A World Without Work
The inevitable and presumed goal of civilization has been one without sweat, labor, toil, or effort. A utopian world where consumption is unlimited, but the labor required to produce consumable items unnecessary. Economists and the economics profession itself has long aimed to manage the factors of production in the most efficient way possible to bring about the "most efficient" version of this utopia current day technologies allowed. And this utopian dream is so tempting, one could argue the largest part of our modern day economy is lying to people by promising it to them...as long as you borrow egregious sums at usurious rates of interest.
But for whatever technological hurdles and sociological stumbles we as humans make towards this ideal world of unlimited resources, we have made incredible progress. Diseases have been cured. Life expectancies trebled. Our environments have been tamed and controlled so we're cool in summer and warm in winter. Flight, telecommunications, the internet. It's an improvement a million times better than when our ancestors' primary problem was finding food or not becoming food themselves. One could argue we're already here.
Still, people have to labor somewhat, and while life is on "easy mode" it's certainly not on "god mode" just yet. And so we will inexorably move towards that PERFECT utopia where AI and the slave robots it commands does ALL the labor for us, producing EVERYTHING we could possibly want, making everything effectively free and the dredges of society like Ilhan Omar as "productive" and rich as the Bill Gateses of the world.
But have you ever taken the time to think about a world without work? Have you wondered what humans would do with themselves 10 hours a day neither commuting nor laboring? Shoot, if the robots are producing everything, why even bother going to school? Why bother becoming literate? Why bother even learning to wipe your ass because the "ass wiping robot" will do it for you? Without labor or problems, from womb to tomb every second of human life would have to be occupied with some form of leisurely pursuits, hobbies, fun, eating, video games, and work-avoidance. And while that may sound "fun" even "utopian," without labor, without professions, without the mandate to create the production that is required to support oneself and advance oneself, giving oneself value, humans would simply be left with mere hedonism and ultimately no real point or purpose in life.
You may not believe this at first, because a life of video games, unlimited sushi buffets, ice cream, and holodeck sex orgies with a score of redheaded Jennifer Anistons seems pretty hard to beat. But that is because you don't understand novelty. This is exemplified in the Twilight Zone episode "A Nice Place to Visit" where a gangster thug dies and is presumably sent to heaven. All of his worldly desires are met. He never loses at the casino. He can rob banks with nobody stopping him. And scores of beautiful women surround him. Though "heavenly," inevitably the novelty wears off. He tires of winning, tires of 100% success, tires of life being so easy and actually looks for a challenge. Simply something different in life. He is then informed by his host (who is in actuality, the Devil) that he cannot have anything different, but 100% success and material wealth forever into eternity. This flooding of the gangster's after-life market with unlimited material goods, success, women, etc., ironically and tragically DESTROYS the novelty and thus value of ALL THINGS in the gangster's afterlife, at which point he realizes he is in fact in hell.
This hell is the same prospect facing those of you yearning and desiring for a BGI, student loan bailouts, and an "unlimited economic utopia." On paper Perfect AI and an army of slave robots may seem great. Until you realize it would relegate every human into a world of unlimited hedonism. A hedonism that would quickly lose its novelty, and thus value, and therefore take away any value, worth, purpose or point of human existence. Yes, you can have one more piece of sushi. Yes, you can have more sex and breed as much as you want. Yes, you can drive Ferraris like every one else. But without a purpose, without a profession, without a connection to the goods you produce from the labor you sacrifice, humans ultimately have no value in an AI world. You are merely "consumers" of materialism who produce nothing of value, nothing of creation, nothing of innovation. Matter of fact, the non-sentient robots and AI software have more value, purpose, and meaning than you as what do you do other than merely exist off of the AI system? In all honesty, most humans in a Perfect AI world might as well commit suicide, and leave the AI system for future, intrepid aliens to discover because most people would ultimately have no point or purpose in life. Besides, the boredom would ultimately drive most people to suicide anyway.
