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computer_guy524

Do an article on this topic:
https://singularityhub.com/2017/12/25/the-nanofabricator-how-a-machine-that-can-make-anything-would-change-everything/

What's your take on it? I would love to be able to make anything that I want. And yes I know that it won't happen very soon, but I do think that at least elements of this will be implemented in the coming years (custom meds, 3D printing of car parts at a mechanic's garage, etc.)

And my bad about posting about a topic that's not 100% in line with the original post. Adding this to a future write-up would be awesome though and I would love to read it :-)

fatcat

hi computer_guy524,
it is too speculative and all hype for now. This is one of the "end-game" technologies if implemented fully.

#1 Weekly god-like general (super) AI

#2 Nanobots and fabrication at negligible marginal cost which are available to everyone

#3 Warp drive/meeting alien civilizations

#4 extra-dimensional travel


for points 3 and 4 we still can comprehend the society that such technologies. For nano-replicating bots we will lose the meaning of gdp and the economic ties will be reconsidered. We still can comprehend those with some effort. It will be similar to the software industry because everything will become software + raw materials + energy. And probably the software would be the most expensive part. Yet we will have an open source/free designs that will as useful as the latest commercial offerings. From one hand there will be less money changing hands as there will be less need to trade physical stuff. On the other we will be immensely richer as a society. With most transaction covering software and entertainment.

computer_guy524

Oh, and the videos were awesome. I saw this article in regards to ATOM. Your ideas are gaining traction!

https://singularityhub.com/2016/07/18/why-the-cost-of-living-is-poised-to-plummet-in-the-next-20-years/

Ed Zimmer

Kartik,
You invited me to participate in this blog a few months ago (Chap 14 comments). I didn't join then because I didn't trust my understanding of economics. I do now - and I'd like to participate.

I'm an 85-year-old with a career in digital technology. In 1970 I boot-strapped a business, Ann Arbor Terminals, producing the first digital display terminals, which sold into the B-B market until 1987 when I decided to wrap it down. I then started helping young inventor/entrepreneurs worldwide through a website, TENonline.org (The Entrepreneur Network), until 2015 when I took it down because of a demise in U.S. entrepreneurship.

In early 2016, anticipating a shrinking job market due to the technology, I subscribed to The Economist to see what economists might be planning to counteract that potential problem. To my surprise/concern, there were not only no plans, but no recognition of it (which you've explained in your Chap 4).

So in mid-year I started actively posting to their Comments section trying to convey a better understanding of digital technology and it's potential. That's been a fun experience - trying out different ways of explaining, and observing what's grasped and isn't. I believe I've had some success as terms like "shrinking job market" and "UBI" are no longer the dirty words they were a year-and-a-half ago.

However, I'm no longer getting the resistance I need to better visualize/verbalize the problem, it's potential consequences and options. I'm hoping that by participating here I can get that from you (and Geoman and fatman)

To start, I'll summarize where we clearly agree and where I have concerns we might productively discuss. We agree in the acceleration of technology (knowledge builds on knowledge - and the internet only further accelerates that building) and we agree that technology is deflationary and that a UBI is both possible and necessary.

My reservation with DUES stems from concern with the remaining tenure of accelerating economic growth. Geoman encapsulated that concern beautifully in his comment to your Chap 2 - "All exponential growth curves eventually morph into S-curves". I fear that could be sooner than you're expecting.

Technology is about doing more with less - better quality products/services at lower cost. That does not sound like a formula for economic growth - UNLESS that technology results in many more new products/services - which I don't see. If you do, the basic forms should be describable - and, importantly, why there'll be significant demand for these new products/services once consumers' necessities have been provided for (through a UBI).

I'll stop here and see if a discussion can result.

Kartik Gada

Hello Ed,

Thanks for coming by! Yes, I have seen your comments at The Economist, linking to the ATOM. Thanks for that.

Technology is about doing more with less - better quality products/services at lower cost. That does not sound like a formula for economic growth - UNLESS that technology results in many more new products/services - which I don't see.

That is correct, as I write about in Chapter 2.

However, there are many new products and services, just perhaps not enough. The reason is both the lower NGDP problem (see Chapter 4), as well as insufficient monetization of technological deflation.

The DUES corrects most of the issues with this. The fear of 'insufficient demand' is still far away. For example, what income in US$ do you think this saturates at? $400,000/year? The world is still at just $12,000/yr, so is a long way from $400,000. Plus, many new products and services become viable when there is a larger affluent class (many of which are health-related).

"All exponential growth curves eventually morph into S-curves".

Individual technologies certainly are S-curves, but the broader underlying trend has not deviated for 4 billion years. The problem is, most people assume humans are the end goal of everything, when evidence and trend momentum indicates that is unlikely to be the case barring a radical transformation of humans.

Robert N

I think the ATOM now has enough momentum to justify a proper forum.

Firstly, looking for new comments under your existing postings/chapters is inefficient. Secondly, your readers may wish to post on subjects unrelated to the latest article (like this comment, sorry!).

Many forums seem to have a multitude of sub-forums. I envisage a simple single-level forum for the ATOM.

Individual topics might include: current global QE, current DUES based on estimated rate of technological deflation, Carlson curve (new data), etc, etc and yes, Recent TV Appearances.

Perhaps there is a concern that maintaining a forum would be a time sink?

Ed Zimmer

Kartik,
If I'm interpreting your response correctly, you're seeing $12,000/yr as a subsistence demand level. At what multiple of that level would you expect to see consumption turn into savings (having little value in the new economy). I'd be surprised if that were more than 5-6x (on average) but you seem to feel it's much higher. Or do you see savings as having value in a fiat economy?

Also, you were predicting an economic crisis in 2017, requiring major change in monetary policy. Are you now seeing that as just delayed? If so, to 2018 or later? And are you seeing the tax reform just passed as hastening or delaying that crisis?

Kartik Gada

Hello Ed,

$12,000/yr is just the world per capita GDP at present. Last year, it was a bit lower, and 20 years ago, it was half this level.

At what multiple of that level would you expect to see consumption turn into savings (having little value in the new economy). I'd be surprised if that were more than 5-6x (on average) but you seem to feel it's much higher. Or do you see savings as having value in a fiat economy?

Maybe at $100K/yr, but I doubt it. Remember what I said in the ATOM, about how ~80% of people have no ability to generate a net worth beyond home equity. They just lack the discipline and multi-disciplinary knowledge. They can easily be duped into thinking the $1000 bottle of wine is so much better than the $20 bottle, or that the $600 purse is vastly better than the $40 purse.

Remember that even in the US, at $58K/yr per capita, most people have very little savings outside of 'home equity (itself propped up by many artificial forces).

New products continue to emerge to cater to a new mass affluent class. Plus, the retirement of GDP as a metric of prosperity may also happen, since as we know, technology blurs the correlation between GDP growth and prosperity increases.

Also, you were predicting an economic crisis in 2017, requiring major change in monetary policy. Are you now seeing that as just delayed? If so, to 2018 or late

Tax reform and regulatory reform certainly delays it. We were on track for a 2017 dip as of 2016, but the surprise victory of Trump is obviously something the stock market likes.

That said, the ^vix index has never, ever been this low for this long, and it has always been mean-reverting until now.

Kartik Gada

Hello Robert,

I might do a forum if the traffic becomes substantial enough. At the moment, there appear to be just 6-7 regular commenters, most of whom communicate with me rather than with each other. Your last comment was exactly one year ago :). We would love to have you comment here more often.

I don't mind off-topic comments in a thread as long as it is on-topic to the other articles here.

I am not sure how the message board can interface with Typepad.

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