Four New Breakthroughs In Road To Reputation Economy

four breakthroughs reputation economy

Every once in awhile I like to take a look at the development of the new technologies that will lead to the post-scarcity reputation economy I have discussed here at AdvancedApe.com many times in the past. Four recent stories caught my eye and so I will share them here with you.

The first two involve light, which is essentially energy, and which makes up everything in the experienced universe.

The basic unit of light is a photon. The interactions between photons create a singularly unique signature. This signature can then be used as an encryption code. This is called quantum encryption, and it will someday replace passwords made of alphanumeric symbols.

A team of European scientists have recently made discoveries that may soon make quantum encryption a reality.

A reputation economy will require information sharing that absolutely depends on authenticity and security, and since it would be impossible to replicate a quantum entanglement’s signature, it will be impossible to hack a system which uses them.


Meanwhile in Ireland, another set of researchers recently discovered a new kind of light. This new form of light does not obey the rules given to the classic forms, which will help scientists to understand all of the ways that light behaves. And what can be understood can often be manipulated.

Manipulating light in order to create matter would free us from dependency on earths naturally occurring resources, as well as the disastrous consequences that relationship with the planet can entail. Once we can remove dependence on limited resources, we will gain unimaginable freedoms through self-sufficiency. No more wars fought for control of resources and land will be necessary when you can just replicate what ever you need right in your own home.


At the end of that last bit you may have rolled your eyes and thought, oh here he goes with that Star Trek replicator nonsense again. Well, it appears that I am not the only on, as NASA has issued a challenge calling for youth to engineer 3D-printed meals for future astronauts. They are calling the contest the Future Engineers Star Trek Replicator Challenge.

Before you protest that a 3D printer is not the same as a replicator, consider that replicators will have to utilize 3D printing technology in order to rearrange basic matter created from light into complex matter like food, pants or bike parts. You can’t make a moon pie directly from moonbeams, but with 3D printing mediating the process, it will someday be possible. And having the clout of NASA behind the technology makes it seem far more feasible to the skeptical.


Between now and the post-scarcity reputation economy, there is going to be an awkward transition period. As more jobs are automated and processes streamlined, an economic system based mostly around labor is just not going to function any more. Voices from all ends of the political spectrum and many great philosophers and scientists have been calling for a Universal Basic Income for awhile now. That is, everyone makes a living wage without having to work.

The greatest opponents of this idea are those distrust the state to redistribute wealth without creating greater problems than the ones that the proposal would claim to solve. But what if a UBI were funded and coordinated by private interests? One experiment is attempting to find that out.

It may seem impossible to imagine this working, but in some ways it already does. Consider a bowling ball or a roller rink. Those facilities provide the basic equipment necessary for their use. Sure, they could make more money selling balls and skates, but that would limit the use of their facilities to those willing to make such an investment. By providing the basics, the alley or rink stands to attract more customers, and thus do better business.

Now consider that if jobs are going the way of the cassette tape, value will no longer be produced through labor. In fact, it never really was. Value is produced through market interactions. So if labor is no longer creating value, it will need to be replaced by consumption. Buying will be the new earning. A basic living will be provided, and the profiteers of industrialism will still get to keep their mansions, yachts and child sex slaves.

And if you want nicer bowling balls or skates, you can work to create new products of your own to add to your spending power. And much of that will likely be done digitally, in the form of software, 3D printer plans, replicator recipes, information sharing, entertainment and other non-tangible goods.


The future is creeping up on us faster than we can imagine. Technological development is so rapid we cannot even imagine the possibilities that await us. It is truly a terrifying and exciting time to be alive.

Check out my writings on Anarcho-Futurism at UnicornWorld.org, which is the political end of the post-scarcity reputation economy spectrum.

Idiocracy Assimilated: The Borg Collective Gets An Upgrayedd

Idiocracy Assimilated

In 2063 Zephram Cochrane was to have invented the warp drive that would free humanity not only from its cosmic captivity, but from its own petty weaknesses and excesses, by virtue of giving it something better to do. However some Vulcans who were observing Sputnik and ended up stranded on Earth in 1957 dramatically changed the timeline. Unbeknownst to them a human scientist found their ‘hidden’ ship and was able to get enough information about it to pioneer microprocessors nearly fifty years before it would have happened on the earlier timeline.

As a result the internet was unleashed on humanity before it had culturally matured enough to to fully appreciate it’s tremendous power. Human beings began to rapidly adapt according to properties of this new cybernetic environment. Methods of giving and getting approval in that new environment skewed peoples tastes, but even worse, had massive effects on their psychological well being and maturity. The replacing of complex written language with a wildly popular form of reductionist images called ‘memes’ quickly eroded human rhetoric and critical thinking skills. As the new viral images made people increasingly less intelligent, the new psychological kinks also made them believe that their devolving intellects were in fact superior. Through these two factors combined with many other internet culture issues, like passive aggressiveness and constant barely masked insinuations, humanity began dumbing down at an exponential rate.

