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hypothetically, would people produce without incentive?

Chiropteran

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2003
9,811
110
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Hypothetical situation. Everyone has their basic needs taken care of, we'll say by robots & replicators. A home, basic energy needs, food, a computer with internet access, cellular phone plus service. No free car, but mass transit is free and livable near where you live.

You could then do whatever you want with your time. Research new technologies, design luxury items which anyone can reproduce using replicators, write, program software. However, whatever you do you can't sell it. You can't profit, there is no greed motivation. The only thing you may receive is recognition and maybe a personal feeling that you are contributing.

Would progress cease immediately and forever? Would everyone just live off of the free replicated things and never contribute? Or would we actually be better off than we are now? Without motives of greed, items will be designed to be efficient and long lasting instead of disposable, since massive sales numbers isn't a motivation.

What do you think?
 

nickbits

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2008
4,125
1
71
Some people would, some wouldn't. However, I think large scale group collaborate efforts would suffer greatly.
 

KB

Diamond Member
Nov 8, 1999
5,153
203
106
"Necessity is the mother of invention".

If we are not compensatied for our work, then only those who value recognition will invent. Since I put the the number of people who do value recognition at 10%, I think progress would decrease by 90%.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,961
3,751
126
When I look at this question I will see myself.

I will want a world created like Leave it to Beaver where everybody is white and all the grass is green, where Mom stays home and bakes cookies and Dad goes fishing. I will play ring around the rosy in the park all day with the neighbor girls.
 

Puddle Jumper

Platinum Member
Nov 4, 2009
2,835
1
0
I wouldn't produce much in that situation. Why would I work when I could spend all day at the lake, range, or track and have the same resources at the end of the day.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
27,243
8,237
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Progress would increase because people would no longer have to waste time worrying about the rest. This is proven time and time again throughout history. Invention/discovery of agriculture/animal husbandry for example people no longer had to worry about food and as a result innovation skyrocketed.

Sure there would be plenty of freeloaders but many if not most would still innovate. It is hard wired into our DNA.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,961
3,751
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I remember a wonderful science fiction story about a world like this where there was a mentally ill person who wanted to harm people so they built him a place called Earth where he was the only real person and there he could hurt the other human like machines all that he liked. They would scream and moan but they didn't feel anything.

I've heard there are billions of Earths like this set up for the defective so they can try to get even with the universe. To the best of my knowledge it doesn't feel anything either.

So I guess the big question for me is what to do when I get past my sorrow at the impotency of my rage. What am I going to do if one day I wake up and the universe is perfect, that I have forgiven it for all the tricks that it played when it gave me an ego.
 
Nov 29, 2006
14,642
2,442
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I dont think anythign would change from how it is now. Some people just like to be creative and invent things. Some want to take the easy road through life without much thought.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,880
4,212
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Progress would increase because people would no longer have to waste time worrying about the rest. This is proven time and time again throughout history. Invention/discovery of agriculture/animal husbandry for example people no longer had to worry about food and as a result innovation skyrocketed.

Sure there would be plenty of freeloaders but many if not most would still innovate. It is hard wired into our DNA.
The hypothetical world will never exist. Can you imagine the violations of IP? Any such future would be strangled in its crib.
 
Feb 6, 2007
16,439
1
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Small-scale inventing would increase as people had more free time. You'd get more little gadgets and the like. But no one is inventing a form of interplanetary space travel by themselves in their garage.
 

Daedalus685

Golden Member
Nov 12, 2009
1,386
1
0
I do believe that the really earth shattering out of left field innovation that humanity has enjoyed over its history is the product of enjoyment and obsession, not profit.

I'm sure many folk wouldn't want to do a thing with their time, but these kind of people are not the ones that are pushing the frontiers of innovation in the first place.

It's the people who spend all day working in order to pay for their hobby shop, volunteer work, or research; the scientists that work for far less money than they'd get working for a bank because they love what they do; the people who learn because it is an awesome thing to do... These are the people that change the world and if they have more time to dedicate to their endeavors all the better for the rest of us.

We may lose a lot of ordered hierarchy that is held together by a bureaucracy that no one would want to maintain. But the communities all over the internet that exist out of the will of the members should show us that it wouldn't be that different. If the infrastructure was free to use I'm certain this forum would still exist for instance (in all of its frontier shattering glory). Highly organized collaborations would still occur, and I'd have to assume that academic institutions would still thrive.
 

Mursilis

Diamond Member
Mar 11, 2001
7,760
11
81
"Necessity is the mother of invention".

If we are not compensatied for our work, then only those who value recognition will invent. Since I put the the number of people who do value recognition at 10%, I think progress would decrease by 90%.
Some people seem to be naturally inquisitive, and would continue to tink/invent.
 

diesbudt

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2012
3,393
0
0
Hypothetical situation. Everyone has their basic needs taken care of, we'll say by robots & replicators. A home, basic energy needs, food, a computer with internet access, cellular phone plus service. No free car, but mass transit is free and livable near where you live.

You could then do whatever you want with your time. Research new technologies, design luxury items which anyone can reproduce using replicators, write, program software. However, whatever you do you can't sell it. You can't profit, there is no greed motivation. The only thing you may receive is recognition and maybe a personal feeling that you are contributing.

Would progress cease immediately and forever? Would everyone just live off of the free replicated things and never contribute? Or would we actually be better off than we are now? Without motives of greed, items will be designed to be efficient and long lasting instead of disposable, since massive sales numbers isn't a motivation.

What do you think?
Some peopel are self motivated/morally pushed to still produce.

However is the capitalistic society this country has made, unless having their basic needs met is an increase to their lifestyle/living conditions (aka incentive) no, majority would not.

