A modern village is based on an abundance model to provide a rich environment for its inhabitants. Abundance meaning resources are: plentiful, accessible, diverse (many options at any time), various (many options over time), engaging, meaningful, appealing to the senses, meaningful, open to interpretation and manipulation etc. Abundance also affects relationships with people and things leading to greater tolerance, patience, planning, spontaneity, playfulness, creativity, thoughtfulness and sharing. The bane of abundance is free-riding, minimised by strong social cohesion and subsequent feedback. Social rules put heavy disapproval on free-riding.


Scarcity thinking is linked to fear and unfulfilled needs; abundance is a sense of plenty in life, a sense of the bounty of living.
Human beings, as a life-form, are naturally generous, abundant in their being.
A celebration of natural abundance, on the other hand, is a celebration on many levels: on the level of nature, on the level of the world, the oikos; a celebration of the gifts that we are as human beings (we are all the same in that we are all unique). It is a celebration of the chance to develop our talents, to bring them to fruition, to give through the exercise of our gifts, to be of service. A celebration, then, of the spiritual aspirations of human beings; as Marco Olivetti tells us, becoming human is what is calling us, what we are working toward; it is not our starting point (11). Becoming human is something worth striving toward, which is realized through our life.
Enough and plenty can refer to the same amount of goods or energy usage: the crucial difference is one of attitude, the difference between coming from a position of scarcity or coming from a position of abundance.
We respond to the abundant calling of the world and of our fellow human beings, not by restricting our energy, by limiting our responses, by being stingy with our knowledge, abilities, talents, attention, but by celebrating the abundance of life through the excess of our presence.
In a truly abundant world, resources are husbanded, there is no waste since all by-products are an integral part of the cycle, and the sense of plenty, of bountiful living are an expression of the knowledge that there is always more for those who come after us, that, as a celebration of the gifts we are as human beings, we always give more than we take, out of human generosity, out of our gratitude for being alive." (http://plethora.nl/KarimBenammar-AbundanceAndScarcity.html)

http://p2pfoundation.net/Abundance_vs._Scarcity

A very important contribution to abundance theory by Roberto Verzola:
“It is almost by definition that economists predominantly focus on scarcity, when they define economics as the study of “the most efficient ways to allocate scarce resources to meet infinite human wants”. If, indeed, people had infinite wants, then not even all the resources of this finite world will be enough for a single person.

But I contend that consumer demand is not infinite. There exist physical, physiological, psychological and cultural limits – both actual and potential – to consumption which can keep individual as well as collective needs and wants within finite bounds.
If demand is finite, then satisfying this demand becomes a real possibility, and relative abundance is within reach.


More than a decade ago George Gilder, the apostle of abundance, offered a good way to think about all this. In an interview (in Wired, as it happens) he said:
  • "In every industrial revolution, some key factor of production is drastically reduced in cost. Relative to the previous cost to achieve that function, the new factor is virtually free. Physical force in the industrial revolution became virtually free compared to its expense when it derived from animal muscle power and human muscle power. Suddenly you could do things you could not afford to do before. You could make a factory work 24 hours a day churning out products in a way that was just incomprehensible before the industrial era. It really did mean that physical force became virtually free in a sense. The whole economy had to reorganize itself to exploit this physical force. You had to "waste" the power of the steam engine and its derivatives in order to prevail, whether in war or in peace."

  • And, indeed, the abundance of the Long Tail, for all its power, is surrounded by such constraints. Although there may be near infinite selection of all media, there is still a scarcity of human attention and hours in the day. Our disposable income is limited. On some level, it's still a fixed-pie game. Offer a couch potato a million TV shows and they may end up watching no more television than they did before; just different television, better suited to them.
  • http://longtail.typepad.com/the_long_tail/2005/03/the_tragically_.html

Scarcity
Abundance
It’s every man for himself
We can work together
I never have time
I take time for the things that matter
Mistakes are disasters
I can recover and learn from mistakes
Ideas are hard to come by and must be kept secret
I can always have a great idea
Our company is lacking
Our company has everything it needs to succeed
Look at all the resources we need
Look at all the resources we have
The market is full of threats
The market is full of opportunities
People are out to get me
People are out to help me
http://positivesharing.com/2007/02/the-abundance-mentality-at-work/
http://ross.typepad.com/blog/2006/10/abundance_and_f.html

http://www.cooperationcommons.com/summaries:

Summary of: Altruistic Punishment in Humans


Author(s) / Editor(s)

Gachter, Simon, Fehr, Ernst
  • Altruistic punishment may be the glue that holds societies together - by distributing and internalizing policing of free-riding, solving the second-order social dilemma that is an obstacle to collective action.

