The Venus Project is Coming Soon

2 months ago
74 in futurology

If there's anything more powerful than money, it will be our self-motivation and sense of intrinsic value. Jacque Fresco, founder of The Venus Project knows this well enough and has been planning for a post-scarcity society for more than 80 years. He is 101 years old this year and I've been studying some of his works, and personally think that he's one of the sanest voices around (in an idealistic sense, probably not stoic / pragmatic, depending on your level of cynicism / optimism).

Before continuing, let's consider the following definition of a post-scarcity economy, found on Wikipedia:-

Post-scarcity is a hypothetical economy in which most goods can be produced in great abundance with minimal human labour needed, so that they become available to all very cheaply or even freely.

Post-scarcity is not generally taken to mean that scarcity has been eliminated for all consumer goods and services; instead, it is often taken to mean that all people can easily have their basic survival needs met along with some significant proportion of their desires for goods and services, with writers on the topic often emphasising that certain commodities are likely to remain scarce in a post-scarcity society.

In Jacque Fresco's vision of a cybernation, where all the world's resources are transparent and made known, the biggest obstacle to such a plan is of course, to get all nations to disclose information of their repositories and silos. A resource-based economy is politically impossible to pull-off in the traditional sense where money and resources are mostly state-controlled.

Ever since getting my head into blockchains, I've been thinking that this piece of technology may be a precursor to post-scarcity, sustainable societies. It's difficult to determine the carrying capacity of the world's resources, but it's now definitely possible to bootstrap a certain kinds of resource-based economies by people from all corners of the world. All with a mobile device and an Internet connection.

Sometimes.. some people and their ideas are way too ahead of their time, even before the necessary technologies are available to make things possible. Even if that's not the case, mere discussion over one-of-a-kind ideas are valuable and interesting. I hope more users around here will embrace such ideas despite how some may think about globalism, communism, socialism, etc. Labels are too limiting.

So yup, I'm definitely excited to see The Venus Project taking my rather evangelistic email seriously and consider blockchain technology more seriously. I'm happy to be able to spend some time walking them through the landscape, before getting onto this platform as @thevenusproject. I'll be having a Skype session with them on Tuesday at 13:00 UTC.


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67
  ·  2 months ago

From a built-form perspective, there's a lot in Fresco's work that relates to the holistic concepts of Buckminster Fuller. He would've geeked out over the potential of blockchain inhabiting the mechanics of energy systems in design. Both were/are ahead of the times. Fascinating stuff, Kevin.

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74
  ·  2 months ago

Indeed, i think they mightve been buddies too. Some may say such views tend to perceived as homogenization, but i think the fundamentals are substantial and could lend themselves to any other forms of societies and doesnt have to be just part of one dominant ideology..

64
  ·  2 months ago

Here are some books that Jacque read as a child, he references the Kropotkin in one of his videos.
https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/petr-kropotkin-the-conquest-of-bread

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/pierre-joseph-proudhon-what-is-property-an-inquiry-into-the-principle-of-right-and-of-government

What Jacque is missing is: Keep working, stop paying.
He gets too wrapped up in his own molding of the idea rather than condense it to it's simplest form so that everybody can understand quickly.

Workers do all the work, as long as they continue to work, the work gets done whether the accounting department falls off a cliff or rises up against wage slavery.
https://thesocietypages.org/monte/2013/12/21/the-monkey-master-fable/

I hope he makes it to see his vision,....

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74
  ·  2 months ago

Thanks for the links, it seems that you know more about him!

What Jacque is missing is: Keep working, stop paying.

I don't get this part?

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64
  ·  2 months ago

Who does the actual creation of the goods, the workers, or the payers?
It's like the chicken and the egg, except solvable.

As long as the workers do the work we can just take what we need from the pile, in return for an obligation to contribute to the pile.

With the blockchain one's consumption could be tracked and quantified indelibly.
Consume less, owe less work to the pile.

Unless something like this is adopted the robots won't be brought online until after they eliminate the starving masses that unemployed workers create.
Starving masses burn down gated communities, ergo, the soft kill weapons, because crapitalism,...yo.

We could declare next Tuesday freedom day.
On freedom day, and subsequently, you do what you did today, ergo, if you worked, go to work, if you looked for work, look again.
In this way the demand that will skyrocket in some goods has a chance at catching up.
The norm will be 20 to 50 we work to restock what we consume, before we do what kids do, and after we do what we want.

Kropotkin worked all this out from the paris commune data.

68
  ·  2 months ago

Yes! Go get 'em!

Personally, while interesting, I don't think The Venus Project is realistic at all, but it'll be a great coup for Steemit to have them here.

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74
  ·  2 months ago

Haha yes it's very far fetched indeed. I'd like to see what a decentral TVP looks like..

49
  ·  2 months ago

I love the Venus project! Such a magnificent idea. However there's been a lot of controversy over the years about them milking money from their followers based on false promise.
It's been many years since then discussion was brought to me I wish I could remember the details, but as and arch student what mattered to me most was the vision and and it's construction.
I'm a little jealous you get to work with them, but I praise amidst that jealousy.

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74
  ·  2 months ago

It's a decent idea worthy of pocket community experiments. However, it's just too difficult to pull of something that's necessarily not defined by capital, but yet, capital is the only thing that'll enable such a project! This way, TVP's supporters can build their own give and take community.. the only way to do it is to transition into it, and definitely not through a leap of faith. It has to be shown.. i guess.

55
  ·  2 months ago

He's inspiring. I feel like his ideas are great but I haven't heard him suggest how we can actually make the changes towards such an economy. Nice effort getting in touch with them. Will you be recording and sharing the Skype session?

