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Post-scarcity

Today on Pop Culture Intelligentsia we talk with Manu Saadia, author of Trekonomics, which explores post-scarcity economics in the Stay Trek universe. We’ll also chat with photographer John Meadows , who takes photos with classic equipment to capture images in imaginary time.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Manu Saadia
    Manu Saadia, the author of Trekonomics, hails from Paris, France. He lives in Los Angeles where he helps tech startups get off the ground. His first and only passion is the future.
  2. Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek
    What would the world look like if everybody had everything they wanted or needed? Trekonomics, the premier book in financial journalist Felix Salmon’s imprint PiperText, approaches scarcity economics by coming at it backwards — through thinking about a universe where scarcity does not exist. Delving deep into the details and intricacies of 24th century society, Trekonomics explores post-scarcity and whether we, as humans, are equipped for it. What are the prospects of automation and artificial intelligence? Is there really no money in Star Trek? Is Trekonomics at all possible?
  3. Post-scarcity economics
    Post-scarcity is a hypothetical economy in which most goods can be produced in great abundance with minimal human labor needed, so that they become available to all very cheaply or even freely. Post-scarcity is not generally taken to mean that scarcity has been eliminated for all consumer goods and services; instead, it is often taken to mean that all people can easily have their basic survival needs met along with some significant proportion of their desires for goods and services, with writers on the topic often emphasizing that certain commodities are likely to remain scarce in a post-scarcity society.
  4. Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant
    Philosophy and space travel are characterized by the same fundamental purpose: exploration. An essential guide for both philosophers and Trekkers, Star Trek and Philosophy combines a philosophical spirit of inquiry with the beloved television and film series to consider questions not only about the scientific prospects of interstellar travel but also the inward journey to examine the human condition. The expansive topics range from the possibilities for communication among different cultural backgrounds to questions about the stoic temperament exhibited by Vulcans to Ferengi business practices. Specifically chosen to break new ground in exploring the philosophical dimensions of Star Trek, these articles boldly go where no philosopher has gone before.
  5. Replicators
    In Star Trek a replicator is a machine capable of creating (and recycling) objects. Replicators were originally seen used to synthesize meals on demand, but in later series they took on many other uses.
  6. WALL-E
    WALL-E (stylized with an interpunct as WALL·E) is a 2008 American computer-animated comic science fiction film directed and co-written by Andrew Stanton, produced by Jim Morris, and co-written by Jim Reardon. It stars the voices of Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver and the PlainTalk system. It was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, and was the overall ninth feature film produced by the company.
  7. Manhattan Project(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ManhattanProject)
    The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory that designed the actual bombs. The Army component of the project was designated the Manhattan District; “Manhattan” gradually superseded the official codename, Development of Substitute Materials, for the entire project. Along the way, the project absorbed its earlier British counterpart, Tube Alloys. The Manhattan Project began modestly in 1939, but grew to employ more than 130,000 people and cost nearly US $2 billion (about $27 billion in 2017 dollars). Over 90% of the cost was for building factories and to produce fissile material, with less than 10% for development and production of the weapons. Research and production took place at more than 30 sites across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
  8. Frederik Pohl
    Frederik George Pohl Jr. was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem “Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna”, to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012.
  9. Gateway
    Gateway is a 1977 science fiction novel by American writer Frederik Pohl. It is the opening novel in the Heechee saga; several sequels followed. Gateway won the 1978 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1978 Locus Award for Best Novel, the 1977 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1978 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. The novel was adapted into a computer game in 1992.
  10. Reputation system
    Reputation systems are programs that allow users to rate each other in online communities in order to build trust through reputation. Some common uses of these systems can be found on E-commerce websites such as eBay, Amazon.com, and Etsy as well as online advice communities such as Stack Exchange. These reputation systems represent a significant trend in “decision support for Internet mediated service provisions.” With the popularity of online communities for shopping, advice, and exchange of other important information, reputation systems are becoming vitally important to the online experience. The idea of reputations systems is that even if the consumer can’t physically try a product or service, or see the person providing information, that they can be confident in the outcome of the exchange through trust built by recommender systems.
  11. Jeremy Rifkin
    Jeremy Rifkin (born January 26, 1945) is an American economic and social theorist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist. Rifkin is the author of 20 books about the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His most recent books include The Zero Marginal Cost Society (2014), The Third Industrial Revolution (2011), The Empathic Civilization (2010), The European Dream (2004), The Hydrogen Economy (2002), The Age of Access (2000), The Biotech Century (1998), and The End of Work (1995).
  12. The End of Work
    In 1995, Rifkin contended that worldwide unemployment would increase as information technology eliminated tens of millions of jobs in the manufacturing, agricultural and service sectors. He predicted devastating impact of automation on blue-collar, retail and wholesale employees. While a small elite of corporate managers and knowledge workers would reap the benefits of the high-tech world economy, the American middle class would continue to shrink and the workplace become ever more stressful.
  13. Bruce Sterling
    Michael Bruce Sterling is an American science fiction author known for his novels and work on the Mirrorshades anthology. This work helped to define the cyberpunk genre.
  14. Distraction
    2044 and the US is coming apart at the seams. The people live nomadic lives and the new cold war is with the Dutch, fought mostly over the Net. This is your future, and Oscar Valparaiso’s too - or it would be if he wasn’t half human, half genetically modified.
