A Future Without Money?

A Future Without Money?

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This episode is brought to you by World Anvil.   Many of us dread a future in which we don’t  have any money. But that might not feel so   bad actually, as long as the rest of the  world doesn’t need any money either.   So a topic that comes up a lot in discussion of  the future is what the economy might look like and   how money might change in the future, or if it has  any role at all. A look at a future without money   is probably one of our most requested topics,  from both advocates and detractors of the idea.  

So I thought we would try to address all  of that today and not ask ourselves if a   society without money is good or not,  or even just if it’s possible or not,   but how it might come about and function. As we do in our alien civilization series, where   we’ll take a hypothetical type of civilization and  ask if the scenario makes sense or how it might   exist. Needless to say this is a touchy topic  and I’ll do my best to present it neutrally.   Where money is concerned, the reason  people hope it might cease to exist   is usually the easiest part. A lot of folks  feel money is bad in and of itself -- or at   least that it’s a poor choice of a life goal or  becomes the life goal of far too many people.   Of course they say money is the root of all  evil… except they actually do not say that.  

The quote is from the Apostle Paul, and is in  Greek so translations vary, but the original   is “The Love of Money”, specifically calling out  greed not the concept of currency, and it isn’t   “All Evil” but “all kinds of Evil”. This seems  like an important distinction to make since if   we’re assuming money is the root of all evil, then  we must get rid of it. Whereas if we’re saying   greed for wealth spawns a lot of bad things,  then our focus is more on ridding ourselves of a   behavior manifested around a tool, not the tool. That’s not unique either, and it comes up in   regard to a lot of future technologies or  challenges. We often worry about how to   handle poorly understood potentially dangerous  new technology that might end world hunger   or might bring about the apocalypse. Or both.  Whether it is a pen or sword, money or guns,  

axe or keyboard, many tools tend to have large  amounts of bad behavior manifested around them.   And it would be equally overly simplistic  to say either ‘the tool isn’t to blame’   or ‘remove the tools and the problem goes away’. Obviously an inanimate physical object can’t   be blamed for anything, you decide  how to use a knife or dollar bill,   but it would also be dishonest to pretend they  don’t affect us. In an obvious and extreme case,   we know that strong addictive narcotics can affect  our behavior and decisions in ways we won’t have   the strength to control, so most of us voluntarily  decide to just keep them out of our own reach,   and there’s at least a case to be made for  keeping them out of everyone else’s as well.   Once you’ve done that, it’s legitimate to at least  examine the question of what else society might be   better off finding a way to live without. Such a civilization might decide it needs  

to do without other advantages, like people  born more attractive or smarter than others,   rather than born to a wealthier family.  And they might be able to do that too,   setting everyone to the same high IQ or  attractiveness, or permitting variety in both but   scoring it, like the point buy system many role  playing game use for character building, you make   a character and assign more points to intelligence  or charisma or physical strength and so on.   That is not specifically pertinent to a  lack of money but it's important to ask   why or how a civilization has done away money,  or maybe never had it in the first place,   and if that might lead to the pursuit of  parallel concepts. They probably would have   the cybernetic and genetic technology to make  folks smarter or stronger or better looking,   and also probably to alter people’s thinking  so they just weren’t greedy, or weren’t heavily   impacted by other people’s looks or charisma. Or they could approach the problem from the other   end and alter people’s thinking so they’re  no longer bothered by inequality. That’s a  

bit of a frightening idea to say the least and  it dovetails into one of our favorite sinister   concepts on the channel, the Post-Discontent  Civilization, in which everyone has been made   content through neuro-hacking, whatever  their workload or social status. They live   in a slum when not working 16 hour shifts,  and they’re perfectly content with that.   But even if our hypothetical enlightened  civilization just sticks to doing away with money,   we need to ask what they are replacing  money with because they probably do need   an accounting system. Your civilization might  have such abundance that food, water, shelter,   medicine, computers, jetpacks, and flying cars are  all too trivially easy to get for anyone to bother   selling them. They may have local councils  that vote on what to do if someone asks for  

