Sunday, 16 June 2013

Product legislation in a perfect world - recycling plans

What would product legislation look like in the perfect world? That's a tough question to answer without defining a perfect world. If the perfect world shares attributes with communism, there would only be one product for each task; if the perfect world shares attributes with capitalism, there would be a myriad of competing products.

But common to both of these would be a requirement to make efficient use of resources, which would require products to be recycled. As such, product legislation would require that recycling plan is in place before a product can be released. (Potentially even, a recycling plan would need to be in place to cover the recycling of materials used in prototyping a new product.)

An interesting aspect to this thought, is that it would require a government-level (although potentially autonomous / quasi-autonomous) database of products. Such a thing is unthinkable at the moment, because so many products exist, products pop into and out of existence with such high frequency, and the cost of maintaining such a database and the bureaucracy that would come with it would be unworkable. But with information technology, is such a database inplausible? The headache comes in inputing the data, and keeping the data up-to-date. If much of that work can be done by an AI, such a database should be possible.

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