Jamais Cascio always has interesting stuff to say, but this time he's outdone himself.
His latest blog entry contains a well-crafted raft of ideas on scarcity in a post-nanofactory world, combined with real-life suggestions for exploring the issue today (really!).
The post, and its comments, are so much worth reading that I hesitate to give away any of the ideas here. But I can't help mentioning one very interesting observation: in online multiplayer games, the games without scarcity tend to lose players. What does that say about psychology? If the needs of life were all provided for free, would we all just sit around and breathe? Lie around and breed? Invent new things to compete for? The amount of TV that's watched in the US today may give some indication.
Seriously--go and read the article. It's one of the most insightful pieces I've seen on molecular manufacturing recently.