• universeness
    4.1k

    You don't have to politically self-flagellate. Living a satisfactory life yourself need not clash irreconcilably with fighting the good fight. For me, it would depend on how deep that 'political naivety' was and how many were incurably infected with it. I could not stop calling it out so I would not thrive in your neighbourhood, as you describe it, unless I did have significant support.
    It would be like living in a community which was populated by > 90% diehard capitalists. I think I would move if I could, as the amount of flack would be just too much and too often.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    You don't have to politically self-flagellate.universeness

    What?? I ain't into guilt or shame, baby!

    Living a satisfactory life yourself need not clash irreconcilably with fighting the good fight.universeness

    Of course not. The one thing has no bearing on the other, as far I'm concerned. You told me to move, after I said my vote doesn't count here. I won't, of course, and so what? My neighbours and I don't talk politics; the flak is all virtual, and avoidable.

    The reasons I'm no longer fighting are rational and strategic.

    The Luddites were not the dumb joke-butts they're made out to be in modern times, but they made a strategic error: fighting a war they could not win. John Brown, too. Every great cause begins with a few martyrs before it can get rolling properly. One, or a half dozen martyrs are noticed, get put on placards and banners, inspire the troops. But once the revolution has been put down, why line the highway with crucified rebels? I'm opposed in principle to waste.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k
    why line the highway with crucified rebels?Vera Mont

    1. Helps the overpopulation crisis.
    2. Provides ability to not drive off the highway when there is a low and thick fog, so that you can't see the road, but you can see tops of light standards and crucifiction crosses.
    3. Revenge is sweet, no matter which side of the debate you are on.
    4. Protects wildlife... a healthy portion of food served up to scavengers.
    5. The bases of the crosses provide a clean, sheer surface on which one can hang signs of upcoming yardsales and garage sales, as well of lost cats, piano lessons and agencies of fortune, dog grooming and rooms to let.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Spartacus is no doubt laughing his ass off in whatever afterlife.
  • god must be atheist
    5.1k


    Spartacus, spare the cuss!

    Revolutionaries are a breed. A different one. I can't resist the lure of weeping with sentimentality, and I am not joking, when I encounter partizan action, resistance fighters, underground movement, etc. in my readings and in everyday activities.

    "Mom! There is a handgranade in my peanut butter and jam sammich!"

    "Yes, deary. Just don't tell anyone at school."
  • universeness
    4.1k
    You told me to move, after I said my vote doesn't count here. I won't, of course, and so what? My neighbours and I don't talk politics; the flak is all virtual, and avoidable.Vera Mont

    I didn't TELL YOU to move, I suggested you move if you are miserable where you are, but you seem to have backtracked on that original claim, you did not originally suggest that all the flak you were receiving was virtual and avoidable. BUT only if you dont talk about one of the most important subjects in life with your neighbours, politics. I could not do that.

    One, or a half dozen martyrs are noticed, get put on placards and banners, inspire the troops. But once the revolution has been put down, why line the highway with crucified rebels? I'm opposed in principle to waste.Vera Mont

    I do not support the luddite imperative as I don't see new tech in quite the same way they did, but they are certainly remembered, as is John Brown. He certainly did not fail as the American civil war delivered what he wanted. His death served his purpose and goal, he therefore completely succeeded.
    After Spartacus was defeated, the Romans are reported to have lined the Appin way with crucified rebels, yes, but their empire was destroyed by those who were akin in culture and tradition to those crucified ex-slaves. After his defeat, the Scottish hero William Wallace was hung, drawn, quartered and the 4 quarters of his body were sent back to Scotland. This had the opposite effect to what was intended as 9 years later, the Scots kicked the English out and became an independent nation again.
    The sacrifice of Spartacus and William Wallace were not wasteful as both got exactly what they fought for in the end.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    After Spartacus was defeated, the Romans are reported to have lined the Appin way with crucified rebels, yes, but their empire was destroyed by those who were akin in culture and tradition to those crucified ex-slaves.universeness

    This is not a cause-effect relationship. The rebellious slaves were wasted manpower. That's what I don't support. John Brown made his point in the church, not at Harper's Ferry; his death did not precipitate the insane civil war which killed off maybe 700,000 men, plus however many civilians, plus the violence on the back burner, waiting for the next conflagration. The founding fathers did.

    William Wallace was hung, drawn, quartered and the 4 quarters of his body were sent back to Scotland.universeness
    One is an example. The next four are heroic. The thousand(s) after that are simply wasted, like the people at Masada. Their death does not alter the course of history.

    I didn't TELL YOU to move, I suggested you move if you are miserable where you areuniverseness
    Yes, and I'M SORRY I SAID THAT! Wasn't intended as combative. I never said I was miserable; I commented only that I can't affect current politics, either by voting or fighting. It wouldn't be any different if I moved to an orange, red or even green riding; it might feel cozy, but we'd be just as outnumbered. It's a downward turn of the wheel, that's all.
  • universeness
    4.1k
    This is not a cause-effect relationship. The rebellious slaves were wasted manpower. That's what I don't support.Vera Mont

    I disagree. Rome did not exist in a bubble. The actions and atrocities committed by its forces were widely reported at the time, probably quite slowly but it seems a given that their actions would be reported by those who witnessed them or took part in them at the time.

    John Brown made his point in the church, not at Harper's Ferry; his death did not precipitate the insane civil warVera Mont

    In his personal memoirs, Ulysses S Grant writes about the fact that his father and uncle worked for John Browns father in the tannery he owned in Maysville Kentucky. He writes:
    "I have often heard my father speak of John Brown, particularly since the events at Harpers ferry. ................................................... It was certainly the act of an insane man to attempt the invasion of the South, and the overthrow of slavery, with less than 20 men."
    Browns story and actions had a very definite effect on those who were against the policy of slavery used by the South and was an influence on the direction towards the civil war.

