Six laws of zero

A key element of Zion is the concept of "no poor among them." This means not merely equal distribution of resources, but abundance.

"And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." (Moses 7:18)

This is an allusion to Deuteronomy, which explains that the people shall be greatly blessed: 

"Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:
Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day." (Deuteronomy 15:4–5)

The abundance of Zion is becoming a reality. This article explains how the "six laws of zero" can bring about abundance such that there will be "no poor among us." It also outlines the concept that "the best way to predict the future is to invent it."

The basic idea is that six key drivers of humanity’s progress—computing, communications, information, energy, water and transportation—are headed toward zero cost. That means we can plan on being able to throw as much of these resources as we need to smartly address any problem. Success in doing so would bring us closer to the Future Perfect. Alternatively, like gluttons at an all-you-can-eat buffet, we could binge in ways that exacerbate societal issues such as health, equity, civility, privacy and human rights.

Our Future Perfect approach, which builds on an approach developed by Alan Kay for inventing the future, projects the Laws of Zero into the future to imagine how vast resources could address important needs in key pillars of society, such as electricity, food, manufacturing, transportation, shelter, climate, education and healthcare. We’ve chosen 2050 as a marker because 30 years is far enough in the future that one isn’t immediately trapped by incremental thinking. Instead, we can explore how exponential resource improvements might radically alter the range of possible approaches. The question becomes “Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if we didn’t have this?”

The 30-year visioning is intended as a mind-stretching exercise, not precise forecasting. This is where creativity and romance lives, albeit underpinned by the deep science of the Laws of Zero rather than pure fantasy. We use a technique we call “future histories” to develop powerful narratives of compelling futures. We then pull backwards to today and chart possible paths for turning the 30-year visions into something more concrete. As Alan Kay says, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.”