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Discussion in 'Eventually Everything will become free.' started by amusicsite, 5 Apr 2018.

  1. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Welcome, this is a short book thing I've been working on for about a year now. It's still work in progress and may will continue forever as that as the world moves very quickly these day. The plan here is to publish a new chapter about once a week over the next few weeks to get feedback and give you lot the first look at the book.

    So here to kick it off is chapter one, the sort of intro.

    Eventually everything becomes free.

    If you look at the cost of most things we buy there are two main things that make up it’s basic cost before profit is added. The first is scarcity, for example an item that is in short supply so not everyone can have one of their own. The other thing is human labour which is a bulk of the costs.

    Take a device like the phone you have and lets look at what it costs. First you need the raw materials which are limited but basically free as they are just sitting there on or under the ground. To get some metal you need to pay some people to mine it, someone to transport it to the processing factory and some people to process the raw materials into something useful. You need to do this for all the materials needed to make the device. You also need to pay people to design the phone, people to test it, people to market it and someone to deliver the final product to you or a shop. For your phone to work you need people to write the software, people to create the products and services that run on it, people to build the network that it runs on, people to generate the electricity to charge it. Then in all these jobs there are managers, human resources, company owners and shareholders who want to get paid. Also there are the tools and building needed to create the product, that all cost money because of the same structures behind them and people getting paid. When you think about it, it’s quite amazing that things don’t cost a lot more than they do.

    There are very little costs that don’t involve people getting paid to turn raw materials into the product you have in your hand. The reason it does not cost more is because of economy of scale and by optimising each part of the process, so each person can produce more per hour they work. A thousand years ago if you bought a chair, it could well be made by one person. One person who chops down the tree, then turns it into a chair and sells it direct to you. Then in that case the number of people needed to make the chair is one-for-one. That one person can only make a few chairs a year on their own though, lets say 250 in a year. To make a 1,000,000 chairs in a year you would need about 4,000 people making them that way.

    Now to make that exact same chair today you would only need a few people using power tools to fell dozens of trees every day, then one person drives a truck with tons of wood to the processing plant. A few more work the factories that process enough wood every day to make a warehouse full of chairs. Then you have a few people who run the superstores or website that sell and deliver that item to you. You can probably make that chair with as little as a dozen people in the supply chain who make 1,000,000 chairs in a year meaning about 0.00001 people per chair made. So the chair is cheaper because a few people working together in a supply chain with tools and automation has made us all more efficient at making chairs and reduced the cost of human labour needed to make one chair.

    Over time the number of people needed to make most things keeps dropping and the amount they can produce keeps increasing. So it seems logical, to me, that if you continue this trend into the future then ultimately you will get to a point where no humans are needed to make all the things in the world. If no humans are needed in any part of the process then it drastically reduces the cost, eventually it could get to a point where most things are basically made at no cost.

    Chapter One: The story so far.
    Last edited: 22 Mar 2020