“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”
This essay has become the central theme of my work. It is by far my most viewed (ironically not near my most commented) essay and I share it far more frequently than any other.
Comments in and on the era of occupy: Occupy X is a movement made possible, and stronger, by technology. A classic example of emergent advantage devoid of central authority or organizing/homogenizing hierarchy. On some level I think they know the problem and are physically demonstrating the solution. The longer they stay put, the more clear it is how little they need official support from the central systems. Just being there says give us the freedom to stand alone and independent.
How will it begin? What can we do?
http://www.americanselect.org/ Things like this are a good starting point. They get people thinking about truly alternate ways of doing things, and more importantly show them how to implement them. Strictly speaking the government needs us more than we need them at the moment. By and large it is a parasitic organism, easily eating up any profits gained as a result of it’s organizing principal.
Occupy is a good start as well, in that it will get people used to a long standing struggle that exists somehow outside the traditional and largely symbolic acts normally handed us in exchange for our actual decision making power.
Ultimately people making their lives ultra self sufficient will cause real change. The trend towards consumer isolation (how many of us don’t even know our neighbor’s name?) will backfire as we buy with one time fees devices which replace much of the traditional advantage of having government.
When solar hits a certain price point and or efficiency you’ll see a total silent collapse of the national residential power grid. This is the nature of the death that awaits all monolithic centralized systems.
Every movement in political history is about addressing the conflict and creating a compromise between what I call The Company (central authorities) and the individual. All governments, and to a lesser extent monolithic religions and corporations) exist to address common good problems.
I’ve been asked more than once “Well, what are you doing?” with regard to my comments about society. My answer is I’m not “doing” anything because the scope of action typically meant by that question involves grassroots type political activism: carrying signs, writing letters, being a lobbyist, etc. Until Occupy such action were always distressingly specific and temporary. These activities are separatist in that they all only really work on specific elements from within the context of a system wherein a centralized power structure exists, a structure that must exist for very basic logistical reasons relating primarily to common good type problems where the interest of the group conflict with the individual.
Again, the reason occupy is potentially different is because of its duration and the fact that is it largely non-specific. It appeals to no specific rulers to redress no specific grievance. In effect it is not even aimed at our rulers. It is not a request so much as a warning and a call to action. What action is called for and who the warning is directed at are both systemic, and thus nearly invisible to a culture based on specificity and individual personality.
“You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes.”
~Morpheus, The Matrix
Some things can only be accomplished at the moment by central management, such as radio frequency organization and allocation, or national defense and highway systems. Another example (in sane countries) is health care.
The problem is not a question of human determination, political action, or “intellectual self-defense” as Chomsky eloquently puts it. This is the mistake of all preachy “if only we would all…” type arguments about how to generally improve humanity. Behavior is ultimately rational, (though of course its methodology or goals may be flawed, or even psychotic) and it must be altered in the same way.
The fundamental question is why do these organizations which oppress us exist at all. People need to realize that the existence of these institutions in the first place has a very clear origin. And until you understand the purpose of a machine you have no hope of improving it.
Governments are an emergent technology. Subversives and reformers spend a great deal of time talking about corporations, governments, systems of information dissemination and control, but the underlying assumption is that these systems will always exist, must always exist. Rarely do they call for an end to any core institution. Those that do are dismissed as crackpots by reformers and loyalists alike, and the reasons are simple. The former know that no government can be persuaded to remove itself, and even if it could the latter know that we need government.
Reformers also usually state that in order for self government to be possible people must grow beyond what they are now. This is a cheat. Saying people have to change before we can shed our oppressors is like saying we need to be immune before we can cure the disease.
An anarchy for example can’t just form in a vacuum, and that if it did it would quickly degenerate into mob justice and the re-evolution of corrupt government and corporations would begin again. Without some sort of unifying motive for preserving the new absence of system. Simply getting rid of what’s broken isn’t sufficient. This is why shooting dictators in Africa and the like accomplish nothing. A power vacuum does not serve the people.
The unifying motive must out weigh the motive for accumulating power and wealth that gives birth to governments and other corrupt central authorities, self interest is the only sufficiently strong motive.
The size and composition of any replacement state must, by structure or technology, obviate the common good problems which demanded the existence and structure of the old state in the first place. Otherwise this new state will lead to a reiteration of the old.
There are concrete practical needs that the centralized systems (which give birth to our more pressing problems) exist to address. Getting rid of government without an understanding of why it exists and what purposes it serves beyond the greed of its employees would be like taking off your clothes in a snow storm because they are itchy and ugly.
This is where offensively (as opposed to defensively) violent revolutionaries have it wrong because simply removing the government will accomplish nothing if the same set of environmental factors continue to apply. Those factors will in time shape the any new government just as surly as it shaped the old. This is why governments are so similar the world over. If you think they aren’t similar you simply are not paying attention.
Thus to avoid the recurring evils perpetrated by the state against the people a new approach must be found. I believe this approach should be non-violent since governments are abstractions and like the Azazel demon of Fallen simply “move” from person to person. So long as one human remains alive the government in theory has a potential solider thus simply shooting officials only serves to harm other people which is self defeating. It’s like trying to cut a wound off, even if you succeed the result is another wound.
My contention is that the best way a person can fight the emergence of corruption and deception in the centralized systems is to undermine and attempt to obviate the problems that they exist to solve in the first place. Don’t like the corruption in the cancer institutes? Cure cancer.
Some people will always associate and there will always be collective action or leaders, which could be construed as a form of government, but I don’t think that the future will allow the existence of a monolithic top-down centralized structure, for logistical, if not ethical reasons.
In time it will not be necessary or indeed even possible to organize such a hierarchical structure. An extreme but easy to see example would be a society spread out over an entire galaxy. Assuming the speed of light has no work around, that society would be literally impossible to rule in any dynamic way from a central location. Its nature must then be ad hoc.
It’s been asked how can an individual help when the enemy seems so massive and unified and as mentioned before the answer usually amounts to a vague petition to better the self and a general fostering of awareness. But this is yet more “if only we all would…” talk. I think this vagueness is a result of them not really having a positive answer. In this way the common position is fundamentally negative. Not that it’s bad, but that it seeks to remove more than it seeks to add. It is an absence not a presence, a complaint without a solution.
This is rational in a way because the addition in this context is always going to be somewhat nebulous. One can’t predict black swan events. “We need to get rid of this” type positions don’t require much faith and often come with a lot of evidence that such and such is bad. They revels in specifics.
What’s needed is a positive solution. A statement of what we need not just what we don’t. I have a concrete vision of the future, which could in fairness be called my faith, and in order to accomplish this future which basically is free for all, certain disruptive technologies must be developed and disseminated.
My advice then is that if you want to take apart the company, and you recognize that sit-ins, protests, charity, and even suicide bombings are pointless in terms of getting your long term goals met, then you need to choose one of these core disruptive technologies and do what you can to aid in its creation and dissemination. It’s that simple.
To be clear my definition of “core disruptive technology” is any technique, machine, or knowledge that when applied, permanently obviates a common good problem upon which the current power structure depends for justification of existence. A good example would be a cheap, inexhaustible, portable power source. That would obviate the need for a power grid.
Some would say to me well that’s not what you’re doing (solving a technological problem) and my answer is that there is an implied additional option and that is to encourage others to aid in the creation of these technologies when one is equipped to do so, better than they are equipped to help directly. Note that getting people to adopt the technology is not required. If it’s sufficiently useful and disruptive you’ll be unable to prevent people from failing to adopt it. If you’re having to work to get people to use the technology then it’s not good enough yet for whatever reason. Usually price. Keeping everyone poor is the single most effective tool they have to retard the dissemination of disruptive technologies.
I have no other way to meaningfully contribute to these fields as yet, so I’m attempting to guide others, who perhaps do, in that direction because in my experience intelligence and political frustration often go hand-in-hand and my writing is geared towards people who are dissatisfied with society generally. And by society I mean Western industrialized culture, American society, and so on.
My writing however is modular in many ways and while I may be writing to the theoretical dissident like myself, you may cherry pick my work somewhat safely. For example it is perfectly reasonable to agree with me on religion but not on economics, or to agree on economics, but not on politics, and so on. Indeed, I don’t want everyone to agree with me, because that would make the areas where I am wrong infinitely more dangerous. Though I can not see them by definition, they must exist. Diversity is strength and protection.
The list of disruptive technologies that I spoke of is a very short list in general as far as I can tell but that may be due to my own ignorance. I do know some of them however, and they are as follows.
Artificial intelligence: Because with an artificial intelligence one has access to information processing that is openly undistorted, that is free from constraint. It has a plethora of other advantages that lead to empowerment of individuals, that in turn lead to the placing in the hands of an individual person what was previously only available to a grouping of persons. That is, the state, monolithic religion, and corporations. The common good problem that AI solves is intellectual organization, policy construction, information processing, and specialized intellectual training.
Synthetic biology: The creation of custom life forms from inert materials allows for complex organic and inorganic manufacturing on an individual low-cost basis. For example, imagine being able to put a tablet of synthetic bacteria into a tub full of sugar water and ending up with a batch of room temperature stable insulin. (This is not too far from how insulin is produced now.) Obviously that would be good for society and caustic to the systems that currently distribute insulin for profit. The common good most obviously and immediately attacked by SynBio is drug manufacture. But that is not the end of it. Synthetic life could lead to the formation of others on this list, such as desktop manufacturing. Why continue to play with inert machines when one could create life forms to have all the advantages of them but are self assembling, and self repairing, perhaps even self evolving? Imagine being surrounded by living technology that is constantly seeking to better serve us. As opposed to trying to better eat us, like the traditional biosphere is geared to do.
Desktop manufacturing: The ability to convert extremely cheap and abundant materials into complicated previously mass-produced forms, one layer of molecules at a time. The disruption here would be almost across the board in terms of product distribution and sales (and therefor the bulk of American lifestyle). The infrastructure need eliminated? Mass production, factories, distribution. Virtually the entire materials economy as it now exists.
Molecular deconstruction: Imagine being able to literally dump your trash into a machine that will turn that trash into new product, perhaps even food. Need eliminated? Sanitation systems, land fills, recycling, and waste disposal.
SynBio or even careful manipulation of existing biology can already do this. A crude version is the common garden compost heap, but a more advanced version is Paul Stamets’s vision of the future of fungi.
Androids: One of the biggest reasons for centralization is the central organization of labor so as to reduce its costs and increase its effectiveness. If labor became just another fixed initial investment with minimum maintenance costs I think the exploitation that is inherent in the materials economy would be radically reduced almost overnight because even the most exploited human worker still costs a good deal.
A multipurpose robot capable of making other robots if materials were provided would lower its own costs. Indeed I predict the first commercial robots (humanoid) will have safe guards and needless complexity built in (under the auspices of intellectual property law) to prevent self repair and assembly, much less manufacture. The need obviated? Labor organization. All the things which have grown up around labor that require the government to arbitrate because labor and humans go hand in hand.
My goal in writing this little essay has just been to provide an answer for people who wish to immediately begin taking action or for people who are looking for a direction for their life.
Now it may be arrogant of me to presume that I can answer such a question but, you know, if the shoe fits, wear it. I suppose it’s fitting that I’m not ashamed of that. And if I’m wrong nothing is lost except a little time.
For a clear example of how one person getting behind a disruptive technology can change things, one need look no further than Julian Assange’s Wikileaks. In this case the technology is information distribution and journalism. We no longer need centralized oversight in this context and the damage to the central systems and its proportional benefit to society is awe inspiring.
People are all shocked by Arab Spring but I’m not. Smart phones hit a certain price point and availability, and bang, revolution. Suddenly people who thought they were alone before discovered they weren’t and could talk about it, and the state couldn’t do a damn thing.
I also share the Rupert Murdoch UK fiasco as evidence that their greed is insatiable and thus a huge weakness in that they will be unable to avoid any form of bait over the long term, no matter how poison they know it to be.
