Eventually even the hardcore transhumanists were bound to catch on that this current world isn’t that realistic when it comes to accrediting human beings with any inherent “value”. Of course for the while the old scarcicists keep singing the same tune “the economy the economy entitlements entitlements state debts state debts” – but that’ll help em jack shit when unemployment figures shoot over 30 and most of those are smart and angry people over 40.
* Q U O T E D A R T I C L E *
Last year I was on a business trip to London and couldn´t sleep.I went out for a walk about three in the morning and was surprised to find that some Supermarkets were open 24/7. I went inside to buy a few bits and pieces and saw that there was an Automated checkout system – you scan and weigh your goods and pay per credit card or cash without any human contact. I had never seen this before and was quite bemused by it – another technological advance that had passed me by. On my return to Germany I saw that IKEA are implementing this system and that almost all of the big Supermarket chains here are testing it. This got me to thinking about the work and social implications of the Singularity
It is only a matter of time before this technology sweeps across the Country, making many checkout cashiers obsolete. Is this the next big spike in the unemployment figures…all of these people who do this “simple” job will eventually be replaced by a machine. What alternatives are open to them?
Find a new job? – this may prove difficult as they may not have Qualifications and all the “Simple” jobs are diminishing pretty fast as they are being replaced by machines.
Retraining? – I can only speak for Germany – anyone over 40 years old will not be considered for retraining – the return on the investment is apparently not good enough.
So we have all of these people with no job prospects and no chance of retraining, probably living on State benefits and possibly vegetating their lives away.
A portion of them may have some talent or business idea that they can turn into a moneyspinner or at least earn enough to become independent of the Welfare State. Another Portion may drift off into Alchohol or Drug abuse to escape from their boring existence. Another portion may be happy with their lot.
Like Rats in an experiment we have become conditioned to the “Rat race” – We exchange our time in return for Money and are used to going out to work for eight hours per day, 5 days a week. This is the accepted norm to which everyone should aspire. Unfortunately this model is no longer current and will become even less of a viable option in the future.
So what are the alternatives?. I believe that the very Centre point of our lives will change…..Machines and technology will take over the running of many facets of our daily life and as there is no “Work” in the classic sense, people will turn to other pursuits to occupy their time – The Arts, Music, self education – indeed time itself will be measured differently – no longer 8 hours Work, 8 hours play and 8 hours sleep…instead a much more natural rhythm where activities are not dictated by a 12 or 24 Time system. If we cast a glance at some of the Tribal peoples, they don`t have clocks – they have a “Rhythm of life”.
I am in the fortunate position of being able to make a living from my talents. I am a Working Musician and I also do Sound and Graphic Design work too. My daily routine is dictated by my current mood and level of creativity – I work to the Beat of my own Drum. Sometimes I work deep into the night, sometimes days and nights without sleep and other times during the day (mostly in the Morning). I normally sleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon which I find is more refreshing than 8 hours straight at night.
I am Master of my own time – and that, I believe is an advantage that the coming singularity will bring us. The problem therein is that many people are not prepared for this – they are conditioned to what I call the 8/8/8 system and will have trouble adjusting. In being Master of my own time I have the freedom to pursue whatever takes my interest – be it another money spinning idea (I wish I had a couple more!), to widen my Network of friends, associates and potential business partners and to see how I can make my time work for me – that is the crux… my time works for me!
The Governments and Authorities of course have not and probably will not cater for this fundamental change in the work ethic – they have no answers and there is, I believe, very little energy and research devoted to this subject. What they do is to channel the people into social Welfare systems where there is, for many no perspective or alternative. The people who are forced to abide in these social welfare systems are not given much opportunity to “break out” and are in no way encouraged to do so. They are locked within the system and if they do not adhere to the rules, the State will Sanction them financially. They have no alternative, some may turn to crime and the potential for massive frustration is immense. The state knows this and has in the last few years been busy implementing the framework to control the Masses when the situation explodes into violence. (that’s another Story though)…
The state and the people themselves must begin to realize that in the future, there will not be enough “work” in the classic sense for an ever increasing population. Our whole system needs to be revamped to cater for the upcoming changes – unfortunately we hold onto old and outdated systems of Work, Education and finance and Block out everything that threatens these “proved and tested” ways of doing things.
These changes may well come earlier than we anticipate. Technology is starting to accelerate to a degree where we can no longer say with any conviction, what comes next. We have technologies that 10 years ago were not even thought of or envisioned – I believe that sooner rather than later we will have the “Event Horizon” where no one can say what lies beyond. This will probably be accompanied by the final crash of the financial system which will add to the chaos and the collapse of social structures as we know them.
The social implications of the Singularity are immense and could be very dangerous. The Checkout cashiers above are just one group that may become “Victims” of the Singularity. Warehouse workers are another… nowadays one person oversees a troop of Robots that do the work in the Warehouse. Everyday I see an increasing trend toward more technology, less personnel. Fast communication and Quantum technological leaps empower us to realize things that were, a few years ago, unimaginable.
We live in interesting times.
13 thoughts on “The Social implications – what will we do all day long?”
