Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city – or should I say, “our city”. I don’t own anything. I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes.
It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us in this city. Everything you considered a product, has now become a service. We have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much.
All in all, it is a good life. Much better than the path we were on, where it became so clear that we could not continue with the same model of growth. We had all these terrible things happening: lifestyle diseases, climate change, the refugee crisis, environmental degradation, completely congested cities, water pollution, air pollution, social unrest and unemployment. We lost way too many people before we realised that we could do things differently.
November 11, 2016
Here’s how life could change in my city by the year 2030
[Auken also says:
Author’s note: Some people have read this blog as my utopia or dream of the future. It is not. It is a scenario showing where we could be heading – for better and for worse. I wrote this piece to start a discussion about some of the pros and cons of the current technological development. When we are dealing with the future, it is not enough to work with reports. We should start discussions in many new ways. This is the intention with this piece.
The “devil’s in the details” as they say. If you think about it just a little bit you realize it isn’t even possible. A few examples:
- Auken’s statements are self contradictory. Everything is free? Then what is “employment” about then? They claim, “It is more like thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.” Do they get paid for this or not? If yes, then who are the consumers and do they pay for the products and/or services? If they don’t get paid, then what is their motivation to product a product and/or service someone is interesting in using?
- They don’t explicitly say this but it’s implied that all the services are supplied by artificial-intelligence/robots. So what of crime control? Even if one were to concede there was no physical need for sustenance, shelter, entertainment, etc. there will be still be crimes of violence. Conflicts over relationships, insults, broken agreements, etc. Who pays for the cops, lawyers, judges, and prisons? Keep in mind that in a place where everything is free fines are meaningless.
- Accommodations are not all equal. Who gets the penthouse overlooking the ocean and who gets the street view of the recycling center? They’re both free you know.
- They don’t own anything, really? Not even clothes they say. Yet, I just demonstrated that a claim on quality of accommodations is going to occur. What about the dress they were married in? Or the food they ordered which just arrived from the robot pizza joint down the street? And what of the food they made themselves? Or the photographs they took, the art object they made, the diary they kept, or the book they wrote?
There will always be markets with sellers and buyers of property. They may be black markets in a time and place where thugs attempt to create a utopian world of free everything and equality for all, but markets will always exist.
Auken vision is not one of “for better or worse”. It’s one of reality or delusion.—Joe]