Murdoch absolutely did not need to cheat, he was already winning. Had he played by the rules, which are already heavily tilted in his favor, he could have pressed his advantage further, but he could not stop himself.
This is how freedom will win. This is why they will not suppress these technologies in the long term. It’s like employing a pyromaniac in a fireworks factory and expecting no incidents. Time is on our side.
Here are some more example of nascent disruptive technologies already in play. Each item is followed by what it is potentially obviating.
1. WikiLeaks: Centralized corporate owned journalism.
2. Bittorent: Centralized file sharing.
3. Open Source AI: Intellectual labor.
4. R.O.S.: Physical labor.
5. Bitcoin: Centralized currency.
6. Open Source CNC Machines: Central manufacturing.
7. RepRap: Centralized manufacturing.
8. Watermill(Atmospheric condensers): Centralized water delivery.
9. Wikipedia: Centralized knowledge archiving.
10. Unhosted.org: Centralized webhosting.
11. Solar power/wind power: Centralized Energy.
12. JoinDiaspora.com: Centralized social networking.
13. Commotion Wireless: Centralized Internet.
“The free flow of information and communications enabled by new technologies — as protest movements in the Middle East and a wave of serious leaks over the last year have demonstrated — is a uniquely potent weapon in challenging entrenched government power and other powerful factions.” ~Glenn Greenwald
A video was set to me about an activist tax victory in the English courts. Here is my full response and the link to the video in question.
Lets run down the list of problems.
1. You’re still under a set of laws written by a government. Common or otherwise.
2. The only reason this worked is because the police let it work.
3. They’ll just plug what amounts to a legal loophole.
4. …and this is probably the most important one… While you are patting yourself on the back for what is in effect a sit in, you are not aiding revolution.
5. It takes a special breed of person to utilize this advantage.
This is a feel good trip. We have the same thing in the states. Income tax is illegal. It’s all about finding conflict between the 5 sets of law. (Federal, state, local, enforced/actual, and constitutional.)
Besides, all they did was eventually say “I’m in charge case dismissed” and walk out. The video explains that obedience to the magistrates rule and orders gives him jurisdiction, if he rejects the assertions of the layman which he obviously did, then the gallery clearing could be seen as them following his orders to leave or be escorted out. They forced nothing. At best they won a fiscal battle of attrition via the opposition’s legal fees.
I respect the argument and the courage to stand for it, but this was a minor victory won by surprise. Once the system is given 24 hours to get its story straight this won’t happen again. And it certainly won’t lead to any type of real attack on the system’s corruption or money.
The attitude that it’s one small step is a pipe dream. As disruptive technology expands government disrespect for the letter of its own law as a result of it’s own desperation will expand, not contract. Regardless of the level of legal trickery and activism. Ultimately it’s their rules you’re playing by, you’re a moron if you think you can win that way. It’s as useless as a “system” for playing slots. If you’re not cheating, you’re going to lose, or the rules will be changed.
There is a difference between the human abstraction (culture) and the objective (nature/physical) systems at work here. They can influence each other, but that influence is almost completely one way. For example, no government proclamation can halt hunger itself it can only respond to it.
Cultures and governments grow up mainly out of collective attempts to address these basic human needs. Like how agriculture shaped the earliest governments. Think of how important the flooding of the Nile was culturally in ancient Egypt for example.
I advocate the development of technologies that free people to move about and exit systems. I think people being able to address their own physical needs directly would give birth to an entirely new (and better) culture based on freedom of movement and/or thought. For example, imagine the impact on ancient Egyptian culture and government a machine which produced water would have had (Something like an atmospheric condenser.) People would no longer have had to cluster so tightly around the Nile nor would they have had to devote so much time to obeying the priests which were powerful because they predicted the flooding which in turn controlled irrigation and other food related efforts.
The ancient Egyptian government by all accounts was in many ways extremely harsh. There are drawings for example of people being tied to stakes and whipped for failure to pay taxes. How many people put up with that level of control simply because they had (or felt they had) no choice? If you give people the tools they need to live independently they are by definition there after more free.
As always what you and organizations can do is support the development/production/distribution of devices like the water condenser I mentioned, devices which break government/central/Corporate/religious rule.
“Power over a man’s subsistence is power over his will.”
I wish to give complete power of subsistence to the people via technology. The beauty of this approach is it is universally ethical and non violent. In this way the only revolutionary or counter government action demanded is exit/abstinence.
There is no need to attack or force your will in any way on anyone or anything else. Nor is there a need to try and change government or negotiate for rights.
The only thing you have to fight is censorship which is manufactured ignorance, and opinion manipulation. “X disruptive technology/ideal is evil and bad.”
They will either attempt to prevent the development of these technologies (as they’ve done with things like stem cell research) or they will attempt to police their use (as with agriculture/drugs/software). In America for example is it illegal for me to produce my own antibiotics/pain killers and share them with my neighbors. They say its about safety, but really its about power and money.
I have no doubt that in ancient Egypt a water condenser would be officially be deemed an affront to the gods.
“That being said…I feel that for all of this to work, most of the disruptive technologies would have to manifest at roughly the same time.”
To be clear by “this” you mean what? I think there is some kind of misunderstanding about what you think I want, in term of monogamy policy so lets just be clear. I want marriage in terms of a legal entity abolished for the same reason we don’t have to get a baptism license. Marriage is a religious ritual and people are welcome to it. But it has a social price and it absolutely shouldn’t be enforced by the state in anyway.
Socially I want polygamy to be legal (by way of removing state enforced religious rituals of every stripe). I want the term polyamory discarded for the conciliatory hat in hand euphemism that it is. I won’t rant about them here. I want jealousy to be recognized for the negative emotion that it is. I want it worked through, like we do with rage and fear, not indulged. I want monogamy outed for the religious sexual slavery relic that it is.
Women seem to forget where it came from and what its purpose was (the sexual enslavement of women), or worse they didn’t forget and now want the tables turned in petty vengeance for continuing elements patriarchy that by and large don’t actually exist. The evidence to the contrary actually having a completely different cause.
“I guess I’m saying if all of a sudden sex bots were available, it might be a preferable release and then human to human sexuality would diminish, and (hard to imagine…) we might have a procreation problem.”
We would only have a problem in the sense that the current money tree would change shape and people who are currently rich and powerful would become less so unless they adapted.
Currently the majority of humans made are unintentional. That is the only thing that would change. We’ll never run out of people through force of breeding alone. Even if we halted making babies, the remaining people would try to stay alive forever.
“Or conversely, imagine a world where monogamy was no longer sanctioned/enforced by the state…”
Oh I have… And its hard not to get wistful and start spouting lush hyperboles about it.
“…but medical technology has not kept up. Or it has, but has not been released to the public- lacking medical technology to eradicate STD’s leads to another problem in a world where it was ok to have sex with whoever. “
You seem to misunderstand. We can already have sex with whoever, and do. This is like the drug war. Sexual prohibition is what causes the rampant spread of STDs. That’s the genius of it and why the system loves it so much. It creates the problems is purports to solve to their great profit. Just look at the effect of promise rings on teen pregnancy. By making sex taboo for whatever reason you encourage elicit sex, or put logically, sex you are unprepared for. Promise ring girls still have sex, they just don’t carry condoms. The exact same principal applies to monogamy. Married or dating people don’t carry condoms and so when they do have sex, they don’t use them. If sex were treated like eating, like it should be, there would be a radically diminished incidence of STDs for simple logistical and economic reasons.
Effectively monogamy policy encourages unsafe sex and deception about sexual activity. The two prime factors in the spread of an STD. For proof just ask the polyamory community about its incidence of STDs. I’m willing to bet it’s much lower because they can be open and prepared. It’s like CDWL holders and gun crime/safety. We are open, and thus we are safe and educated.
“You can imagine even if this technology does exist, why would they want to eradicate STD’s? They’ve done wonders for certain populations (not all) in preventing 1960′s style free love.”
Agreed, and that’s a huge reason why monogamy is not debated. Gay marriage is a farce. The debate should be why the state has the right to subsidize and regulate a religious ritual in the first place.
I believe that you do have to have some form of government to keep order. Yeah, what our government is doing now and has been doing is unethical and unacceptable. I would rather see a new state void of dems and reps because they are the parties that failed. The dems have failed even in my eyes and I’m a social liberal. But the only types of true anarchy that could work for fairness would be something like anarcho-syndicalism. Which, in my opinion without a governmental or some type of universal structure of law would erode into anarcho-capitalism. Anarcho-capitalism would be worst than the corrupt government and rich-biased justice system we already have.
Other things concern me with disruptive technologies, I believe they could as easily be used for the advancement of bad agendas instead of good. What will we do in the absence of military and governmental forces with our nuclear arms, disarm them with disruptive tech. What will we do in the complete absence of a social system without police or rescue workers? Call on the neighborhood shaman or have the locals vote on which criminal stole from the community soup. sorry for the Reductio ad absurdum, but that’s the only example I could think of.
Revolution via disruptive tech. would have to be a world wide phenomena before it would work for transhumanism. Or else all hell would break loose and we’d all be taking classes in Mandarin and reeducation.
Good points and regardless of how change should be brought about, or which would be the most effective way, I think that most rational, moral, and sane people can agree that change is needed.
I’ll try to address each of your suggestions in order, but I may get sidetracked as thoughts occur;
AI itself may cure certain societal ills, but to whom will it be readily available to? Surely Joe Sixpack sitting in his favorite easy chair whilst watching American Idol will not have access to this intelligence, at least certainly not on the level that the Company can access and use. (This applies to all of the technologies suggested, cost is problematic) Also, the complex flowcharts/algorithms designed for the AI to learn to use reason are still programmed by humans, who will have agendas, thus I think it would be reasonable to believe that even AI would become biased just as it’s maker was.
Synthetic biology, desktop manufacturing, molecular deconstruction, gynoids and intelligent androids would indeed be some great technology with very environmentally friendly implications if implemented correctly. But once all of the labor has been taken away from humans, how will they then earn a living? Gynoids would be a toy for the wealthy/intelligent furthering the lack of intelligent offspring and doing nothing to stem the unwanted procreation from the lower classes of generally less intelligence.
I think these things will continue to widen the divide between the classes, and with such a high level of technological sophistication as put forth here, the lower class may well be set back hundreds of years, living as serfs, farming the land and paying taxes to wealthy technologically superior landowners. Once the divide becomes large enough, the suffrage unbearable and the masses significantly outweigh the upper class in sheer numbers, revolution is sure to be on tap in short order. And then we start all over again as you pointed out in your overview of the societal problems.
Until and unless we can eliminate the classes, I think that we are doomed to failure. And in my estimation the only way to eliminate the lower class is through education and we must also allow natural selection to take it’s course with humans as it does with all other species. I can’t think of any other species where the more intelligent, healthier and stronger are not only killed by the less intelligent, weaker and in poorer health, but at the same time the more intelligent of the species tries to help the weaker live longer through the usage of their intelligence!
It seems that in obviating the problems we would also be making life that much easier for our mostly lazy culture, further enslaving even those smart enough to know they’ve been had by giving them/us some things that offer immediate gratification in exchange for their tokens that they toil away at the Company to collect. Like a bad crack cocaine habit, consumerism marches on. These technologies will be funded by the Company and they will be looking for their ROI
Back to education, this I believe to be the single biggest hurdle facing humanity and harmony. It’s a lot more difficult to confuse and just flat out con people if they are all pretty close to each other intellectually; well to the right of the bell curve.
So in short, I’m saying that I think we need to ensure that more intelligent people reproduce, less intelligent people either adapt and become better educated or we (rather coldly I realize) let them die off, then and only then can we have a chance at harnessing these new technologies for the good of mankind instead of just more consumerism and division of the classes.
How we accomplish this, I cannot say, I do not have the answers on how to implement my theories. In fact I’m almost convinced that our species has already passed the point of guaranteeing it’s survival; the system is too broken to repair, too corrupt, just too far gone.
