What if there was no more “want”?

Though not a “Trekkie” by any stretch of the imagination, I found Star Trek: The Next Generation an interesting show and the premises were often quite compelling. One particular episode entitled, “The Neutral Zone” had this premise:

While Captain Jean Luc Picard is at a conference, the Enterprise finds a 20th century Earth craft containing three cryogenically frozen Humans.

Dr. Beverly Crusher informs Picardabout the three humans, financier Ralph Offenhouse, singer LQ “Sonny” Clemens and homemaker Clare Raymond who have already been thawed and cured of the ailments that led
them to be frozen in the first place.

The replicator on the ship could make anything any of them could think of (nanotechnology undoubtedly…instantly creating anything out of atoms) which dazzled these 20th Century humans. In one exchange between Picard and Offenhouse where the latter is extremely anxious to get back to Earth since the magic of compound interest has surely made him incredibly wealthy over the three centuries he’s been in suspended animation:

PICARD
A lot has changed in three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of “things”. We have eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We have grown out of our infancy.

RALPH
You’ve got it wrong. It’s never been about “possessions” – it’s about power.

So while many of us (including me fairly frequently) are focused on open source software, giving back to society, helping each other and providing for the common good, others are consumed by the accumulation of possessions and thus power. Will it take one, two or three centuries before want is eliminated and power equals influence instead of control?

1 Comment

  1. Peter on June 2, 2007 at 6:47 am

    Sounds like a wonderful vision of the future!

    Just think how many scientific projects that have been cancelled because of “economic reasons” during the last century!

    What is the f***ing point of being a f***ing million/billionaire when don´t know how to spend your money anyway??

    Money is a CANCER in the world!!



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