Gift economy/Utopia

The Utopia of Sir Thomas More in 1516 was an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.

The logo is an artist's interpretation to combine denying Singularity Utopia and denying Utopia with symbols usually associated with medicine. Credit: Ps2045.

Dystopia is also an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

Theoretical utopiasEdit

This can be perceived by the human eye as a perfect circle, (i.e. completely round, without imperfections), perfectly black (i.e. without reflecting any light). Credit: Amada44.

Def. fitting "its definition precisely"[1] is called perfect.

Def. a "world in which everything and everyone works in perfect harmony [agreement or accord]"[2] is called a utopia.

Gift economyEdit

Muskmelon, carefully selected for its lack of imperfections, is intended as a gift in the Japanese custom of gift-giving. Credit: Bobak Ha'Eri.

The gift economy is an ancient phenomenon[3] and nothing new at all.

"In the social sciences, a gift economy (or gift culture) is a society where valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards (i.e. no formal quid pro quo exists).[4]"[5]

"Ideally, simultaneous or recurring giving serves to circulate and redistribute valuables within the community. The organization of a gift economy stands in contrast to a barter economy or a market economy. Informal custom governs exchanges, rather than an explicit exchange of goods or services for money or some other commodity.[6]"[5]

Technological singularityEdit

This is an artist's impression that represents an explosion of artificial intelligence. Credit: Singularity Utopia.

A technological singularity is a predicted future event which envisions an artificial intelligence, superior to humans, that is the ultimate and apparently only outcome of an ever-increasing ability of new technology to speed up the rate at which new technology is developed.

The artist's impression on the right represents this advanced artificial intelligence.

"Don't focus on the person or persons behind Singularity Utopia. Focus instead on the mind-blowing idea, the event, the utopia, explosive intelligence. Focus on how you can help to make utopia happen."[7]

Utopian gift economiesEdit

Apparently, the technological singularity is at least going to be beneficial enough to give us a complete or perfect gift economy, where for example I am free to give you a lump of coal and someone else is free to give me a delicious lime. Gift economies in perfect harmony can also be based on vendettas. If you refrain from harming me, I am free to refrain from harming you. Or, you are free to harm me and another is free to harm you, as long as we are in perfect agreement or accord.


We are all going to need health care without the technological singularity. Or, we are all going to need health care because of the singularity. Maybe the Singularity will give all of us life eternal.

Let's say Its favorite food or source of energy is ethanol (200 % proof Vodka), no water please. But even a Singularity of this type isn't a perpetual motion machine. So a little extra ethanol may need to be provided occasionally. Hominins usually eat a lot of food. Some of it can be converted to ethanol for our perhaps not so little technological Singularity. Well, okay, in our almost perfect society, at least some of us are free to give It some of our corn which we were about to eat. Of course, if you are just on the cusp of survival perfectly speaking, giving up that little bit of corn may create a medical problem.


  1. Gift economies already exist, but a perfect one is going to need a lot of slack.

See alsoEdit


  1. "perfect". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  2. "utopia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  3. Marshall Sahlins (1974). Stone Age Economics. ISBN 0202010996. 
  4. David J Cheal (1988). "1". The Gift Economy. New York: Routledge. pp. 1–19. ISBN 0415006414. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Gift economy, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. August 10, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
  6. R. Kranton: Reciprocal exchange: a self-sustaining system, American Economic Review, V. 86 (1996), Issue 4 (September), p. 830-51
  7. Singularity Utopia (1 January 2010). "File:Singularity Utopia.png". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2015-09-16.

External linksEdit

{{Humanities resources}}