Free Stuff – Evidence of an Emerging Possible Post-Scarcity Economy – Article by David J. Kelley

Free Stuff – Evidence of an Emerging Possible Post-Scarcity Economy – Article by David J. Kelley


David J. Kelley

I was talking to my wife on my last trip to Seattle and found that she and my children had picked up a new hobby – ‘Free Stuff’. That is, there is this new project called the ‘Buy Nothing Project’ – focused on people in communities giving things to each other.  While we still don’t know if we will end up with a dystopian Big Brother AI-powered government or some other dystopian future, we can see evidence that a lot of the possible futures are in play, including the idea of a ‘Post-Scarcity Economy’.  While this is only circumstantial evidence, I would argue that it is likely that the that fact projects like this are being successful, is evidence of a post-scarcity economy forming.  There are a lot of things to overcome, most of which are human-powered essential risks in my opinion, but the fact that I see projects like this gives me a lot of hope for us.

So here is what they say about the project so far:

“Buy Nothing. Give Freely. Share Creatively.

The Buy Nothing Project began when two friends, Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark, created an experimental hyper-local gift economy on Bainbridge Island, WA, in July, 2013. Since then, it has become a worldwide social movement, with groups in 20 nations. Our local groups form gift economies that are complementary and parallel to local cash economies; whether people join because they’d like to quickly get rid of things that are cluttering their lives, or simply to save money by getting things for free, they quickly discover that our groups are not just another free recycling platform. A gift economy’s real wealth [are] the people involved and the web of connections that forms to support them. Time and again, members of our groups find themselves spending more and more time interacting in our groups, finding new ways to give back to the community that has brought humor, entertainment, and yes, free stuff into their lives. The Buy Nothing Project is about setting the scarcity model of our cash economy aside in favor of creatively and collaboratively sharing the abundance around us.”

You can read more about this project at and even find a local group here:

David J. Kelley is the CTO for the tech venture capital firm Tracy Hall LLC, focused on companies that contribute to high-density sustainable community technologies, as well as the principal scientist with Artificial General Intelligence Inc. David also volunteers as the Chairman of the Transhuman National Committee board. David’s career has been built on technology trends and bleeding each research primarily around the capitalization of product engineering where those new products can be brought to market and made profitable. David’s work on Artificial Intelligence in particular – the ICOM research project with AGI Inc. – is focused on emotion-based systems that are designed to work around human constraints and help remove the ‘human’ element from the design of AI systems, including military applications for advanced self-aware cognitive systems that do not need human interaction.

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