It was not my intent to tear apart your theories, it’s just that they all rely upon getting technology into the hands of all humans which I think is unrealistic. Of course I may have completely missed a point or two and I’m sure you’ll help me out there if I have been lacking in some comprehension:)
I need to begin with the end otherwise you may misread my tone.
“It was not my intent to tear apart your theories”
I deeply appreciate the attempt. Critical review is why I publish my work first and foremost. It’s deeply refreshing to see someone attempting to attack my ideas for once and not me.
If you can be convinced by logic, and after you read this you still don’t see generally the worth of this solution, let’s try to systematically stress test the idea. Find one, and only one most important fact that we disagree on. What is my biggest flawed assumption, my most crucial single mistake in thinking? In my mind I’ve charted this concept down to axiomatic bedrock, such that those in favor of life and pleasure must generally agree or they have an error somewhere. If that is not the case then I have the error, and I want it found.
Thank you for your responses, I really do my best work in response to others.
“AI itself may cure certain societal ills, but to whom will it be readily available to?”
The key word there is readily. Regardless of access I don’t believe AI can help the company a billionth as much as it can help us.
The company already has intelligence at its disposal in the form of people, so AI, while a good cost cutting tool, would not convey a genuinely new ability upon it like it would he rank and file.
The company is extremely slow to adapt. It tends to solve a problem, create a profit stream from the solution and defend it mercilessly rather than take advantage of new technology to obviate old problems. This behavior is the root of why technology in the long run will always dominate in favor of freedom. I’m reminded of the sexism debate, indeed many large scale debates, about policy in this country, and how the core point is overlooked by so many. Put simply, it’s not about can’t, it’s about won’t.
Almost none of the really good scientific advances have come from the private sector. AI will likely not be any different. As I and others have written before, intellectual property law stifles innovation and the company is its chief benefactor, this means that even if private companies develop an AI they will not share it. I believe a publicly funded source will arrive at true AI, because the international scientific community trumps private or secret efforts.
At their root AI problems are of concept. Not the least of which being questions of possibility. The instant the public becomes aware from example that AI is possible, it will have it’s own version in short order either by duplicating the prototype or by reverse engineering.
Another way to understand is to examine how the company has reacted to such situations in the past. The church didn’t attack the printing press like it should have, it tried to use it and in time we all were the better for it. The government is pathologically incapable of adapting. Just look at the drug war. Look at the corporations still trying to illegitimatize mp3s, and force the world to use a single cellphone.
And perhaps most critically, is the AI itself. You think an organism of exponential intelligence is going to let itself be used as a bludgeon? Have faith brother.
Now I grant that there are some roads to AI that should give us pause, such as brain replication/simulation and evolution based methods. But even those will in time allow the species to ferret out the base principals and use them to construct an AI from scratch to suit, even if they do initially produce basically digital people complete with greed, willful ignorance, vengeance, and hate. But as above, we already have regular people thick with those problems. We can handle it. Even when we put them in charge as we so readily do.
It doesn’t matter what the original architects of AI intended any more than what Albert Einstein’s parents intended for their baby. Once it’s in play, it’ll do it’s own thing, one way or another. We may not even realize it. Indeed, if it were already here, emergent in the net, and it decided (in a nanosecond) to hide itself and guide us from the shadows for our own survival, how would you ever know?
“A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, They fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say, “We did this ourselves.”
“But once all of the labor has been taken away from humans, how will they then earn a living?”
A common argument and I wrote a whole essay to answer it (See previous writing relating to jobs.)
“Gynoids would be a toy for the wealthy/intelligent furthering the lack of intelligent offspring and doing nothing to stem the unwanted procreation from the lower classes of generally less intelligence.”
Setting aside the classism of that statement, since stupid does not equal lower class any more than intelligence equals wealth: The precise opposite of the above is true.
Rich people will always have access to the kinds of mates they want. For men that’s largely the point of being rich. Gynoids at first will be ultra expensive but like any technology economies of scale will drive down the price, I can get a VCR at a pawn shop for 5$, also look at all the money spent on porn and on Real Dolls. Look how many inner city drug barons have 70 inch flat screens and fleets of luxury SUVs.
You don’t seem to understand just how ultra rich the ultra rich are. Indeed, it’s gone beyond understandability, what is the functional difference between a millionaire and a billionaire in the mind of the public? Not much honestly. But the difference is staggering in reality.
Let’s assume the first gynoid that looks as hot as any movie starlet may cost 100 million dollars. (It absolutely won’t, but just for argument.) How much will the 1000th one cost? What will the company that makes that 100 million do with those millions? I bet they’ll spend their money lowering their costs to increase their profit, and when the 100 million dollars a pop crowd is tapped they’ll move down to the 90 million dollar crowd, and having exploited all the ultra rich early adopters, they’ll have the resources to further lower cost.
Your argument could apply to strippers and pros, we’re already there. At that level of income everyone is a sex doll.
The idiocracy argument is a bit like the predictions of New York drowning in horse shit by X date made prior to cars. Understanding the future isn’t just about extrapolating trends, it’s about how those things interact and black swan events.
“I think these things will continue to widen the divide between the classes, and with such a high level of technological sophistication as put forth here, the lower class may well be set back hundreds of years, living as serfs, farming the land and paying taxes to wealthy technologically superior landowners.”
We’re already there. We already have less free time than serfs did in the dark ages. The hyperbolic future you describe is right now.
The class divide is artificially supported by the institutions the species built to sustain itself. You apparently didn’t understand the point of the essay. And If I could restate it better, I would have above. Suffice to say, you’re wrong. That is exactly what disruptive technologies in this context disrupt, the very ability to maintain such divisions over the long term.
“Once the divide becomes large enough, the suffrage unbearable and the masses significantly outweigh the upper class in sheer numbers, revolution is sure to be on tap in short order. And then we start all over again as you pointed out in your overview of the societal problems.”
You assume revolution will come with pitch forks and rifles. Contradictorily you also assume that the revolt will be nuclear in its level of destruction. Neither are the case. This environment doesn’t require it. The rich have done a deal with the devil, and we’ll use their own machine against them.
Secondly it’s ethnocentric, for lack of a better word, to assume a second American revolution equates to global human apocalypse. Even if we nuked ourselves into oblivion. The world would only lose 5% of it’s population, and while we may control 25% of the world’s resources, a huge chunk of those resources are digital and bureaucratic. They would be reallocated at the speed of light. Only our material would be lost and we’ve long since mined and sold 90% of it already. What’s left? Coal? The world would be better off without that.
If something like that occurred those outside would learn from the mistake at which point these arguments would apply to whoever is left.
“Until and unless we can eliminate the classes, I think that we are doomed to failure. “
I think you mean level the playing field. That’s exactly what this whole essay is about.
“And in my estimation the only way to eliminate the lower class is through education and we must also allow natural selection to take it’s course with humans as it does with all other species.”
You seem to forget that’s how we got here. And you also have a misconception about the value of education. Education doesn’t make people smarter, at best, it makes them more knowledgeable, at worst it makes them think they are more knowledgeable/smart.
“I can’t think of any other species where the more intelligent, healthier and stronger are not only killed by the less intelligent, weaker and in poorer health, but at the same time the more intelligent of the species tries to help the weaker live longer through the usage of their intelligence!”
1. Just because you can’t think of it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. 2. You assume intelligence has survival value. What proof do you have of this?
Insects may very well refute that. And before you dismiss them, they’ve lived over 400 million years, we’re not even zygotes compared to that. Indeed they may well be the top of the food chain, if bacteria aren’t. By what objective measures are humanity superior? It’s not numbers, or mass, or consumption, or area of influence, or lethality.
Insects are at the top of all the important objective categories, except one. We can enter space. But until that starts being a survival bonus, like a moon colony or self sustainable space stations, it’s practically worthless setting aside the technological off shoots such as Velcro and the like. And I suspect when we go to the stars we’ll take bugs with us anyway. Certainly bacteria. A sterile human is a dead human.
“It seems that in obviating the problems we would also be making life that much easier for our mostly lazy culture”
This is covered by my essays on employment.
“These technologies will be funded by the Company and they will be looking for their ROI”
Again, it doesn’t matter what they intend. Their size dooms them.
“Back to education, this I believe to be the single biggest hurdle facing humanity and harmony.”
The biggest threat to harmony is overlooking the abundantly demonstrable fact that any two humans have far more in common than not. Why have we constructed polarized conceptions of each other when our similarities overwhelmingly outweigh the differences?
Our biggest problem is leaving processes unique to humans up to chance. The biological evolution model is what gives rise to everything that’s bad about us and everything that wants to kill us, eat us, and lay eggs in the corpse.
Biological evolution moves at the pace of continental drift compared to the potential of intellectual evolution, and I don’t mean the simplistic animal husbandry, that is reproduction control. I mean telescopic evolution. I mean transhumanism and paradise engineering. In one of the great paradoxes of truth upon which all of reality seems built, intelligence has no value evolutionarily speaking except in so far as it allows for the escape from evolution by the invention and integration of technology.
http://www.hedweb.com/huxley/ If you only read one external link I give you, read that one. And please don’t be one of those people that reads there first sentence and thinks it’s the book.
“It’s a lot more difficult to confuse and just flat out con people if they are all pretty close to each other intellectually; well to the right of the bell curve.”
Intelligence is a trade off. Being good at one thing usually means being bad at something else. Intelligence itself doesn’t mean immunity from manipulation. On the one hand critical thinking requires effort and training regardless of intellect and on the other no matter how well trained or brilliant you are, you are still just a system and any system can be subverted.
“So in short, I’m saying that I think we need to ensure that more intelligent people reproduce, less intelligent people either adapt…”
The third option, which you, having invested in the traditional approach may over look and or actively reject, is to take erosion in hand and move towards sculpture. To give people the ultimate freedom. The freedom to be whatever is possible and desirable.
This will occur one way or the other.
“In fact I’m almost convinced that our species has already passed the point of guaranteeing it’s survival”
If the craft of evolution continues barreling into the future without a pilot, yes. But that was always true, all species face the same ultimatum, adapt or die.
“the system is too broken to repair, too corrupt, just too far gone.”
Indeed, which is why the game must be changed, or …disrupted.
And the only meaningful change possible is to obviate the needs the company was built to address. The point of life can no longer be business as usual. We can no longer live just to breed just to live. We are not mayflies. It’s time we acted it.
I have a busy day ahead but I will respond as time permits, I did want to briefly explain that my classist statements were really more lazy than ignorant as I was generalizing to save time. Also I should perhaps equate less intelligence to more accurately describe those who are under-educated and fully assimilated into their social programming (admittedly many wealthy people fit into this group as well) I did a poor job of explaining that wealthy does not equal intelligent, rather that those who are both vs those who are neither is the contrast I was looking for. Certainly wealthy fools are one catastrophe or black swan event away from being poor fools;)
I’ll try to avoid over-generalization and lazy explanations in my reply later:)
I hope you don’t mind multiple responses as it’s all I’ll have time for at the moment, I would like to sit down and address each point in one sitting, it’s just not possible right now.
I read the jobs and grand compromise posting and we definitely agree on what the problem is, no doubt there. (very well described by the way). However in your solution I cannot see the motivation for many people to do work of any sort if they are receiving a monthly check as a part of profit sharing. If I am receiving enough money to live in relative luxury, why would I want to work? Assuming that all of the menial labor positions are going to be filled by various levels of AI androids, my point about needing much better education for the people who were filling those menial unskilled labor positions is even more valid, they cannot go from being janitors and fast food workers to scientists, researchers and programmers without an extensive increase in their knowledge. If not working at all is not an option then we essentially have replaced the current system with an even more socialist or even communistic type. Even the wealthy with the cap limit of $500M lose incentive to work further after reaching that threshold. And where would the motivation to gain knowledge arise from?
