I believe that the combination of those two futuristic technology described below would allow us to live in an utopian world where scarcity is a thing of the past. I m really wondering how it would affect society.
1) Nearly unlimited energy source. Imagine that we eventually manage to solve the issue of hydrogen based fusion power generation. This would basically give us a renewable, nearly unlimited source of power. Thanks to 2) we would be able to build as many of those energy source as we need. The only limit of the amount of hydrogen we can get our hand on. Hydrogen the most common thing in the universe.
2) Nanorobots. Imagine that we manage to make molecular nano assemblers which can modify any molecule and change it to another one. The process would obviously need a lot of energy but 1) solves that issue. This essentially means that anything can be built at whim, including those nanorobots and their power source. The only limit is the amount of matter that we can get hold of.
Scarcity is no longer an issue since anything can be made and energy is nearly unlimited. I would love to live in that future. People living in the future will look at us the way we look at cavemens. They would take pity of the miserable life we were living.
How do you think that society would evole in such an era of Abundance?
Would it trigger an immense population growth? An era of space exploration? war? decadence?