Memory is always fuzzy: I think I remember this, the details might be wrong. But what I remember is being at WisCon, at a party one night, maybe the same night that Christopher Rowe did his impression of Ben Rosenbaum and Ted Chiang having an email debate? This is well over ten years ago–Declan turns ten this month, and this is a memory from the time before I was a parent. Anyway, it was a party in one of the con suites, and I really feel like Cory Doctorow was in this conversation. What I remember is a bunch of us sitting on the floor in a hotel room at the Madison Concourse, that bright fluorescent lighting, drinks in plastic cups, and Cory was being Cory, all futurism and whatever, holding forth on science fiction as the literature of the post-scarcity economy. The post-scarcity economy was a thing people talked about a lot. And Christopher Rowe interrupted Cory to say that people keep talking about the post-scarcity economy, but that he’s more interested in the post-plenty economy. The technologists and the futurists and the people in the Silicon Valley bubble, they liked to talk about post-scarcity, but they all ignored the other path. What does a post-plenty economy look like?
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, is what I’m saying.