I think people would behave in a post-scarcity society exactly the same way a huge chunk of the developed world can already afford to behave; drugs, TV/internet/gaming, little regard for health despite some legit information actually being available, eating food produced for taste and addiction instead of for nutrition, buying useless products as status symbols with no interest in the behavior of those products' producers etc. I also agree with WarDaft on capitalism economies being inescapable, not counting the possibility that a sufficient portion of the "developed world" might eventually be starved and overworked enough to start a violent revolution.
If "post-scarcity" is taken to mean that not only basic necessities for a healthy life are easily available, but so are the above mentioned useless products, I'm convinced that the Guiness World Records will surpass the size of the Oxford English Dictionary thanks to entries such as "man with the most garages filled completely with little rubber tips for cat claws". Some of the real records around already aren't much less insane than this example.
I recently read Arthur Clarke's Childhood's End
and got a huge laugh out of a quarter of all human activity in a post-scarcity society being amateur sport. At 8h of sleep a day (and assuming all of the remaining 16 are considered activity), the entire human race's average would then be only 2-3h below what most world champions spend training today. Even considering that Clarke's fictional estimate includes chess and sports that you can theoretically play all day like golf, that seems completely insane to me. Real life students who don't need to work while studying have obligations not much different from those of the novel's future humans. What percentage of them spend not an average of 4, but at least 1 to 2h a day training these days? What about working people who don't spend a long time commuting and don't have families to take care of?
lutzj wrote:Does this happen often? People seem willing to send industries into obsolescence all the time to make efficiency gains. Kodak, for example, didn't make some huge push to ban digital cameras.
How much is "often"? I think that any industry large enough to own almost entire governments probably already does or is working on it just to stay competitive with the big boys. If it was only one or two companies globally, that would be too often to me.