    One is an example. The next four are heroic. The thousand(s) after that are simply wasted, like the people at Masada. Their death does not alter the course of history.Vera Mont

    Well, I understand and have some common ground with your pointing finger towards the 'what a waste of peoples lives' idea but I do think that many of these sacrifices where not in vain. The Jewish people revere those who died at Masada to this day and probably will forever more.

    Yes, and I'M SORRY I SAID THAT! Wasn't intended as combative. I never said I was miserable; I commented only that I can't affect current politics, either by voting or fighting. It wouldn't be any different if I moved to an orange, red or even green riding; it might feel cozy, but we'd be just as outnumbered. It's a downward turn of the wheel, that's all.Vera Mont

    Ok, if that's how you feel about it. If you don't want to be a political activist then all you can do is vote, just like your angry friend did. BUT keep writing and shove that 12 gauge into the basement somewhere!
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Ok, if that's how you feel about it. If you don't want to be a political activist then all you can do is vote, just like your angry friend did. BUT keep writing and shove that 12 gauge into the basement somewhere!universeness

    All I ever had was a .22 and I didn't keep that very long. Like I said, I'm not combative by nature, aptitude or inclination.
    keep writinguniverseness
    Yeah... that's the thing... why I'm idling away here. There's a glimmer of an idea for how to finish the stuck chapter, but it doesn't want to coalesce on the page. Hate when that happens; it makes me crotchetier than is my wont.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    All the same, though, "better brain than brawn". The heroic dead inspire a lot more death, and the Klingons will sing many ugly songs.... but they don't change. Nobody likes Cassandra, anyway; she just doesn't want us to have that nice big horse.
  • universeness
    4.1k

    I have a replica targe (traditional Scottish shield) and a replica broad sword that I can hardly lift. So you Americans with your .22 and your 12 gauge's will probably defeat me in a neighbourhood dispute, unless I do a sneaky attack, at night, when all your church going, republican supporting neighbours are sleeping :chin: :lol: Nah, that would be dishonourable!

    Writer's block :scream: I am sure you will break though with a ground-breaking, original, eureka moment .... now! or .......... now! ....... or .......... maybe later!

    All the same, though, "better brain than brawn". The heroic dead inspire a lot more death, and the Klingons will sing many ugly songs.... but they don't change. Nobody likes Cassandra, anyway; she just doesn't want us to have that nice big horse.Vera Mont

    America should have offered the presidency to Carl Sagan when he was alive.
    How about Sean Carroll or Brian Greene? Cosmologists/leading edge physicists would make the best presidents of America imo.
  • Christoffer
    1.4k
    is it ethical for technological automation top be stunted, in order to preserve jobs (or a healthy job marketplace)?Bret Bernhoft

    No, because a better question would be: "is it ethical to keep people working themselves to death in a system that doesn't care for them?

    Define if capitalism is healthy or an illusion of healthy. The way the world works today consolidates wealth to a very few on the backs of workers working themselves to death.

    Automation would cut out the "working to death" part and present a conundrum for the wealthy in that there won't be people having money to purchase the goods they produce with automation. So in order to keep the economy running, some kind of universal basic income is required so that the loop is kept intact. The less people work, the larger that UBI needs to be, leading to more freedom for the people to do what they want instead of "working to death".

    Essentially, automation is a capitalist's dream of cheap labor and high income, but it would kill the market if no one has the money to buy products or services these capitalists provide. So essentially, it's the end of capitalism by maximizing capitalism.

    The more advanced automation gets, the less we will be able to keep capitalism as it exists today and in the end, we would require a new system to replace the old.

    If we do not figure out a working system, this will lead to future wars and conflicts.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    unless I do a sneaky attack, at night, when all your church going, republican supporting neighbours are sleepinguniverseness

    It might also be a little disorienting, seeing as how you'd be sneaking around the wrong country.

    Writer's blockuniverseness

    Not exactly - plot hiccup. What I want to happen next can't, so I need to figure out how to get from here to there.

    Cosmologists/leading edge physicists would make the best presidents of America imo.universeness

    I suppose they couldn't do any worse... of course, I don't know their politics, but I guess at least NASA would get full funding again.

    If we do not figure out a working system, this will lead to future wars and conflicts.Christoffer
    I'm thinking, the first salvo of war # 28 or 29 by this weekend... But that won't be about automation.
    The only question we need to decide what's the ethical response to any technology :
    Is man made for the factory or is the factory made for man?
    (And once that's settled, the logical questions of any new inventions: Does this machine do humans and the world they live in enough good that justify and offset the harm it does? Do we know how to nullify or mitigate the harm? Will there be lasting fallout? Is there a less harmful alternative?)
  • Christoffer
    1.4k
    I'm thinking, the first salvo of war # 28 or 29 by this weekend... But that won't be about automation.
    The only question we need to decide what's the ethical response to any technology :
    Is man made for the factory or is the factory made for man?
    (And once that's settled, the logical questions of any new inventions: Does this machine do humans and the world they live in enough good that justify and offset the harm it does? Do we know how to nullify or mitigate the harm? Will there be lasting fallout? Is there a less harmful alternative?)
    Vera Mont

    The biggest risks in terms of war will not be tyrannical leaders' delusional dreams of bigger empires, because the rest of the world is pretty much fed up with those kinds of people. The biggest problems we face will be the result of climate change. We might have billions of people being forced to relocate to areas of the world that are habitable and the consequences of that are just ignored worldwide. Even if it seemingly happens smoothly, the following years will have a dramatic shift in culture clashes and democratic shifts due to the number of people affecting other nations' elections through sheer numbers of new voters from entirely different cultures. If we thought that the immigration crisis of 2014 produced a problematic situation right now, just imagine what billions of people might do. This might lead to an actual world war 3 starting as civil wars in regions of the world heavily affected by an influx of a large population.

