This is part of a series focused on technologies and systems.
In the television show Star Trek the Next Generation, and all the Trek series shows that take place after the awful Enterprise TV series, (after in terms of the in-universe timeline of Trek), humans have replicators, an absurd device that can synthesize anything by converting energy into matter. I say absurd because such a device would have to contain the explosive force of an atomic bomb every time it replicated anything at all under the E = MC Squared formula. (Technically it would be an implosion). So every time Jean Luc said "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot" the ready room would blow up, or rather, atomically implode.
|"Tea, Earl Grey, Boom!"|
Fortunately, we humans in the current year have much better options.
Because you see, right now humanity could actually create something very similar to a Star Trek replicator, and without having to improve our technology all that much. It all revolves around multi-material 3D printers.
These aren't regular 3D printers, oh no. They are MULTI-MATERIAL, in case you didn't catch that. Meaning, they must have the ability to print multiple layers of materials together simultaneously without having to change nozzles or anything else.
Conventional 3D printers can only print one material at a time; say PLA plastic, wood composite, or metal. Makerbot has a whole series of materials for it's 3D printer that you can use. But you have to change out filaments each time your want to use a different one. A real Multi-material device would use something like vapor deposition in combination with a multiple nozzle system to lay down materials in a way similar to a dot matrix printer. Or it might use a single material that changes properties when exposed to different frequencies of light, sound, or whatever.
Then you would have a whole series of these machines that can print different types of objects. Say one type of machine can only print a combination of metal, glass, and plastic. Another type of machine can only print silicon, plastic, and wire. A third type of machine can only print metal parts. A fourth type of machine can only print food. A fifth can only print synthetic meats, etc. You have multiple machines, (say a few hundred different types), and each can only do one single type of thing.
A person only has to buy one machine and put it in his garage. Then he goes online and signs a replicator barter contract, or RBC. In this contract he agrees to provide a certain number of printed items to the community of producers by a certain date.
On that date he shows up at the barter site with a pile of objects in his arms made from the digital files he was given by the community. He stands in line to deliver his objects. When he gets to the front of the line a broker goes down a checklist and checks off all the things he owes the community. Then he sits down.
Once all objects are turned in the reverse process occurs. The community lines up and the broker dispenses all the objects to the members using a different check list of what is owed, and to whom. The man receives all the objects he is owed and then goes home. He turns in a narrow range of objects defined by a certain type. Let us say his 3D printer only makes cell phones. So he brings 57 cell phones of various different makes and models to the community. In exchange he receives synthetic meats, food that has been organically grown, tools, furniture, paper, art, music, biodiesel, pharmaceuticals (produced by a drug 3D printer), and a hundred different little things that he needs. He submits a monotony of electronic objects but receives in return a diversity of all the things he needs for a months supply of living.
Now some people will flake out. No problem. Everyone submits a deposit. If you flake out and fail to submit your required supplies then you forfeit your deposit. The deposit is then used to purchase the object that you owed from a backup supplier and to give that object to the person who is owed that item.
Second, there is a reputation system in place. This is not quite a credit score system. It is a simple "reliability score." Did you submit what you owe? Is it in working condition? Is it new like promised?
If you have a low level of reliability this is not a problem. You will be matched with other people who are as reliable as you, (or unreliable as you). Don't flake out. Otherwise you will be stuck with bartering with people as unreliable as you. Maintaining a high reliability score lets you barter in more reliable groups, keeps the cost of your deposits down, and saves your money, time and hassle. If reliability gets low enough the value of replicator barter evaporates. Below a certain point it is more hassle that it is worth.
Additionally, insurance may be purchased that guarantees the delivery of products according to your specifications in the advent that a provider is unreliable. Darknets may be used to circumvent paying taxes to the authorities. The group doesn't need to know your identity. A reliability score can be assigned to a number.
All of this is done using a blockchain-based smart contract system. Files for printing are open source and freely available on the internet. Your only master is your reliability score. The material you use to print is free and produced by the synthetic bacterium that you grow in your greenhouse. The food for these synthetic bacterial colonies is dirt and water. You are completely self-sufficient, have no boss, pay no taxes, and answer to no one. And all of these technologies are possible with improvements to what we already have. We can realize all of this with our existing scientific knowledge.
Oh, and I should repeat, there are no taxes paid.
Because every time I hear liberals talk about progress I want to remind them that all social "progress" is a byproduct of technology. The printing press created the enlightenment. Guns created democracy. Birth control created the sexual revolution. It has to be pointed out that "progress" comes from the barrel of an inventor, and that all of today's inventors are right-wing shit lords / anarcho capitalists / libertarians who don't care at all about identity politics, social justice, or "muh feels." Bitcoin is radical right wing philosophy made concrete. We just want to be free. And is there any modern technology that isn't a giant fuck you to the state?
You like progress?
Though the makers of Makerbot were a bunch of leftards their machine is far more likely to be put to use by the "extreme" right to abolish taxes and make anarcho capitalism (in it's purest form) the real, tangible reality of planet three. Cody Wilson already used their device to make a gun. What's next?
Replicator barter of course. And this forms the basis of a whole new economic system that no one can control.