  15. Cory Doctorow
    Cory Efram Doctorow is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.
  16. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
    Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a 2003 science fiction book, the first novel by Canadian author and digital-rights activist Cory Doctorow. Concurrent with its publication by Tor Books, Doctorow released the entire text of the novel under a Creative Commons noncommercial license on his website, allowing the whole text of the book to be freely read and distributed without needing any further permission from him or his publisher.
  17. Whuffie
    Whuffie is the ephemeral, reputation-based currency of Cory Doctorow’s science fiction novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and his short story “Truncat”. This book describes a post-scarcity economy: all the necessities (and most of the luxuries) of life are free for the taking. A person’s current Whuffie is instantly viewable to anyone, as everybody has a brain implant giving them an interface with the Net.
  18. Herbert Marcuse
    Herbert Marcuse was a German-American philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Born in Berlin, Marcuse studied at the universities of Berlin and then at University of Freiburg|Freiburg]], where he received his Ph.D. He was a prominent figure in the Frankfurt-based Institute for Social Research – what later became known as the Frankfurt School. He was married to Sophie Wertheim , Inge Neumann , and Erica Sherover. In his written works, he criticized capitalism, modern technology, historical materialism and entertainment culture, arguing that they represent new forms of social control.
  19. Frankfurt School
    The Frankfurt School is a school of social theory and philosophy associated in part with the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Founded during the interwar period, the School consisted of dissidents who felt at home neither in the existent capitalist, fascist, nor communist systems that had formed at the time. Many of these theorists believed that traditional theory could not adequately explain the turbulent and unexpected development of capitalist societies in the twentieth century. Critical of both capitalism and Soviet socialism, their writings pointed to the possibility of an alternative path to social development.
  20. One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society
    One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society is a 1964 book by philosopher Herbert Marcuse, in which Marcuse offers a wide-ranging critique of both contemporary capitalism and the Communist society of the Soviet Union, documenting the parallel rise of new forms of social repression in both these societies, as well as the decline of revolutionary potential in the West. He argues that “advanced industrial society” created false needs, which integrated individuals into the existing system of production and consumption via mass media, advertising, industrial management, and contemporary modes of thought.
  21. John Meadows
    “For me, Imaginary Time means creating photos that are not temporarily bound to a point in time, either by subject, treatment or technique. I use traditional film cameras and materials, but I also take advantage of computer technology for post-processing. I aim to create images that while containing vintage elements and styles, also have more modern elements.”
  22. Classic Camera Revival Podcast
    Classic Camera Revival is about promoting and reviewing pre-2000 camera gear, photographic mediums, and techniques!
  23. Large format
    Large format refers to any imaging format of 4×5 inches (102×127 mm) or larger. Large format is larger than “medium format”, the 6×6 cm (2¼×2¼ inch) or 6×9 cm (2¼×3½ inch) size of Hasselblad, Rollei, Kowa, and Pentax cameras (using 120- and 220-roll film), and much larger than the 24×36 mm (1.0x1.5 inch) frame of 35 mm format. The main advantage of large format, film or digital, is higher resolution at the same pixel pitch, or same resolution with more larger pixels or grain. A 4×5 inch image has about 16 times the area, and thus 16× the total resolution, of a 35 mm frame. Large format cameras were some of the earliest photographic devices, and before enlargers were common, it was normal to just make 1:1 contact prints from a 4×5, 5×7, or 8×10-inch negative.
  24. Wet plate
    Collodion process, mostly synonymous with the “collodion wet plate process”, requires the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field. Collodion is normally used in its wet form, but can also be used in humid (“preserved”) or dry form, at the cost of greatly increased exposure time. The latter made the dry form unsuitable for the usual portraiture work of most professional photographers of the 19th century. The use of the dry form was therefore mostly confined to landscape photography and other special applications where minutes-long exposure times were tolerable.
  25. Twin-lens reflex camera
    A twin-lens reflex camera (TLR) is a type of camera with two objective lenses of the same focal length. One of the lenses is the photographic objective or “taking lens” (the lens that takes the picture), while the other is used for the viewfinder system, which is usually viewed from above at waist level.
  26. Vivian Maier
    Vivian Dorothy Maier was an American street photographer. Maier worked for about forty years as a nanny, mostly in Chicago’s North Shore, pursuing photography during her spare time. She took more than 150,000 photographs during her lifetime, primarily of the people and architecture of New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, although she also traveled and photographed worldwide.
  27. The Impossible Project
    The Impossible Project is a company that manufactures instant photographic materials.
  28. Ann Arbor Area CRAPPY Camera Club
    The Ann Arbor Area Crappy Camera Club (A3C3) is a democratic collective of photographers dedicated to having fun while exploring and promoting analog methods of producing the still image. Our “crappy camera” moniker humorously acknowledges our group’s fondness for toy and home-built cameras, Polaroids, vintage photography equipment — really all film equipment, in general. Our mission is to share our love of film photography with the community and with each other to encourage the use of silver-halide methods for creating unique and interesting photographs. To this end, A3C3 organizes group activities, workshops, critiques, and exhibits aimed at promoting photography’s roots and educating our members and the larger community about analog photography. We are an all-inclusive film-using group, so any camera that uses film is welcome, whether it’s a Holga or a Hasselblad!

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