Achieving Post-Scarcity

One step closer to the future

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One common theme in science fiction is post-scarcity. In essence, everyone's needs are satisfied and all but the most outlandish desires as well. It is seen as a natural consequence as manufacturing capability and energy production increase more rapidly than population pressure. In much of science fiction post-scarcity is basically assumed, e.g. Star Trek. When otherwise, it is often due to a corrupt government or hostile living conditions (Heinlein's moon colony with air rationing). Other authors make post-scarcity a central topic of the story. Ian Banks's Culture series is one such universe. Post-scarcity can be seen as the loftiest goal for society to achieve. Even Banks has a hard time imagining what lies beyond it, only really exploring the issue in eighth book of the series, Surface Detail.

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