This will be in a highly unedited format. Please pardon the writing.
Paid to Be Good Citizens
The jobs are going, and they’re not coming back. Right now they’re going overseas, but the reality is that they’re going away permanently. Machines are taking them. Computers are taking them. Technology is taking them. Essentially, technology makes it so fewer people have to work, yet we continue making people. This is a problem.
People talk about welfare as if it’s the worst thing ever. And maybe it is, depending on the context you’re using. Giving money to people who could work, if they were properly incentivized, when jobs and education and opportunity exist, is clearly wrong. That’s not welfare–it’s a perverted type of slavery that does nothing but breed more of itself.
But there’s another kind that’s needed–the kind where there are no jobs. That’s the kind we’re moving towards. We’re moving, quite simply, towards a reality where people are simply paid to exist. If you are a good citizen you will do x, y, and z, and you won’t do a, b, or c. Good citizens get a house, a car, and television and internet. Bad citizens get less than that, in jail, with other bad citizens.
People who actually get paid to do something will be heralded. They’re called CONTs, for contribution. Everyone else is called TAKEs, because they just receive from the government. There will be many CONTs, but not nearly as many as the TAKEs. And many, many TAKEs will have been CONTs at some point in their lives–or they may be called upon to become one again.
It’s important to mention that this may have been what Marx was writing about when he was talking about distribution of wealth. This is not my idea; I got it from the PEL podcast I listen to. Basically, he argued that the industrial (see uber-tech) revolution would eliminate the need for people to work, and thus we’d have to pay people just to live. He was, it is argued, saying that there will come a time when technology will make something like communism a requirement. If this is what he was saying, I find it to be a fascinatingly prescient point of view.
Anyway, look around you. Those people without jobs. Those people with no skills. The ones having lots of kids. Yeah, they’re going to need money, and a place to stay, and a reason not to go on a murdering spree. We won’t be able to say they should get a job at Walmart because Walmart will have automated everything. Check out counters, stockers, etc.–all machines.
What will the TAKEs be buying? How will the markets work? I’m no expert here, but I’m guessing we’ll still be creating wealth by innovating through our CONTs. And the CONTs will be building better and better machines that will be innovating themselves and creating better and better experiences for others. So that’s still value. It’s still something that people will pay for.
Once we go to a world where we some subset of people who are CONTs, and the rest are TAKEs, we’re going to have a problem. We can’t just keep making more TAKEs, because we have resource problems. We also can’t keep creating CONTs because there aren’t enough jobs for them.
The obvious answer is to control how many people we have (roughly), so that we have the appropriate number of people for the amount of work we have and the resources we’re creating to be consumed. Ideally, even the TAKEs would be performing all sorts of services, e.g. taking care of children, being artists, being authors, philosophers, scientists, etc.–sort of like a market-based CONT. They’re paid to do nothing, but with the expectation that they’ll do something that has value enough for someone to pay for it.
But that’s just fiction at this point. People need to be incentivized, and right now too many people would do nothing or less if given the opportunity. The desire to create art and beauty and share it with the world often requires itself a solid upbringing, an education, talent, passion, etc., and lacking those things one is often prone to malaise or worse.
This being the case, we need to prepare to support a massive number of people who are doing essentially nothing.
Another thing that’ll have to change is the concept of population control itself. It can no longer be seen as evil, or mean, or elitist. To be sure, it absolutely can be all those things, when done improperly or for the wrong reasons. But it needs to be seen for what it is in a world of limited resources–logical and compassionate.
People who exist and suffer are…well…suffering. That’s bad. Less suffering is good. The way to do that in a world where we cannot infinitely create resources is to have less people capable of suffering. It’s rather simple, if you think about it.
Virtual Elimination of Country Lines
We will soon have nothing but a massive mix of races, nationalities, and cultures. Where we live will be mostly irrelevant. It will take a very long time for things to completely blend, and there will be occasional trends toward racial solidarity of various types, but this will lose out to the constant pressure of blending and mixing, both in collective populations and in reproduction.
This will come as a major shock to many older people in countries that have a lot of pride–especially places like Russia and the United States. As things continue to blend, and the generations cycle through, it’ll become quite normal. If you think about it, from the perspective of looking down at the planet, we’re just a bunch of people. The planet has no borders on it, and the planet will win this argument eventually.
This will become much like the Federation (hopefully), i.e. centralized government that’s efficient and stays out of the way. Of course, this requires that the people are advanced enough to see such a thing as positive. Clearly we’re not there yet, as these three paragraphs have already caused a few readers to hate me and everything I’m talking about our world becoming.
IQ and Compassion Drugs
As we become more and more advanced, one of the next big jumps in our capabilities as humans will come from being able to enhance ourselves. Let us say that there is a population of violent people some place, and lets say we think it’s because they are constantly angry and are cognitively limited. Well, what if we gave them all a 120 IQ overnight? And what if that same drug was able to limit their hostility and anger while amplifying their compassion for others?
Sounds unethical. It sets off my spider sense for bad mojo. Agreed. It also sounds supremely ethical, and like a way to save the lives of millions or billions. What would the world look like if everyone had at least a 120 IQ and an increased connection to their fellow human beings? I think it’d be remarkable.
Slight downside: any civilization capable of creating a deploying such a drug could also create bio weapons, which means we’ll never make it to this point.