Alas, as we asymptotically approach this Perfect AI world, humans are going to have to find something that gives them value. And as increasing percentages of the economy have become automatic and streamlined, affording an increasing percent of the population an effective "Perfect AI World," many of us already have. But as you'll find out, most of these new "professions" are mere distractions with no actual production of value behind them. Merely masturbation for ultimately worthless humans to feel as if they're producing something today. And as far as my economist eye can tell me, there are going to be five general "labor" classes in the future AI economy (though I speculated on three earlier).
These will be the mandatory humans required to actually keep and maintain the AI system and army of slave robots programmed and operational. A lot of these people already exist in the form of doctors, engineers, programmers, and tradesmen, but no matter how advanced AI and robots get, you're going to need humans to do some work that simply can't be done by a robot. A medical decision. A diagnostic on an auto repair. Even an artistic choice when it comes to having the carpenter robots put siding on your house, humans are going to have to be present to at minimum tell/program the robots and AI what to do to meet changing demands in the economy, as well as maintain the AI infrastructure.
The "Maintainers" will be one of the only two classes that provides genuine value and economic production to society.
"The Sex Workers"
The other group of people who will provide actual, tangible value to society will be the "sex workers." Not so much in terms of actual sex or prostitution, but no matter how many future generations are raised digitally on their cell phones and how many armies of robots we build, human nature will still demand an actual human touch. Massages, pedicures, escorting, cuddling, rent-a-friend, rent-a-family, and yes, actual sex will become a commodity as it always has been.
But an interesting note is how much demand for sexual/human touch will increase if people don't have to work. If you thought the orgies of Senatorial Romans was epic, just wait till there's nothing left to do in life except eat, sleep, defecate and fornicate! An additional interesting note will be the economics of the supply of sex workers. Predominantly, men are the consumers of sex and women are the providers (though there are gigolos too). But in such a gluttonous time, how many women (or men) will actually be physically attractive enough to beget demand? If you want to go down the rabbit hole further, how would they be paid in that in this theoretical unlimited resource utopia? Currency would have no value (actually, it wouldn't exist). If today is any kind of glimpse into the future, substitute goods will likely take over in that most young men today waste years looking at porn online, more women have sex toys than they do husbands, and if the slave robots are that good, then perhaps real women will be off the hook with the advent of Stepford Wives. And what few truly attractive women remain, perhaps can sell used bath water.
If the proposition that sex work would be the only other form of valuable economic work, do not be offended. It's more of a testament to how "utopian" a world would be if we eliminated labor, as well as a testament to human nature. Nearly all forms of actual labor and work would be eliminated, leaving only the pursuit of pleasure on the table. And fun as video games, eating, playing sports, and racing motorcycles is, sex is pretty high up there in terms of human recreational activities. As long as the lights are on, food is unlimited, and we get our free F-16 fighter planes, the only other thing of value would be sex in this future economy.
With no real work to do many, if not all of us, would inevitably turn to some form of art as a means to create some kind of human expression or creativity. And it doesn't have to be "art" in the classical sense such as painting, sculpture, music, or theater, as much as it could be a hobby or an interest. This isn't bad as it's mentally healthy to pursue hobbies and art (both today and in the theoretical perfect future) and it might be the only thing many people can do. Plus, some people's pursuit of art might accidentally create some value for society.
But the problem with "The Artists" class of labor is one we already see too painfully today - it's flooded with truly talentless people.
Here the future is now as worthless human beings who have NO skill or talent whatsoever flood the creative world with their hideous works of "art." Be it minimalist or modern art museums, horrific noise masquerading as modern opera, equally horrific noise masquerading as top 50 pop chart music, puke-inducing fashion, Disney-remakes, or eye-raping architecture, today's "artistic" world is honeycombed with spoiled trust fund babies who simply didn't want to work, had enough parental money to avoid it, and now create the slop that is considered "art."