Somehow I’m missing the appeal to suggest a basic income guarantee to fix the societal problems that occur around unemployment. It might be worth mentioning that a lot of jobs are paid so badly that there’s virtually no incentive for receivers of welfare to take these jobs (btw: I tutor an exercise group for advanced mathematics and get a payment that would just be 20% higher than the minimum wage at best – if there was one in Germany; and I live in one of the wealthiest regions of Germany). And anyway, most of those jobs will be taken by non-human machines. I think it’s worth hammering in the thought that increasing automatization means a higher overall standard of life and the chance to increase freedom for all.
“Freedom” is still a word with a positive connotation and not yet as demonized as “terrorism”, so it’s very suitable for memetic campaigns 🙂
Don’t have the fundage to visit hun, sorry : /
Our program at Creating Change, “Blueprint for a Revolution,” will introduce a large community of LGBT activists to the approach we and Khannea think will enhance personal and, in time, community sexual freedom. As Sue Hyde (chief organizer for the Task Force) said, “It’s…it’s unprecedented!” We are there to bring sizzle to the topic and Khani will not disappoint. We want people to leave planning to do things to make a difference. You can see us on the web at venusplusx dot org.
Personally I don’t go in for either scaremongering or self fulling prophecies. I’m a succubus, I seduce.
I look at what we are doing NOW, and I apply it towards achieving our desires, our REAL desires, not the high minded ideals we claim to aspire too, not the xenophobic fears we mindlessly embrace, but the desires that every human has to GET LAID AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE WITH AS FEW CONSEQUENCES AS POSSIBLE.
Cybersex, cyborg sex dolls, VR Porn, Cosmetic enhancement, morphological freedom to engage in your kinkiest fetish fantasy, you name it. I show them, indirectly, with logic and reason, exactly how future technology is going to result in a world in which they will be able to get laid far more often than they do today. I don’t TELL them this is what I’m doing, I let them make the connections themselves, so that they can continue to pretend that sex is the last thing on their minds, while all the while, they are walking down a primrose path chasing my tail.
That’s about the gest of my presentation at Creating Change in Minneapolis in two weeks. Thanks 🙂
Wanna visit me there? You can fuck me if you like 🙂
A similar mechanism is that if you actually go and warn people enough for actual danger, they may at some point act to deal with those dangers.
Now tell me, which scenario is more likely – your magical evocation of utopia or my magical scaremongering?
And even then, have you in any way considered the long decades betwen now and Singularitarian newtopia? We need to keep the porch clean between now and then, love. Idealism is good, and you have debs on superidealism, but I do my think and try and survive doing my think – which is tell people, tittilate them with frightening stories of monsters and dragons, and maybe save a few between now and farfaraway.
There is nothing magical about positive thinking.
Positive thinking has positive benefits but your negativity can depress people, which decreases investment because people are less likely to rush to create a dsytopian hell hole. Your scaremongering could easily decrease investment because investors will see no market in mass extinction whereas popular support for utopia is a great business model which could create massive investment thus increasing the rate of progress.
You are very naughty and you need a good spanking.
I think if you apply one, maybe you can give me a more Utopian outlook. You know where to find me 🙂
Everything will be perfect. The Singularity is perfection. Post-Scarcity is coming therefore nobody will need to work and everything will be free. Flawless, absolutely flawless. Initially for a few decades I will probably relax in a nice cottage in a meadow near a picturesque stream with a gorgeous woodland area nearby. I will go for walks in the rolling green fields and I will cherish the extravagant orchids. I will commune with all creatures great and small. I shall probably have a highly intelligent leopard and lion as friends and I will create new wonderful animals to stimulate our minds; my pace of life will be very relaxed indeed. My bio-engineering will not be a rushed affair, I will simply potter and tinker, casually, to pass the time, akin to whittling a piece of wood. I think there is great scope for interesting creation regarding avian and rodent forms, perhaps with strange tentacles. I think I will rewrite my hair so that each strand of hair is a tentacle capable of doing all sorts of wonderful things. I will also raise at least few humans. After I’ve spent many decades relaxing in my pastoral wonderland I shall explore the universe in my spaceship.
No. More than half of Singularities will end up killing more than half of humanity. Omelette meet eggs.
But even if a Singularity would be great, it would still be decades away. If we have a nightmare of transitional pain between 2010 and a Singularity. If for instance we had a Singularity in 2046 we still have space for 2 world wars and a crisis between now and then. So – give me break and be a little less rosy colored ok? We can lose billions of people before we have a chance to save their ass.
It all depends which Self Fulfilling Prophecy is most popular:
“In sociology, a self-fulfilling prophecy is a positive feedback loop between beliefs and behavior: if enough people believe that something is true, their behavior makes it true, and observations of their behavior in turn increase belief. A classic example is a bank run.”
Reality conforms to your beliefs. I am confident enough people will believe in my vision of utopia.
Shhh people might think you are an alt of me!
You should read more of my posts on H+ Hun. I’ve been pointing this fact of life out for years.
All our old social systems are geared to “maintain the pecking order” and there is literally no means to continue these systems beyond a very few more years. There will be NO OPTION but for governments to begin making an ever increasing “welfare state” regardless of the desires of the conservatives who seek to disenfranchise those who they feel are “worthless” in their cozy little corporate paradise. They will have no choice once the lawyers and the doctors and the accountants are all replaced right alongside the store clerks and the fast food workers and the construction workers and they all of sudden find themselves no longer “elite”. All those “lower tier elites” will NOT be happy at finding themselves just as “expendable” as they feel everyone else is. You’re going to hear a LOT of about facing by the end of the decade.
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