Eclipse Phase and optimism

Posted on May 22, 2022

The politics of eclipse phase (the game) play nicely as an exploration of a post-scarcity world, where humanity struggles to come to terms with the widespread availability of futuristic tech (makers, full AIs, full body augmentations), but material constraints are mostly not there. Similar themes emerge in Peter Frase’s four futures essay. Two binary variables (scarcity and equality) are flipped to create four different potential futures. What is interesting to me is that 10 years ago writers on the left were seriously discussing the prospects of a post-scarcity world. Globalisation had made production invisible and overly optimistic AI promises probably created a certain feeling at the time. This optimism is no longer there, and quite a bit of thinking needs to be done as to where we are in terms of production capacity.