But if you thought art was bad now, just wait till NOBODY has to work. Everybody will become an artist. Everybody will become a podcaster. Everybody will become a fashion designer. Everybody will become an author. And as the market is flooded with more and more slop, the overall value of society's art and culture will go down. But worse, very much like it is today, true talent, skill, and artistic talent will not necessarily rise to the top. Today, the reason for this is the art world is the furthest thing from merocratic. Cousins to studio executives get rights to remake 1980's movies in Hollywood, not the future George Lucases. Rich people's worthless children have their art works displayed in museums said parents donate to. People with ins, not necessarily musical talent, get record contracts. etc. etc. But in the future, a lack of struggle, sacrifice, labor, and work will destroy anybody's sense of value, talent, or skill. They will not be able to tell the difference between Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and "Piss Christ." And since being a true artist takes sacrifice and hard work, nearly nobody in the world of the future will have worked up the skill to create something that is truly beautiful. Alas, the future will be awash with so much worthless art and so many worthless artists, it will only be the works of the past that will carry any true artistic value.
While you can say there's a chance an artist today or in the future might make something of genuine artistic and economic value, the same cannot be said of "The Masturbaters." I call them the "Masturbaters" because they merely go through the motions of production without actually producing anything of value. Like many of the aforementioned classes, proto-cousins of these future "Masturbaters" exist today in what are largely make-work, welfare jobs programs.
National park rangers
Assistant Reserve Vice Adjunct Provost Diversity Director
"Diversity and Inclusion" officers
We all know (themselves included) that NONE OF THEM are working a real jobs producing real or in demand things. Their employment is either political or truly a welfare program to create make-work for low-skilled, low-IQ, and/or high-laziness people that want to avoid math, STEM, science, or real disciplines that would require real work. And whereas mere welfare-bums are simply parasitic, taking their government money and running, today's "proto-masturbaters" are worse than that in that they not only need the money, but need their egos strokes as well. Ergo, the world bends over backwards to create entire industries of make-work jobs so they can all play "The Land of Make Believe," imagine they're "real working adults," when in reality they are simply egotistical parasites.
That's today. Can you imagine, when there is no need to actually have a real job or real profession, just what a high percentage of the population is going to want to work faux jobs in the Masturbation industry? I'd estimate damn well near half the population will continue to go to school to get some kind of worthless doctorate degree, perhaps coming up with a completely new "Super Doctorate Degree" all so they can go work for some made up non-profit with some self-declared cause or another when the truth is they should just go home, shoot up some heroin, have an orgy, play video games or just plain shoot themselves. Like most of their modern day welfare-jobs cousins, they will have no point or purpose in their career, and the only reason they bother would be to lie to themselves that in going through the motions they have value.
Take everything said about The Masturbaters, add ego and power-tripping to the formula, and you get fifth and final labor class - "The Nazis."
Again, like the previous four labor classes you can see the seedlings of the future "Nazis" today. SJW's, crusaders, activists, politicians - the true evil scum of the Earth who are not only too lazy to work a real job, but need to be in power and control. Truly evil people who view their right to an easy life at the expense of others more important than other people's freedom, and will come up with every possible lie, flawed philosophy, and tactic to get it. These vile people have always been with us and forever will. But in a perfect AI, unlimited resource economy, a nightmarish situation will open up.
Right now most people envy those who have more than them. It is the backbone of the democrat party (and all socialist parties in the world). It is what drives most poor and middle income people angry with jealousy and rage. And our main institutions reinforce, as well as capitalize on this envy be it the public schools, politicians, media, or even virtue signaling corporations. But this envy is primarily financial. Through democracy a significant amount of money has been transferred from the producers to the parasites, ameliorating some of this envy (though it will never be enough). However, in the theoretical utopian AI world of unlimited resources, all people would be infinitely rich and there would no longer be any money, income, or wealth to fight over. Again, parasites like Ilhan Omar will be just as rich as Bill Gates, and so the need for political movements of envy masquerading as "wealth redistribution" or "justice" movements will end.
Or will it?
Because you have to understand that for the future "Nazis" it was never necessarily about money as much as it was supremacy. They simply cannot, and will not abide being inferior in ANY way, be it financial or any other metric and here is where the nightmare begins.
While a Perfect AI economy will solve all financial problems, that's all it will solve. And there are nearly an unlimited number of other variables humans will be envious, jealous, and ultimately fight over.
