Episode 6 ~ Access over Ownership ~

Aries looks around. Always impressed with the sized and feel of the Centre. Constantly full of gratitude for all that it offers.

Uta chirps up “This is an Access Centre.”

Aries is slightly confused with the obvious comment “ya I know, it’s the AC, I wasn’t born yesterday Oots.”

Uta continues “There are many types of Personal Transit Devices here, available for anyone at any time.”

“uh-huh…” Aries gets the feeling a new lesson is on it’s way.

“Some devices are new designs straight from manufacturing cities, such as the hover vehicles.”

“yep, those can be sure noisy”

“Others are older designs from a time not too long ago. A time when people were encumbered by their personal belongings.”

“I’m not sure what you mean by that… Encumbered by belongings. What are you talking about?” Aries says as he spots the collection of longboards and heads towards them.

“Well Aries, It was common practice in the monetary age for people to “own” things. But, to “own” something people had to dedicate a lot of their time doing things they usually didn’t enjoy.”

“Why would any body do something they didn’t enjoy?” Aries asks

“You don’t like taking the zip line, It makes you nervous. It makes your palms and feet clammy, elevates your blood pressure and other such things, but you take it almost everyday.”

“Good point…”

“so, Why do you?”

“Well, I think you know the answer to that, it’s the quickest way to get to Vertical Roots. The skytrain does not run past the tower we live in. It’s a matter of efficiency.”

“Well, people “worked” to “earn” money because at that time without money people couldn’t gain access to the things they needed to survive. Money was the most efficient way to manage and distribute resources for centuries.”

“I know that Uta, But I’ve never really understood how it all worked.” Aries stops in front of the large collection of longboards and looks to see if any of his favourite models are around. “It just seems like it would have been a really bizarre world. Like being stuck in a bad dream or something.”

“Why do you say that?” The Dragon asks.

“It would be so frustrating. Having all these really cool things around. Sitting right in front of your face, but not being able to access them. That is, unless you do something to earn money to then buy them. Then what? When your done with the item you have to lug it around everywhere? Pay to store it or try to sell it. However, When you sell the item you never get back the same amount of money that you spent on it. So, if you want to access something else you have to go back to work and earn more money. Sounds like a bad dream to me” Aries spots the board he’s going to take for the day and heads over to pick it up.

“The monetary system was not alway’s a limiting factor in human development. Throughout history scarcity was a very real thing and money was the most efficient tool to organize society. It was a necessary stage to advance humanity to the point where they could create abundance. The issue with money only became apparent during the late monetary age. This is when for the first time the technical advancements of humanity allowed us to create a world of abundance for all. The monetary system could not keep up or evolve. It quickly became obsolete and counter productive to humanities very survival on earth. Artificial scarcity and planned obsolescence soon ran rampant throughout the world. This was an attempt to make money appear useful and still be seen as necessary. In reality it had lost it’s usefulness. It became the driving force behind all the environmental devastation, all the human suffering, and all the ignorant and undesirable human behaviours. The people that had most the money and essentially owned the world obviously didn’t want to let go of the power that their money offered them. This is why the transition was so challenging. But, the patch work ideas that came into place near the end of the monetary age such as basic income, actually turned into transitional tools that created the space for the over hall of humanities social economic system”

Aries stood there frozen holding the Longboard in his hands, his mind racing, trying to keep up with what Uta was saying.

“For the transition to happen the wealthy had to let go of the power money had given them. Try and put your self in their shoes. If you were asked to give up the thing that gave you security and allowed you to access anything you desired, in return for something that made more sense for everyone. Would you be able to let go?”

Aries looks around at all the really amazing stuff in front of him, built by creative people like himself. He thinks how he can access material resources, the best tools, equipment and education so that he can effectively work on innovating and creating new things for the world. He thinks about his apartment and the skydiving simulator that he uses almost every morning. He thinks of all the good healthy food that is expertly prepared for him. He thinks of the Resource Based Economy and the SRP that essentially gives him access to everything the world has to offer. Education, housing, resources, transportation, entertainment and so on…

Aries has a hard time wrapping his head around it… Finally he responds with a high level of energy and a twinkle in his eye “You mean if I was asked to live off planet where they didn’t have all these things? Like on the moon base or mars or something? That would be an exciting adventure!”

The assistant didn’t expect such a response but is quick to reply “You’ve made my point Aries. Seems you can’t even comprehend what the world could look like if we used something other then a Resource Based Economy. It would have been even more difficult for the wealthy people living in the early 21st century to understand the benefits of restructuring the foundation of their economic system”

Aries thinks a moment longer, and then starts heading towards the exit. “Your right oots. I can’t imagine living in any other type of social construct that could be better then this. And, that being said I would rather not give up this amazing way of life for something I cannot understand or envision.”

Wrapping up his point the teaching assistant adds “That is surely how the majority of people felt during the final years of the monetary age. Most people knew something needed to change if humanity was going to survive, but very few people could wrap their heads around the bigger picture. A fundamental change was needed to the very foundation of their civilization. Most defended the ideas of the monetary economic system as the only thing that could work. They believed that without money there would be no economy and that trade, human progression and incentive would grind to a halt. Essentially they believed the world would stop spinning.”

“That seems a little dramatic and short sighted I’d say.”

“But it’s true. People would say “Money makes the world go round”. They would say it to shut down the people challenging their understanding of global economics and perhaps personal power.”

“It’s a silly saying I’ll give you that, but I’m sure no one took is so seriously.”

And, with those last words Aries pushes off. Heading down one of the trails towards Commercial and Broadway. During the intelligent redesign of the city some key infrastructure was left intact and maintained over the years. The sky-train network was one thing that survived from the old city that was once known as Vancouver.

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