Post-singularity technology changed the way humans live in many ways. But perhaps no single invention had a greater impact on society than the molecular assembler. Called “compilers”, these devices are capable of building finished goods from raw material, assembling them at the molecular level.
Forks, plates, electronic devices, and even weapons can be compiled from the raw materials fed into the machine. This reduces the labor and shipping costs of production to zero. And with a stable system of raw matter dispensation, most items can be produced on demand at nearly no cost.
As one might expect, widespread use of compilers devastated the world economy, necessitating drastic change. So when the Houses founded the Coalition, they used the opportunity to establish a new economy based not on goods or materials, but on reputation and favors.
In time, multiple attempts at Rep tracking systems eventually merged into a single government entity called Inter-Rep. Monitored by powerful AIs, this system works to quantify a citizen’s contributions to society. This rating is established as people rate each other, offering a “bump” when they like someone or a “hit” when they don’t. Rep can also be exchanged like currency for favors or high value goods.
Your Rep rating is an attempt to quantify your worth to society and the value of your opinion. The higher your Rep, the more you are able to take from society before suffering a Rep hit, the greater the impact of your bumps and hits on others, and the greater the value of your vote.
For better or worse, this system is also used to measure privilege in other ways. For example, some exclusive clubs require a minimum Rep-Rating to be allowed in. And depending on which House you belong to, you’ll find certain items require more or less Rep to acquire.
If your interesting in how technology can potentially lead us into a post-scarcity world, check out these videos which cover molecular assembly and a number of exponentially growing technologies that are going to be having a big impact on our lives in the near future.
Peter Diamandis: Abundance is our Future (16:15) <- This is a favorite of mine.