Similar metaphor. If you are severly overweight. Would you excercise if it had no chance of helping you lose that weight?
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,876
460
126
Small-scale inventing would increase as people had more free time. You'd get more little gadgets and the like. But no one is inventing a form of interplanetary space travel by themselves in their garage.
Pretty much this. Anyone who has ever developed a new product or process knows that no matter how much you love it, it's a lot of hard work. Some few people would still do it, but most things require lots of hard grunt work in a variety of disciplines. With no incentive to do that hard grunt work, most of us would play and piddle on our own interests, so virtually nothing complicated enough to require multiple people would ever happen.

Be some damn good video games though.
 

Daedalus685

Golden Member
Nov 12, 2009
1,386
1
0
Some peopel are self motivated/morally pushed to still produce.

However is the capitalistic society this country has made, unless having their basic needs met is an increase to their lifestyle/living conditions (aka incentive) no, majority would not.

Similar metaphor. If you are severely overweight. Would you exercise if it had no chance of helping you lose that weight?
That's not similar at all. The question is not if you would try to innovate knowing it wouldn't work. It is would you innovate if there would be no monetary reward. You'd still get to see the result.

It would be similar to removing all heath risks from being over weight, but you could still get thin and get the benefits (looking better, being athletic, etc.) with work. You can stay fat and live to be 100, or you can be thin and live to be 100 but be thin. I bet a lot of people would still choose to be thin.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
27,243
8,237
136
Small-scale inventing would increase as people had more free time. You'd get more little gadgets and the like. But no one is inventing a form of interplanetary space travel by themselves in their garage.
Keep in mind in this hypothetical world one could replicate any equipment needed to test any hypothesis at any time. Some of the world's greatest advances were discovered in someone's garage. Besides, you don't invent space travel, you invent each piece of the technology necessary for space travel.
 

Daedalus685

Golden Member
Nov 12, 2009
1,386
1
0
Pretty much this. Anyone who has ever developed a new product or process knows that no matter how much you love it, it's a lot of hard work. Some few people would still do it, but most things require lots of hard grunt work in a variety of disciplines. With no incentive to do that hard grunt work, most of us would play and piddle on our own interests, so virtually nothing complicated enough to require multiple people would ever happen.

Be some damn good video games though.
I do think large groups would still exist.

What keeps my company together is certainly the pay, because the infrastructure that keeps the machine working costs a fortune and no one would do that for free. But if the infrastructure exists anyway (robots make manufacturing and maintenance no longer requires menial labor) people would be able to go to 'work' and only do the things they like about it. Companies (large groups of similarly motivated people) would still be around.

Of course as fun as utopian dreaming is I don't expect to ever see it.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,198
3,244
126
I think you could create a Society where all basic needs are met, from Food to Housing to Healthcare. However, it would still need some kind of incentive system whereby those who put effort into advancing society get special rewards. Perhaps better Housing, Vacations, better Food, etc. Otherwise things would stagnate and people would lose Purpose or worse yet adopt Purpose that is destructive.
 
Feb 6, 2007
16,439
1
81
Keep in mind in this hypothetical world one could replicate any equipment needed to test any hypothesis at any time. Some of the world's greatest advances were discovered in someone's garage. Besides, you don't invent space travel, you invent each piece of the technology necessary for space travel.
Right, but how are these people getting together? Are they connecting through FaceBook? "Hey, built a multistage thruster rocket in my backyard, hit me up if you have experience with guidance or life support systems"? And never mind that, what about pieces of infrastructure? Who is building bridges, dams, power plants, data centers? You can't take group coordination out of a species that depends on it for basic survival. Corporations are the most efficient way of getting everyone working towards a common goal, so they'd naturally form in any environment where we need to produce something that can't be done by a single person, profit motive or not.
 

Chiropteran

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2003
9,811
110
106
Pretty much this. Anyone who has ever developed a new product or process knows that no matter how much you love it, it's a lot of hard work. Some few people would still do it, but most things require lots of hard grunt work in a variety of disciplines. With no incentive to do that hard grunt work, most of us would play and piddle on our own interests, so virtually nothing complicated enough to require multiple people would ever happen.

Be some damn good video games though.
I agree completely, but there is a key difference. In the current world, most of us must work. If we spend time and work on a product or process as a side job or hobby it's all on top of our normal working job that we do to pay the bills.

In a hypothetical situation where basic needs are already taken care of, we would have a lot more free time. Spending 4-5 hours a day on a hobby that you enjoy that is also creating something new or useful is a bit different from doing the same on top of an 8 hour workday + commute time.


Some people would, some wouldn't. However, I think large scale group collaborate efforts would suffer greatly.
Just something to think about, look at MMOs such as world of warcraft. No profit incentive, yet some huge organized groups of players get together in such games to defeat raid content and such. Purely done for "fun", even though many more casual players might look at raiding as anything but fun.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
27,243
8,237
136
Right, but how are these people getting together? Are they connecting through FaceBook? "Hey, built a multistage thruster rocket in my backyard, hit me up if you have experience with guidance or life support systems"?
Think advanced civilization here. Internet of the future. Collective intelligence. No reason to keep your discoveries a secret, everyone is immediately informed of new discoveries that interest them.




And never mind that, what about pieces of infrastructure? Who is building bridges, dams, power plants, data centers?
Robots build all that shit, with input from the communities they serve. Still have government with elected officials to do the bidding of the masses.




You can't take group coordination out of a species that depends on it for basic survival. Corporations are the most efficient way of getting everyone working towards a common goal, so they'd naturally form in any environment where we need to produce something that can't be done by a single person, profit motive or not.
Efficient corporations, that's rich, lol.
 

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