I had a dream that my ship went to visit a colony that was having trouble and asking for help. They were a bunch of little (pretty big) habitation modules orbiting a star. We went to investigate.
They told us that they were running out of hydrogen and they didn’t have any ships they could use to go and get some. But we could easily get hydrogen from the star or, more easily, from a nearby gas giant.
But I hung out on the colony while my ship went to get that stuff. The colony had this technology where you could ask the omnipresent computer for stuff and it would nano-assemble it right there for you.
I thought that was awesome, so I kept having it make stuff for me. Like, I didn’t want to take a shower, so I was like “computer, clean me”. Bam. I completely changed my body a couple times. I had it make some good foods for me.
The people on the colony didn’t seem to use that technology very much. I noticed that they had stores that charged money for stuff. They grew food in gardens. I was like “Why do you do that, when you can just ask for stuff?” and they were like “um, I don’t know. That’s just what we do.”
“How do you get money?” “By working jobs.” “Why do you do that? Why not just have the computer do stuff for you and live in luxury?” “I don’t know, that’s just not what we do.”
My ship came back and I told them I was resigning. I was going to live in luxury here on this colony!
Then, suddenly, one day, the computer stopped listening to me and wouldn’t make anything else for me. I tried to figure out what the deal was. I was getting hungry because I didn’t have any of their money and the computer wouldn’t nano-assemble me any more food.
Eventually, I figured out the deal: Everybody has an energy budget - they can only have the computer spend a certain amount of energy assembling stuff for them. I had exceeded mine. Most people didn’t even realize they had a budget, because the culture was such that it just never came up for most people. But nobody told me to be conservative because they seriously didn’t know you had to!
Well, I guess I was going to have to get a job or whatever and wait til my energy budget replenished. Now I wished I had gone back on my ship, cuz working jobs is for chumps.