something atypically big, like a house made of  solid platinum, or who controls a finite and   locked resource like a particular parcel of land.  They may pool resources to build megastructures   the size of continents. But all this still  needs to be accounted for and prioritized.   Let’s pause to ponder  exactly what we mean by that,   money as a tool for accounting and prioritizing.  Imagine for a moment that you are the enlightened  

organizer of all production for an enlightened,  non-greedy but still productive civilization.   And let’s start with a simple problem like how  much steel your society should produce next year   and of what types. Well, your upper limit would be  your maximum physically possible steel production,   a limit that could be set by a number of factors,  including the number and size of foundries,   the amount of iron ore coming from the mines,  and scrap steel coming back from old projects,   or the amount of energy available to melt  all that metal and operate those foundries.   Indeed it could include devoting  huge portions of your other resources   to ramping up steel production as a crash project  if you suddenly needed a few trillion tons more.   However, it is unlikely you’ll run every  industry at maximum capacity every year,   so you’ll need to figure out how much steel you  really need. You’ll probably figure this out by  

breaking it down by product. How many steel  ball bearings, razor blades, hood springs,   harvester blades, deck plates, helicopter  engine blocks, two-inch nails, and steel cable   does your society need next year? So you  start with the first item on your long list,   ball bearings, so you ponder how many bicycles,  water pumps, wood lathes, and fan motors you’ll   need bearings for? How many bicycles you  need is an even more complex question…   And I’m sure you see where this is going. You  would need unfathomable amounts of up-to-date data   about every detail of our economy before we could  even begin to develop fair methods of deciding if   one person’s need for a bicycle outweighs another  person’s need for more razor blades, or how to   prioritize one city’s need for sewer grates vs a  farm’s need for harvester blades. And we haven’t   even talked about the manpower necessary to gather  all that data and make all those micro-managing   decisions. Neither have we talked about how much  energy the steel industry even gets next year,   since the food, manufacturing, and military  sectors need energy too. Oh, and all of this comes  

after you’ve somehow made your subjects not greedy  and your legion of bureaucrats incorruptible.   And we can’t just dismiss this concern by saying  that money will go away when we’re post-scarcity   and there are no more such conflicts  over resources, because even in a   post-scarcity society, demand for goods may  rise until there may be such conflicts again.   We always say on the Show that ‘The Sky is  not the Limit’ and people can dream big,   like terraforming or building entire worlds simply  to allow it to be used as a nature preserve.   And untangling this sort of mess  is exactly what money is handy for.   If the ball bearing industry outbids the engine  block manufacturers for the available steel,   that can be viewed as a tacit decision on  society’s part that ball bearings are needed   more at this time than additional engine blocks.  And if the steel industry buys up all the energy  

and leaves less for agriculture, food prices will  rise presumably until agribusiness can buy up more   energy and a new temporary balance or equilibrium  is achieved. It’s a far, far from perfect system   that gets priorities backwards quite often, but  it spares us needing that vast army of intrusive   data gatherers and micro-managers. Such data  gathering or micro-managing might be done anyway,   but money is the default way of doing this. Now the two common objections I and others often   make to hypothetical moneyless societies is that  frequently folks achieve this moneyless society   on paper by either utterly ignoring gaping flaws,  plotholes, or issues with their concept or by   basically just renaming money, such as your  VR or holodeck time. As an example having some   ration tokens in a post-scarcity everybody got  that you could apply to atypical acquisitions,   things beyond normal need for living comfortably,  is not the same thing as money but mostly in that   it is inferior to it, lacking quite the same  flexibility. So too, something like a social   credit score, where how many likes or dislikes  a person got somehow translated to ability to   acquire things, suffers from being like money  except most available to popular people,   and a way of strangling those who want to be off  the beaten track, either by being unknown and   isolated or by holding unpopular views or stances  or even just not wearing the newest fashions.  

