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Your Thoughts on the Future
#11
(05-16-2019, 08:51 PM)Noclevername Wrote: The transition between an economy and social structure built around human work and an Autototopia will become even more brutal as machine capabilities increase. A UBI is a stopgap measure of largely untested effectiveness, but so far it's the best idea at least that I've heard. The other suggestions all amount to band aids on bullet wounds; They may not work, and some may actually make the problems worse.

The question that arises is how much of this drama will be real and how much self-generated. With sufficiently capable automation there is really no real reason (meaning a physics based reason) that you need to pay people anything or require payment for anything. If we wanted to we could set up a technological version of the hunter-gatherer cultures of ancient times. You could simply harvest what you want/need from the 'mechosystem' and it would just automatically replace it. Or you could just tell it what you want and it would provide it.

OA pretty much runs on this in most places, since there is no task that a sophont can perform that a machine can't do better and the resource base is huge and combined with highly efficient systems for both creation and recycling.

The fears about 'what will we do when people aren't needed anymore' may be just in the short term or based in the faulty logic that we MUST have a society based on paying people and having them buy things.

(05-16-2019, 08:51 PM)Noclevername Wrote: Increased medical/bio tech will start to bear fruit by extending human lifetimes. What this does to an already over-burdened population growth is fairly predictable. As the effectiveness of the methods gets put to the test and results become known, I predict conflict over who gets to live and who dies.

Population growth is largely a developing nation problem. Birth rates in Europe and the US are either stablizing or actually falling below replacement levels last I heard. If the standard of living can be brought up in the rest of the world soon enough and in a sustainable way (including ready access to birth control) then the people living there will likely also shift into a mode of having fewer children.

It's not clear what life extension technology would look like. It might be more of a lifestyle choice or something provided quite easily and cheaply.

(05-16-2019, 08:51 PM)Noclevername Wrote: Biotech also has its dark side; the capability to make your own bioweapons will be realized, with all that this implies. Human genome manipulation will also take effect. There will be failures, too, human beings getting modified in damaging ways when trying to make them "better".

From some things I've seen here and there, homemade bioweapons are something we could do now - at least in terms of capability. Doing it without getting caught is apparently harder.

Brain/computer interfaces will come into the real world, starting in small ways and then growing in complexity and capability.

(05-16-2019, 08:51 PM)Noclevername Wrote: We will become an increasingly transparent/surveilled society. Everything will be online, all the time. If you want privacy, stay home and shut down every device. Windowless rooms and even Faraday cages may become popular features in new homes.

Or people may stop feeling as great of a desire for privacy. I'm not entirely sure how much the idea of privacy owes to human nature and how much is actually just a cultural artifact of Western civilization. Certainly there are plenty of cultures (past and present) where people live(d) in much closer quarters than what people in the US consider the norm. They still manage(d) reasonably well.

Does anyone have any data on the question of how much (if any) privacy humans actually need?

Todd
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#12
(05-17-2019, 12:48 PM)Drashner1 Wrote: The question that arises is how much of this drama will be real and how much self-generated. 

Sadly, our worst and most destructive drama as a species has always been self generated. World War Two basically happened because of nationalism and racism and religions and lines on a map, all factors that are imaginary, political, and/or supernatural. 


Never underestimate what OA calls Memetic factors. We literally live and die for them.

Quote:Drashner1

Or people may stop feeling as great of a desire for privacy. I'm not entirely sure how much the idea of privacy owes to human nature and how much is actually just a cultural artifact of Western civilization. Certainly there are plenty of cultures (past and present) where people live(d) in much closer quarters than what people in the US consider the norm. They still manage(d) reasonably well.

In most places, people still have opportunities to be by themselves or in small groups. Historically, most farming villages were closely surrounded by wilderness that one could always go off into. I don't really know if non-Western cultures have and value privacy the way our individualist society does, but I'd bet there's some analogous concepts in most of them, even if it's not a specific word in all languages.
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#13
The thing about closely-knit societies like small villages is that everyone knows everyone else's business. This tends to mean that society evolves a strict set of behavioural rules, so that no-one offends or inconveniences anyone else. To allow people to follow an individualistic lifestyle in an environment with low expectations of privacy, these strict behavioural rules need to be made less strict.

But I don't think that behavioural rules can be removed altogether, since people (and machines) still need to be polite to one another.
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#14
(05-29-2019, 06:34 AM)stevebowers Wrote: The thing about closely-knit societies like small villages is that everyone knows everyone else's business. This tends to mean that society evolves a strict set of behavioural rules, so that no-one offends or inconveniences anyone else. To allow people to follow an individualistic lifestyle in an environment with low expectations of privacy, these strict behavioural rules need to be made less strict.

But I don't think that behavioural rules can be removed altogether, since people (and machines) still need to be polite to one another.

I wasn't trying to propose an individualist or rules-free society, for instance I know that most subsistence cultures were and are by necessity strictly group-oriented, as a survival characteristic. 


But privacy isn't in my mind a binary, you have it or you don't; There's a spectrum, at least in my limited experience. Even in social groups with largely collectivist values, IMO everyone needs something or some time to call their own. We are social animals, but not hives: All those Western individualist tendencies have to come from somewhere in the human psyche.
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