X-Message-Number: 10923
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 12:52:26 EST
Subject: Euro storage, cheesecake

Thomas Nord would like to see a cryonics storage facility (or more than one)
in Europe. Perhaps one day there will be. But that day is not yet, and not
likely soon, and if that is causing someone to delay signing up, the risk is
obvious. Further, if I understand it correctly, costs are higher in England
and some other countries of Europe, and in some countries legal/cultural
impediments are greater. 

Olaf Henny used cheesecake supply/demand as an example of why money will not
disappear.  He said that, to get a new variety, you would need to buy it from
the purveyor, hire someone to copy it, or buy/lease an AI device or program to
copy it. I think that, in this particular example at least, he overlooked a
few things.

First--at a certain phase of history--each individual is likely to have his
own thinking/actuating machine, using air or sea water or soil or recycled
waste as raw material. If he has a sample of the cheesecake, his machine can
make him all he wants. (I won't go into any possible patent problem.)

Second, there is likely to be such a flood of available variations on
previously existing goods and satisfactions that unsatisfied demand for any
particular one will be near zero. 

Third, we will have a better understanding of the physiology of satisfaction,
and will in many cases, if not in most, be able to create satisfaction
directly--by signals in the brain--rather than indirectly, by arranging
stimuli to create those signals. (I won't go into the complications or
downside of this.)

Finally, without any formalized medium of exchange, there always remains the
possibility of some form of barter. In many circumstances, barter has
overwhelming advantages over money. Money depends on a widely agreed value--on
the dependable capability of a unit of money to buy things that are generally
used and needed and to hire labor. The point Mr. Smith was making was that in
a developed future money will not be needed for any of the routine goods and
services, and there will in general be no labor for hire, and therefore money
will have lost its value--it is no longer fungible. If  "money" has potential
usefulness only for trading unique things such as a particular planet or real
estate on that planet, then the person accepting the "money" in exchange for
the real estate has to figure out what he can do with that "money," and the
list may be very short and uncertain. 

Of course, none of this changes John de Rivaz' point that it still makes sense
to save and allocate money, because it will certainly be needed for a good
while yet, and might be important for your safety.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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