Without a doubt, their is a tremendous amount of suffering in this world. People are starving to death every day, many lack a warm shelter to come home to, and numerous governments around the globe are oppressing their people. The word “Utopia” likely isn’t something that could ever be imagined by many of these individuals, but it may be closer than we all think.
A utopian society is a society which has little worry. Everything within that society is near perfect, making it extremely desirable for those living in it. The term itself was coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book “Utopia,” describing a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean, which was as close to perfect as one could imagine. Over the last 498 years since Sir Thomas More came up with this idea, various individuals and groups have proposed plans, and philosophies in which they thought such a society could one day be possible.
In my opinion, an economic utopia could one day be possible on this planet. I consider an “economic utopia,” as a society which has no financial worry. Everyone has what they need, and the majority of people have everything they could ever want, to some extent.
3D printing could be the key ingredient to such a society, free of financial worry, with its citizens able to spend their free time doing what they want to do, rather than what they have to do to survive. As 3D printing and robotics advance, and computer processing power, as well as cheap or even free energy takes hold, we may find ourselves in a world abundant with everything one could ever need.
Look back just three or four years ago. Common FDM based 3D printers were selling for over $3000 a piece. Fast forward about 1,000 days, and we now have 3D printers for under $300 which are capable of everything that those $3000 models were, and more. Now, what if we combined this exponential decrease in price with the exponential increase in technological advancement within the 3D printing, robotics, computer processing and energy industries, and looked ahead 20-30 years? What I see is a society capable of outsourcing a majority, if not all, of its labor to machines; a society which is able to relax, play, have fun, while the machines provide for us, what we need, when we need it. Now fast forward another 15 years from there, to 2049-2059, and we would have perfected an economic model capable of providing for all 8-9 billion people on this planet.
Eventually many up and coming technologies will converge, leaving us with 3D printers of all shapes and sizes, capable of printing in almost any material we know of today, as well as new, superior, man made materials of tomorrow. These printers could be maintained, built, and even supervised by robots with superhuman intelligence. Imagine a 3D printer which could print you out a smartphone, or one which could print you a steak dinner, and when that steak gives you heart disease, print you a replacement heart as well? All of these things will be possible to print. In fact, researchers are currently working on technology which will on day be capable of such.
Sure, there are many questions we will have to deal with. What will the socioeconomic downfalls of such a society be? Where would our drive for achievement stem from? What possible catastrophes could come about by these new technologies making their way into the wrong hands? These are things we will have to eventually deal with when the time has come, but for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. You just never know where it may take us. What do you think? Will we enter a near utopian society sometime in the next 40-50 years? Discuss this article about economic utopia at 3dPrintBoard.
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