    Automation might even be a solution to this since a nation's economy wouldn't take a hit by millions of people not speaking the language and not having a job in that nation. With automation and UBI, that economy might even thrive. Of course, that is a heavy simplification of the consequences, but comparing an automation/UBI economy with the traditional neoliberal capitalism we have today, the latter would collapse under such massive immigration due to climate change.

    And to answer the other questions. Man made factories, so the man isn't made for the factory. And studying the destructive effects that a neoliberal capitalist system has on humans, there's no question that automation is a good progression. However, humans need to do something with their time and not all can manage a sense of purpose without work. Some will work with what they like, some will probably revive extreme religion in search of purpose and some might go insane. For this there need to be a new philosophical movement that focuses on existential questions from the perspective of a life without work.

    For this, I'd turn to Star Trek, seriously. In that story/lore, money doesn't really exist anymore. The reason why they are up there in the universe is our need to explore and answer big questions. If we would reach such a society, I'd be really happy, because it's basically putting people into the ideal place where we use our intellect to solve problems and focus our purpose on expanding knowledge. Capitalism is essentially putting us in a system of irrelevancy, where people aren't really relevant anymore, only the cashflow that upholds the stability of living.

    We are essentially robots in a system. Why would it be bad to replace us with real robots and be free of that system?
  • Outlander
    1.6k
    A kid can gene-edit human DNA or create a global plague in his basement using a kit that can be carried on one's person. "Not having a job" is the least of issues regarding science and technology in this age.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    No, because a better question would be: "is it ethical to keep people working themselves to death in a system that doesn't care for them?

    Define if capitalism is healthy or an illusion of healthy. The way the world works today consolidates wealth to a very few on the backs of workers working themselves to death.

    Automation would cut out the "working to death" part and present a conundrum for the wealthy in that there won't be people having money to purchase the goods they produce with automation. So in order to keep the economy running, some kind of universal basic income is required so that the loop is kept intact. The less people work, the larger that UBI needs to be, leading to more freedom for the people to do what they want instead of "working to death".

    Essentially, automation is a capitalist's dream of cheap labor and high income, but it would kill the market if no one has the money to buy products or services these capitalists provide. So essentially, it's the end of capitalism by maximizing capitalism.

    The more advanced automation gets, the less we will be able to keep capitalism as it exists today and in the end, we would require a new system to replace the old.

    If we do not figure out a working system, this will lead to future wars and conflicts.
    Christoffer

    This thread has moved fast and I lost track of what people are talking about. Sorry, everyone.

    This post is back to the beginning and I love the lines "a better question would be: is it ethical to keep people working themselves to death in a system that doesn't care for them?" along with this line
    "The way the world works today consolidates wealth to a very few on the backs of workers working themselves to death." However, this is such a big subject it is like being lost at sea with no sense of direction.

    Especially in the beginning of industrialism humans were treated very badly but it lead to wealth and that wealth is essential to progress, education, hospitals, and public utilities. When something like printing makes art and books cheap, low-income people can afford them and that makes their lives better. I worry about how many liberals understand the importance of good jobs and big industry that provides those jobs and those affordable products and wealth? Exactly how do we establish an economic and social system that works for everyone?

    There was a time when we had a family order that meant the woman stayed home to care for the family and the community as well. I think her role was vital to a humane society. The family was financially supported by a man. This was not ideal because the division of labor became too great. When women went to work, increasingly women and children fell below the poverty, because the women worked for lower wages than men and they had to pay for child care unless someone in the family cared for her children, and the divorce and abortion rate began to climb. At the same time, two people working in the family meant more families buying homes and more families buying homes made one paycheck too small and the cost of housing too high.

    Who is caring for the people? What else happened to our social order besides an increase in jobs and wealth? How about community planning and banking? Can community planning and banking be adjusted to better serve the people?

    And my favorite- what if we replaced the autocratic model of the industry with the democratic model?
  • Vera Mont
    872
    what if we replaced the autocratic model of the industry with the democratic model?Athena

    Wonderful idea! How? Who are "we" and where do "we" get the power to take decision-making out of the hands of corporate boards? Before anything positive can happen in education, industry, utilities or infrastructure, you need to clean up the democratic process. At this point, that's a helluva tall order!
    It's still doable, but only with a huge surge of support from the polity. At 51/49% split in electoral clout, I don't see whence that impetus can come.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    However, humans need to do something with their time and not all can manage a sense of purpose without work. Some will work with what they like, some will probably revive extreme religion in search of purpose and some might go insane. For this there need to be a new philosophical movement that focuses on existential questions from the perspective of a life without work.Christoffer

    I very much like your awareness of culture and how mass migrations can be very disruptive to established cultures.

    The original purpose of free public education in the US was to teach good citizenship and thereby prevent social problems. There are two ways to have social order, culture, or authority over the people. To have liberty there must be a culture that makes that possible we replaced that past education with education for a technological society with unknown values. Some good things came out of this and it appears some bad things are also coming out of leaving moral education to the church and not transmitting the culture we once had.

    For how to manage life without work, families and cultures have given civilizations social order for thousands of years. For sure we need to discuss what that might look like today.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    Wonderful idea! How? Who are "we" and where do "we" get the power to take decision-making out of the hands of corporate boards? Before anything positive can happen in education, industry, utilities or infrastructure, you need to clean up the democratic process. At this point, that's a helluva tall order!
    It's still doable, but only with a huge surge of support from the polity. At 51/49% split in electoral clout, I don't see whence that impetus can come.
    Vera Mont

    I believe education is essential to democracy. Democracy is like religion. It can not be the way of life if that way of life is not taught. Same as there would be no Christianity if it were not taught.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    Wonderful idea! How? Who are "we" and where do "we" get the power to take decision-making out of the hands of corporate boards? Before anything positive can happen in education, industry, utilities or infrastructure, you need to clean up the democratic process. At this point, that's a helluva tall order!
    It's still doable, but only with a huge surge of support from the polity. At 51/49% split in electoral clout, I don't see whence that impetus can come.
    Vera Mont

