Future Left Podcast Ep. 54: Technology, Degrowth, & the Future of Ownership
Do you own things? Brag about it while you can! We talk through how certain technologies--like 3d-printing, drone delivery services, and self-driving cars--will throw into question the purposes of owning certain doo-dads that currently fill up junk drawers and closets across the world. Furthermore, we're talking about these technologies in the context of "degrowth" an admittedly heretical idea that question the dogma of continuous economic growth... you know, because it's killing all the polar bears and bumblebees. Whatever potential for a so-called "steady state" economy, what does the end of ownership and the rise of an actual sharing economy mean in the context of the widening gap between the rich and the poor? Do the poor live sustainable and austere, yet comfortable lives while the rich continue on in excess? Do these new ownership paradigms actually end destitution or merely make them more tolerable? All that in more in this week's podcast!
ALSO: If you're in New York on Thursday, January 19 you should definitely not miss Tech 2025's workshop on technological unemployment and basic income. The workshop will be run by Future Left co-host Adam Simpson! Register here.
We talked about a lot of things this week and mentioned other things. Here are links to those things.
Quick point of correction: While recording, we found a 2 year old article that said that the richest 80 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest 50% of all humans. Oxfam updated us this week by telling us that it's now 8 people. *shakes fist at Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos* This is, in all seriousness, grotesque: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38613488
SMARTY-PANTS "YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME?" THINGS
Degrowth: Maybe instead of trying to grow the economy (which is negatively altering the climate), we should consider living within our limits. Consider "degrowth": https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jan/23/lets-face-it-we-have-to-make-the-choice-between-our-economy-and-our-future
Theory of Change--Non-Reformist Reforms: Gus Speth talks about Andre Gorz and system change: http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/33255-system-change-and-non-reformist-reforms
Consumerism: Maurie J. Cohen on Consumerism: http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/35548-preparing-for-the-end-of-consumer-society
(Cohen has a new book on the subject, by the way: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-future-of-consumer-society-9780198768555?cc=us&lang=en&)
Juliet Schor interview on consumerism: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/juliet-schor-american-dream/409321/
TECHNOLOGY STUFF & THINGS
No one will need to own self-driving cars, because we can share them: http://www.vox.com/2014/5/28/5758560/driverless-cars-will-mean-the-end-of-car-ownership
Drone delivery might mean that you just borrow everything: http://www.theverge.com/a/verge-2021/google-x-astro-teller-interview-drones-innovation
With a 3d-Printer you'll design and build rather than buy: https://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/will-3d-printers-see-end-consumerism
3d-Printers may kill consumerism: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/nov/17/3d-printing-throwaway-culture