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Daniel_Franke comments on Building Weirdtopia - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 January 2009 08:35PM

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Comment author: Daniel_Franke 13 January 2009 01:01:31AM 5 points [-]

Economic weirdtopia: being rich is socially unacceptable; not because the society values equality, but because it's considered decadent and, in a certain sense, cheating. Weirdtopia's system of morality is virtue-based, and one of their highest virtues is a peculiar sort of self-sufficiency. Essentially, you're expected to be able to make yourself safe and comfortable by relying only on your wits and not on material goods. Needing to consume natural resources is accepted as a fact of life, but you should be able to do as much as possible with as little as possible. There is no concept of land ownership. In a loose sense of the word "own", you own the chattels that you produce with your own hands, but accepting the products of others' labor is a vice.

Exchanging knowledge and techniques is normal and acceptable. Being knowledgable about things that others have discovered is entirely amoral. Innovating earns you respect, but equally so regardless of whether you're the first to ever discover something or whether you figured out something widely-known on your own.