    Here is a google page with many choices for learning about the Demming institution. Beside links it is on Twitter and Facebook https://www.google.com/search?q=Demming+instution&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS926US926&oq=Demming+instution&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i13i512l3j0i13i30l5j0i8i13i30.8570j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
  • Vera Mont
    872
    I believe education is essential to democracy.Athena

    I know that. Also the other way around. There are very powerful forces pitted against public and democratic education in the US right now, and they've been making considerable gains.
    Republicans, and white conservatives, have long been hostile to public schools. School desegregation drove white evangelicals to become the strongest Republican demographic. Ronald Reagan promised to end the Department of Education in 1980. Trump put Betsy DeVos in charge of the Department of Education,
    At the same time, the same states that curtailed women's reproductive rights and ban books.
    There has been an “alarming” surge in book censorship in the United States since last year totaling 1,586 book bans or restrictions in place, according to the director of PEN America, a nonprofit focusing on free speech and literature.
    The "we" to which you belong is being pushed to the margins.
  • Christoffer
    1.4k
    "Not having a job" is the least of issues regarding science and technology in this age.Outlander

    Except when that ends up being the norm for a majority of people, then we need a society tailored around a non-work existence.
  • Christoffer
    1.4k
    Especially in the beginning of industrialism humans were treated very badly but it lead to wealth and that wealth is essential to progress, education, hospitals, and public utilities. When something like printing makes art and books cheap, low-income people can afford them and that makes their lives better. I worry about how many liberals understand the importance of good jobs and big industry that provides those jobs and those affordable products and wealth? Exactly how do we establish an economic and social system that works for everyone?Athena

    The problem with deciphering capitalism is that it doesn't have a constant value. In a poor nation, capitalism can very rapidly improve the quality of life for the people and increase wealth. But as soon as capitalism enters a stage where the majority of the people already have accumulated wealth it starts to tap into just being about cash flow, earnings, and gains. It stops being a system of change and instead becomes a "Baudrillardian eldritch horror" in which people become a slave to it, regardless of whether they want to or not. It starts to corrupt the people and divide them into rich and poor and over time increases that gap until the rich becomes so powerful that they essentially take over power from the government.

    This is the state where people start to work themselves to death. Because they're not part of a society that is gaining wealth as a collective but rather has become a new type of slave society. In this new type, people live in an illusion of existential value that they cannot distinguish from any other reality. People lose track of basic existential questions like love and death and replace them with a monetary valuation of status. People start to think they are in love with someone when they're basically just together with them because of the status it produces, they get children because that's a family status, and they have a certain job which is a further acquired status. In the age of the internet, this has also been intensified as people project these statuses out to people surrounding them, further blinding them into this system.

    This is the Baudrillardian horror, modern western capitalism has evolved into an unseen monster that people think is "quality life". It's so ingrained into our psychology that we're never even questioning how this life works. Everything we do is part of this capitalist mentality, everything is about some kind of status or monetary gain and loss, and the most obvious sign of this is how much more popular "quick fix" existential treatments have become. The desperate search for "meaning in all the chaos", without people understanding what that chaos really is.

    And so, some, like Marx, developed political philosophies that examined the inner workings of capitalism and alternatives to it. But Marx is also outdated since it focuses entirely on the industrial age of development, which had entirely different inner mechanics, especially lacking the Baudrillard perspective.

    With so many people in the world today, with such a technological explosion that the last 150 years have produced, it is impossible to maintain a society based on Marx's ideas and it's also impossible to maintain a society of modern capitalism. Because essentially any political philosophy regards the citizen as a cog in a machine, without essential value other than its function.

    If these cogs are changed into automation, into robots and we dislocate humans from the traditional machine, then that becomes an existence that has never been available on a large scale before. We are so ingrained in the idea of "work" that people don't know how to manage their time outside of it. It has, throughout history, either been about survival or monetary gain at its core and occasionally, for a few, been a place of meaning. But on a large scale, how can everyone find meaning?

    That is the core problem that philosophy and people need to solve when advanced automation starts to reshape society.

    The original purpose of free public education in the US was to teach good citizenship and thereby prevent social problems. There are two ways to have social order, culture, or authority over the people. To have liberty there must be a culture that makes that possible we replaced that past education with education for a technological society with unknown values. Some good things came out of this and it appears some bad things are also coming out of leaving moral education to the church and not transmitting the culture we once had.Athena

    The lack of moral philosophy in school, not just in higher education, but as a core part of the curriculum, is part of why people are left to figure out our peaceful, good values on their own without guidance. Parents don't have time to educate their children about this because they need two jobs to pay the bills and in the end that only teaches their children that monetary gain and the appearance of wealth are all that morally matter.

    We need moral philosophy in schools, teaching how hard it is to handle morality and letting kids think about these things as they mature. Moral philosophy, with all its examples and theories, can enlighten people to think in a more complex manner towards the next person and have the ability to guide them into figuring out values on their own. If a whole generation had the same basic understanding of these things, then the existential discussions they tackle as adults, all the political polarisation etc. would be much easier to resolve. The core problem I see with polarisation and tribalism today has to do with people acting like they understand moral complexity without any training in it whatsoever.

    And in a society free from religion, it's key to find empathic values and theories that act as the foundation for everything.

    If you can't have "decided principles" through religion, then the principles need to have a rational, logical, and empathic core that automatically makes people gravitate toward that logical good as doing otherwise would lead to misery. A truly liberal society free from religion requires the people to understand morality as a system that is logical and not decided upon them.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Except when that ends up being the norm for a majority of people, then we need a society tailored around a non-work existence.Christoffer

    Non-work is not the same as non-job. As mentioned earlier, people can work for their families their communities, the environment, the future, the protection, welfare and enrichment of their fellow humans, the welfare and rehabilitation of other species, their own betterment. There is plenty of work to do that's far more rewarding than the pittance bosses dole out.