Disciplines

Political Science, Psychology

Keywords

punishment, cooperation, altruism

Publication Reference

Published in/byNature, 415, 137 - 140DateJanuary 10, 2002

Findings

  • Altruistic punishment is a cornerstone of cooperation theory, linking biological-evolutionary, psychological, and collective action elements. Free-riders are an obstacle to collective action, and organizing punishment for free-riders is itself a collective action problem (a "second order social dilemma"). Linking negative emotions to free-riders, thus making punishment a satisfying act, distributes the policing function through the society and internalizes the rule that makes more complex rules possible.
The evolutionary origins of human cooperation pose a puzzle - why do people so frequently cooperate with non-relatives, including people they are not likely to meet again? Existing theories for explaining the evolution of cooperation in a competitive environment include kin selection, reciprocal altruism, and costly signaling. Kin selection, performing altruistic acts at a cost to oneself but at the benefit of one's genes, does not explain non-familial cooperation. Reciprocal altruism does not explain generalized reciprocity, in which one performs altruistic acts for a member of a group, but not limited to actors who have specifically performed altruistic acts one one's behalf in the past. Signalling theory, which holds that altruistic acts enhance one's reputation and increase the chances of mating or useful alliances, does not explain human cooperation when reputation enhancement is not a factor. Using economic games like Prisoner's Dilemma, in which players were given the opportunity to punish free-riders from previous rounds at a cost to themselves, Fehr and Gachter show that cooperation flourishes when free-riders are punished, and that negative emotions toward free-riders "are the proximate mechanism behind altruistic punishment." These results suggest that future study of the evolution of human cooperation should include a strong focus on explaining altruistic punishment.

An Evolutionary Theory of Commons Management

==Summary of: An Evolutionary Theory of Commons Management==

Author(s) / Editor(s)

Boyd, Robert, Paciotti, Brian, Richerson, Peter
  • The ability of humans to organize collective action on a scale much larger than would be predicted by theories of egocentric rationality can be perhaps best explained in an evolutionary context by the slow and uncertain process (not necessarily leading to a desired end) of group selection on cultural variation (distinct from group selection based only on genetic kinship), facilitated by humans' special skills at imitation and teaching.

Disciplines

Anthropology, History, Cultural Evolution

Keywords

bioeconomy, capitalism, competition, cooperation, cultural evolution, evolution

Publication Reference

Published in/byNational Academy PressDate2002

Findings

  • Modern institutions often replicate the social structures of our hunting and gathering ancestors. Action is coordinated through nested hierarchies that resemble small leader-controlled hunting tribes. "The most important feature of small-scale institutions is that they can tap most directly, free of problematic work-arounds, the tribal social instincts."
  • Finding ways to accelerate institutional evolution will give us a chance at dealing with the increasingly rapid changes in technology and economy of the modern era. Some way to accomplish this can be seen in the emergence of symbolic systems, large architecture for mass ritual performances, and a worldwide distribution of print media and now electronic media, which all serve to coordinate large-scale understanding, confidence and action.
  • Coercive dominance is not a sustainable way to buttress a large-scale cooperative venture. Although police (and bureaucracy to police the police) are necessary to protect the public interest, all long-term attempts to dominate a people and control the commons must somehow be embedded in a prosocial institution in order to gain legitimacy. This finding runs parallel to Ostrom's argument that norms which are seen as legitimate by locals and which diffuse the job of guarding the commons often work better than externally imposed and enforced laws.
A good evolutionary theory of cooperation would account for important role of institutions and the large variation in institutions in different countries. Evolutionary theories address the origin of preferences issue that is missing from rational action explanations. Explanations that include influence of cultural evolution on decisions regarding cooperation have multiple payoffs. These models can begin to answer questions about the long time-scale process of human cooperation (the rise of capitalist economies of the past 500 years, the rise of complex societies and agriculture of the past 10 millennia). Culture and institutions are a form of inheritance, subject to a process of selection influenced by and simultaneously influencing gene selection, and in both processes the time to reach any equilibria runs into the scale of millennia. Evolutionary theories are always systemic, integrating all changes happens from the scope of the biological to the ecological and social. Rapid cultural change and large variation among groups occur "whenever multiple stable social equilibria exist, due to conformist social learning, symbolically marked boundaries, or moralistic enforcement of norms."