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hypothetically, would people produce without incentive?

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dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
26,812
7,107
136
The idiot utopian left in this thread is changing the rules, so instead of trying to determine whether a socialist economy where everyone's needs are met can be more productive than a capitalist one, we're now saying that everyone gets everything they could ever imagine with no limits, and therefore capitalism is bad.

Yes, this forum is full of left wing idiots.
It's right in the OP:
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?
 

cwjerome

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2004
4,294
0
76
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?
I've seen a lot of community-oriented or open-source or similarly themed situations where lots of people contribute time and even money towards some "collective" goal or the betterment of some sort of social service. This leads me to believe that generally well-off people are usually happy to devote some effort towards community betterment or goals of their liking purely for creativity's sake and/or a sense of accomplishment. I can easily see myself doing this and if fact do on a small scale.

The problem is that forcing everyone into the state of hypothetical construct would be deeply oppressive and tyrannical towards individual differences and freedoms. And it would not happen naturally because many people simply want more than that basic level of resources to pursue there own interests and hobbies.

Therefore, it would make sense to cultivate a culture that encourages that giving and contribution of the general welfare while still retaining a person's right to life, liberty, and their pursuit of happiness.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,623
126
Which has nothing to do with the question, useless meatbag.

Most people would not. Look at most people right now. When not working they're content to watch TV. Those people would simply watch more TV. The only people who would continue to work are those that are already working for more than a living, which is a tiny majority.
Ah, you see a meat bag. Now what did I predict?

What you did was explain to us what you see in yourself, the desire to sit around and watch TV, the unconscious rejection of the feeling that you're a worthless bum, projected out there in the world on other people. You are in fact too stupid, to naive, and too psychologically unevolved to understand what you see, too defended against your own obviousness, too proud and egotistical, to see what you do for what it is. That is why I help you, so you won't be so clueless and lost. And I do it all without any pay back except your utter contempt, the very contempt you have of yourself. I am the very proof that you don't have the faintest idea what you are talking about and far from feeling ingratitude or pain when you reject my kind offer to you, all you do is make me smile. You have no idea I am the cosmic therapist sent here to save you. Time for your impotent rage to deflect what you just read. 'I'm joke who knows nothing, not a serious person. You have nothing to learn from me."
 

Infohawk

Lifer
Jan 12, 2002
17,848
1
0
If you look at a lot of the people who have driven science and technology forward, they did it because they loved it.
 

OverVolt

Lifer
Aug 31, 2002
14,285
87
86
Well if robots took care of my kids, then hell yeah. Maybe you gotta get a girls perspective on this one :)
 

Franz316

Senior member
Sep 12, 2000
883
229
116
People right now a conditioned to associate work and jobs with disdain. It would take some time for people to snap out of that mindset given the OP's proposal. Overall, people simply want to be happy and happiness is not sitting around watching TV all day. Happiness is mastering a craft, creating meaningful relationships, cooking an original recipe for people you care about, writing a song. There is no happiness to be found in just lying on a couch — happiness is something that we must pursue. We are not unhappy because we have to do things, we are unhappy because most of our activity comprises of things we don't care about. I think you would really see an explosion of creativity if people were freed from the chains of working merely for survival.

I agree that some people may desire more than just the core needs so what about a system where the core needs are supplied but also an external market economy where people could earn income to buy what they want.
 

Abraxas

Golden Member
Oct 26, 2004
1,056
0
0
How many people working today actually do anything to innovate? Most people work menial jobs, more concerned with acquiring marketable skills or even just keeping their family fed than doing anything to learn scientific or otherwise creative endeavors. Remove those pressures and you will see some people engage in passive entertainment, sure. I know people who if given an unlimited supply of food and water would do nothing but read books until they fell over dead. On the other hand, when you free up 95% of the labor force from the pressures of just not dying and give them essentially unlimited resources to pursue any hobby of their choice, I would find it tremendously hard to believe you wouldn't see an increase in the number of people who do things like chemistry, electronics, robotics, programming, and other productive endeavors and that some of those people, or their kids wouldn't go on to try and learn the subject in depth where otherwise they would have spent their lives signing forms and sorting mail or what have you.