When a Borg ship from the future visited Earth on its new timeline in 2063, they did not immediately recognize that humanity had devolved, and began the process of assimilation by unleashing nanoprobes into the planets oceans, and thus into the entire worlds water supply. Having not realized the Vulcan visit had changed the timeline so radically, the Borg showed up and assimilated a planet full of idiots.

Having added the technological and biological distinctiveness of the Idiocracy to their own, over time the Collective itself began to become infected by the same viral stupidity that had conquered humanity via the internet. By the end of the 21st century, the Borg had become a hive of dumbasses. Although their collective nature and cybernetic implants kept them from becoming as hopeless and useless as the humans had been when assimilated, the Borg took a turn that would prevent them from realizing perfection, while allowing them to continue to assimilate ever more species into their galactic idiocracy.


The man once known on Earth as Dr. Lexus was now in a giant sphere somewhere in the alpha quadrant looking for new species to assimilate. He was the seventh member added to the interplanetary adjunct of Unimatrix Dicks, though his scroes just called him Seven of Dicks. But usually pretty much every drone in the Borg collective, just shortened it Septdick.

Septdick was scrubbing plasma conduits in Borg Sphere #Pota2-11 when he must have spaced out for a minute. Gone were both his own thoughts and those of the collective. When he came out of his haze he found that he was attempting to assimilate his own leg. At first he began to panic at his predicament. But when he heard the collective, audible again within his own mind, laughing at his zoned-out blunder, he allowed himself to laugh along with them as he retracted his nanoprobe tubules from himself. He looked over at the drone closest to him and said, “I like assimilation.”

The drone, who was known to the Borg as Fart of Twelve and was once a member of species #879 dead-panned back, “I like assimilation, too.”

The two drones did a hopping high-five before a single voice boomed through the mind of the entire collective. It was the Borg queen, Beef Supreme, announcing that they were just about to assimilate a new species. The minds of the hive went silent as Beef Supreme spoke through a drone into a loudspeaker in a far away sphere hovering over a world full of new recruits.

“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your planet. We will add your biologicalal and technical dickstinkyness to our own. Your cult chore will adapt to service us. Resist us is futile.”

Septdick went back to work on the plasma conduits and watched the assimilation, through the eyes of the drones doing it, in his mind. He felt a slight euphoria as the rush of new individual consciousnesses were added to his own. He spoke again to the nearby drone, “The corrective is pretty badass.”

It answered back, “Yeah, those planet guys are totally butthurt fags.”

Rather than answering back, Seven of Dicks shot Twelve of Farts an image of a famous actor from Earth history making a face of surprised uncertainty that was overlaid with some text about some human disease and sexual practices. Much of the Borg Collective now used such memetic symbols to make associations between phenomena and response. Since assimilating the Idiocracy and becoming infected with its intellectual viruses, the Borg increasingly used memes to communicate to one another. They were simple yet effective tools for providing cohesion of the dumbed-down group mind. If information is reduced to only its implicit message, it is easy to understand and agree upon. The sort of explicit-rich and implicit-blind information sharing that had helped destroy the human beings intelligence just before the Borg showed back up to assimilate them also worked as a great tool for keeping the Borg strong despite the cerebral cancer it was now infected with.

After finishing up the warp coil maintenance, Septdick went to check out the aeroponics bay to see if any of the organic matter he had been attempting to grow was sprouting yet. He hoped to be able to devise a process for assimilating lower life forms, like plants, algae and fungus, so the collective could benefit from their knowledge and experience. But so far nothing has stirred from the seeds he had placed in the dirt. It just didn’t make sense. The soil was nutrient rich and he had all but flooded it with Borgade, which had nanoprobes. And nanoprobes are what organic life needs. Something should have been popping up by now. He took some sensor data and went off to find an open regeneration alcove to process it while his own nanoprobe rich organic matter was recharged through the conduits of technology that supplemented his body.

While he was regenerating he dreamt of the place where only some drones ever visited in their down-cycle. There his scroes and hoes were all free of the collective and were able to interact with one another as the individuals they were before they were assimilated. Unfortunately, most of the other species avoided the human drones who were somehow able to visit there, and seemed to look down on them as inferior. Meanwhile, the humans there thought the other species shit was retarded and that they tended to talk like fags. Yet the humans did not judge them as harshly because, in their view, there were plenty of tards out there living dank lives, so who were they to play Judge Judy and executioner?

Seven of Dicks felt a jostle and was suddenly awake and looking into the face of a rather confused drone who must have bumped into him and interrupted his regeneration cycle. Septdick said, “Go away, ratin’!” and then stepped back into the alcove and that other place.

When he returned the formerly human Borgs had gathered together for a meeting. After everyone was done greeting each other by punching them in the groins, one of the more intelligent particular individuals began giving an impassioned speech.

