A Surplus of Abundance

Solar power will soon create cheap energy as photovoltaic technology continues to advance and produces solar panels that are competitive with other energy sources. Nanotechnology and robotics will use the new cheaper electric energy to provide resources and raw materials for manufacturing on a more cost effective basis. Knowledge engineering and 3D printing will begin to make blueprints for any product available to download and create at home. Evolutionary computing and genetic algorithms will solve problems that have slowed down the rate of advance of the human race. Artificial intelligence will be offering humans good ethical advice, resulting in fewer problems and social conflicts and greater economic efficiency.

All of these factors appear to be converging toward a future where material goods and consumable products are much cheaper to make and more easily available than they ever have been. These trends will also make it possible for individuals to become far more self-sufficient than was previously possible. It will become practical to collect large amounts of cheap energy, and produce nearly everything we need for a high standard of living without having large amounts of capital available. The range of lifestyle choices available will diverge as people discover they can become financially independent with less effort. Large socio-economic group structures (governments, corporations, unions, religious organizations) will be forced to become more responsive to the actual needs and desires of people as they gain the ability to “opt-out” or disconnect from services that have been taken for granted as essential.

SEE ALSO:
A Factory That Can Make Anything
Hyperlocal Manufacturing
Ethical Advisors
Exploratory Engineering
Paper Batteries

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