That said, I think a more interesting derivative of this question is assuming continuous improvements in the productive capacities of humanity to the degree where resources are nearly ubiquitous, let alone one where machinery can take over almost all productive endeavors to a greater capacity than people, could capitalism continue to function?
 

IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,706
49
91
I want you to cut my lawns and maintain my landscape and do it for free.
 

Abraxas

Golden Member
Oct 26, 2004
1,056
0
0
I want you to cut my lawns and maintain my landscape and do it for free.
Could you please explain how this reply, in a thread about a hypothetical where resources are effectively unlimited and menial tasks are handled by robots, marks you as anything other than an illiterate moron? Thanks.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,880
4,212
126
Walk into an inner city and take a good look. That your experiment already done. It's not s "Next Generation" world.
 

Chiropteran

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2003
9,811
110
106
Walk into an inner city and take a good look. That your experiment already done. It's not s "Next Generation" world.
Where are the robots? Where is all the free housing the inner city has? The problems with the inner city are directly related to lack of basic needs, so much so that the only escape some people think they have is drugs. Now I am not saying that having all essential needs taken care of would eliminate drug use, that is a problem which isn't directly related to this thread, but it's certainly not the same as the status quo.

How many people working today actually do anything to innovate?
That is a great point. And how many who do innovate, innovate in ways that doesn't actually advance society? For example, corporation A invents and patents an amazing technology X. Corporation B wants to use X, but it's too expensive to license it. Instead they spend billions developing technology Y, which is inferior to X in nearly every way, but because it isn't owned by corporation A it is considered a viable alternative. The current system encourages this sort of wastefulness.
 
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Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,880
4,212
126
Where are the robots? Where is all the free housing the inner city has? The problems with the inner city are directly related to lack of basic needs, so much so that the only escape some people think they have is drugs. Now I am not saying that having all essential needs taken care of would eliminate drug use, that is a problem which isn't directly related to this thread, but it's certainly not the same as the status quo.
What needs are lacking? A check comes, housing provided, tv, cell phones even. No labor required. Time to get an education which here in NY would be free. Wheres the innovation? Is luxury now a requirement?
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
7,771
3,157
136
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?
No
Man would fill the void.
Man would create new "incentive"
Incentive tied to having more\better than the next guy.
Aside from food and shelter, everything you listed is just "stuff"

Humans are competitive by nature.
 

Pr0d1gy

Diamond Member
Jan 30, 2005
7,776
0
76
The problem is that the actual truth never lies at one extreme or the other, but somewhere in the middle.

People would still produce without incentive, but incentive alone does not make everyone produce.
 

Jaepheth

Platinum Member
Apr 29, 2006
2,572
25
91
What would be on TV if no actors or writers or directors or producers or people were producing any content?
Stuff akin to indie films or "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along blog"

stuff made by people who are in it for the fame or art
Ars gratia artis and all that.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,623
126
What needs are lacking? A check comes, housing provided, tv, cell phones even. No labor required. Time to get an education which here in NY would be free. Wheres the innovation? Is luxury now a requirement?
I believe your argument fails to take into consideration that folk in the inner city have been emotionally destroyed by years of put downs and lack of opportunity. They have had their self respect destroyed. Now imagine that we start from a place where self love is real and there's no work to do. The think I believe about people who are healthy is that they love everything. If you wake up every day, not with concerns about personal survival, but how to express the love you feel, I won't worry to much if you watch some TV.

Always, the mistake we make in reading the psychology of others is judging folk by how they are and not how they can be, how the sick, not the healthy, behave. We have very very few examples of healthy to study.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,623
126
The problem is that the actual truth never lies at one extreme or the other, but somewhere in the middle.

People would still produce without incentive, but incentive alone does not make everyone produce.
The actual truth does not lie in the middle at all. The actual truth is always a third way, a synthesis of opposites that resolve in higher understanding.

