Does Having Abundance Diminish Purpose?
Willy Wonka: Remember Charlie, don't forget the tale of the man who got everything he wanted.
Charlie: What happened?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Isaac Arthur's latest YouTube video's title makes it seem like a self-help video and the ending sort of is. It does address an important question: If society becomes post-scarcity would it be hard as an individual to find purpose in life?
Probably the best example of a fictional post-scarcity civilization is portrayed in the Star Trek franchise. It's something to strive for. Maybe one step toward that is universal basic income. I used to be skeptical about the idea of universal basic income but I've grown to be more supportive of the idea; especially after having experiencing life during a global pandemic.
I think I'd find purpose in a post-scarcity society by trying to develop new talents. Some hobbies I would like to try are at least a little expensive to get started in. Even a hobby I already engage in like amateur radio requires at least a few dozen dollars for passable basic equipment. One of my friends jokes that the "ham" in ham radio stands for "Had A lot of Money". That friend who helped introduce me to the hobby has literally spent thousands of dollars for equipment over the years.