Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Recreation Society

What required all the daily attention and effort of our ancestors will soon be conquered. By this I mean obligatory physical and mental labor needed for survival. Simply put, humans within two generations (by 2050, without question) will be able to continue living higher standards of life while not working.

The government will subsidize a large if not the entirety of the citizens' livelihood. Yes, the government will give you money to live in a society no longer capable of supporting the full labor force.

You will be able to play golf, eat, drink, and not really worry about money in general.  Pick up the piano, learn a new language or travel the world. All of this will be subsidized by our government (within reason); extravagance may not be a part of subsidized life, but all of the necessities to live a full and happy life will be provided to those unable to find a wage paying job.

In the past, throughout all of human history to this point, jobs destroyed by increases in the sophistication of machines, and information technology have been offset by new, higher skilled jobs, which in their adolescence were incapable of being filled by technology only; these new higher skilled jobs required human labor.

We as a country are still producing good jobs that in their novelty require human labor. However for the first time in humanity, rapidly advancing technology will replace all jobs faster than the best labor of our society can retrain to work at higher skilled jobs.

This is essentially a singularity. At some point in our lifetime, machines, robots, software, automatons, A. I., software, or just call it technology will replace effectively all jobs that require paid human labor.

Of course, there are jobs that for certain circumstances, are more likely to stick around a longer time. Legally, robots can't represent people in court, even if the robots could argue circles around a human attorney.

Commission based sales jobs are more likely to require human capital. It would be a cultural stretch for our generation to learn to negotiate big business deals talking to a computer.

However, robots will soon be able to do perhaps everything that humans can do, and better. This would allow those people with investment capital to continue to prosper, but those with no investment capital will no longer be able to trade their only asset, their labor capital for investment capital (in the form of wages), as there will be no demand for human labor.

Once robotics and computing are robust enough to provide goods and services to all people with no human labor requirements, humans may finally use this opportunity to better the species, the planet, and our future, rather than spend time in pursuit of material possessions.

Yes, we are progressing towards a Star Trek like society where money is useless. Imagine in 25 years if we are stealing intelligence from each other instead of money.

One thing is certain, our current society is not producing enough middle class income jobs to balance the decrease of middle class jobs lost to technology.

The transition from a capitalist economy to a recreational economy will not be easy, but it will be the only way to prevent a humanitarian social disaster when the human labor force is entirely replaced by artificial means.

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