Pseudo Abundance

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Pseudo Abundance refers to situations where goods or services that are presented to unsuspecting publics as offering benefits can often in reality be a poisoned pill of ills and bads that actually undermine real abundance and create or reinforce artificial scarcity. For example Terminator Seeds are genetically modified variety of seeds often sold to farmers on the premise that the crops they produce are more resistant to pests or harsh climates, a benefit for many no doubt, however terminator seeds are designed so that they cannot reproduce and so the farmer is unable to harvest seed from the crops to plant the following season, rather the farmer is forced into a situation of dependency where they must continue to buy new seed each season from a corporate supplier.


Roberto Verzola:

"Pseudo-Abundance: Bads Posing as Goods

A phenomenon sometimes presents itself as a case of abundance. We may later find out that it comes attached with a darker side of ills and bads. Even worse, the „abundance may in reality be a poi-soned pill of ills and bads that are actually meant to undermine real abundance and create artificial scarcity, but are sold as a good or service that claims to benefit an unsuspecting public.

It may take discernment and time to determine which is which. Who would have thought that farmers will accept – not to mention pay for – powerful poisons into their soils? That mothers would deny their babies the nourishing breast milk nature has freely provided for them, and prefer instead to buy troublesome antibiotic- and hormone-laden formula milk? Have we taken into account the environmental and health costs involved in creating the new ICT infrastructure? Few people today look at the bads associated with ICTs, their production, use, and disposal. The study of abundance must make these costs visible, so that they can be taken into account whenever the cost of digital reproduction is considered, and so that the bads associated with ICTs can also eliminated over time.

We need to be vigilant about these types of „abundance, so we can reject and eliminate them. Unfor-tunately, our production methods often generate them as a by-product of production. Responding to this negative „abundance‖ involves avoiding being locked into production methods that rely for raw materials on toxic and non-biodegradable sub-stances or which create them as by-products or as the main product itself, and shifting to technologies of clean production. The model of clean production is the ecological model of food webs, which finds use for every by-product and creates closed production loops." (

More Information

Abundance - Typology