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paxamericana

Infinite consumption and the end state of the universe

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I do not claim to be an expert in any of the fields discussed below but having said that, I did spend considerable time at a university learning about such topics earning at least one or more semester worth of accreditation in each. 

Before we begin I'd like to go over basic definition as to not confuse and conflate very difficult topics.

First Law of Thermodynamic: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transform from one state to another.

Entropy: "essentially describes how to measure the entropy of an isolated system in thermodynamic equilibrium with its parts. " The end state of energy (heat etc...) 

Economic Consumption: Transfer of one service or good for another.

Financial lending system (credit): Credit cards, taking a mortgage, loans, car financing etc...

 

Let's begin,

The reason why the US has such a large GDP is because of a very advance and mature financial system based around consumption. 300 million people do not necessarily have more productivity then say 2 billion people. The lending system in the form of credit cards, loans, etc... essentially allows consumers to spend beyond their purchasing power by lending into their "future" productivity. This is the same system that allow all of us to buy cars, houses, things that are normally very difficult to acquire with upfront capital. When we take out a loan for said purchases we are in essence borrowing our future value or productivity. This in theory allows the consumer to spend well beyond their normal capacity.

Take this concept but multiply it by infinity. Lets say I can borrow infinity into the future and allow everyone else including the financial lenders to do so as well. The whole point of acquiring capital is to consume it. You take a loan out to buy things, the lender take that repayment money and use it to either loan out more or to spend it on their payroll, in essence the financial system or banks are also consumer. This system of trading goods and services is the definition of a economy. 

With infinite lending into the future you are able to consume infinitely, buy as many cars as you want, buy as many houses as you want, etc...

This is not currently possible due to restriction of your input, how can you lend that much without repayments, well say we make that repayment as small as possible, 500 dollar, or 400, or 1 dollar all the way down to zero. But if we consume infinitely then who would be the one making all these item or provide these services to us? In the future we will have equipment, robots, and machine that can reduce the human labor input to zero if not very small. This is not a novel or new idea as we have seen during the agricultural revolution, farm equipment allowed the US to out produce agricultural good well beyond its consumption capacity and reducing the human labor input. Take this thought along into the future with automation and artificial intelligence. You can perhaps have a world where there is no longer humans required to produce goods and services. We all then by principle become the consumer. But what about raw material and environmental degradation of this level of consumption. This is where the First Law of Thermodynamic and Entropy comes into play. 

The end state of the universe simply states that all energy will be converted into a un-usable form. Remember energy is equal to matter times the speed of light squared (E=MC^2). This is the fundamental relationship when calculating energy from its various forms. When we produce say coal to provide us with electrical energy, we are simply converting coal, a piece of matter, into another form of use-able energy, electricity. This conversion process is not 100 percent efficient and we loose some to entropy (heat, carbon emission, etc...). Entropy is a form of energy that is un-usable or at least with the current technology that we have. So with infinite consumption of a finite amount of resource inside our planet we would have to reach out further and further away from earth to mine for resources and materials consuming those resources along the way. Essentially we are a catalyst that converts energy into its final state of entropy thus destroying the known universe along with ourselves. This is the end game Michael. 

Edited by paxrom

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