    A truly liberal society free from religion requires the people to understand morality as a system that is logical and not decided upon them.
    That is exactly what a liberal public education would promote, and that is exactly why all demagogues hobble and cripple public education wherever they can.

    Republican Party of Texas wrote into its 2012 platform as part of the section on education: – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
    If people start thinking, they may stop fighting one another for the crumbs off the rich man's table. They might put down the placards and talk to one another. They might even stop supporting power-mad leaders.
  • Christoffer
    1.4k
    Non-work is not the same as non-job. As mentioned earlier, people can work for their families their communities, the environment, the future, the protection, welfare and enrichment of their fellow humans, the welfare and rehabilitation of other species, their own betterment. There is plenty of work to do that's far more rewarding than the pittance bosses dole out.Vera Mont

    I think you forget about the reality I describe. With advanced automation how much "work" do you think will be done? If an AI can plan with more precision towards something like a better environment in the future, what work will you do if that AI does all the work organizing society towards that improvement? If proven to be more precise and better than a human worker to do that assignment, why would anyone assign or accept that work to be done by a human?

    This is what I mean when I talk about the "Baudrillardian eldritch horror"; people cannot fathom a society without work because it's so ingrained in our psychology that we cannot detach ourselves from that reality, we cannot think through other concepts than it.

    The work we can adress to humans as an existential value are work that focus on creativity, expression, art and philosophy. The only thing that robots cannot replace is the human perspective, the collective or the individual point of view that informs the individual or collective creative output. But almost all other jobs can, with enough algorithmic AI development, be turned over to robots.

    Most work you are referring to, while being spiritually healthy for people to do, is still related to a grind that gets replaced by advanced automation. Without that grind, what is left of that "work"? The intention? The exposure?

    That is exactly what a liberal public education would promote, and that is exactly why all demagogues hobble and cripple public education wherever they can.Vera Mont

    It's not, because we do not fully have a logical moral system, if we had, moral philosophy would have been fully solved. But what I'm talking about is actually teaching moral philosophy as a core part of the curriculum, that is not in motion today. We may have a good educational system (well, Finland has the best from what I know), but it's not fully at the level I'm talking about.

    If people start thinking, they may stop fighting one another for the crumbs off the rich man's table. They might put down the placards and talk to one another. They might even stop supporting power-mad leaders.Vera Mont

    Exactly, but even in nations of Scandinavia, which has a good public education of the highest level, it's still not at the level that I'm talking about, because it's not preparing anyone for anything else but living under this Baudrillardian eldritch system.

    The world is not prepared for full advanced automation.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    I think you forget about the reality I describe.Christoffer

    Not so much forget as discount.
    With advanced automation how much "work" do you think will be done?Christoffer

    As much as people want to do.

    If an AI can plan with more precision towards something like a better environment in the future,Christoffer

    For whom? To what end? What motivates AI to do that?
    why would anyone assign or accept that work to be done by a human?Christoffer

    For the sheer joy and satisfaction of doing it!
    people cannot fathom a society without work because it's so ingrained in our psychology that we cannot detach ourselves from that reality, we cannot think through other concepts than it.Christoffer
    People like the feeling of satisfaction when they have completed a task they set for themselves; the elation of overcoming a challenge, solving a problem. People enjoy exerting their physical capabilities, in sports, but it's more meaningful to do so in the creation of something concrete. People also enjoy sharing work that serves their sense of community, like a pot-luck supper or barn-raising. Have you ever seen men happier - in the sense of abiding contentment, rather than momentary joy - than when a group of them is huddled over a malfunctioning engine or a recalcitrant tree stump? I can't prove it, but I have a feeling most sick people and little children would prefer to be cared for by a loving adult than an efficient robot.

    But almost all other jobs can, with enough algorithmic AI development, be turned over to robots.Christoffer

    The fact that something can be done, doesn't mean that it must be done. Besides, given that fact that most automation (that's not military) is controlled by commercial interests, as it keeps eroding its paid work-force, it incidentally erodes its customer base and the government's tax base; it has to reach a point of diminishing returns where no money is changing hands at all. UBI is a temporary stop-gap, as it also depends on redistribution of money.
    Once there's no more profit to be made, who directs the robots? This, to me, is the central question about automation. (Based on the very large assumption that the whole house of credit cards doesn't collapse before that vanishing point, and all the billionaires head for the mountain strongholds.

    But what I'm talking about is actually teaching moral philosophy as a core part of the curriculum, that is not in motion today.Christoffer

    Very much the opposite is in motion in America. Introducing moral philosophy, depends on a sensible school board operating under a sensible government with a generous budget. In Finland, you may be able to do it; in the USA, not under the current political trend.
  • Outlander
    1.6k
    Except when that ends up being the norm for a majority of people, then we need a society tailored around a non-work existence.Christoffer

    Hi, really enjoying your posts in this thread. Not my particular stance but you are explaining the arguments rather succinctly. It is "easy to digest" I suppose you could say while still being very meaty in points to discuss. I have not read every one of your posts in this thread with focus and perhaps am somewhat engaging in "drive-by philosophy" more so than commonplace economic model discussion but, if I may..

    Everything we do is part of this capitalist mentality, everything is about some kind of status or monetary gain and loss,Christoffer

    Even fundamentally, the laws of the Universe are in play. Life itself, and all physical and biological aspects of it revolve around: energy. Ability to do work. There is no bastardizing this reality of existence as mere "needless slave labor by evil men". You could be the last/first person on an entirely new and lush world teeming with life- you will still "eat by the sweat on your brow", to quote religious scholars.