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74
  ·  2 months ago

Yes, it's impossible without a capital intensive period. Good idea, I'll probably do that. Thanks :)

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55
  ·  2 months ago

Thank you! :)

71
  ·  2 months ago

A perfectly centraly planned economy...wow...i cant wait. (Not)

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74
  ·  2 months ago

Well it doesn't have to be that way, and could use more public discussion. Indeed it's the biggest off-putting part of the whole idea.

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71
  ·  2 months ago

Its a totalitarian's wet dream. Everytime humans sought after creating heaven on earth...it created a living hell...this is the biggest lesson of the 20th century in my opinion.

To me, this project is a high-tech form of Marxism.

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74
  ·  2 months ago

Imo, it's anything but totalitarian if it's a mix of voluntaryism in part of a gig / sharing-economy as a precursor before the shift. Armchair theorising is saying that abundance will flip the concept of money on its head. And yes it's quite like high-tech communism, and IMO perhaps part of decentralisation is the ability can accommodate many different systems with people participating freely without the capacity for any of these to be state-enforced by coercion. Would be interesting to see how their ideas may change for the better after getting some crypto enlightenment :)

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55
  ·  2 months ago

It could be planned in a decentralized way, with distributed networking and consensus. (in theory)

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71
  ·  2 months ago

How can you do that decentralized without property or ownership? Someone has to b doing the distribution. It will be centralized into a super computer AI controlled by who? A few high-tech technocrats.

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55
  ·  2 months ago

Maybe the distribution can be handled by the consensus of a distributed network instead of an AI or elected official. It's a far out idea, but I think the theory is solid. Everyone would have to believe in the resource based economy, otherwise people would still game and corrupt the system.

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71
  ·  2 months ago

Just like in communism, you know what happens to those who dont agree with the program.

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55
  ·  2 months ago

You definitely have a point there. But we also see what happens with capitalism and people that don't agree with the program.

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71
  ·  2 months ago

@camb At least they don't get drag behind the woodshed for a bullet in the head. Also, did you know that today some 18,000 children who in the past would have died of simple diseases will survive, about 300,000 people will gain electricity and a cool 250,000 will graduate from extreme poverty? (source) How terrible the ability of people to own and direct the factors of production is!

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54
  ·  2 months ago

I've listened to Bad Quaker's podcast. Nothing there apart from "it's pure socialism with computers, baaad!". Well, it's not that simple. Computers are the key difference, that's one thing. Second thing, isn't non-aggression principle embedded deeply in that philosophy? And the third thing is private property. My toothbrush is obviously mine. So is my house. My car. Etc. Maybe I missed something, but the official message is that people will want to give up their cars, if the goal is simply to get from point A to B and public transport is superior to individual cars?

67
  ·  2 months ago

The Venus Project is a pipe dream built on a misguided foundation. Ben Stone the Bad Quaker covered this very subject in depth yesterday/6 years ago.

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74
  ·  2 months ago

Tbh I'm not quite interested if it's a pipe dream or not. All I'm interested in are the beneficial solutions that may come out of any of these projects. IMO, rejecting ideas or discussions out of a large body of work is quite wasteful, so let's see where this goes. Hopefully at the same time get more adoption for this platform too :)

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67
  ·  2 months ago

The problem as I see it is that the Venus Project et al. have some good ideas mixed with a devastatingly flawed understanding of economics, technology, and human psychology.

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74
  ·  2 months ago

Oh nice, reading/listening into Bad Quaker's opinion on the matter, interesting stuff!

47
  ·  2 months ago

Hasn't this been in the works for a long time already?
I didn't think this was ever going to happen.. dig the idea though!

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74
  ·  2 months ago

Just in paper, nothing concrete. They're at odds with the plan. Making a moneyless society without a extensive capital period is quite insurmountable..

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74
  ·  2 months ago

I think I've gone through that before, thanks :)

52
  ·  2 months ago

Wow, this is great @kevinwong The Venus Project is amazing!

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74
  ·  2 months ago

I'd definitely like to see what's going to progress in that project when they start considering blockchain tech..

59
  ·  2 months ago

Nice !

49
  ·  2 months ago

Drop hints of parameteicism in Jacques mind. Ever since Zaha Hadid passed it hasn't been the same, but Jacque has the knowledge for it.

54
  ·  2 months ago

Awesome. Please record the session, or do some broadcast? Hangout (Google) perhaps? It would be extremely interesting!
(It is also interesting how polarized comments to this post are, and the accusations of communism).

63
  ·  2 months ago

Wow @kevinwong thats amazing that you got the reply and setting up a Skype session it will be interesting to see what this leads to upvoted.

49
  ·  2 months ago

It was so long ago that I had heard about that, that I can barely remember what was said, but I totally agree. Spite what I was told I didn't let it define my opinion.
It's just like everything else in this world that has the potential to shift the paradigm, there will always be those who hate and those who follow. Jacque always seemed genuine and sincere to me and his vision was something that stood close to my heart. I need to catch up on what's going on with Venus so I can have a complete understanding.
I also have to admit that I am quite jealous that you're engaged in dialogue and helping him to become apart of the community. We need his energy and vision and despite the crap I heard he has always been a rock star to me.
Let him know that there's love here for him in this community, not the stocker kind 😉 but the altruistic only half a weirdo kind. Stories are just what they are stories. My respect for him has never wained. I did however want to toss the aforementioned out there to get a feeling of what was going on, no disrespect intended by any means.