Friday, August 31, 2012

Why Kids Prefer Cheese is my favorite libertarian-oriented, economics/politics blog

Stuff like this:

We are headed for a world where most production can be done efficiently without very many people. Either smart machines will do it by themselves, or communications technology will massively raise the scale at which that the best people can practice their trade.

In other words, we are headed for a new gilded age where owners of capital and labor market superstars will be producing a massive chunk of the economic pie. The exact percentage? Shall we say 90?
Our politicians are, as usual, fighting the last war. It's nuts to worry about getting manufacturing jobs back, because as a first approximation, there won't be any in 10-15 years.
I can think of two possible outcomes for the rest of us.
 One is that we are all on the dole, happily chewing qat or plugging into the Matrix of amazing alternate reality experiences available to us.
The other is that we form an army of personal service providers to the ultra rich. I specialize in fingernail care, you focus on toenails. Uncle Chester vacuums out bellybuttons, and so on.
Unless we get fully functional personal assistant robots who can pass the Turing test.
Then it's the Matrix for all of us non-elites.

People, how do you want to spend your time in a world where meaningful work is not really an option for most of us?

1 comment:

Andrew Groff said...

I'm not sure of the timing but this writer is spot on in extending our technological prowess into the future. The 800 lb PC in the room is that the human definition of "work" is increasingly becoming invalid. What then to do with the millions/billions of eaters/breeders who have nothing to do (other than eating and breeding) The movie Wall-e may have had something to it.