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Author Topic: Question: Arcologies and Materialism  (Read 1614 times)

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Offline Scrasamax

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Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« on: April 09, 2012, 10:54:01 AM »
There are certain things that serve as goals and hallmarks of the modern American life, buying a vehicle, getting a job, getting laid, having children, buying a home, the 'merican dream.

But what if ownership of a personal vehicle (automobile, motorcycle, etc) becomes unnecessary?

What if purchasing a home was suddenly simply no longer a need, or really an option?

Living in the age of Arcologies, people are going to be very centrally located. A personal vehicle is going to become a hindrance, there are no roads inside an arco. Instead it's mass transit, moving sidewalks, trams, internal rail systems. You can walk pretty much anywhere you need to go. So there is no need for cars, car loans, etc. The same goes for the personal home. The different decks function as villages and subdivisions, and your residence is likely going to be assigned to you by income, and social status. Bachelors are likely to share a multi-room bachelor pad, families would have apartment like spaces based on their family size and income. (to a point)

So, what does this materialistic comsumer culture, addicted to computers, look like? What would you do if you had no need for a car, no need for a home mortgage? Thought and comments requested:)


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Offline Dozus

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 11:42:36 AM »
When material no longer matters, ideas gain value. A person's wealth is measured by the number and importance if the ideas they possess (copyright issues take the forefront).

And with computers, processing speed is important. Moore's Law conceivably has a ceiling: processors will reach a maximum calculations per second that can never physically be breached. The ownership and/or access to scores of processors to process data would be a conceivable measure of wealth.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 12:35:34 PM »
When material no longer matters, ideas gain value. A person's wealth is measured by the number and importance if the ideas they possess (copyright issues take the forefront).

And with computers, processing speed is important. Moore's Law conceivably has a ceiling: processors will reach a maximum calculations per second that can never physically be breached. The ownership and/or access to scores of processors to process data would be a conceivable measure of wealth.

The 4th gen internet takes a greater precedence, and I can imagine either working in online venues/stations are going to replace manufacturing and other jobs machines can do better. Moore's Law isn't going to really come into play since it's going to be a whole new level of technology inside of the computers. Comparing these new machines to modern computers is going to be comparing an F1 racer to the 1898 Mercedes prototype car.

People who actually create the material for the online domains are going to become more important, and I can see online or virtual possessions becoming more important that physical possessions. I could see a teenager owning a virtual beachfront house, or the children of wealthy parents having their own virtual playground islands and whatnot


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Offline Pariah

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 07:33:07 PM »
I personally feel like the desire to "Keep up with the Joneses" won't go away, instead of fancy cars and a mansion for the Arc dwellers, that disposable income will instead go to other signs of wealth and prestige; fancy clothes, an 108" fulll 3d flat screen tv with surround sound, bling-bling, cosmetic surgery, escort girls (or boys, as the case may be), body guards.  While I admit the idea of an "idea based" society is appealing to me, that shiny yellow metal has been a constant sign of wealth for upwards of 4000 years of human civilization despite (or because of) how useless it is.  Signs of wealth aren't about "use" so much as saying "I have enough money I can waste it on this."  But that's just my 2 cents.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 10:36:38 PM »
What if in this artificial trumping real reality, what it online gold trumps real gold or physical wealth. I play FarmVille, and there I am a millionaire with vast amounts of land and hundreds of head of livestock and a small city.


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Offline dark_dragon

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 03:35:55 AM »
I personally feel like the desire to "Keep up with the Joneses" won't go away, instead of fancy cars and a mansion for the Arc dwellers, that disposable income will instead go to other signs of wealth and prestige; fancy clothes, an 108" fulll 3d flat screen tv with surround sound, bling-bling, cosmetic surgery, escort girls (or boys, as the case may be), body guards.  While I admit the idea of an "idea based" society is appealing to me, that shiny yellow metal has been a constant sign of wealth for upwards of 4000 years of human civilization despite (or because of) how useless it is.  Signs of wealth aren't about "use" so much as saying "I have enough money I can waste it on this."  But that's just my 2 cents.


that would be Signalling theory.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 09:13:45 AM »
An hour later I wander back out of Wiki.

It is an interesting idea, and has so much potential. The populace is demobilized (no reason to leave the arco) so the truly wealthy and megarich are still going to have their signs of wealth, they are going to have helicopters and personal transportation to take them away from the plebian concerns of the typical arco dweller. I can see wing motifs being common, and equating wealth and flight. The wealthy eat real food, fresh produce and meat rather than fast grown crops and synthesized protein.

But it is the middle class that is interesting. They don't readily have the ability to leave the arco, and and young adults there aren't the typical outlets for teenage behaviour, the risk taking and pushing limits, attracting female attention. So it transfers online, joining online gangs, or demonstrating skill in prowess by participating in certain types of games. Someone who does well in a fighting or FPS wargame shows themselves to be aggressive and skilled, while the youths who indulge in sims and RPGs are generally seen as weak, or escapist (generalizations of course)

Then there is going to be conspicuous consumption. Not only does he have a good rank in War Fighter, but he has the income to spend on something ridiculous, like a flaming helmet. (Not only does he play at a stealth/sneak disadvantage, he is displaying his own wealth, so if he plays well he will get plenty of attention)

 


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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 02:36:56 PM »
What if in this artificial trumping real reality, what it online gold trumps real gold or physical wealth. I play FarmVille, and there I am a millionaire with vast amounts of land and hundreds of head of livestock and a small city.