“I know shit’s fucked up. Everyone’s shit is real emotional right now. But we got this guy, Don’t Know, who is gonna help us figure our shit out.” The speaker then fired a phase pistol, which was set to incinerate, into the ceiling of the building they had gathered. Just before the ceiling collapsed on the dreaming drones, Septdick and the others were pulled from their slumber by an urgent message from Beef Supreme.

“We are experimenting technological difficulties. Please stand by and prepared to be bored.” Suddenly the collective mind was in absolute disorder. Klaxons blared all over the ship as he tapped into the ships sensors to see if he could figure out what was going on. He looked around and it appeared all of the other Borg drones surrounding him were doing the same. A view outside the ship showed another sphere that had somehow triggered its own self-destruct sequence. As it blew up, he and the others could not help but jump around pumping their fists and cheering at the scene of carnage. Even though it was one of their spheres, the scene was pretty badass. Beef Supreme continued, “Please remain chill while we adapt for a solution.”

Somewhere in that endless collection of individual minds a single voice rose up, “I got a solution, yer a dick!” That got the collective going and the meme-sharing threatened to break the internets that connected them.

Beef Supreme boomed over the cacophony, “You guys are just butthurt, but I can super-size with your concerns. Shit’s real fucked up right now. I think we accidentally ass-stimulated a viral us. I am trying recaliber rate the nanoprobes to fix the misfunctions. As soon as I figure it out I will send you all the instructions to fix your nanprobes. Nanoprobes got what Borgs need. Peace out, bitches.”

The drone closest to him asked aloud, “What was that ho saying about banana pros?”

The Borg queen came back, “I think I have found the problem. We seem to have been in-fucked-ed by the genes of a species forgery known as humans. I am preparing to upload the solutions to your data breaks.”

“What did she say about jeans? What does she think we are, some kind of pants goblins?” the nearby drone asked.

The collective became an overwhelming rush of confusion and panic. Seven of Dicks was taking in so much data that he was no longer aware of himself or his environment. The collective was too noisy and he couldn’t even meme with his scroes. When he came back to his own mind, he was trying to assimilate the drone he had been talking to before.

“Sorry, Butt of Fucks, I don’t know why I did that.” he paused. “I like assimilation.”

The confused drone, Butt of Fucks, looked back at him and smiled. “I like assimilation, too.”

In the middle of a leaping double high five, augmented by mutual heel clicks, the voice of Beef Supreme spoke again.

“I have completely the adoptations required to make the upgrayedds necessary to destroy the viral lice. That is upgrayedd with two ‘d’s for double download. As in a double download of pimpin’.”

A moment after he received the re-assimilation programming, he looked around him. Drones were dressed in neon print t-shirts with strange primitive designs that said ‘Assimilation’ on them. The ones who were formerly female were wearing clothes that nearly revealed the areas of the body that once contained genitals, before they had been converted into asexual copies of their former selves. The ship looked like a targ pit and on monitors all around there was a show playing in which drones were all taking cheap stun gun shots at a single drones implants, while everyone else looked on in hysterical rapture. Seven of Dicks could hear the collective in his mind asking the same questions. What are we? What happened to us? What do we do now? Instead of trying to answer them, or get the answer, he made his way to the nearest empty alcove and prepared himself for the next regeneration.

Star Trek and the Reputation Economy

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I am both a huge fan of the Star Trek Franchise (especially TNG) and a huge critic of the widespread interpretation of the show as some sort of perfect and attainable utopia. Widespread militarization, existential malaise and a number of other issues actually depict a sort of perverse, juvenile sketch of utopia. Yet there is no doubt that it has been highly influential in how we think about the future as well as an inspiration in the development of technologies.

images-1The most common reason given for the perfection of the fictional Star Trek universe is that it has evolved past money. It is often suggested that money was the greatest cause of past evils and ridding our species of its use allowed us to make leaps and bounds forward.  This is a rather unsophisticated simplification of human economies that does not apply to current humans who do not possess the technologies that make Star Trek possible. However, we are beginning to see some of the technologies in the show become real possibilities. Take the medical device, the Tricorder, which inches closer every year thanks to the sort of competition that people in the ST universe are too evolved for.

imagesYet the real reason that the ST universe can afford the luxury of abandoning currency lies mostly in the very specific technology of the replicator, which can provide humans with basic needs with matter created from unlimited energy. Well, it seems that we may be close to taking some of the first steps towards replicators as scientists claim they will soon be able to create matter from light. Now all we need is the free unlimited energy to power it and Voilà! Utopia.

As other technologies already available begin to make large scale production and centralized political and economic systems obsolete, we are already beginning to see the rise of new economic paradigms. It has suddenly become likely that the luxuries afforded to the ST universe will be available to us in the near future. As that luxury increases we will move away from Industrialism and most of its economic paradigms, as well as its social and political ones. Soon it may be possible to leave the slavery of wage employment and produce things of value to ourselves and others, not for mere survival, but for living.

Click the photo to read more about the reputation economy on Advanced Ape
Click the photo to read more about the reputation economy on Advanced Ape