So we want to beware of ‘money by another name’,  but at the same time we don’t want to broaden   the concept to the point of being meaningless.  Money is a nicely liquid and mathematical easy   way to engage in exchanges or even monitor  inventories and production across the board.   It also lets you often measure how effective or  popular a given product or community effort is as   folks select to trade or give funds to it. However  simply being a tool for accounting or measuring is   not money. If you have a million products all with  different and changing values, rating those in   their dollar value is handier than measuring each  in terms of every other one, but this is simply   assigning a new unit, no different than measuring  a thing’s mass or weight in kilograms or pounds,   its length or height in feet or meters, its  brightness in candle-equivalents or watts, and so   on. You’ve specifically declared a dollar to be a  unit of common economic worth in a case like that,  

and I don’t think you could be calling something  money if it was not functioning in that way.   So a civilization that holds a vote on whether  or not to approve someone’s atypical request – a   solid gold house or a giant spaceship to be used  as a personal yacht for instance – could not   be said to have their votes translate to money  equivalents. On the other hand, they presumably   need some way to measure how much resources they  have on hand, and what their incoming flow of them   was, to be deciding if they could approve the  1000 big requests they got that year and also   how to rank them by effort or resources used and  possibly by how much that person or persons making   the request had previously asked for or were  willing to promise not ask for down the road,   in other words, a means of measuring debt. However this is not automatically money,   even if in many setups it will be as near enough  as to make no difference. But not in all cases.   If we imagine a civilization with a Star  Trek Style replicator that converted matter   to energy and vice-versa seamlessly, then your  only issues are available mass to use and the   time it occupies the replicator performing  that service, and that latter might not even   matter since you can presumably tell the machine  that its next task is making a copy of itself.  

This isn’t a story or game after all  that needs a rule about not asking the   genie for a million wishes as your first wish. In that case, all that matters is if the process   is causing a permanent loss of mass and energy,  and how much. We already have units for mass,   energy, and time, something which is exactly  identical to one of those is not money. And   I’d further justify that by looking at  what such a civilization would be like,   something Charles Stross examined in his novel  Singularity Sky. If you’ve got a machine that   can make anything, indeed which might not even  be bound by Conservation of Energy or the Laws of   Thermodynamics for all we know, then it’s a little  hard to figure out how such a society would even   operate, let alone how its economy should work,  given that supply and demand are key to that.  

A Hive Mind, like the Borg from Star Trek, has  plenty of interactions and also presumably keeps   detailed inventories and analysis of its resources  and expenditures, and of how efficient those are,   but it’s not using money or doing economics. By this same reasoning then we could say a   civilization where everyone has identical or near  identical goals doesn’t need money either. Note by   identical goals we can’t be ignoring individuality  here, since two people with the goal of personal   survival very much do not have identical goals,  anymore than the cat and mouse or spider and fly   do. However if we are contemplating the classic  super-enlightened society we often see in science  

fiction – what are often called Space Elves – then  they might genuinely not need currency for the   same reason a Hive Mind doesn’t. None of them have  any conflicting and competing ambitions and goals.   We could also argue that a society that so rarely  had conflicting or competing objectives, and those   minimal and easily resolved by some process  of arbitration, is not using money either.   Just as a sidenote, as we go through these kind of  examples there are going to be bits that stick out   as ‘ah-ha’ moments, like when I said arbitration I  imagine many of you thought “Courts arbitrate but   you have to hire a lawyer or pay them from the  public coffers, and free lawyers appointed by   the state aren’t as good as some expensive legal  team”, and that is certainly true. However, folks   by and large do not like the idea that the success  of one’s case should hinge on how much lawyering   you can buy, so a post-scarcity civilization might  decide to take things a step further and use an   AI or have every advocate randomly assigned to  each dispute like judges and juries usually are.   Of course, unless your lawyer is one of those  incorruptible devoted-to-duty Space Elves,   the only incentive that advocate had  then for doing a good job is reputation,   and while that might be enough that also raises  another common example of ‘just money by another   name’, in this case your social reputation. Now  reputation is not the same as money but has a   lot of parallels and a lot of modern marketing  is just reputation-building for a brand name.  