We're already there. At bottom, money is a representation of value. I never have more than $200 in physical money with me at any one time, generally much less. The vast majority of my money is digital in nature; how exactly is that different from bit coins, for instance? They're just bits on a computer somewhere that others attach a value to.

In a world where digital-reality is the primary mode of existence, digital tools/services/etc. all begin to have a value that exceeds the value of physical goods. If your subsistence needs are met, value is where your individual demands place it. If you don't ever have houseguests over, you don't really need a fancy living space. If instead you have people meet on your personal shard, decorating that digital environment becomes paramount, and so an intricate digital couch object with extra soft cushions could very well command a higher price than the equivalent physical item.

Of course, everything is fluid depending on the person. Remember, market-value is an average of what most people would pay for something; individual consumers might value something higher or lower. It's entirely possible, though, that the average individual would value certain digital goods over physical ones.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 11:03:37 PM »
What if in this artificial trumping real reality, what it online gold trumps real gold or physical wealth. I play FarmVille, and there I am a millionaire with vast amounts of land and hundreds of head of livestock and a small city.


We're already there. At bottom, money is a representation of value. I never have more than $200 in physical money with me at any one time, generally much less. The vast majority of my money is digital in nature; how exactly is that different from bit coins, for instance? They're just bits on a computer somewhere that others attach a value to.

In a world where digital-reality is the primary mode of existence, digital tools/services/etc. all begin to have a value that exceeds the value of physical goods. If your subsistence needs are met, value is where your individual demands place it. If you don't ever have houseguests over, you don't really need a fancy living space. If instead you have people meet on your personal shard, decorating that digital environment becomes paramount, and so an intricate digital couch object with extra soft cushions could very well command a higher price than the equivalent physical item.

Of course, everything is fluid depending on the person. Remember, market-value is an average of what most people would pay for something; individual consumers might value something higher or lower. It's entirely possible, though, that the average individual would value certain digital goods over physical ones.


On of the common themes of the Arco is that the greater portion of the populace is demobilized. Most people are completely reliant on public mass transit (arco light rail, moving walkways, etc) most needs can be met by automated delivery, online ordering, etc. Visiting someone else's module/apartment/compartment is not always a priority since using the online existence you can meet friends and family anywhere, at great convenience. So the personal shard/domain takes precedence, I mean almost everyone has the same living module, and the same mass produced synthesized food supply. Without access to the network, life is a constant ongoing grind. Utilitarian almost communistic distribution of necessities such as food and water, basically locked into a giant steel and concrete box.

So...

Servers control the online environment, the powers that be control the servers. If the populace gets upset, free gifts (it costs the powers nothing, its all virtual anyway) if they get complacent and lazy, some stuff gets more expensive, or new stuff is released to keep them chasing the carrot.



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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2012, 11:03:19 AM »
Servers control the online environment, the powers that be control the servers. If the populace gets upset, free gifts (it costs the powers nothing, its all virtual anyway) if they get complacent and lazy, some stuff gets more expensive, or new stuff is released to keep them chasing the carrot.

Can you say, "blacknet"? I get the feeling there would be a few groups of individuals with their own server (it ain't THAT hard...), enabling them to break free from the Powers That Be. Of course, the PTB aren't going to like this at all, and are probably going to do their level best to crush the rebellious Undernet operators. "We don't have solid evidence yet, but this latest cybercriminal attack is likely the doing of the 'Netters; remember, only ever connect to an approved server. We can't guarantee your safety from connecting to any unapproved hardware devices."

Depending on how important processing power is to online interactions (especially those of a combative nature), those who have their own server could very well overpower the average person who just time-shares a processor from the Approved Server Farms.
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Question: Arcologies and Materialism
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2012, 11:17:17 AM »
Servers control the online environment, the powers that be control the servers. If the populace gets upset, free gifts (it costs the powers nothing, its all virtual anyway) if they get complacent and lazy, some stuff gets more expensive, or new stuff is released to keep them chasing the carrot.

Can you say, "blacknet"? I get the feeling there would be a few groups of individuals with their own server (it ain't THAT hard...), enabling them to break free from the Powers That Be. Of course, the PTB aren't going to like this at all, and are probably going to do their level best to crush the rebellious Undernet operators. "We don't have solid evidence yet, but this latest cybercriminal attack is likely the doing of the 'Netters; remember, only ever connect to an approved server. We can't guarantee your safety from connecting to any unapproved hardware devices."

Depending on how important processing power is to online interactions (especially those of a combative nature), those who have their own server could very well overpower the average person who just time-shares a processor from the Approved Server Farms.

I love the BlackNet idea, ghost servers, and Hackers have the same status in society then as terrorists do today.

Remember, only use Safety Sanctioned Servers (SSS replaces WWW) to ensure your safety.


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