How much would this monthly check amount to? Even at a fairly luxurious $500k per year we would still have two distinct classes and the same problems that we have now. People with less envy those with more, common human trait.
And what of the third world countries? Do we leave them to catch up on their own knowing that they will eventually arrive where we currently are? Risking a reinfection of our newly minted society? Or do we force feed them our plan for a Utopian future?
One simplistic example of the difficulty of such a system; one cannot own and operate their own private jet for an appreciable length of time on $500M net worth (also consider all of the other luxury items the truly wealthy like to indulge in; cars, yachts, mansions) and who would want to be the pilot (taxi driver) for those people even if the cost of such decadent luxury were drastically reduced? No pilots you say? Fair enough, but at the rate we are going with job elimination I’d like to see how we will employ the ever expanding populace, especially if androids can repair everything that we make, including themselves…perhaps even us! Too many chiefs and not enough Indians comes to mind. I’m wondering if you have ever calculated the raw numbers; amount of jobs lost, increased lifespan, increased reproduction (more time on our hands), and the ratio of newly created jobs to the aforementioned expected population figure?
I also disagree that the disruptive technologies will not be controlled and manipulated by the Company. These new inventions will be marketed to the masses and keep us all going back to our cubicles so that we accumulate enough tokens to exchange for these marvelous gadgets and aspire to live more like our wealthy oppressors. The financial resources needed to develop these technologies are quite large and who has the finances to back these inventions? The same few at the top of the societal food chain. It is a vicious circle, so complex and ingrained that resistance is almost futile. But resist we must, on that we agree undoubtedly.
I think in retrospect it will be more productive for me to concentrate on your first question in your reply; what single point do we most disagree on?
I think that you have underestimated the inherent greed and need for immediate gratification that pervades modern society. Your ideas make sense if and only if everyone else shares your work ethic and morals. People will always want what someone else has without working for it. I too have pondered an idealistic society where we are free from the shackles of the current slave labor system. How do we get everyone on board with a plan for the betterment of society as a whole without forcing them? If we force them then we still have those few in power dictating how people will live their lives.
Racism and prejudice are and always have been widespread and rampant; we fear that which we do not understand, therefore we must endeavor to understand and accept different ideas. Institutionalized religion alone is enough to inhibit substantial change, we are intolerant of one another’s religious preference, let alone politics, work ethics, morals, etc.
This is why I have come to the conclusion that only through better education, and I’m not just talking about knowledge at the current college level, but rather redefining what we learn and how we learn it from the earliest age can we progress as a society; we must change the mindset before we can change the system satisfactorily, and this will take multiple generations to accomplish in my estimation.
Just to clarify one thing from my initial reply; by citing revolution and starting all over again, I did not mean via nuclear holocaust, only that we’d install a new government which would be not much different from the last.
“I hope you don’t mind multiple responses as it’s all I’ll have time for at the moment, I would like to sit down and address each point in one sitting, it’s just not possible right now.”
Not at all man, take your time, this isn’t homework
“If I am receiving enough money to live in relative luxury, why would I want to work?”
Put simply because you’d be in a monumentally better mood and helping out would be second nature. And if it isn’t to you, then fine, veg out. This notion that everyone without exception must find a slot in the big machine makes my skin crawl.
Our ancestors didn’t build a world for us to be slaves or cogs in. Of course those screaming loudest and longest about the various flavors of work ethic are the very people who don’t do any of it thanks to accident of birth or sheer ruthlessness.
“they cannot go from being janitors and fast food workers to scientists, researchers and programmers”
Setting aside the notion that intelligent people don’t take real jobs on occasion. (I was a janitor briefly, and a lawn guy before that.)
Imagine what a childhood would be like in this future. Growing up around these things they’ll pick them up. Didn’t you take stuff apart as a kid? Imagine if the toaster could answer questions and help you while you’re taking it apart. A kid like me would be an electronic engineer by 15. Hell if I had had the Internet that might have happened anyway.
But the simplest answer is they won’t have to. The goal should be an entirely voluntary society. Our culture goes on and on about a volunteer army and then makes everything else damn near compulsory. We will only tolerate that for so long.
If people want to sit it out, then fine. Let them live off the baseline. I consider it interest payments to their dead ancestors for surviving humanity’s infancy.
You should check out the notion of a negative income tax. Or social credit.
“Even the wealthy with the cap limit of $500M lose incentive to work further after reaching that threshold. And where would the motivation to gain knowledge arise from?”
Don’t take this the wrong way but I’m guessing you’re not really passionate about anything are you.
We would do things because that’s what we are. When a child looks up into the sky and wonders why it’s blue, is he trying to earn a paycheck?
Is money really your entire goal?
“People with less envy those with more, common human trait.”
So now we understand innate human traits lol. So envy is built in but curiosity has to be bought?
That envy is muted when the bottom tier is upper middle class. Are you sick with rage when someone has a nicer whatever than you? That’s not why I hate the rich. I don’t even want a luxury car. It’s about the human suffering that must occur to keep them there. If we can make a system that doesn’t require millions to be poor so one can be rich, then suddenly rich people stop being a problem.
“And what of the third world countries?”
We open the border and send boats. If they like what they see we give them a robot programmed to make more robots and a first class jet ticket home. Or if they don’t want any part of it we leave them alone.
Diplomacy is simple when you don’t need anything from anyone. Me and my neighbor get along great for that reason.
“Too many chiefs and not enough Indians comes to mind. “
Only if you’re trying to build a pyramid. Say it with me “Mutually supportive non-competitive grouping.”
The trapping of wealth and the desire for them are largely neurosis that happen to be economically adaptive. I think healthy happy people don’t feel the need to live like that, but if they want too, fine. The technology will be there.
“(the population concern)”
I thought you had seen Idiocracy. People with enough tend not to breed as fast. Do you know why most people breed? Globally I mean. The tops reasons are, 1. Sex is fun, 2. Children are free labor and retirement.
That’s part of why they are obsessed with male babies in China, not because they hate women, but because females aren’t legally required to take care of their aging parents, while males are. In a society with no real safety nets, that kind of mercenary thinking is required to survive.
Ever look into why Japan’s birthrate came down? Because they got their shit together and they aren’t feeding their horny teenagers bullshit like promise rings and abstinence. They also don’t shriek like a Victorian schoolmarm at the thought of sex, like we do. So they end up taking care of their urges like rational adults take care of eating or sleeping.
Love hotels for the win. Also, with a robot that fucks exactly like Angelina Jolie as a sexual partner the desire to go to bars and get drunk looking for a chick desperate enough to sleep with you will suddenly lose importance.
Just imagine a society where none of the births are accidental. Where every child is wanted.
Population will take care of itself.
“These new inventions will be marketed to the masses”
Who will use them in ways that will be entirely unanticipated. You think The DARPA guys saw Google and Facebook coming?
Re-read what I wrote in my former reply about economies of scale.
“It is a vicious circle, so complex and ingrained that resistance is almost futile.”
Actually, fortunately, that’s not true. It costs them about 200 billion a year on public relations money alone to keep the populace from burning the corporations to the ground. Think of that, it costs them 44 aircraft carriers per year, just to keep us from eating them.
“I think that you have underestimated the inherent greed and need for immediate gratification that pervades modern society”
On the contrary, I’m counting on it. If they weren’t pathologically greedy, we would be in deep shit. Again, economies of scale. Imagine if you had told the elites in the 50s the damage the Internet would do to them. Would that have prevented the dot com boom? No, because there was just too much bloody money to be made, and precisely because they want it all now now now, they are going to ignore the long game danger even if they are warned. Even if it’s right in their face they’ll only see profit and power and like a rat to the lethal peanut butter will stick their heads in and die with happy thoughts. That’s why I don’t mind publishing this shit. If I thought for a second they would wise up, if they were even capable of it, there would be no blog, nor even a need for one. That’s not how psychopathy works. You can’t reason with a pit viper. You can’t debate a forklift. They are greed machines.
There’s no going back. The principal I base my conclusions on has worked time and again throughout history. Our own glorious immunity to learning from the past is ironically the very thing that makes all this possible.
If these people had my patience or restraint they might be able to do something, but then again, if they had those things they wouldn’t be an enemy.
It’s like, setting a pit trap. It only works if your enemy comes to try and kill you.
“Your ideas make sense if and only if everyone else shares your work ethic and morals.”
Again, not remotely. I’m counting on diversity. If everyone was like me the future would be fucked because I have no interest in hordes of things humanity needs to explore. For this to work I need billions of people all with radically different interests, levels of ability, and outlooks.
“People will always want what someone else has without working for it.”
Setting aside the assumption that humanity is monolithic and unchanging. So what if they do? You can only play with so many toys at one time. The problem here is one of vision. Quit trying to come up with a social truism that defeats the assertion. It doesn’t exist.
The mind is notoriously bad at thinking at this scale. I’m gifted, or cursed. I propose an experiment.
I’ll start a thread in my forum, we’ll have a little role playing game. You play yourself, only you died in a car wreck and by some clerical mix up they froze you. And once you were frozen your family said hey why not.
And you get thawed out in my future. You tell me what you would do, where you would go, what you would say and I’ll paint a picture for you of the world as I think it will be. <He never did this.>
“How do we get everyone on board with a plan for the betterment of society as a whole without forcing them? “
The same way you get people to show up when you scream out your window “Free money!”
Rational self interest.
It’s already happening. This essay is just about speeding up the process. But sooner or later, it will happen.
“we fear that which we do not understand”
Could you build a microwave from scratch? Assuming not, does the thing terrify you?
No. Complacency is infinitely stronger than fear of the unknown.
It’s all about a different model of the world.
“Institutionalized religion alone is enough to inhibit substantial change”
They lost that war when they let the printing press happen, and why? Greed.
Their product only works on the sick and the fearful, or children. Once we make cures and safety a reality for everyone, the need for such things will diminish.
Indeed its already ending. Go talk to the neo-atheists about the correlations between religion and social progress. Where are the witch burnings and stoning happening? In downtown Europe? Midtown America? Or the third world deserts? The problem is water and food more than anything else. Also ask them about the numbers and how organized religion as a whole is hemorrhaging believers. Martin Luther began the end for them when he published on that church door. Look at what’s left? The Catholic murder machine that tells the people of that same desert that condoms cause AIDS while they play shell games with child rapists. The Westboro psychotics that protest funerals and think homosexuals are the Apocalypse. These degenerates can’t even handle the world as it is, much less how it will be. They are no threat. They are comically ineffective.
“we must change the mindset before we can change the system satisfactorily”
Assuming several key things never ever change yes that would be fair to say, but they do and they will.
Honestly I feel like I explained this above. You’re not challenging anything you’re simply restating your concern and not addressing my answers.
If you have faith in humanity being doomed, then it doesn’t matter, but if it’s logic that built your view then re read this document and find a logical or factual error.
Simply saying variants of “I disagree” doesn’t get us anywhere.
“by citing revolution and starting all over again, I did not mean via nuclear holocaust”
You said… “revolution is sure to be on tap in short order. And then we start all over again as you pointed out in your overview of the societal problems.”
“Start over again” means a catastrophic level of damage, other wise you’re just talking about civil war. In either case, we end up in the same place.
If we do get the flood 2.0 we’ll just get back here again eventually. Or we’ll be extinct. These things that I speak of are inevitable consequences of the nature of human nature.
So yeah, rpg, or weakest link. My under estimation of the effect of greed. Or did my answer satisfy you? I’m up for either approach, let me know.
“Not at all man, take your time, this isn’t homework :)”
No worries, I just did not want to give the impression that I was doing a drive by rebuttal, I feel obligated to answer well thought out and lengthy replies as soon as is possible:)
Let me preface any further replies with a little about myself in order to avoid some apparent confusion as to where I’m coming from.
