Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Myth/Meme, Dilemma of Scarcity

Have you ever seen the phrase, "Hurry while supplies last"? Have you read headlines about food shortages, oil depletion, the water crisis, lack of land? Is the notion of scarcity, real, or fabricated?

Perhaps with respect to a specific consumer item, say an iPhone, it is easy to understand that if only so many are made, then supply is limited. Regarding oil, if they only pump X barrels, then we can see that there will be only so much to go around. If we pollute the water, then there is only so much drinking water that can be consumed. It is easy to understand that there is only so many acres of agricultural land and therefore, only so much food can be produced.

If we view the world parochially, then the notion of scarcity may make sense. Of course, it is also easy to understand that supplies can be manipulated and shortages artificially created. A company make make only so many phones, computers, cars, etc. in order to keep supply low and prices high. In fact, this tends to be the rule, not the exception.

But suppose we take a more worldly and even universal view. There is no shortage of energy on the planet or in the universe. In fact, everything is made of energy. So is it really a question of is there enough oil, or is it simply a matter or trying to determine how to utilize all of the free/abundant energy that exists everywhere? Recent articles in the Huffington Post about teens that invented a flashlight that runs on body heat and on using ambient energy (from radio waves, satellite transmissions, TV, etc) to power small electronic devices are but  small examples of the limitless potential of energy that exists. Of course, we have all heard of Tesla and his free energy devices that have remained hidden. The earth herself is a giant electric generator who is also bathed in electromagnetic energy from the sun and the cosmos. Energy shortage, really?

Okay, but there must be a shortage of food. Well, if you mean cows, corn and rice, you could make the case that there's only so much or that only so much could be produced. However, if we think in terms of sustenance and not pigs, sheep, or grain, it should be a bit clearer that there are limitless ways to sustain life. Science is constantly discovering new super foods, and I don't mean the fake crap they produce in factories using nano-technology, that, while not pizza, they are life sustaining.

Land shortage? Okay, but is there a space shortage? New futuristic building designs are not only energy self-sufficient, but also food self-sufficient; using roof tops, terraces and aqua-culture to grow food. Possibilities are endless.

There is no scarcity other than those self-created or imposed for the purpose of keeping profits high. So what's the dilemma? The concept of limitless supply only works IF you take the universal view. Yes, there is only so much iron on the planet. If it's used up, it's gone. But, it can be forever recycled. There are only so many diamonds. If they're hoarded, they're gone. But so what? We can value something else. There is only so much MONEY? Not true, the Fed has been printing all kinds of money to bailout/give to the banks. We can print all the money we want. It has no intrinsic value other than what we say it has. Water? If all the water is polluted, you will die. But we can stop polluting and we can clean up the water. It is even possible to extract water from desert air and companies have devices that can now do that. Ever hear of 'star water?' It's worth looking up.

The dilemma is just that with a parochial and selfish world view, there are limits, there is lack, and some will have and some will not. But, if humanity as a whole takes a broader view of life, its resources its functions and its requirements, then we discover that we live in an infinite and limitless world in which all things are possible.

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