It’s also critical to exchanges in small groups  like tribes or clans where favors and social   status are the primary currency, though again  that’s getting a bit broad with the term money.   Reputation is also hard to do math and  accounting with, though many a marketing   firm would love to be able to change that. It's probably worth asking if that is fair though,   if we really should be using those broadest  definitions for money in contemplating a society   without it, and to that I’d just say your mileage  may vary. We have no universal definition for   money and nobody has some exclusive right to set  that definition either. Nobody anointed a given  

dictionary or economics professor the exclusive  right to set an ironclad definition across all   time, languages, and cultures for what is and is  not money, or any other term for that matter.   So if someone wants to use a definition so broad  that it would include an accounting chart for   inter-family activities and exchanges, then I  can’t say that’s wrong. Nor could I say it was   wrong if someone wanted to limit that definition  specifically only to voluntary exchanges of   goods and services between entities. I’d just  point out that in the former, you now need to  

be able to justify a parent hugging their kid  as an economic transaction, and in the latter   you presumably need to justify paying taxes as a  voluntary exchange, which requires some caution   so you don’t accidentally also include  getting mugged as a voluntary exchange.   For today’s purposes we will assume there’s some  definition of money in there which is not so broad   as to include every human exchange of any kind nor  so restrictive it starts ignoring obvious examples   of money. We will also bypass systems too small  or primitive to bother with creating a medium   of exchange and accounting, for instance you can  argue that many civilizations didn’t have money,   they had barter, and this is true but hardly  indicative of some great enlightenment,   but rather of just not having developed currency  as a technology or practice yet. When their   chieftain or warlord rolls up to your village gate  demanding fifty wagonloads of grain or he’ll torch   your town down, that’s not enlightened by any  standard other than maybe the Klingons, and I   don’t think him demanding a signed promissory note  for the grain or its equivalent in other goods   alters the morality, merely the sophistication. I hate to keep picking on Star Trek,  

but in it the Federation is said to have no money  while folks like the Captains are regularly shown   to have far more influence, resources, and  power than the average person. We’re told that   humanity has evolved beyond accumulating things,  to quote Picard in the episode the Neutral Zone,   talking to stockbroker who had been frozen for  centuries and revived. "A lot has changed in   the past three hundred years. People are  no longer obsessed with the accumulation   of things. We've eliminated hunger, want, the need  for possessions. We've grown out of our infancy."   And yet we see Picard, and everyone else,  repeatedly valuing things and having   prized possessions. I’m also not sure what that  cultural growth is, to be less driven by greed,   when you have holodecks and replicators and  abundant clean energy, but isn’t it possible   someone else would value Picard’s original  copy of Moby Dick enough to steal it? Also the   writers never specify what that growth was and it  could be pretty sinister, like brain implants or   genetic modification to make them less greedy or  ambitious or self-interested. However this access  

to abundance is critical to the concept. They are  clearly a post-scarcity civilization, and this is   one where there’s just so much abundance there’s  no need to compete for basic survival needs,   which a cynic might argue makes having ethics  cheaper. Their morality costs them nothing.   There are plenty of things that just  represent desirable items that can’t   be subject to post-scarcity, fame, prestige,  unique items and so on. Here though is where  

Picard’s comment needs a second look, because  while its obviously acknowledged that they don’t   need to struggle with each other for basic  survival goods, food and medicine and such,   and thus there’s no grocery store selling  food anywhere, anymore than we have stores for   air or encyclopedias anymore, he doesn’t say they  don’t have things they desire and strive for.   Instead he says, “People are no longer  obsessed with the accumulation of things.”   This is probably the critical aspect for  contemplating how we could actually have   a functioning society without money, you’ve  got to change how folks behave, and to do that   you have to change how they think. Which is where  various forms of alteration to human education,   genetics, and so on might play a role, sinister  or enlightened, edifying or indoctrination.  