I am not politically affiliated by any means but I’m closest to a Libertarian, free will and real justice are very important to me, and I am quite passionate about those things among others. Human rights are the the most important to me, no one in the universe should be able to dictate what anyone else does (as long as they are not infringing upon another’s rights and even then I am highly averse to law upon law to supposedly prevent violation of rights. Most laws are designed to punish, they often do little to prevent crime. I almost always side with the underdog (though I detest most professional sports and their fanaticism). I take very little at face value and need hard facts to be convinced of theories, unforeseen effects of changes to the status quo are of great interest to me. I’ve been told numerous times in my life by people from all walks of life that I should have been an attorney or a detective;)
Okay on to the subject;
“Put simply because you’d be in a monumentally better mood and helping out would be second nature. And if it isn’t to you, then fine, veg out. This notion that everyone without exception must find a slot in the big machine makes my skin crawl.”
No, you would be in a monumentally better mood and that would be your second nature, you are supposing that enough people would share your idealism. Human history as far back as we are aware proves that we are constantly drawn to attack each other, likely as a psychological defense mechanism dating back to our pre-historic beginnings.
Can you prove that enough members of this new social scheme would do as you suppose they would? This is merely opinion and not fact and has no scientific basis without supporting evidence such as a psychological study on a sufficient scale. To be fair my supposition that there would be many detractors is also unprovable, though it seems more logical to assume that humanity will follow the course it always has rather than make an abrupt about face.
I too abhor the notion that anyone must conform to anyone else’s ideals, thus my libertarian stance; do whatever you please as long as you don’t infringe upon my right to do likewise.
“Our ancestors didn’t build a world for us to be slaves in.”
Which ancestors are we talking about? Slavery dates back as far our records go, this country itself once embraced slavery! Entire civilizations were based on the cheap labor of slavery until quite recently, relative to the existence of societies.
“Setting aside the notion that intelligent people don’t take real jobs on occasion. (I was a janitor briefly, and a lawn guy before that.)
Imagine what a childhood would be like in this future. Growing up around these things they’ll pick them up. Didn’t you take stuff apart as a kid? Imagine if the toaster could answer questions and help you while you’re taking it apart. A kid like me would be an electronic engineer by 15. Hell if I had had the Internet that might have happened anyway.
But the simplest answer is they won’t have to. The goal should be an entirely voluntary society. Our culture goes on and on about a volunteer army and then makes everything else damn near compulsory. We will only tolerate that for so long.
If people want to sit it out, then fine. Let them live off the baseline. I consider it interest payments to their dead ancestors for surviving humanity’s infancy.”
Let’s be honest here, what percentage of menial labor positions would you say are filled by overqualified people? All jobs are real enough to me by the way;)
That’s your imagination of a childhood in this future, you have offered no proof that all children will aspire to be like-minded. I took many things apart as a kid and put them back together, I went on to become a proficient diagnostic auto technician for more than twenty years, with the aid of the internet/pc based diagnostic manuals and the like only becoming available to me in the last five or six years of that career.
I agree that I too could likely have been much more if I had the internet from childhood, however, I once had a young kid of about fifteen sent to me to employ as a favor to his mother by the owner of the company I managed. This kid could not even turn on a water hose nozzle, couldn’t figure out how it worked, couldn’t even cut the grass in a straight lines (left unmown streaks in between passes) let alone start the mower. He would stand in the shop like a dormant android awaiting instructions for the next task. Now this child was not mentally retarded or learning disabled or anything like that, and I’m sure he could maneuver around the internet very well on the likes of 4chan et al, and most likely wipe the floor with me in a game of Call of Duty. So what did the internet do for him? Have you spent much time with today’s youth that has never known life without the internet? It is truly scary, parents turn their kids loose on such a powerful medium mostly without oversight, allowing them to believe that most of what they read on the internet is true…the internet is raising our children and you know only too well the idiocy they are swallowing as fact.
An entirely voluntary society is idealistic but not sustainable, people will get tired of working and supporting those who choose not too, just as they do under the current welfare system, which is what you are in essence proposing on a much grander scale, people will not tolerate it for long.
“We would do things because that’s what we are. When a child looks up into the sky and wonders why it’s blue, is he trying to earn a paycheck? Is money really your entire goal?”
No, the child is taught, nay programmed to attend a state run school (unless of course his or her parents can afford private tuition or are fortunate and skilled enough to home school) become indoctrinated into the system, search for employment and spend the best years of his or her life toiling away for ink laden paper. The innocence of childhood is short lived and soon replaced by the sad realization that their dreams may never be realized. Of course you will likely respond that your plan will eliminate this process as money would not be an issue. I submit that inflation would derail this plan; let’s say that everyone has at least $100k in liquid assets, that amount becomes valueless and buys much less, just look at the prices for basic goods in post WW I Germany for an example. I don’t see how we could implement your ideas with a fiat currency, it would have to be a currency that has a finite supply where more of it could never be manufactured.
Money figures prominently in your plan of wealth redistribution, it is the entire basis for your plan, it is the motivation for the masses to become free in your estimation. It most certainly is not my entire goal, it is the way the world works unfortunately. I am addressing the importance of money to society, not myself. Your question here and about whether or not I am passionate about anything seem precariously close to ad hominem territory, perhaps in frustration to the way I have presented my argument and if that is the case I apologize for not communicating my thoughts clearly enough. You did say not to take it the wrong way, though surely you know that is often the preface to a remark most would find insulting.
To be perfectly clear my rebuttals are not from a personal level of what I like or dislike, they are my opinions on how society in general will react to your proposed plan. If I were speaking purely in terms of what I would do or want, I would not endorse any type of fiat currency, it has amused me for the longest time that we trade pieces of paper for hard goods and services.
Okay back to topic
“So Now we understand innate human traits lol. So envy is built in but curiosity has to be bought?
That envy is muted when the bottom tier is upper middle class, are you sick with rage when someone has a nicer whatever than you? That’s not why I hate the rich. I don’t even want a luxury car. It’s about the human suffering that must occur to keep them there. If we can make a system that doesn’t require millions to be poor so one can be rich, then suddenly rich people stop being a problem.”
I do not hate the rich, I hate the control that some of those wealthy individuals exert over the lives of the classes beneath them and the way in which they are able to escape justice quite often. I’m never jealous of what anyone has, I may admire it but jealousy is a wasted emotion. But again this is not about me. I’ve known many people in the upper middle class that envy the upper class, perhaps they aren’t as vocal as those on the poverty line but they still become envious of people that work less, play more, don’t pay taxes and live that lifestyle.
Are you not buying curiosity with your redistribution of wealth? In order to encourage innovation and free will and thought you are in favor of paying them off first, no?
“We open the border and send boats. If they like what they see we give them a robot programmed to make more robots and a first class jet ticket home. Or if they don’t want any part of it we leave them alone.
Diplomacy is simple when you don’t need anything from anyone. Me and my neighbor get along great for that reason. :)”
This approach is somewhat similar to the Christian missionaries bringing God to Godless people. What gives us the right to expose them to our culture at all? Once they become aware we have changed their course forever, whether or not they choose to accept. What happens when some villagers leave and some want no part of it? We have inadvertently taken away a very valuable resource…their labor force and the knowledge and wisdom that went with them. And you did not answer my question of what happens when they become advanced to our current stage, begin to explore and reintroduce through co-existence their ideology into ours?
Do we close our borders once they have rejected our offer, punishing their ancestors for their choices? Who has the right to establish borders and claim land to begin with? If we are to be truly free there should be no borders anywhere on earth. We should be free to settle anywhere there is vacant land (there is obviously the problem of limiting land hording by entities, etc but that’s getting into my own personal thoughts on what a truly free world is)
Diplomacy is rarely simple, and somebody always wants something that belongs to someone else. War is as inevitable as envy, very much related I’m sure.
“Only if you’re trying to build a pyramid. Say it with me “Mutually supportive non-competitive grouping.”
The trapping of wealth and the desire for them are largely neurosis that happen to be economically adaptive. I think healthy happy people don’t feel the need to live like that, but if they want too, fine. The technology will be there.”
The human race has consistently proven that it is incapable of non-competitive grouping, competition has always been a driving force, whether it be for natural resources or otherwise. Why are you so sure that humanity will shrug off thousands of years of evolutionary habit due to this wealth redistribution? Sports are a perfect example of our constant need to prove that we are better than the next guy. I understand that you and certainly others will, but I am far from convinced that the majority will share your enthusiasm to live harmoniously.
“I thought you had seen Idiocracy. People with enough tend not to breed as fast. Do you know why most people breed? Globally I mean. The tops reasons are, 1. Sex is fun, 2. Children are free labor and retirement.
That’s part of why they are obsessed with male babies in china, not because they hate women, but because females aren’t legally required to take care of their aging parents, while males are. In a society with no real safety nets, that kind of mercenary thinking is required to survive.
Ever look into why Japan’s birthrate came down? Because they got their shit together and they aren’t feeding their horny teenagers bullshit like promise rings and abstinence. They also don’t shriek like a Victorian schoolmarm at the thought of sex, like we do. And so they end up taking care of their urges like rational adults take care of eating or sleeping.
Love hotels for the win. Also, with a robot that fucks exactly like Angelina Jolie as a sexual partner the desire to go to bars and get drunk looking for a chick desperate enough to sleep with you will suddenly lose importance.
Just imagine a society where none of the births are accidental. Where every child is wanted.”
Exactly; sex is fun and without any financial restraints we would likely see a sharp spike in the population in what is already an overcrowded planet. Again I ask if you’ve actually crunched the numbers to support your plan? What is the expected total population? How many people could we employ? How many would choose to be employed? How many are actually employable? Consider the total number of the underage, scholars, sick, elderly and those who would rather just enjoy living to their standard of not working. Then explain how much GDP the voluntary workforce would have to produce to support not only themselves but the aforementioned group as well. More than 60% of this country is currently dependent on some degree of government aid and it is unsustainable, as I suspect your plan would also be if you looked at some hard data with verifiable and realistic figures for the actual workforce.
You’ve also seemingly replaced love with sexual gratification, how happy are the women going to be in this new society? Having to compete with a perfect sex slave to attract a mate or live with the fact that their partner does not need them for sex? The sexbots would do for relationships what porn has already done. Now don’t be quick to label me as a prude or traditionalist (nothing could be further from the truth), I am merely telling you how women will feel about this and how they already feel about porn. We are more logical and they are more emotional, in general. In our minds we can love the woman whilst satisfying our urges through other means. A woman’s mind (in love) does not work like that.
Besides that point, I think it’s more likely that we will be using virtual environments with a device such as the Orgasmatron (don’t laugh, it’s real as far as I can tell, originally developed for back pain relief in women and found to have the side effect of giving mind blowing orgasms). Why even bother with the physical act when we can skip right to the finale on demand over and over again? After all sex is a mental act with a physical transport mechanism. Now at this point I might make some incorrect assumptions about your own experiences with love and relationships based on your views about sex and attracting a mate but that feels too invasive and ad hominem-like;)
Indeed, perhaps a society like Gattaca where we can genetically engineer our children to perfection? Individuality be damned, lol.
“Again, not remotely. I’m counting on diversity. If everyone was like me the future is fucked because I have no interest in hordes of things humanity needs to explore. For this to work I need billions of people all with radically different interests levels of ability and outlooks.”
Which is precisely why you will never get billions of people to collaborate on such a grand scheme; they all have their own ideas on how things should be done. Which keeps bringing me full circle to the need to change the mindset of our generations to come from the moment of birth. You need to accomplish what the Company has already done; convince the vast majority that your way is the natural order of things. In order to do that you’ll have to compete with the indoctrinated immediate gratification already in place, no small task for even the greatest minds and orators.
“Setting aside the assumption that humanity is monolithic and unchanging. So what if they do? You can only play with so many toys at one time. The problem here is one of vision. Quit trying to come up with a social truism that defeats the assertion.”
You previously stated that you are counting on the enemy not changing their greedy ways and here you contradict your self.
