book reviews

THIRD CHOICE: Rich, Poor or Hypercube by Eric Y.F. Lim (Guest post by Rachel Barber)

Well-researched and very easy to grasp, Eric Lim’s book describes the third choice of property investment based on the concept of the “Sharing Economy” and the application of “Block Chain” technology, as well as one’s Lifestyle or Quality of Life achieved from the ownership of property. Some say it’s the Future of Property Ownership, Investment and Quality of Life!

Choices are often framed as bi-polar: yes or no, black or white, rich or poor, thesis or anti-thesis. However, very often the best choice is a mixture of both or in-between. For instance, Synthesis comes from Thesis and Anti-thesis. Likewise, Po is in-between of Yes and No. Gray is derived from Black and White. Color Green comes from Yellow and Blue. What is the in-between or Synthesis of Rich and Poor? It is the synthesis of Capitalism and Communism/Socialism. It is the Sharing Economy, The Commons, Communalism, Solidarity Economy or Collaborative Consumption and Peer to- Peer Production.

It is the objective of Eric’s book to elaborate on this developing trend and to showcase a working prototype and business model… in the form of a “Hypercube” — a multipurpose “Shared” property or real estate that illustrates the Sharing Economy and Generative Ownership that is also a “Social Business”…. “Do Good. Make Money. Have Fun”.

Members of the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1946 to1964) enjoyed the benefits resulting from the economic development and growth after the Second World War. The socio-economic situations were relatively stable and conducive to growth and development and resulting prosperity. Being Middle Class, Rich or Super-rich became the aspiration (and hopefully the reality) for a substantial portion of the population.

The resulting lifestyles and value systems have become the dominant and prevailing socio-economic model… appropriately called Corporate Capitalism. This generation also saw the collapse of the other socio-economic systems called Communism/Socialism. However, members of Generation-X (born between1965 to1984), Generation-Y (born between1985 to 2000, also called Millennials) and even Generation-Z (born after 2000) come to face quite a different socio-economic environment.

There are more uncertainties and instabilities, yet advances in information and communication technologies. Collectively, members of these new generations have the tendency to adopt a different lifestyle and values system. They prefer freedom, independence and mobility, and seeking a like-minded community, characterized by awareness of and concern with issues such as sustainability, personal development, business startup, disparity of wealth etc… appropriately called Community Capitalism which has the flavor of both Capitalism and Communalism/Socialism.

The other possible equivalent for Community Capitalism is the Sharing Economy, Collaborative Consumption or Solidarity Economy. This is the Third Choice facing humanity and particularly individuals.

Third Choice discusses the inner working of a Sharing Economy, as well as Collaborative Consumption, a Solidarity Economy, and particularly the following aspects:

  1. The Great Socializer (curation of a community of autonomous and mobile people)
  2. The Great Equalizer (overcoming the disparity in wealth and property ownership), in the form of hybrid space (known as Hypercube) for co-working and co-living, incorporating Live-Work-Travel-Learn-Play aspects of modern and holistic living.

The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation of human beings.” – Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese Farm Philosopher

The ultimate goal of shared property ownership is not rent-collecting / capital gain, but the cultivation of human
beings in Sharing and Caring of the Commons.” – Eric Y.F. Lim, Hypercube @ SOHOland


~ The above review was formed from the thoughts of our guest reviewer, Rachel Barber, as well as words from the author himself. To learn more on the “Third Choice”, as well as the author’s hypercube project, visit http://soholand-collaborative.com ~

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