    Let's imagine an unrealistically perfect and entirely automated world. Literally every exertion of energy the average person "must do" to live what is considered a "basic life" is no more. You wake up, enter your bathroom, smile at your mirror to have your mouth intricately cleaned on a professional level in a matter of seconds. You jump in the shower and essentially rotate clockwise for a minute or two and step out as if you just got back from a spa retreat. Your favorite breakfast is just being finished from the ingredients in your fridge onto a nice covered plate for you to enjoy at your leisure. Or perhaps you're about to take your "food pill" that delivers the nutrients and other necessities of a 5-course meal every 4-6 hours. We now joke about "staving people" the way someone would joke about someone having polio or some other long-vanquished ailment of time's past. You look out the window and see your Roomba-eseque landscape artist mowing the yard and spy your trashcan rolling itself out to the curb to be emptied by its fellow automated brethren. Energy, let us not forget about energy, for the sake of simplicity let's just say someone invented a drinking bird that actually works.

    As you go about your motions of existence, knowing they will profoundly affect nobody nowhere, including one's self, you may stop to think... is this life? Surely I must be fortunate. Are there unfortunate people out there who still live in the hellish pre-automated world of labor from dawn 'til dusk? Should they be "rescued" from their purposeless naivety? Do they have a right to live as they please? Are they subjecting children to the needless suffering of another way of living? Do they have a right to do so? Do they have a right to oppose? How should such opposition be treated? Freedom to live as one pleases vs. freedom to create and subject other human beings to what is now "purposeless labor"? Think I'm far off and people won't start to think like that? Back in the day people use to subject their children to leech treatments and other forms of bloodletting in the interest of public health. Today, if someone sees you covering your child in leeches or drawing blood from them "to help them", you will have a SWAT team called on you. Even the old "chicken pox parties" are starting to garnish negative attention. Idle hands are the devil's playthings.

    Basically, I find you're simply saying "everything we do is because we want something done" .. of course everything we do is supposed to "do something", we don't "do things" because it has no purpose. "Status and monetary gain" cannot be used as a blanket simplification to gloss over or detract from the intrinsic properties they bestow (or deny) to people: "who you are and what you can do". One doesn't become a "master craftsman" just so he has something to say after his name in introductions. One doesn't work to gain wealth simply because they're "supposed to". These are all done to advance a goal or desire, goals or desires that would exist regardless of the economic model or level of automation. Sure, if you're in possession of little resources, you will likely end up working a job out of necessity vs. pursuit of desire. This would also be the case if you were born or later experienced a handicap or just otherwise aren't that talented. These are also independent of economic models or social systems.

    But as soon as capitalism enters a stage where the majority of the people already have accumulated wealth it starts to tap into just being about cash flow, earnings, and gains. It stops being a system of change and instead becomes a "Baudrillardian eldritch horror" in which people become a slave to it, regardless of whether they want to or not.Christoffer

    I think this statement needs to be dissected properly. Any economic model can be substituted with the true driving force which is "government rule" or "the way things are". Whatever economic model you declare to be operating under, willingly or not does not change the nature of the resources and accessibility of said resources that give the non-resource (currency) value. Needs and wants are still needs and wants unchanged regardless of how you facilitate their fulfillment or accrual . You need exchange. Be it cash flow or resource distribution. You need resources not to lose value/become a burden by sheer volume or unexpected turbulence. Be it by adjusting currency through administrative means or just making sure your time, work, and resources spent don't slowly eat and dwindle each other (so to speak ie. that your efforts result in at least producing something you did not have before). Growth is also an intrinsic part of life. You didn't start life as a full-grown man now did you? You also likely didn't start with a full-size factory or operation from the get-go if you have one now. Without growth you have decay. Nothing is truly stagnant. You expect to have children or at least that other people will, correct? The more people who sit down for a pie, the less pie is available. Therefore, you need growth. Be it tangible wealth in your pocket or larger (thus more expensive and labor intensive) operations in whatever the field may be.

    Anticipating your thoughts on the matter. Cheers
  • Vera Mont
    872
    The more people who sit down for a pie, the less pie is available. Therefore, you need growth.Outlander

    Where to? Pie is round; the Earth is round. Finite.
  • Christoffer
    1.4k
    Please read through first as my initial points may seem more antagonistic than they really are. You see the same dangers I've pointed out, but you need to drive them to their conclusions first.

    Not so much forget as discount.Vera Mont

    Why do you discount the major factor for my argument? Without it the whole notion of non-work becomes just nonsense since nothing in the world would produce necessary resources for any of us to exist. My argument focus on the singularity event of advanced automation, when almost any task can be turned over to software and hardware rather than a person.

    I wished this was just a flimsy thought experiment, but just as uncontrolled exponential climate change and nuclear war is a thought experiment scenario, they are also possible futures that needs to be seriously considered. So is this. And you base your counter argument on ignoring this very fact.

    As much as people want to do.Vera Mont

    How do you combine this with an industry and government using automation for any practical task? What work, other than renovating your own house, writing a book, painting, other arts, cooking a fine meal and so on, are you referring to these people doing?

    You need to specify based on a task that is by its core and value impossible to replace with software and hardware.

    For whom? To what end? What motivates AI to do that?Vera Mont

    I recommend studying how AI functions. Most people who discuss automation does not have good insight into this field of science. The most common mistake is to think about AI as basically just general purpose AI, or rather, sentient AI.

    To try and be short, sentient AI is useless. It's basically unprogrammable and would only have the function of being a sentient alternative perspective to humans in philosophy, but it has no inherent function, it basically becomes just another sentient individual.

    The AI that actually will be used, and is already being used to a great degree, is advanced algorithmic AI, synthetic intelligence, neural network intelligence. This is simply an AI that is specifically tailored to a specific function.

    Automation will be programmed to adress certain tasks. Like, in this example, optimize planning of changes to an environment in order to improve it for inhabitants and the ecology. It will be performing fast administrative changes to mechanical workers to streamline environmental work for that specific end goal. There are no administrative personnel, no human workers, the only input is the intention placed on the algorithmic AI to perform towards this end goal.