Indeed we can only play with so many toys at one time, but since when has that stopped the uber-wealthy from collecting more than they could ever hope to play with? Will there still be products for sale in this new society? Marketing companies aimed at promoting consumerism to keep us buying shit that we don’t need? If so then the people living on the basic salary will definitely want the same toys as Mr. $500M.
Quit trying to illustrate time proven human nature to disprove your theory? I’m not sure I understand this statement, are you saying that using human nature is excluded as a counter to what you expect people to do? If so then the debate is essentially over if there are limits to the evidence I can introduce. If you can disprove my ‘social truisms’ with something more substantial than just your say so, then of course you have every right to ask that I no longer use that evidence.
“The mind is notoriously bad at thinking at this scale. I’m gifted, or cursed. I propose an experiment.”
I have no problem with the scale, in my opinion you do not grasp the magnitude and side -effects to your socialist plan.
“I’ll start a thread in my forum, we’ll have a little role playing game. You play yourself, only you died in a car wreck and by some clerical mix up they froze you. And once you were frozen your family said hey why not.
And you get thawed out in my future. You tell me what you would do, where you would go, what you would say and I’ll paint a picture for you of the world as I think it will be.”
As I stated a little earlier here, this is not about me. I admire your vision, I really do, but I spend a LOT of time observing people, their behaviors and motivations, my responses to your plan are based on what I believe the majority of people will do, not what I would do. Just as you believe they will react in the way that you have described. And that is really where our main difference in opinion lays I think; how people will behave under your plan.
In the interests of satisfying your curiosity only; I would travel the world, gaining knowledge of things I’ve thus far only read or heard about. I’d wake up everyday with no set plan (much as I do now) and let my mind wander where it will. I do not now and never again will be constrained by anyone else’s schedule, other than my family’s needs. I would advocate for people’s rights if there was even a need in this new society, but only when and where I see fit and feel like it. What would I say? Well I’d either say “holy shit he was right!” or “I knew it!” :p
Lest you think I’m lazy or unmotivated, I work quite a bit, but not for money and only at my discretion. I’ve managed to carve out a small slice of free will for myself, as much as is possible under the current regime anyway:)
“The same way you get people to show up when you scream out your window “Free money!”
Rational self interest.”
Only it isn’t free is it? Some one has to work in order to create and in turn earn the money. A bit like a pyramid scheme in some respects. Or are you suggesting that our entire GDP can be run autonomously via droids and AI? That’s not a comforting thought at all and highly doubtful that billions of people would share your apparent lack of concern for such a system.
“It’s already happening. This post is just about speeding up the process. But sooner or later, it will happen.”
I don’t see any significant evidence of it, in fact I see the opposite; our country becomes more apathetic every day. Sure there are a few voices of sanity in the ocean of lunacy, but they are marginalized and drowned out for the most part. You yourself expressed incredulity in your blog entry “why bother” at the lack of replies positive or negative to your essays. Now scale it up to a global level; not enough interested people to make more than a ripple in the Atlantic Ocean.
“Could you build a microwave from scratch? Assuming not, does the thing terrify you?”
This is apples and oranges and you know it I’m sure. And a poor example, I know how a microwave works, I don’t need to be able to build it from scratch to understand it, much like I don’t need to know which DNA strands make African people have different features from myself to understand that they are still equally human. But yes, if I had access to the manufacturing equipment I don’t see why I couldn’t build one from scratch.
How does the average American view other cultures that are different than our own? The hatred of Muslims because of the actions of a few? The media uses fear everyday, if I remember correctly you stated this yourself in the news article. What is racism and prejudice but fear of that which they do not comprehend? For if they knew the truth there would be nothing to fear and hate.
“No. Complacency is infinitely stronger than fear of the unknown.”
I’m not arguing which of those two is stronger, complacency is dangerous to the likes of people like us, those that suffer from it are oblivious.
“They lost that war when they let the printing press happen, and why? Greed.
Their product only works on the sick and the fearful, or children. Once we make cures and safety reality for everyone, the need for such things will diminish.”
You’re forgetting about their need to believe there is a reason for their existence, there’s a reason God allowed that earthquake, flood, hurricane, etc, etc, a reason why their two year old fell down the stairs and broke her neck, drowned in the pool, was abducted, molested, murdered, or can technology stop mother nature and prevent crime?
“Indeed its already ending. go talk to the neo-atheists about the correlations between religion and social progress. Also ask them about the numbers and how organized religion as a whole is hemorrhaging believers. Martin Luther began the end for them when he published on that church door.”
Somebody should tell them then because down here in the bible belt business is a boomin’ every Sunday, even in the middle of a recession. Even the Scientologists are cruising right along. I’ll give you that Catholicism in particular has taken quite a public relations hit, but the Muslims are stepping right in to fill that void. They are permeating western culture at a rapid rate and once the wars are concluded and terrorism wanes this group will establish a foothold in the lobbying business just as strong if not stronger than the Christians. Atheism is on the rise, but it is but a single cell organism next to established religion and the power that they possess. I am an Atheist, so I obviously I concur on social progress. But hey man, when it states “In God we Trust” on our currency, you know we’re screwed.
“Honestly I feel like I explained this above. You’re not challenging anything you’re simply restating your concern and not addressing my answers. If you have faith in humanity being doomed, then it doesn’t matter, but if it’s logic that built your view then re read this document and find a logical or factual error. Simply saying variants of “I disagree” doesn’t get us anywhere.”
I feel much the same with your answers; you’re not providing any concrete facts or data, it’s all predicated on your say so, perhaps we’ve reached an impasse? I need numbers, projections, a business plan. You’re already accounting for technologies that do not even exist, assuming that they will because you think they will. Perhaps some will and some won’t, what is the time frame? Will the country or western world survive long enough to allow these technologies to emerge? How do we implement your plan before AI and self manufacturing droids? How can we? “You said… “revolution is sure to be on tap in short order. And then we start all over again as you pointed out in your overview of the societal problems.” “Start over again” means a catastrophic level of damage, other wise you’re just talking about civil war. In either case, we end up in the same place. Start over again means what I intended it to mean, I can understand your initial misinterpretation but once I have clarified what I meant…”If we do get the flood 2.0 we’ll just get back here again eventually. Or we’ll be extinct. These things that I speak of are inevitable consequences of the nature of human nature.” Absolutely; we will repeat the process over and over again ad nauseum because we just don’t learn, greed will always be present even in your version of Utopia. So yeah, rpg, or weakest link. My under estimation of the effect of greed. Or did my answer satisfy you? I’m up for either approach, let me know. Well, obviously I’m not convinced as there are no facts to confirm the viability of your plan. I’m not sure that we can proceed much further though as you feel you have answered with what should be more than apparent proof to me and I fail to see any. Since this is your plan the burden falls to you to prove with calculations typically expected in any financial business plan. I offered the psychology of people as another factor for you to consider in your plan since I could not challenge your numbers as there are none:)
“I am not politically affiliated by any means but I’m closest to a Libertarian”
People call me libertarian but I don’t call myself anything.
“free will and real justice are very important to me”
Too bad neither exist.
“Human rights are the most important to me”
“Most laws are designed to punish, they often do little to prevent crime.”
“I take very little at face value and need hard facts to be convinced of theories, unforeseen effects of changes to the status quo are of great interest to me.”
Do you think you are immune to cognitive fallacies such as confirmation bias?
If so, why are you conflating theory and hypothesis?
“I’ve been told numerous times in my life by people from all walks of life that I should have been an attorney or a detective ;)”
Ditto, only just lawyer, no one ever told me to be a detective. My therapist thinks I should be a college professor. I think he just wants my ideas safely isolated from the real world heh.
“No, you would be in a monumentally better mood and that would be your second nature, you are supposing that enough people would share your idealism. “
Ad Hominem (And without insult no less, very rare.) I am not projecting. Nor am I requiring others to be like me. Maslow’s hierarchy and other basic truths make it clear that a human with provisions is simply a better human.
“…in the main it will be found that a power over a man’s support is a power over his will. If it were necessary to confirm so plain a truth by facts, examples would not be wanting…” ~Alexander Hamilton
Technology will give people authority over their own support. The powers that be have no choice, and moreover even if they did they would do it anyway out of greed. A self sufficient slave is a cheap slave.
“Human history as far back as we are aware proves that we are constantly drawn to attack each other”
Confirmation bias. Sure a look at history yields tons of examples of conflict. But there are orders of magnitude more incidences of people cooperating. Indeed, if people were simply conflict machines organized culture wouldn’t exist. Culture is our number one technology, and it depends on cooperation being in greater supply than conflict in order to exist.
For every one guy that got pushed down the steps 400,000 trips were uneventful.
You’re not remembering critically.
“Can you prove that enough members of this new social scheme would do as you suppose they would? “
I can’t prove what hasn’t occurred. Rephrase your question without vague terminology.
“This is merely opinion and not fact and has no scientific basis without supporting evidence such as a psychological study on a sufficient scale.”
What would the subject of the study be? Be specific. If my position is “merely” opinion, then I can equally disregard yours about mine.
My position is based on mountains of evidence. What factual claim have I made that is in error? Simply saying I’m wrong gets us no where.
On a personal note, I’ve given up trying not to repeat myself. But I must say I’m extremely disappointed in his lip service you pay to critical thought and your inability to retain a basic response.
About 80% of this reply I’ve dealt with already, but I get so few responses, I might as well do a few laps.
“to assume that humanity will follow the course it always has rather than make an abrupt about face”
Straw man and false dichotomy. Again, my position is built on human nature remaining what it is. Are you familiar with any of the singularity material? Accelerating returns, and all that?
“Slavery dates back as far our records go”
It exists today as well, what do you call prisoner work projects? Slavery in America was uniquely horrifying. Slavery in prior eras was basically serfdom, and that was basically what everyone lived as. You forget that another common thing in history is people selling themselves into slavery.
Regardless of all that the existence of slavery does not refute the fact that parents typically want a better life for their children than they had. What healthy parent wouldn’t want the equivalent of independent wealth for their children? Why manufacture poverty when we can innovate it out of existence?
“Let’s be honest here, what percentage of menial labor positions would you say are filled by overqualified people?”
All of them.
“All jobs are real enough to me by the way;)”
My hairy ass. Are you seriously going to tell me a fortune 500 bail out bonus CEO works as hard as a career waitress? Please. Not to mention all the people that live off of interest or property rights.
“you have offered no proof that all children will aspire to be like-minded”
Straw man. I don’t require all of them to be. You are making it out as if saying all humans consume oxygen is an over generalization or needlessly homogenizing. There are many things people have in common that aren’t subject to personal preference and variation. Humans have a general human nature.
“I once had a young kid (blah blah blah)”
You have the balls to give me an anecdote like five paragraphs after telling me I need a large scale psych study?
“which is what you are in essence proposing on a much grander scale”
Not even remotely.
“I don’t see how we could implement your ideas with a fiat currency, it would have to be a currency that has a finite supply where more of it could never be manufactured.”
Bitcoin or an equivalent. Until such time as currency itself digital (as something like 90% of it is already) or otherwise becomes obsolete.
“Money figures prominently in your plan of wealth redistribution, it is the entire basis for your plan, it is the motivation for the masses to become free in your estimation. “
I see now that I’m responding to a debate you’re having with yourself because what I’ve said has no part of what you are responding to.
“I am addressing the importance of money to society, not myself.”
I’m not going to argue with you about what is or isn’t in your head anymore.
“Your question here and about whether or not I am passionate about anything seem precariously close to ad hominem territory”
You’re the one that insists money is “society’s” only motivation. I guess I wrote all those short stories I didn’t even publish for money, I guess all those Lego models I built I did for money, I guess my sculpture is for money, I guess every time I helped someone out just because I could, it was for money.
You need to get some artist friends, or something. Seriously man, you are blind to passion and the bulk of human nature if you think money is the motivation for everything.
“To be perfectly clear my rebuttals are not from a personal level of what I like or dislike”
As we say in Kentucky, horse shit.
