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How we could live, inspired by how the internet works

I just had some thoughts while working:

In the web, you can register at different websites for free. You get email-accounts, social network- profiles, blogs, webspace… how do they finance themselves? through advertising, premium-benefits and selling your data.

So why don’t people do the same in the offline world? We could rent flats without having to pay. In some way they would just include advertizing, say in the main hall of the building which you always enter, maybe they send advertizing by mail aswell, but otherwise you would have nothing to pay for living there and it could even be profitable for the landlords. Of course they could also include “premium” upgrades for your flat, so you might have more space, no advertising, elevators, better view, or something like that.

It’s not a vision of the best possible future, because I hate advertizing and everything being about profit. But maybe it would be a vision that’s possible to realize without chaning the world before and it would be a better option than having to pay for your living. Maybe I also did some grave mistake in my vision, you might point it out.

And, of course, it would be rather dytopian if landlords installed eavesdropping devices in your non-premium flats to sell all the data they collect of your personal lifes. I think this may not be possible legally, but it’s another intereseting comparison of how people would react to such behaviour on the one hand in the offline world and on the other hand in the online world (facebook).

If you got more ideas of how things could work inspired by how the internet works, you could also write them up here. Or the other way around. Another example would be to compare travelling with the internet connection. But I didn’t find any interesting idea there yet.

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Sometimes that’s also called squatting. :wink:

Very interesting idea. Perhaps it might work if the inhabitants are required to have advertisements on all wallpapers. The problem I see with that is that people who don’t want to pay for rent are probably not the wealthiest and most enthusiastic consumers. But I think that may at least be a way to reduce rents.

Yes, I the freemium model seems to be very popular with games. So, in a freemium building there would be small free flats with advertisements and larger premium flats (that what we would consider regular flats today).

Haha, yes, it might come that far.

Well, we will get than once we are able to upload our minds in digital form. But there are still some decades of work until there.

One thing that comes to mind is that we have this cool form of money called “cash” in real life, but no true equivalent for that exists online. I can’t throw cash through my monitor to someone else. I also can’t donate Bitcoins to someone who doesn’t have a Bitcoin wallet. Someone should solve that problem.

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ok didn’t think of that one.

I think advertisement is most efficient in some kind of main hall where many people (have to) see it for getting into their flats. There could be some other offers too, like news (with placed advertizing), a bar to buy drinks or an easy access to purchase the stuff you see on the advertizements. Like an online shop, or a real one aswell. Maybe this concept would work better for hotels where the “customers” (which would not need to buy anything anymore, if they just want to live without many of the premium advantages all the other premium people have) change more frequently.

It would be more internet-like if you’d produce some traffic as a resident, say, by inviting different people to your flat all the time, to let them see your cool interiour and your personal works you exhibit, just like on a website. On the other hand, a more private room for everyone is more reminding on email accounts and there too advertisement is working. Of course, it’s cheaper to produce online than offline. But there aswell is no restriction to how good or bad your purchasing power is. Everyone can register that email account.

And it might be profitable still. In the long run, such a way of living might be very popular compared to the more expensive or illegal options you have. So even if at first the poorer people would use the option, popularity eventually will become very profitable and the landlords will soon be able to expand (given they invest a huge amount of money first to get there). I just don’t know in which way that would be.

Anyways I thought about that because I don’t like to do the more uncertain way of squatting or to wait for politics to eventually embrace the idea of free flats for everyone or a basic income or something like that. So I wondered, if it could not start in a capitalistic way first.

I thought about something like that, too. Then, really, we would not only have access to the digital world with our minds, but the outer world could get digitalized. If all our body atoms can be transferred into digital form, there might be a way of “teleportation” (traveling with the speed of light at least) by information exchange. We then would have free flats aswell. Because altering buildings in a digitalized form would be rather effortless. so space could be created and altered and moved and there might be no use for a flat anymore anyways. But until then it might be some time, and I don’t know if we would ever get to know these times.

How is this a problem? In the internet, do we even need money? Most digital “things” that are purchasable are also available open-source or creative commons. (Or someone can crack it :smiley: ) Also information can be copied easily, different from an apple or so. Maybe THAT should be changed. So we don’t have to buy anything anymore, if we can just copy it.

Yes, that’s true, but the legal and economic constraints to copying digital goods still exist. People still need to make money to pay their bills. So, the economic incentive to sell digital goods is quite high.

For an optimally working economy, digital goods should be copied and shared freely. Selling services and material goods makes perfect sense, but selling digital goods only creates artificial scarcity, because you first have to withhold something from the public before you can sell it.

In the digital realm we can have nearly limitless abundance! What can be digitized, can in theory be copied to everyone. Disk space and bandwidth are the only remaining limitations. That we don’t use this potential abundance fully is a serious flaw of our current economic paradigm. That is what motivated the creation of the Pirate Parties. And what motivated me to create my reputation economy system Quantified Prestige. If a sufficient number of people adopt that system, then the economics of digital goods would make sense: People produce digital goods, consumers use them, reward the producers with reputation. Reputation translates into an income in a flux currency. Flux currencies are traded for services or material goods. Artists and coders don’t need to starve, and everyone is happy. :smiley:

It gets even better when we have this state of digital abundance: A lot of the value of current goods lie in their information. But if information becomes free, most goods will become significantly cheaper. Also, 3d printing technologies are getting better at an astonishing rate. In the future, we will be able to copy blueprints for all kinds of goods and simply print them out. We will only need to pay for the cheap printing materials.

Of course, we will also be able to print the fanciest houses. 3d printing houses is already possible today. And the price of doing that will go down and down. It might be worth considering how cheap it would be to print a community house with the best and cheapest technological methods available today.

But let’s come back to advertisement in real life again. I wonder why there isn’t more advertisement already. For example, people could be wearing clothes that have lots of ads on them. They wouldn’t pay for the clothes – instead they would be paid for wearing them! Advertisement on cars is another underutilized possibility. Or advertisement on the outside of regular houses. It seems that these possible “capitalist” ideas don’t seem to catch on. Why? Are people not desperate enough to finance their lifestyle through advertisements? Why do so many people opt for free ad-financed apps then?

Why don’t government draw advertisements on roads (sure, they will be eroded relatively quickly, but that would be quite fitting for short-lived “trendy” products)?
Why don’t we get internet, landlines, and mobile connections for free for getting advertisement calls at irregular intervals?

There seem to be cultural barriers against the ubiquitous adoption of advertisement sponsored products. Do they even make sense?

Sure the constraints and needs exists. But your vision depends on what factor you want to change in that pciture: Do you want a digital way which adapts to the economy offline? Or do you want an offline economy adapting to the digital way?

Well, maybe both kinds of visions are narratives worth being told. :wink:

I agree with you on the general question about why advertizing is not so much over-used offline as it is online. But for this special case, people DO wear advertizement on ther clothing all the time. The tricky thing just is, they don’t realize it and even pay for it, because it’s considered “cool” to have all these logos. The same for cars. Okay, you could say: those brands just advertise themselves, its not additional advertising. Right, it could be more.

I think what this ultimately leads to is not necessarily that this much advertisement wouldn’t make sense offline, but that in the offline world we have a different kind of mentality. It’s like a different culture when we go online: People complain less about all the advertisement and even about the eavesdropping example I gave, which would be a no-go in the offline world. I wonder why. Maybe it all started with the idea: the internet isn’t the real thing?

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