first edition, or even the original manuscript. What would I gain by reading a first edition or the manuscript? Consequently, what do I lose in my Vintage edition?

But I digress. Communism, yeah? Still against it.

Offline Oniya

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Re: View on Communism
« Reply #106 on: May 16, 2011, 10:44:56 AM »
Sorry, but when it comes to books, there's a certain thrill in thinking about how many other hands might have handled an older edition.  Of course, I am a self-confessed bibliophile.

Offline Noelle

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #107 on: May 16, 2011, 05:02:42 PM »
Art itself has already had a dialogue on the culture of copying, everything from appropriation to plainly taking a picture of a picture, to simply scribbling straight over the Mona Lisa herself. Art has already developed a culture of making prints and replicas -- hell, Degas was making bronze casts of his ballerina sculptures long before anyone even had the discussion about the value of copies. Once the camera came out, all hell broke loose due to the existence of negatives from which you could produce an infinite number more of the same picture.

In some cases, it makes art more accessible. I sell prints of my own work and I can do so cheaply thanks to advent of digital art production. However, in some cases, when it's done correctly, copies and prints are just as subject to supply and demand when they are withheld or made in short supply, driving up the price for especially renowned pieces. That's a slice of capitalism in of itself -- something Mr. Marx probably wouldn't like too well.