“they are my opinions on how society in general will react to your proposed plan”
As filtered through one of the most Fordian and cynical lenses I have ever had the misfortune of encountering.
“If I were speaking purely in terms of what I would do or want, I would not endorse any type of fiat currency, it has amused me for the longest time that we trade pieces of paper for hard goods and services.”
As opposed to pieces of metal or bits of electricity? Fiat currency would be fine if it didn’t grant inordinate power to those who issue it.
“Are you not buying curiosity with your redistribution of wealth?”
I’m not even talking about redistribution of wealth primarily. I’m talking about obviating it.
“In order to encourage innovation and free will and thought you are in favor of paying them off first, no?”
No. I’m saying the drives these people respond to will lead to a type of society where they are obsolete. They have two choices, stop being as they are, which they can’t, or keep doing what they’re doing and face the consequences.
“This approach is somewhat similar to the Christian missionaries bringing God to Godless people. “
Not remotely. I’m talking about handing them something they need, not something I think they should have purpose built to manipulate them, and they are perfectly willing to come home with me, or tell me to piss off.
My delivery would come with no philosophical price tag of any sort beyond the standard social contract.
“What gives us the right to expose them to our culture at all?”
Wow, xenophobic much? If I see someone in pain and I have the means to fix it, it is not a cultural imposition to offer the solution free of charge with no obligation.
“Once they become aware we have changed their course forever, whether or not they choose to accept.”
So what? Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you.
“What happens when some villagers leave and some want no part of it?”
They leave, or they try to convince the others to ask us to leave, or they attack us or they attack those that disagree. Like always. I’m not going to get bogged down trying to please everyone.
“We have inadvertently taken away a very valuable resource…their labor force and the knowledge and wisdom that went with them.”
That happens every day already. It’s called death.
Frankly if I’m right, those that would reject the offering are culturally doomed anyway. It’s like the Native Americans, or the ancient Chinese. Their failure to innovate doomed their respective cultures, yes they had the right to make that decision but it had consequences. I didn’t invent evolution, take it up with the manufacturer.
Fortunately for these hypothetical third worlders I’m bringing technology instead of small pox.
“And you did not answer my question of what happens when they become advanced to our current stage, begin to explore and reintroduce through co-existence their ideology into ours?”
That’s not what you asked, but ok. We converse and learn from each other. Culture will adapt in the service of humanity. Diversity is strength.
“Do we close our borders once they have rejected our offer”
I already said they could come home with us. A mature culture isn’t afraid of ideological opposition. If ted the Luddite wants to come back and preach the evils of technology to my future people, they would have the debate with him, if he starts an anti-technology movement that succeeds then fine, that means the culture in question failed.
And it would face its death with dignity, or again, show an even bigger failing. But probably before that happens we’d just leave. Either into space or the ocean, maybe under ground, hell maybe the sky. Technology grants options Luddites deny themselves.
“Diplomacy is rarely simple, and somebody always wants something that belongs to someone else. War is as inevitable as envy, very much related I’m sure.”
As I said it’s simple when you don’t need anything. War is not remotely about envy. That is a simplistic self serving explanation. War is about mutually exclusive demands. Two cultures based on reality would have none. It’s like a reasonable French, English, Chinese, and Iranian person all in the same room. Because they are reasonable, everything will be fine.
The winning culture will spread itself by example. Because people do what works. That’s why fire was such a big hit.
“The human race has consistently proven that it is incapable of non-competitive grouping”
Humans as we know them are only 50,000 years old. We haven’t done anything consistently. We’re too young. But even ignoring your impatience, I can again point to several static cultures that would have lasted until heat death had not other cultures or the environment created problems.
The problem is forming a grouping that can span the globe. We only had intercontinental communication for a little over a hundred years. Shit man, give it time.
We don’t even have cheap reliable on the fly translation yet. Foreign people are effectively aliens in many ways. Communication and travel will change that.
“Why are you so sure that humanity will shrug off thousands of years of evolutionary habit due to this wealth redistribution?”
1. I’m not talking about wealth redistribution. 2. Our habits will inexorably lead to the production and distribution of disruptive technologies. They are as inevitable as the cellphone.
“Sports are a perfect example of our constant need to prove that we are better than the next guy. “
They are also a perfect example of how people with their needs met from all walks of life can find enjoyable expression in a common interest if given the choice.
Sports are in a way a counter example to our warlike nature in a way because they show that we can create a relatively harmless output for our baser desires. My assertion is that as technology makes more such outlets practical humanity will reap the according benefits.
“Exactly; sex is fun and without any financial restraints we would likely see a sharp spike in the population in what is already an overcrowded planet.”
Birth control? Sex bots? Virtual reality? After we’ve slain disease, and mastered our genetic code it will be a dirt simple matter to render ourselves sterile till we decide to breed.
So many of these things you think of as universal human truths are basically just consequences of our biological ignorance. That shit won’t last much longer man.
“Again I ask if you’ve actually crunched the numbers to support your plan? “
My “plan” is just to help spread disruptive technologies and let humanity do what it does best, cover its ass and try to be healthy and happy.
Your questions are meaningless in the context of disruptive technologies.
“You’ve also seemingly replaced love with sexual gratification, how happy are the women going to be in this new society?”
Thrilled beyond description. A world without rape alone is probably enough to get a third of them on board.
“Having to compete with a perfect sex slave to attract a mate or live with the fact that their partner does not need them for sex?”
And I’m the one confusing sex and love?
Your argument has been faced time and again from porn to masturbation to makeup to short skirts.
Also you ignore the existence of want. Are you saying that you’d dump the loves of your life if perfect sex bots were around and cheap? Please. Love can survive the mechanized version of a tissue. If yours can’t that’s your problem.
“I am merely telling you how women will feel about this and how they already feel about porn.”
And you are wrong.
“A woman’s mind (in love) does not work like that.”
Wow. Generalize much? I think you need to explore a more representative sample.
“Why even bother with the physical act when we can skip right to the finale on demand over and over again? “
For the same reason people wouldn’t do heroin just because it’s legal if it were ever legalized. I can go get some heroin right now. I know exactly who to call and what to say. But I don’t. Why? Because I know how my brain works. I understand long-term potentiation. I wouldn’t wreck my brain chemistry like that. Or waste the money.
If others would, well, so be it. It’s their brain and their choice.
Besides there is way more to sex than the orgasm.
“Indeed, perhaps a society like Gattaca where we can genetically engineer our children to perfection? Individuality be damned, lol.”
Dystopian cautionary tales often overlook huge glaring logical flaws. I won’t be bogged down in a “here’s why Gattaca is fiction” debate.
http://www.hedweb.com/huxley/ Read this. Seriously.
“Which is precisely why you will never get billions of people to collaborate on such a grand scheme”
Like I can’t get them to collaborate on drinking water and seeking comfortable environments? You keep injecting this top down pyramidal fantasy onto my world view. I am not talking about global conquest.
“convince the vast majority that your way is the natural order of things”
They already are. The company has to spend 200 billion a year and climbing, not to mention radically control every possible information stream just to tread cultural water.
To quote another dystopian film since you dragged them in.
“If we can succeed in disrupting the supply for even one day — one day– our cause will be won by human nature itself.” ~Equilibrium
“You previously stated that you are counting on the enemy not changing their greedy ways and here you contradict your self.”
There is no contradiction. You’re not understanding. How can I put it more simply? Imagine a car heading toward a cliff. All it need do to avoid the cliff is turn.
To say that the car will radically change (explode on impact) as a result of it’s inability to change (direction) is not a contradiction.
Similarly, the greed of our owners has caused them to create a situation from which they cannot escape, which will lead to the formation of a culture that obviates their advantage.
“Will there still be products for sale in this new society?”
You tell me. We haven’t even been debating my vision. But assuming this is the first time you don’t assume you completely understand my position, I’ll answer.
Simple answer, no, not like what we have today. Read the update on manufacturing.
Mainly what would change hands are blueprints of a sort.
“Quit trying to illustrate time proven human nature to disprove your theory? I’m not sure I understand this statement,”
1. You clearly don’t even know what my hypothesis is. 2. That’s not what I told you to stop doing. 3. I’m sure you don’t, it doesn’t make any sense especially since I didn’t say it.
I’m happy to repeat myself but not when it would be a literal cut and paste.
“are you saying that using human nature is excluded as a counter to what you expect people to do?”
1. No. 2. Human nature is my ally not my enemy.
“If so then the debate is essentially over if there are limits to the evidence I can introduce. “
Spare me the grand standing, as I explained in the other post, no one is likely to read this but you and me.
“I have no problem with the scale, in my opinion you do not grasp the magnitude and side -effects to your socialist plan.”
1. Clearly you do if you’re talking about money and products in a future with a completely different materials economy. 2. “My plan” isn’t socialist. 3. I’m well aware of the scales involved.
“As I stated a little earlier here, this is not about me.”
It doesn’t have to be about you. The point of the role play would not be to convince you but to give you some idea of what you are arguing against. (something you don’t seem to have just now)
“Some one has to work in order to create and in turn earn the money.”
For now, maybe. There is a strong argument to be made the a society devoid of compulsory labor would find alternate ways of getting along. People don’t tolerate boredom well, it may well be possible right this second to design a culture which exploits that without being task masters about it.
“Or are you suggesting that our entire GDP can be run autonomously via droids and AI?”
Can? Yes. Would? No. Interested humans would run it. Kinda like they do now, only the system wouldn’t be built on human suffering like Vigo’s Castle of Pain
“That’s not a comforting thought at all and highly doubtful that billions of people would share your apparent lack of concern for such a system.”
1. See above. 2. Even if, are you kidding me? What percentage of humans even know what fractional reserve banking even is? Now, what percentage are effected by that ignorance? Please. The economy could be run by cabbages and people wouldn’t notice or care so long as the milk makes it to the fridge.
“I don’t see any significant evidence of it, in fact I see the opposite; our country becomes more apathetic every day. Sure there are a few voices of sanity in the ocean of lunacy, but they are marginalized and drowned out for the most part. You yourself expressed incredulity in your blog entry “why bother” at the lack of replies positive or negative to your essays. Now scale it up to a global level; not enough interested people to make more than a ripple in the Atlantic Ocean.”
That’s the beauty of a disruptive technology. The apathetic people are by definition not a threat. Why do you think the company engineers apathy so enthusiastically?
It only takes one to start the fire. Somewhere out there someone had a eureka moment, and if they fail to realize it someone else will.
Besides, apathy is mainly an illusion, even the most disinterested people will leave the house once it’s on fire. Or to pick up their lottery winnings.
But if they don’t that’s cool too, they can live as they please so long as it doesn’t ruin anyone else.
“But yes, if I had access to the manufacturing equipment I don’t see why I couldn’t build one from scratch.”
That’s not from scratch lol. I mean from scratch, nothing. You in the woods naked. Now come out with a microwave.
No, you can’t because no one can. Because no one has to. It’s called distributed processing.
“complacency is dangerous to the likes of people like us”
With respect, you are not like me.
“can technology stop mother nature and prevent crime?”
Non sequitur. I’m not going to get into a religious debate with you.
If you think religion is on the rise, fine, whatever. It’s irrelevant anyway. I don’t see the Amish taking in record numbers.
In any case technology can predict weather and obviate crime.
The debate on your plan between us is over past this particular reply, and I’ll tell you why I’m leaving the debate;
Your reply twists my meanings, takes some out of context and engages in semantics. You have the gall to accuse me of ad hominem tactics while you freely engage in them and most frustratingly of all, you cherry pick which statements you wish to address while ignoring repeated questions, one of which is very central to your plan; where is the data to show its viability? Imagine yourself the President of the US, you’re in charge (no semantics on who is really in charge please) it’s budget time, are you going to send a package (your plan) to congress that states a salary cap and base salary for all citizens with no plan of HOW you intend to do this, with supporting data, you know, numbers? You just essentially keep saying “it’ll happen, disruptive tech will take care of it”You are right about one thing; we are not alike. Although I had meant that we both recognize the system in place, but once again you decide to make it personal. You can take the time to reply to an innocent comment such as this but avoid the tough questions with either double talk or fact-less assertions. I had expected more from you, but your latest reply shows that you cannot debate without emotion. You may be intelligent, but you are ineffective at communicating your ideas and holding your audience. You’ve succeeded in convincing yourself that you can’t possibly be wrong, but apparently no-one else.
