(See here for a more elaborate description: In fact, we have arguably reached such a state in terms of information today, where the cost of reproducing bits is so small as to be virtually zero.
Post-scarcity societies would have achieved the same thing with matter.
Without money financial derivatives are unlikely, though be careful because alien intelligence is likely to surprise us.
The “economics of communication” is especially important for them. I mean, I did not know I want a Wii before it existed, and I guess I was not the only one among those who now have one.This entire question points me back to wondering why the diversity of human preferences evolved to the extent it did. *imagines wakeboarding dolphin* Factoid: the dolphins who seek out humans and interact most with us are those dissatisfied with dolphin society.Now if you want to argue that advanced civilizations must necessarily engineer their members to be lacking in ambitious desires, or else face extinction, that would be interesting; but that would be more like a ‘post-desire’ lifestyle, not truly ‘post-scarcity’.Sure, at the upper end of things, the (visible) universe is finite. There are somewhere between thirty and sixty stars for every person on earth *in our galaxy alone*.The issue is that since not *everything* is highly abundant (and never will be), there will always be an incentive for some agents to grab some of the consumer surplus in order to increase their own access to the still-scarce things.
Cost is not as relevant in this case as the basically crooked timber of humanity.
The issue is that since not *everything* is highly abundant (and never will be) Given that we’re talking about advanced civilisations, I’ve presumed that they have access to something equivalent to the replicators of Star Trek – that is, something which can transmute elements and assemble them on a nano-scale.
As such, there are very few things that are not highly abundant – the most obvious one I can think of is the radio spectrum, although energy is potential another one if you go high enough and don’t consider leaving the planet.
And yet I can’t get the entire contents of JSTOR for free. Perhaps ‘theoretically’ would have been a better choice of words than arguably.
The limitation of the supply of information is the only way to avoid the reduction of its cost to (practically) zero.
Adam Smith and Murray Rothbard and Olaf Stapledon spring to mind as sources. I can imagine a dolphin-like civilization which lacks money.