A simple example is welfare. The right says welfare destroys motivation, the left that it keeps people from abject misery. Both are correct. The answer is to help people by helping them without their knowledge to help themselves. This is because people do not value what they get for free so they must experience earning by deceiving them into thinking they are paying. They don't have to contribute equivalent worth, just contribute something. Self respect comes from a feeling of capacity.

Liberals then are fools who destroy with gift and conservatives are assholes who hate themselves but cover it with pride that they built what they have themselves. Liberals feel guilt and conservatives egotistical hubris. One is just as fucked as the other.
 
May 16, 2000
13,529
0
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Some. I think the biggest change wouldn't be in how much was produced, but WHAT was produced. WAYYYYY more art, education, research, thinking, etc would replace basic consumerism. Most people I know would be doing 'x', except they can't make enough to live. x is almost always something creative or intellectual.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,876
460
126
Where are the robots? Where is all the free housing the inner city has? The problems with the inner city are directly related to lack of basic needs, so much so that the only escape some people think they have is drugs. Now I am not saying that having all essential needs taken care of would eliminate drug use, that is a problem which isn't directly related to this thread, but it's certainly not the same as the status quo.

That is a great point. And how many who do innovate, innovate in ways that doesn't actually advance society? For example, corporation A invents and patents an amazing technology X. Corporation B wants to use X, but it's too expensive to license it. Instead they spend billions developing technology Y, which is inferior to X in nearly every way, but because it isn't owned by corporation A it is considered a viable alternative. The current system encourages this sort of wastefulness.
Your second paragraph is spot-on. Your first however is caca. Not only are the poor's basic needs met with no exertion from themselves, they even have a surplus which can be invested in drugs. With no real demands on their time and energy, the poor mostly do nothing uplifting or constructive. Moonbeam makes a point about their inability to believe in their ability to do anything uplifting or constructive, but people who value themselves to the point of demanding that others provide for all their wishes still typically do little beyond demanding even more free stuff. Robots would not likely change that. At most, they would be trying to program the robots to make more drugs.

The actual truth does not lie in the middle at all. The actual truth is always a third way, a synthesis of opposites that resolve in higher understanding.

A simple example is welfare. The right says welfare destroys motivation, the left that it keeps people from abject misery. Both are correct. The answer is to help people by helping them without their knowledge to help themselves. This is because people do not value what they get for free so they must experience earning by deceiving them into thinking they are paying. They don't have to contribute equivalent worth, just contribute something. Self respect comes from a feeling of capacity.

Liberals then are fools who destroy with gift and conservatives are assholes who hate themselves but cover it with pride that they built what they have themselves. Liberals feel guilt and conservatives egotistical hubris. One is just as fucked as the other.
The first two paragraphs of that are pretty profound.

Some. I think the biggest change wouldn't be in how much was produced, but WHAT was produced. WAYYYYY more art, education, research, thinking, etc would replace basic consumerism. Most people I know would be doing 'x', except they can't make enough to live. x is almost always something creative or intellectual.
That's a good point too. Problem is, most things that can be invented also require a lot of work which isn't interesting at all. You'd probably find 10,000 Americans who would love to design the next iPad even without a profit motive, but none at all who want to spend the next year of their life formulating and testing different plastics for the case. Same thing in other areas; lot of people would like to design a drug that makes people's lives better, but who wants to spend their lives feeding, cleaning up after, and dissecting rats? Everything worth doing, or nearly, has significant parts which no one would choose to do if they didn't need the money.
 

kache

Senior member
Nov 10, 2012
486
0
71
Some people would, some wouldn't. However, I think large scale group collaborate efforts would suffer greatly.
Agree.
There needs to be support for large scale projects. I do believe that a lot of scientists would continue, though. Most of the ones I met had a real passion for what they were doing.
 

kache

Senior member
Nov 10, 2012
486
0
71
Similar metaphor. If you are severly overweight. Would you excercise if it had no chance of helping you lose that weight?
Yes. Every time I ended up doing serious workouts was out of passion for that specific sport, not for weight management.
Truth to be told, though, the example is incorrect. A more precise question would be: "Would you still exercise if your body didn't release endorphins during the workout?"
 

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