    Which either leads to a paper clip scenario as its worst outcome, or it functions well. Maybe it functions even so well that the input doesn't have to be by a human, but rather a top level algorithmic AI which functions as a broader planner where environmental issues is a lower branch.

    You see, the question you ask is too simplistic to cover how AIs actually work and how it will probably be utilized in the future.

    For the sheer joy and satisfaction of doing it!Vera Mont

    Of course, and who has the privilege of doing this job? Because no one will pay for it when there's an almost infinitely cheap labor force through robotics.

    So you can't build an industry out of it when it requires that people work for free. And of course there's that little problem in which among the billions of people who live on this planet, most of them do work that is a necessity for income rather than doing what they love.

    Who will provide the resources to work for free, doing what you love, without having demands from the employer to perform in competition with companies who utilize automation?

    But you are right, people will work with what gives them joy. The problem you won't seem to include in your assessment is how you can grant everyone to be able to do what they love. Both in resources, but also in value.

    Here's scenario you have to consider.

    Imagine that the lack of work makes millions, maybe even a billion people to pursue work in areas that robotics and software can't replace (which becomes just a handful of occupations). For example, a billion people choose painting. Yes, AI's can paint, but art isn't just scrambling inspirations together with paint and produce a painting, it's also about intention in combination with a viewer experiencing that intention, art requires the artist and the receiver.

    This leads to an oversaturation of artworks. Billions of paintings ending up in artistic noise in which artistic meaning gets lost. There are not enough museums to show the paintings, online resources becomes more saturated than millions of posts of TikTok. The experience of painting loses all meaning when so many people collectively only works with it and the feedback becomes based on shorter than glances interpretations than never dwell any deeper than a few seconds.

    You need to follow your questions to their logical conclusions, this is philosophy we're doing here.

    And then add the fact that not all, far from all people actually has any interest in creative work or work that fulfill them. Plenty of people have no such ambitions, what will they do?

    People like the feeling of satisfaction when they have completed a task they set for themselves; the elation of overcoming a challenge, solving a problem. People enjoy exerting their physical capabilities, in sports, but it's more meaningful to do so in the creation of something concrete. People also enjoy sharing work that serves their sense of community, like a pot-luck supper or barn-raising. Have you ever seen men happier - in the sense of abiding contentment, rather than momentary joy - than when a group of them is huddled over a malfunctioning engine or a recalcitrant tree stump? I can't prove it, but I have a feeling most sick people and little children would prefer to be cared for by a loving adult than an efficient robot.Vera Mont

    ...have you followed everything to their logical conclusions? How can you reconcile all of this on the scale of billions of people? Stop and think for a minute. The problem is not what people want, feel is meaningful or value etc. The problem is that we are stuck in a system of thinking that is based upon a capitalist foundation that automation breaks at its core.

    Your arguments are based on how automation works today, not the implications of future automation. You are stuck in the desert of the real basically.

    The fact that something can be done, doesn't mean that it must be done.Vera Mont

    Stop and look at the world today. Look at the forces driving everything, driving progression etc. Then, ask yourself what's stopping advanced automation from happening in the future? It's not really a question of "must be done", but rather it's a question of "something that will just be".

    Here's the kicker: you need to dismantle capitalist culture at its core and replace it with something else before automation happens, in order for it not to happen. But since, as I've explained, capitalist culture is a Baudrillardian system, people cannot invent something other that isn't part of the core system already in place as the resources and tools to invent something new needs to come out of the system already in place both in practice and in psychology.

    Besides, given that fact that most automation (that's not military) is controlled by commercial interests, as it keeps eroding its paid work-force, it incidentally erodes its customer base and the government's tax base; it has to reach a point of diminishing returns where no money is changing hands at all. UBI is a temporary stop-gap, as it also depends on redistribution of money.
    Once there's no more profit to be made, who directs the robots? This, to me, is the central question about automation. (Based on the very large assumption that the whole house of credit cards doesn't collapse before that vanishing point, and all the billionaires head for the mountain strongholds.
    Vera Mont

    Here you actually start to get to the point I'm talking about: the actual collapse of capitalist culture.

    A) UBIs start to increase as taxes on the income placed on the companies who manufacture also increase. At some point there is either a balance that works, or companies gets taxed into no ability to produce, even with cheap labor by robots and the economy collapses entirely as a system, throwing the world into a total capitalist collapse and soon follows, as a natural outcome of that chaos... war.

    B) The capitalist system follows to the very end point, in which transactions stop as all the wealth of the world has reached the accumulated highest point, the small group of people who owns the world industry run by automation. This is the scenario you point at. As all money has accumulated it loses all value, but the rich already has the resource wealth and no incentive to keep producing towards the people who are not in monetary and resource control. This also leads to a chaos and... war. However, the risk here is even greater as war might be towards the people in control of resources and that is essentially a losing battle, giving total power of a few over the rest of the world as they control robotics as a means of controlling the rest of the world population.

    Scenario B essentially manifest the very extreme version of a company owning "your data", they end up literally owning you as you have no possible way of organizing a revolution against such accumulated resource power. Have you seen "Mad Max Fury Road"? What you see being portraid as society in the beginning, with Immortan Joe controlling water, gasoline, genetic bloodlines and ammunition as resources form a high tower bunker, is basically this scenarios end point, but without the ability to strike back as an army of militarized AI robots would stop any rebellion in an instance.

    Very much the opposite is in motion in America. Introducing moral philosophy, depends on a sensible school board operating under a sensible government with a generous budget. In Finland, you may be able to do it; in the USA, not under the current political trend.Vera Mont

    I already consider USA as a ticking time bomb of uneducated people collapsing the system because no one cared to actually educate people into sensible, empathic and thoughtful people. It will be the end of USA at some point. Nations with a good strategy of education will become the future superpowers, but since most of them are really small nations, there's a risk of them being snuffed out by wrestler presidents and delusional self-proclaimed emperors just because of their threat to educated people in their nations (much like Putin's fear of western culture "invading" Russia and threatening his power).