Every possible variable in humans' lives where somebody will be "better off" than another will be targeted by these (literal) Nazis. And like their modern day SJW, politician, activist counterparts, instead of just enjoying the free internet, free food, and gubmint checks, they're going to focus on the rat bastard who;
has a hotter wife
who hits the gym
who diets right
who can run longer
who can paint better
who sings better
who can play the guitar better
or is just plain liked more by other people
And when you realize just how invasive and total their intrusion into your personal life will become, you can see the nightmare.
Are you in shape, diet and work out?
Well screw you, "big is beautiful."
Do you have long hair, keep in shape, and attract quality good looking men?
Well screw you, we're getting tattoos, piercings, shaving our heads and dying our hair blue.
Are you really good at painting, composing, or sculpting?
Well screw you, we're going to give the scholarship to the disadvantaged non-talented person.
Do you have a club for boys that does fun stuff the girls' club doesn't?
Well screw you, we're going to invade your club and accuse you of sexism if you don't!
And are you talking to a woman with the intent of having sex?
Well screw you, we're going to report you to security and make you take sexual deviancy training!
EVERY, and I do mean EVERY aspect of your non-financial life will be interrogated and "redistributed" or at least "regulated" by these future Nazis simply because they have nothing better to do.
But...wait....that's already happening now isn't it?
Today is the Future
As per my previous missives on AI and the future economy, I like to point out how much we're "already here." By all health and important economic measures there really is no wealth disparity. Sure, yes, the billionaires of today have millions times more than some, and yes, most rich people drive a nicer car than I do. But we're all living the same life style, eating the same food driving the same roads. Just ask Steve Jobs how much his billions improved his life above that of Joe America.
But the key thing here is to realize we already effectively do live in an AI economy where the dredges of society do have a BGI, do not have to work, and do not have to support themselves. We do have MILLIONS of "Masturbaters" employed in make work welfare jobs, the sole purpose of which is to protect their egos. We have professional, full time "Nazis" who think it's their right to lord over us and rule us while getting paid. We have millions of worthless, talentless children acting as artists, drowning us in their worthless crap, constantly asking for government grants. And we do have sex workers who provide sex services (though digitally more than ahem..."traditionally."). And supporting ALL OF THIS are the "Maintainers" which is the ever-dwindling number of men and women paying 50% of their salaries in Silicon Valley, commuting in our major metros, slaving away at the machines, or patching us up after attending 8 years of med school. We may not be there yet, but we might as well be.
The Value of a Human in an AI World
Though we will never attain a perfect, 100% AI world where EVERY need, want, and desire of ours is met, I argue we already are effectively there. And we don't need to wait for the perfect Skynet computer to program and dictate to the perfect slave robots to find out what value humans will have in an AI world. We already know what it is.
If human behavior today is any predictor of the future, once the AI dream is achieved humans might as well commit mass suicide because there would be no darn good reason to live. Not that there would be no point in life, but human behavior today indicates nobody would capitalize on it, merely just become robots themselves and consume, consume, consume. Yes, the "Maintainers" may want to stay on board to push the limits of science to unlock things like immortality or discovering god. And sure, if some of the "sex workers" want to maintain their physique and stick around to see what's going on, sure. Perhaps even some of you wouldn't mind a hermit life being an artist while your slave robot makes you espresso. You may make some good work. But damn near 90% of the human population would be nothing better than the fat, bloated gluttons portrayed in the movie "Wall-E." Engorging yourselves on food, laziness, sloth, envy politics, career masturbation, and the evil desire to rule and control other people's lives. And what's sad is that's what society is already today.
So enjoy your $2.00 64 ounce sodas.
Enjoy your student loan bailouts for your "Communications Degree."
Enjoy your rascal as you scurry your bloated ass around Wal-Mart.
And enjoy protesting the fact some people worked harder than you and are thus better than you.
You're not going to achieve anything.
You have no value.
You actually likely have negative value.
Whether there's AI or not, you're nothing special.
Enjoy the Decline.
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