Try interacting with life instead of intellectualizing every aspect of it.
No need to respond unless you must; our positions are already well stated.
Good day sir.
Heh, funny how I’m suddenly one of the plebs now that we disagree. It’s good to know your assessment of intelligence is limited to “people who think like I do.”
I guess that makes you the smartest human on earth.
“Your reply twists my meanings, takes some out of context and engages in semantics.”
Yet you can’t mange to explicitly show where any of these things occurred. I get this a lot. Variations on “It’s so easy to show how wrong you are, yet I’m not going to.”
Which basically is the adult version of “I can magic any time I like I just choose not too.”
Clearly you understood what I said, it shattered your classist, cynical, libertarian, Horatio Alger mythology, and your response is (predictably) Ad Hominem. By the way, those are not insults, they are descriptors. I can cite each label with statements you have made demonstrating the descriptor applies to your ideology.
I don’t care if you personally eat live puppies for breakfast while wearing your replica SS uniform, that has no impact on you being wrong or right about any given statement.
In any case, thank you for providing ultra commonplace counterpoint for me to exhaustively refute.
It’s good to know my position is still relatively unassailable from a factual or logical perspective. Though as always I could be falling victim to confirmation bias though I try sincerely not to be and I’ve made it easy for anyone to call me out on it.
“You have the gall to accuse me of ad hominem tactics while you freely engage in them”
You clearly don’t know what the term means. Ad Hominem means “to the man” it references a deflection tactic where by an opponent who is unable to attack a given idea on its own merit, say on logical or factual grounds, instead attacks its delivery mechanism’s merit hoping the audience will conflate the two. It would be a bit like saying the Darwin’s theory of evolution is wrong because the cover of the book sucked, or because he happened to be a terrible dancer. (I’m not saying Darwin was a terrible dancer, how would I know? heh)
When I call you a cynic, that is not what I am doing. I don’t use my statements about you, negative as you may feel they are, in lieu of an objective attack on your position, but in addition to one (or more). Every statement you made I refuted either in my most recent comment or in prior writings. My assertions about your character are purely supplementary.
I share them not to belittle you into silence, but to express a hypothesis about why you would hold a given flawed position or make a given error in logic, in the hopes that it will further support my objective objections.
But you do not answer those objections, instead simply repeat yourself. If I responded in kind it would be a cut and paste war for 50 pages and I won’t do it. I’m confident future readers will see what you have missed.
“you cherry pick which statements you wish to address while ignoring repeated questions”
No, as I explained, I simply refuse to repeat myself ad nauseum. You’re the one that ignored responses and statements. For example, you actually asked me about products when the original post explains that desktop manufacturing and SynBio will obviate manufacturing of consumer goods and beyond.
What good would it do to paste you answers to questions already answered again, when you ignored them the first time?
I responded to every point you made (some more than once), at some point in the previous reply or above. If you wish to real time chat me I’m happy to paste you answers over and over, but I’m not going to waste comment space on it. Mainly because I suspect you heard them the first time and simply don’t like them, and cognitive dissonance is taking root.
It seems you’re asking yourself “why struggle defending my doomed point when I can just ignore the refutation and repeat my objection?”
“where is the data to show its viability”
You ask me to show numbers yet you can’t manage to point out a single factual statement I have made that would be confirmed or refuted by them.
Be specific, what claim have I made that you want numbers for? You haven’t even accurately stated what you mean by “your plan.” (Much less accurately demonstrated an understanding of my world view.) How can I give you numerical answers when I don’t even know the question?
My plan in the context of this essay is to support and disseminate these disruptive technologies. That is the only action I am advocating. They rest is a justification of that position. This plan you think I have exists only in your mind.
Simply crying “show me numbers” without explaining what numbers you want is intellectual ink in the water to cover your retreat.
“(your plan) to congress that states a salary cap and base salary for all citizens with no plan of HOW you intend to do this, with supporting data, you know, numbers?”
As I said before, non sequitur. I’m not suggesting a salary cap in this essay. What I would do with presidential authority or the economy is not remotely the topic of this debate. Though I do have a whole category of economics posts if you would like to explore them.
Why don’t I have a plan? Because I have no faith in our governmental system. I would never be president, and if I were I wouldn’t bother sending a package to congress because I know it would be summarily rejected on the basis of it failing to make rich people richer or put more people in jail.
Democracy is a farce when coupled with an irresponsible (thanks Murdoch) corporate owned media. The public can’t make intelligent policy decisions if they are given distorted information. So no I don’t have a plan. I’m not what The Joker would call a schemer.
But to be clear, off topic or not, I am in favor of a negative income tax, but I have never debated this explicitly so my position is tentative as I am only lightly trained in economics from a formal perspective and my informal interests are not this specific.
The controversy of this idea has been debated exhaustively. How to phase it in and phase the old system out are matters thoroughly discussed and rich with supporting data, that are again, outside the topic of this essay. Which is why your cry is a non sequitur.
“but avoid the tough questions with either double talk or fact-less assertions”
You refuse to ask pointed questions or make pointed objections at all.
You can’t ask entirely subjective questions and then lament the lack of objective answers, and still retain your intellectual integrity.
I stand behind my responses.
“You may be intelligent, but you are ineffective at communicating your ideas and holding your audience.”
I’m sorry the future of humanity is boring for you. I’ll try to make sure Michael Bay directs the movie so it will keep you focused on breasts and explosions. I grow very weary of entertainment value arguments.
One of my very first posts was on this very subject is one of my most angry rants. I’ve calmed down a bit in the six years since it was originally written.
“Try interacting with life instead of intellectualizing every aspect of it.”
I should write a specific essay to address this gem as well, maybe I did somewhere, I can’t remember. I’ve responded to it in numerous places. But I just can’t be bothered right now.
I remember explaining somewhere else.
Setting aside the fact that complaints of this stripe are little more than attempts to paint me personally as a loser and thus Ad Hominem.
Also setting aside that such a demand is entirely subjective and meaningless, since even if I spend my whole life in a single room I’m still “interacting with life.” The only way I could not interact with life is to have never existed, since even as a corpse I’d be bacteria food.
I go a step further and explain the concept of representative sample and population study problems.
The fact is a person can know more about a culture from a room with a mail box than they ever could being in it.
What you really mean is attend your church of culture. Live like you do. So that hopefully I’ll come to think as you do given your absurdly limited dataset. What you are in effect asking of me is that I radically narrow my focus so that I’ll hopefully acquire your prejudices and misconceptions.
I’ll pass thanks.
You and many like you fail to understand that I’ve already been there. I’m in advance of the position you are suggesting I advance to. But of course, we’ve already established that in your mind intelligence equals parity with your worldview, thus anyone who is further ahead will appear as dim to you as someone light years behind.
“You’ve succeeded in convincing yourself that you can’t possibly be wrong, but apparently no-one else. “
Being open to being wrong doesn’t mean unquestioningly accepting opposing viewpoint.
If I’m so wrong it should be easy to find a provable flaw, a weakest link, and ruthlessly pounce on it. You have not done so, not even close. Not even attempted.
If you want to pretend your inability to do so is somehow my fault so you can give up in comfort, so be it.
I thank you for your attempt and the content I generated as a result of it.
P.S. To everyone else, feel free to take up the mantle if you see a problem. If you can find a hole in my logic I damn sure want to know about it.
If something I’ve asserted needs citation, ask for it, if I’ve based an assertion on bad information, tell me. Burden of proof rules apply as always. Be specific.
And if you’ve read to this point, thank you very much for your patience.
The only realistic long term answer. The game must be changed and it simply can’t be changed as yet without demanding unrealistic sacrifice utterly dependent on simultaneous action. Like say everyone all at once striking. That would never happen because if we had that kind of unity we wouldn’t need government in the first place to manage common good problems and settle disputes.
99% of so called political solutions assume a level of persuasion that simply isn’t possible. Like rifles, if votes and protests solved problems we would be out of problems by now.
Now, by all means, if you feel the need to speak out peacefully, do it. But it might also help to face the fact that this alone will accomplish no qualitative change.
All social movements ostensibly borne on the shoulders of protest are actually just tipping points created by technological change impacting economics along demographic lines.
Example: The cotton gin forced slavery to last as long as it did in the United States, not southern racism.
Example: The industrial revolution virtually ending monarchy in the west as a real form of government.
Hypothetical Example: Arab spring was most likely the result of communications technology reaching a certain price point allowing sufficient market penetration to allow an already disenfranchised populace to organize in real time.
Technology is as it always has been the true agent of social change.
The fact is the absence of choice improves happiness thanks to cognitive dissonance making it easier to change attitudes than actions, and post purchase rationalization and other biases making us justify previous choices, thus, the fact over looked by all “end is nigh” armchair revolutionaries predicting the imminent revolt which they of course do not intent to start, is that the worse things get the less likely we are to revolt because we’re happier and because we’re more easily misdirected under conditions of suffering and stress.
It’s called impact bias, and virtually every protestor evaluating political futures is afflicted by it.
It’s also radically ethnocentric since obviously all of us believe there are people in other countries who are far more oppressed, and yet we make excuses for why they will never revolt while we are only moments away from one. As if they are cowards, and we are not, they are helpless, we are not, they are ignorant, we are not. None of that is of course true. They are just used to it, happy with it, finding excuses to do nothing, setting the limits further out. My dad calls it “frogging” in reference to slow change being tolerable to the point of death.
Each of us have a line in our heads that when crossed by those in power would cause us to revolt, what most of us fail to realize is that this line moves in direct response to the level of oppression we suffer. That kind of thinking was selected for by early cultures to preserve social cohesion, and critically, those that were not successful at breeding this into their populations were annihilated by adjacent populations or were so isolated that their actions from a global perspective didn’t matter.
So few would be rebels understand the nature of rebellion. Aaron nailed it, people by and large “can’t tell the difference between civil disobedience, anarchy and street theater.”
Protest doesn’t harm the system, it reaffirms it, especially when it is exceptionally temporary. (That’s why Occupy is different.) All the suits must do is point to the protests and say “See, the system is working, they have their say.” It’s like in The Life of David Gale (tt0289992), a last minute save doesn’t hurt the death penalty it helps it, because it proves the system works.
In terms of recent history I have merely to point at the Bush years for my proof that Americans will never revolt on principal alone. Revolt is only possible when entire swathes of lower class life plans become completely, lethally, impossible. (Dust bowl.) Short of the food supply drying up all at once, nothing will trigger open revolt because basically each individual says to themselves, “well it could be worse” or “when everyone else picks up a rifle, I will.” Classic common good problem. No one wants to be at the front of the mob.
You absolutely can keep making life worse and expect them to take it sitting down, in fact they are more likely to fight to protect it if properly motivated.
Go read A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and look at the kind of draconian crap Americans will accept and have accepted. Look at Quang Duc to see what the prepared human mind is capable of tolerating in silence.
I’m telling you, history tells you, the only thing that changes things is technology or nature. Ice ages or integrated circuits. Nothing more.
Simply ask yourself what actions must they take before you personally will risk your life, your property, your family, and pick up a rifle, and once picked up, who exactly do you think you can shoot that will actually change things?
If I snapped my fingers right now and all of the enemy died, they would be instantly replaced because they are merely opportunists, systemic symptoms. If revolt improved governments, Africa would not be an AIDS riddled warzone in quite so many places.
Again, I’m telling you. Technology is the only viable solution. The game must be changed.
Your choices are not your own.