But we also need to ask what ‘things’  people were accumulating and now aren’t,   given that we’ve already noticed the various  crewmembers accumulated plenty of stuff and   they also clearly value personal comfort. It is horribly over-simplistic and a false   dichotomy to say human desires classify  as strictly physical and material or   intellectual and spiritual, and that the  latter is inherently better in all cases,   and presumably Trek doesn’t think so either though  it probably depends on which writer you ask.   Humans do have certain primary focuses though.  There’s a lot of disagreement about what those  

are and how to classify them. The classic 7 deadly  sins of pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath,   and sloth along with their polar opposite vices  is one example, and we have many versions of that   outline and many parallel examples. Let’s borrow  from a more modern and somewhat controversial one,   Moral Foundations Theory, which offers six  critical values humans tend to have. Those   are Care vs Harm, Fairness vs Cheating, Loyalty  vs Betrayal, Authority vs Subversion, Sanctity   vs Degradation, and Liberty vs Oppression. And to show some obvious conflicts on priorities,   we obviously think it wrong to inflict pain  or hardship on someone, or leave them in pain,   care vs harm, but we will use them as punishment  in the Fairness vs Cheating or Justice value,   and we often measure someone’s nominal sanctity  or purity by how much they’ve voluntarily suffered   or sacrificed to maintain that purity. You  could also have a civilization that absolutely   valued fairness at sporting games but applauded  trickery or cheating in other games or in war,   bluffing at poker or ambushing an enemy,  so while a culture might be obsessed with   one of these values over another, they also  might have a pretty broad spectrum of how,   when, and what flavor they were obsessed with. I’ve no idea which of these the Federation valued  

and when, it’s a fictional Universe of many  different authors, though I’d be curious in the   comments which one or ones you thought the Star  Trek Federation of Planets focused on compared to,   say, the Romulans or Klingons. But the Klingons  clearly like to accumulate ‘things’ only for them   it's mostly martial victories and the appearance  of honor. An advantage of a post-scarcity society   is that you probably can get away with having 99%  of your population be warriors too, especially   given that this does not imply it is either a  full time job or interferes with learning other   skills. But we couldn’t say that a civilization  focused on honor, as opposed to personal purity,   doesn’t have a potential need for money. Even  ignoring that both might be quantities based  

on other people’s opinions, and thus subject to  marketing or bribery, it's obviously easy to win   many victories with a bunch of warships and  combat troops, or to keep yourself pure by   hiring others to do all your farming or cleaning  or less undesirable tasks which might taint you.   What exactly do they value? Because it is probably  fair to point out that economics and money are not   limited to trading widgets and material goods,  they are the exchange of valued things for each   with relative values determined through supply and  demand. We already discussed how broadly we should   define money today though, and so we can say  that the Federation could still have stuff they   valued and exchanged around without specifically  needing money. If someone is a teacher who prizes   knowledge and respect, and a student comes to  them offering respect and asking for knowledge,   that’s certainly an exchange but it's not money. But those 6 values or 7 deadly sins or whichever   are important because a culture could, through  indoctrination or genetic alteration or surgery   presumably remove or prune down how  much people wanted of such a value   or to commit such a deadly sin. Of course you can also correct needs for  

these by sheer technological abundance. So, let’s  imagine a civilization like the Federation where   you really need not worry about where food, water,  and electricity were coming from, or any random   widget. Either they are dirt cheap or supplied by  government, with replicators, 3D printers and vast   fusion-powered hydroponic growth labs where robots  harvest food, and spin your clothes, and so on.   What actually needs to be bought or traded? They’re a democracy and meritocracy where most   folks are highly educated and community-minded  so where volunteers aren’t drawn to a task,   they probably would have no problem  with conscription instead of taxation.   That’s a classic approach in places where  trade and coinage haven’t really formalized and   stabilized, all the small landholders owe their  feudal lord X number of days per year of service   and by and large you can rely on their  personal ethics, pride, and sense of honor   to tackle an assigned task with enthusiasm. Robots help with that too, because if you drew  

