Information Abundance

‘Few will doubt that humankind has created a planet-sized problem for itself. No one wished it so, but we are the first species to become a geophysical force, altering Earth’s climate, a role previously reserved for tectonics, sun flares, and glacial cycles. We are also the greatest destroyer of life since the ten-kilometer-wide meteorite that landed near Yucatan and ended the Age of Reptiles sixty-five million years ago. Through overpopulation we have put ourselves in danger of running out of food and water. So a very Faustian choice is upon us: whether to accept our corrosive and risky behavior as the unavoidable price of population and economic growth, or to take stock of ourselves and search for a new environmental ethic.’ E.O. Wilson, Consilience, 1988, pp. 277-278.

Imagine that you invented a new idea, design concept, mathematical algorithm or other intellectual property (IP)?

Now consider, that the whole world might use such a concept, to make billions or trilllions of applications, just a little bit better?

That is the power of the internet age, or global digital network, what Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) termed the ‘Information Age’ (1964).

To develop humanity’s combined IP, our ability to solve problems at the speed of light, by engaging the amazing creative power of nearly eight billion world citizens.

Well, four billion, because half of humanity remain excluded from the digital world, an issue now called the ‘digital divide.’

This is the potential for information abundance as an economic principle, to redirect global development based on massive renewable innovation.

Abundance is created by people, so it follows that all people are involved and accorded clear legal and statutory rights to protect them from predation by scarcity-mongers.

As developers of their own private data and the shared IP that moves the world forward, every citizen is afforded protection from manipulation and inclusion in the abundance of nature and collective imagination.

Data citizens both have a paid job and a role in the governance of data, that is to oversee the quality of that data and to protect their data from predation.

A new economy in which data citizens sift, clean, manufacture, design and calculate data as part of their individual social contract to protect life for all.

Especially from economic predators of a kind far more dangerous than the great reptilians.

Yes, we must transform 10,000 years of economic development and economic theory of a couple of hundred years.

So called scarcity, or classical economics.

Scarcity economics is predicated on the remorseless principles of human exploitation and destruction.

So, the growth in population inevitably destroys the ability of people to feed themselves, due to the diminishment of resources. The famous Malthusian Theory.

Or the destruction of forests, fisheries, soils and species, is like the entire mindset of scarcity economics, viewed as a natural outcome of free market enterprise, the so-called, best way to organise trade.

The game now being played by neo-liberal economics on the entire living world, is ‘survival of the fittest’ an idea taken from Charles Darwin (1809-1882), and applied erroneously by the scarcity enthusiasts, to devastating effect.

There are no ethics, there is no law, there can be no social contract, if ‘survival of the fittest’ is the economic rule.  It’s ‘might is right’ versus the people.

Revolution is the only alternative to such a creed.

An Information Revolution now demonstrates abundance as a response to scarcity. Abundance recommends that the ‘tragedy of the commons’, the natural activity of human development which causes destruction, is overcome using information, creativity and science.

At the centre of such a debate is the distinction between two great scientific principles.

On the one hand the principle of ‘entropy’: which states that the entire Universe is cooling down, therefore life will die and thus, destruction is inevitable — so-called ‘creative destruction’ — and this benefits some people, because they recognise, that by acting in their own self-interest, they follow an inevitable law.

Entropy is scarcity.

It’s not too difficult to identify how such a theory feeds the natural greed and selfishness of human economic origins, the so-called ‘dog-on-dog’ fight for resources.

Or put a little more cordially: if I don’t have that ‘food, fire, building or land’, I may become scarce.

In which case, to continue the argument, I will justify cutting down the Amazon Rainforest because a million people need wood, or food, or whatever the market demands, and that action will in-turn feed me.

Against the principle of Entropy is the life-enhancing and life-protecting principle of Synergy: summarised as ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.’

Synergy is what people, living forms and even chemicals use naturally in building, working or bonding together, and for creating new ways of doing things.

Synergy is life’s answer to Entropy. We can find new ways: even new Universes.

We can build new materials, new ways of doing things, simply with new information.

Fundamental to the task of synergetic transformation for our now world economy is changing the outworn economic and political systems that even now threaten to destroy us.

Synergy, or human creative potential, displaces scarcity with abundance. We work together or destroy apart.

This is an analysis of complex issues facing the global sustainability movement today.

On the one side, an outdated model of scarcity economics, enabling market-scarcity fundamentalists to literally sell/kill all life on Earth, for profit and their own life-blind economics.

Justifying their actions and words with what can only be called ‘medieval superstitions’ about the ‘end of the world’ and ‘lack of resources’ which reasoning justifies ‘torture, rape and pillage’ of the Planet and ‘all its lifeforms’.

Or, we may consider that a new operational technology, computing, supercharged by information programmes that renew almost nightly — 24/7 — can work to free humanity and Life-on-Earth – from the predations of an outdated and very dangerous mindset.

Scarcity Economics.

If not, scarcity thinking will kill us all, even its backward-looking adherents, in the not-too-distant-future.

Your future, your children’s future. Life on Earth.

Abundance or scarcity. you choose.