    So, as an end point. You seem to see the very dangers that I'm pointing towards, but you may need to drive them to their logical conclusions. Automation is much more world changing than I think people realize.
  • Christoffer
    1.4k
    Hi, really enjoying your posts in this thread. Not my particular stance but you are explaining the arguments rather succinctly. It is "easy to digest" I suppose you could say while still being very meaty in points to discuss. I have not read every one of your posts in this thread with focus and perhaps am somewhat engaging in "drive-by philosophy" more so than commonplace economic model discussion but, if I may..Outlander

    I must say that it's rare to see someone with objections in an argument be so humble and respectful as you are here. Such things gives me hope for humanity actually able to argue for progression of knowledge and solutions rather than how discussions are usually perceived. I salute to such things and wish far more people having such qualities.

    As you go about your motions of existence, knowing they will profoundly affect nobody nowhere, including one's self, you may stop to think... is this life? Surely I must be fortunate. Are there unfortunate people out there who still live in the hellish pre-automated world of labor from dawn 'til dusk?Outlander

    Problem with this division in a future world society is that you also said:

    We now joke about "staving people" the way someone would joke about someone having polio or some other long-vanquished ailment of time's past.Outlander

    ...if so, then there wouldn't be people in a less fortunate position.

    But, you may want to read what I wrote just above this post, which is engaging with the actual nightmare outcome of automation.

    of course everything we do is supposed to "do something", we don't "do things" because it has no purpose. "Status and monetary gain" cannot be used as a blanket simplification to gloss over or detract from the intrinsic properties they bestow (or deny) to people: "who you are and what you can do". One doesn't become a "master craftsman" just so he has something to say after his name in introductions. One doesn't work to gain wealth simply because they're "supposed to". These are all done to advance a goal or desire, goals or desires that would exist regardless of the economic model or level of automation. Sure, if you're in possession of little resources, you will likely end up working a job out of necessity vs. pursuit of desire. This would also be the case if you were born or later experienced a handicap or just otherwise aren't that talented. These are also independent of economic models or social systems.Outlander

    What I mean by "Baudrillardian eldritch horror" is that we are unable to comprehend the exact nature of how capitalism affects our psychology in the world today. We have replaced actual reality with a capitalist point of view that fundamentally drives our core values in life. I'm not merely speaking of accumulating wealth but of how we categorize value around us, how we shape our day to day thoughts under a capitalist rule-set. Many proclaim their notion of doing something for a value that is individually fulfilling to them in contrast to monetary value, but very few people can separate that individually fulfilling value with a journey to gain status through that fulfillment.

    In essence, why do people want to do something personally fulfilling? This is a generalization of statistical importance, since it's already quite clear that a very small percentage of the world population actually pierce through the system on an intellectual level, most people do not have the ability, through never learning it, channel it or being open to it, to break down their inner driving forces and they do not see the tentacles of capitalist industry shaping their desires and sense of purpose in life.

    Here I can draw on my own actual work in marketing. I've studied and worked with manipulation of people's desires and ideas of themselves through marketing. This is a main source of knowledge in psychology driving my argument. And the scary truth of the matter is that the industry, the capitalist industry on a global stage has essentially shaped people's core psychology of meaning to the point that they are unable to distinguish between what is a true introspective purpose in life and what is a manufactured one by the capitalist culture and industry of the world.

    That is why I call it "Baudrillardian eldritch horror"; "Baudrillard" as in how we are unable to distinguish the simulated life of what the capitalist culture tells us (through marketing) and a life outside of those puppet pulls, while the "eldritch horror" is the capitalistic system itself that is so ingrained into culture that it is impossible to fully comprehend by the sheer complexity of its Kafkaesque nature.

    The conclusion being that our capitalist culture has effectively hijacked our sense of subjective ability to find meaning and replaced it with a manufactured one that is easily controlled on the market.

    Needs and wants are still needs and wants unchanged regardless of how you facilitate their fulfillment or accrualOutlander

    How can you distinguish between needs/wants that are universal and ones that are invented by how society and culture program you as an individual? How do you know that your needs and wants are actually pure and honest when your identity is a product of the culture you were nurtured into?

    Without growth you have decay. Nothing is truly stagnant. You expect to have children or at least that other people will, correct? The more people who sit down for a pie, the less pie is available. Therefore, you need growth. Be it tangible wealth in your pocket or larger (thus more expensive and labor intensive) operations in whatever the field may be.Outlander

    If all people collectively moved through history with this mindset, we wouldn't have poverty and inequality. However, neoliberal capitalism has pushed the world globally to individual monetary gain and a mindset thereafter. We do not think of growth as sharing a pie, we view growth as individual growth. A person in neoliberal capitalism controlling automation will be able to direct their growth into accumulated wealth for themselves but have no incentive to grow the pie for the many and even individuals outside of such wealth wouldn't view things in such a collective way until capitalism essentially collapses and our psychology is shaped through a new type of model.

    And before pointing out that plenty want something good for others, society as it is shaped today, produces far more people playing that individualistic capitalist game than genuinely caring for the world as a collective and shared space for all. Even people who proclaim to care may very well, even unbeknownst to themselves, be slaves to a status of caring, shaping themselves an identity within the system. A manufactured identity of being someone who cares, but essentially follows a value increase in status by being that capitalist archetype.

    Maybe that is an obvious reality for us, but how many people in the world spend hundreds of thousands of words dedicated to thinking about these complexities that shape society?

    We are more controlled by the system in place, i.e neoliberal capitalism, than we fully comprehend. Our psychology is more programmed by this through an entire life nurturing these systems than we realize. Even notions of breaking free of the system may very well just be part of the system itself.

    Just like how in marketing, we create a desirable identity of rebellion against the system, and then earn money selling products based on such a rebellion to people proclaiming to be anticapitalists.
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