the short straw and are assigned the worst job  around, you don’t have to clean the town sewers,   just supervise the robots doing that. Amusingly  a moneyless society operating on this principle   might view sloth as their new worst problem, over  greed, and suggest some evaluation system of work   along with rewards and prizes. You want to avoid  sloth and seek to do so by appealing to greed,   pride, gluttony, or lust for that matter. To put  it tactfully, many a young man who volunteers to   help with a popular cause is often suspected  by his peers of hoping to become more popular   with young ladies by doing so. On that topic,  same as we might contemplate eliminating money,   it is not hard to imagine a future civilization  is one where culture and policy have little to   do with romantic motivations because everyone  is glutted on virtual reality, sexbots, and   emotional support bots. Or in someway satisfies  other needs, or limits or removes other needs.  

Which is one way to be without money,  just create a society that can easily   produce basic physical needs and strongly  disapproves of the desire for anything else.   On the flip side, a hyper-individualistic society  might be one without money too. Let us imagine   that by the year 3000 AD we have invented reliable  and non-rebellious artificial intelligences,   cheaply abundant power like compact fusion or  matter-to-energy converters, gotten very good   with automation and nanotechnology, and have very  good 3D printers and life extension technology.   And even assuming we still had patent laws,  pretty much every technology or copyrighted   bit of entertainment from a century earlier  till back to now was public domain and fit   on a harddrive you could put in your pocket. Anybody who wants has the ability to jump on  

a spaceship and fly off to any corner of the  galaxy with a tank full of fuel which can run   their virtual reality utopias and 3D printers  and automated food production and maintenance   and medical facilities for a million years  before needing to refuel. A refueling that   could be done at any of ten trillion minor  planets with a bit of raw material or ice.   They certainly might have plenty of reasons for  folks to interact and exchange, but it's really   hard to imagine how a formal currency would  continue to exist especially on the outskirts   for those folks who basically left because  they wanted to be away from civilization.  

Time lag is also a real issue for maintaining  currencies between star systems, you almost have   to have a powerful over-body dictating the  value of the currency everywhere and when,   so that you could trust the money you  spent to buy something 100 light years away   will still purchase it when your cash  arrives. Barring that you probably have   to shift to a commodity currency – where some  specific item like gold or hydrogen or such   is the money. That’s doable but probably  could only be reliable if technology had   plateaued, since commodity currencies are so  vulnerable to any big shift in availability.   Raw elements like gold or platinum or hydrogen  are fairly universal at the interstellar scale   so a galactic empire is not subject to having its  gold standard or hydrogen dollar collapse in value   from a sudden discovery of a large new supply. But it is still vulnerable to disruptive  

technology, like a device that makes extracting  precious deuterium for fusion reactors from gas   giants ten times easier, or opening a new  source, like letting you pull it from stars,   or blowing up an entire hydrogen economy by  inventing a black hole power generator.   Now realistically there is a point where either  your technology does plateau, in which case a   commodity currency is more viable, or your  technology has just kept snowballing the way   it’s been doing in recent centuries until you have  god-like powers that permit individuals options   even a post-scarcity civilization couldn’t dream  of offering. That’s certainly another option for a   society without money. Presumably a civilization  of demi-gods does not need money either. If you   tend to subscribe to the notion that humanity’s  eventual fate is something along those lines,   like the Q from Star Trek or the Ascended beings  from Stargate or many other scifi stories,   then that would seem like one where money  wouldn’t be in play, though even there   you might still have an informal currency  of favors owed and gambling debts paid.  

So that’s some of the more abstract  paths to maybe not having money.   One last one for the day. It is entirely  possible a civilization with good enough   robotics might put a superintelligent AI  or group of them in charge of making sure   everything was supplied and gave it some algorithm  for achieving optimum distribution of needs   and arbitrating and prioritizing conflicting  or large requests. I’m not sure I’d want to   live under such an AI’s thumb, even if it was  benevolent and competent, but whether I’d like   that or not it is probably a doable setup  and one that would not require a currency.   This is something we looked at more in our episode  Machine Overlords & Post-Discontent Societies.  

