How to Make a Living
I propose to mix ideas from economics and evolution here.
It is notoriously hard to predict what problems evolution will solve and this casts the largest shadow on this note.
I want to make a crude analogy between energy as taught by thermodynamics and wealth as taught by economics.
There is no conservation of wealth; when a house burns down its value does not arise elsewhere.
Thermodynamics distinguishes between energy and free energy.
Energy is conserved but free energy is lost in a closed system.
The analogy is thus between wealth and free energy.
Fortunately we do not live in a closed system.
Very crudely I want to refer to three modes of making a living:
Speaking for my self some activities contemporaneously described as rent seeking improved the economy for most people.
This classically happens as customs evolve on what should be owned.
I am of the cynical school however as regards recent ex-post-facto extension of copyright laws.
- Creating useful things and selling or bartering them.
- Rent Seeking, by which some would cynically describe as making theft legal.