February 29, 2016

In ten years, there will be no more jobs

Futurologists with their rosy utopian daydreams of where our world is headed constantly annoy me. Technotopia, Heaven on Earth, Democratic Destiny, it does not matter how they label it, if a person is predicting a perfect or near perfect golden future then they are lying. None of these promises is realistically possible because the human animal is naturally inclined to violence. If left to their own devices for too long, far too many of us turn to sadism as our favorite form of entertainment. One of the reasons I hate zombie movies and television shows is because it presupposes a small group of intelligent humans faced with massive numbers of mindless, violent enemies. The reality of all zombie entertainments is that if the world did evolve some kind of zombie infestation the zombies would die out all on their own inside a year, and possibly inside a month. At that point, the humans would turn on one another in the same way they have turned on one another for seven thousand years of recorded history. Far too many of us experience our greatest pleasure when directly inflicting pain on everyone around us.

The most important lesson we can learn from studying history is that under certain pressures everything we think we know about reality can completely reverse itself. Humanism burst forth as a preferred philosophy in response to a theocratic social order controlled from the shadows by an irredeemably corrupt Catholic Church. It was only after the Protestant Reformation forced the Catholic Church to purge itself of greed and political machination that the Catholic Church was able to become a genuine help to society that focused on caring for the poor, the orphan, the sick, and the elderly. Over the past century, the Catholic Church has once again begun sliding back into its old role of shadowy puppetmaster. It has become ever more focused on protecting its own corrupt priests while working to manipulate the political order into taking over more and more of its social responsibilities. Sensing the opportunity for power and influence, atheists, agnostics, politicians and pundits have all jumped onboard the social justice bandwagon. Government bureaucrats now seek to control our interpersonal communications, the quality of our foods, where we work, and how we play. Without even the pretense of spirituality to control them, they have become even more corrupt than the church. Now, thanks to the modern theologies of social justice and divine prosperity that have taken over the Protestant churches in just the past few decades, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Politics are all equally corrupt. Good people are few and far between in our modern world. Most have taken to living off the land in isolated small farm communities bordering federal lands with access to hunting and fishing. Not all, but most.

Into the midst of this corruption and malcontent has arisen a new technology that will very shortly render humans themselves obsolete and unnecessary. Robotics and computerization have spread like a zombie virus over the past three decades and now we stand on the threshold of a new era in which robots will serve in every occupation currently filled by people. There will be robot taxis, robot law enforcement, robot retailers, robot truck drivers, robot pilots, robot doctors, robot nurses, robot teachers, robots manufacturing robots, and even robot engineers designing new robots. I strongly doubt that we will see a robot revolution where the machines destroy their human overlords, but by the same token, we will not see a technotopia where robots serve our every whim and whimsy while the humans sip tropical drinks and admire the sunset. The richer someone is now, the richer that person will be ten years from now. New developments in genetic manipulation, 3D printed body parts, and flushing the body of the symptoms of aging are about to launch us into a world previously unimaginable. In ten years everyone who currently has access to wealth and resources will live for centuries doing absolutely nothing.

We are a single decade away from a world where the wealthy have perfect health while the poor cannot afford aspirin for a headache. Patent fees and royalties will keep the wealthy flush with cash generated by robotic workers while poor humans will struggle finding some way to acquire their daily food, clothe themselves, and provide shelter for their children. Do you understand the implications of this? We are literally one decade away from a utopian lifestyle for the wealthy and a dystopian lifestyle for everyone else!

Mayo Clinic News: Long-term benefits of "Senolytic Drugs"
The Atlantic: A World Without Work
Forbes: No Donor Required
Global Future 2045 Summit: Toward a New Strategy for Human Evolution
Minduploading.org: Realizing the Goal of Substrate Independent Minds