I suppose as a whole, the take away from today  is that most of the suggested methods for going   moneyless probably don’t quite work out in  practice, and maybe aren’t as desirable as   they sound like, but that they probably could  be made to work if folks wanted it enough,   or if their culture was different enough  – like a hive mind or ascended beings or   ultra-individualistic post-scarcity loners –  that it simply didn’t serve a role for them.   Fundamentally though, the galaxy is a big place,  and offers us billions of worlds to try things   out on, so I suspect we will see many try various  approaches to going without money and time will   tell how successful or viable that might be. …   I was mentioning earlier how everybody has  a different idea of a utopian future world,   and wants to create that world, even  if just in their mind or a novel,   and I also mentioned how certain technological  paths, in combination with certain social ones,   for good or ill, might result in people getting  to assign points to various traits for themselves,   or their kids, like we see with various point buy  systems in role playing games, both video games   versions and classic pen & paper ones. I’ve played  my fair share of both down the years and tried my   hand at writing fiction too. Based on comments  on the show down the years, I know it's a pretty  

popular set of hobbies with all of you too. If you do enjoy worldbuilding, either for writing   fiction or running games or just daydreaming,  then you know that a lot of the development   time and mental energy gets burned up just trying  to organize your notes and build the framework,   and there’s been a ton of attempts at making aids  and creative development tools down the years,   but most have either had a steep and foggy  learning curve, or not really provided   anything much better than pen and paper and  maybe word processor and paint program do.   That’s where I was amazed by World Anvil,  it’s overflowing with tools that help with   worldbuilding, and while it is also quite  intuitive to use, they have a big arsenal   of tutorial videos that that lets you quickly  create and easily organize all the ideas going   through your head, and if you’re running  an RPG, of making it easily accessible   and clearly understandable to your players. World Anvil, the award-winning worldbuilding  

toolset, lets you quickly create settings and  flush them out to very deep and interactive   levels, everything from leaving notes on  maps and smaller maps to alternate timeline   tracking for your world’s history. Whether you’re  managing a campaign or writing a novel, whether   you’re making city or dungeon maps or family  genealogies, whether it's scifi or fantasy genres,   World Anvil lets you forge your setting better and  easier than anything I’ve ever worked with before,   and it has a free version so you can  share it with others, and selectively,   so they’re not seeing secret content. And you can  also incorporate ways to monetize your content,   such as Patreon or Kofi or your own storefront. World Anvil offers wikipedia-like articles for  

your world setting, interactive maps,  timelines, an RPG Campaign Manager   and a full Novel-Writing Software, all the  tools you’ll need to run your RPG Campaign   or write your novel, and never lose your notes  again! If you’d like to give World Anvil a try   and let it help you forge new worlds, just  click the link in this episode’s description!   So that will wrap us up for September but we’ll  jump right into October by asking how in a   vast space empire of countless trillions someone  could stand out, then on October 14th we’ll ask   how we might feed all those folks, as we look at  the future of farming in the next few decades and   beyond. Then We’ll have our October Sci-Fi Sunday  Episode, Sentient Planets & World Consciousnesses,   on October 17th to discuss the popular  scifi idea of living and thinking worlds,   and if they might occur naturally or be created  by high-tech civilizations. Then we’ll take a look   at the concept of Convergent Evolution, aliens  who look or act like us, and then at artificial   intelligence who might also act like some of us,  the misbehaving ones, with a look at Criminal AI.   Now if you want to make sure you get notified when  those episodes come out, make sure subscribe to   the channel, and click the notifications bell,  which you might want to do again if you already   have, as a lot of folks have been telling me and  other creators that they’re not getting notified   about new episodes by Youtube anymore, of  shows they’ve been watching for years.   Also if you enjoyed the episode, don’t forget  to hit the like button and share it with   others. If you’d like to help support future  episodes, you can donate to us on Patreon,  

or our website, IsaacArthur.net, and patreon and  our website are linked in the episode description   below, along with all of our various social  media forums where you can get updates and   chat with others about the concepts in the  episodes and many other futuristic ideas.   Until next time, thanks for  watching, and have a great week!

2021-10-02 06:01

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