Poll

Due to automation and the declining necessity of human life in the future, what do you feel is more likely to come first?

Universal Basic Income. Life as normal, but with less working hours
22 (22.7%)
Twisted organization gains military control of the world... kills off vast majority of population, others live life of fear and servitude.
15 (15.5%)
AI and robots kill us all off because we're simply too inefficient and destructive.
11 (11.3%)
Go to bed, you're drunk.
49 (50.5%)

Total Members Voted: 97

Author Topic: solemn thought courtesy of sleep deprivation. what comes first, UBI or genocide?  (Read 2058 times)

Raeon

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I know I can't be the first to have this cross their mind.  I'm generally resistant to conspiracy theories and have always assumed that Mutually Assured Destruction, and a need for civilians to provide food/a civilization to rule, would keep this sort of situation from ever happening.  However, I've been reading more about quantum computing lately and it made me realize just how far technology has come.  My thoughts drifted over to military technology and how unrealistic it would be for anyone to successfully hide off the grid.  Meanwhile, my news feeds in social media show how obsessed everyone is with the 2nd amendment.  It's as if everyone has forgotten to look around and realize that a rifle is a joke of a weapon to today's military. 

Given that human corruption is an absolute value it's just a matter of time until the wrong somebody gains control of the tech and military at the same time.  The masses would no longer be able to band together to fight back.  Job specialization that has so greatly advanced modern society could very well become its downfall as no one person could possibly build something to combat modern tech should things go south.

I intend to stay the course with my investments and don't feel the need to go live in a cave yet, but I wonder... how far away is it all?  Is there really a chance for overall human enlightenment and utopia?  I've always assumed the survival of the fittest instinct made Utopia impossible... Perhaps future generations will just have that instinct spliced out of them?  Who knows what science will do?  I wonder if all this hard work and living for a golden future is a fool's game.  I'm sometimes afraid I'll hit retirement in a world that can no longer be enjoyed. Of course, early retirement gives me the best odds to enjoy it before it all goes to shit...

Now I'm rambling and going in circles. Thoughts anyone?
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jooniFLORisploo

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1. Your poll made me laugh very loud! Awesome.

2. Yes, there is chance for utopia and other versions of great things. I'm attempting to co-create it.

3. Even though there's a perfectly reasonable chance, it may or may not happen. But then some other good thing will, I believe.

4. I will have to delete this post when the 6th or 17th responder makes the thread gets too crabby for my taste. (Crabbiness drains the energy I reserve for co-creating utopias.)

5. Night night.

Raeon

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marty998

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Neither of you voted! I'm the first to vote, and I voted (4), on the basis that all 3 of the other options are plausible.

Biology programs us to fight...survival of the fittest and all that. There will always be competition - jealousy and envy will bubble away, even in a utopia.

And even if the 1% take over the world, hubris is the downfall of every villain.

golden1

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I really don’t see people being able to be mature enough to handle a UBI.  I think a lot of people are just consumed with the thought that someone is getting something for not working.  It makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint since too many “freeloaders” would cause pain for the entire tribe.  Even when we can generate enough wealth to feed everyone, that evolutionary impulse to punish freeloaders will still exist. 

Raeon

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Similar thoughts to what I had from you guys as well. Regardless,  I feel we're at the start of a new age with robotics and quantum computing. I'm excited and concerned all at once.
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Johnez

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What've you read on quantum computing? I've never delved into that subject.

Regarding UBI, I see it as the ultimate end point, and not all that great. The hand that giveth is also the hand that giveth is also hand that taketh away, and also the hand that demands. The dynamic isn't going to end well in my opinion.

Another Reader

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The three traditional methods of population reduction:

War
Famine
Pestilence

We have managed to avoid a lot of the consequences of famine and pestilence. Might have more of those in the future.  Guess the majority of the reduction will come from war.

accolay

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The future Star Trek world do they get UBI, or not have the concept of money at all?

Another option for the pole should be "suicide booth" a la Futurama.

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The future Star Trek world do they get UBI, or not have the concept of money at all?

Another option for the pole should be "suicide booth" a la Futurama.

I love in the pilot episode Bender steps in the suicide booth and inserts a coin tied to a string so he can cheat the machine out of a quarter as his dying act.

I voted UBI but it was hard to not click "you're drunk".
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aceyou

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I'm an optimist so I voted UBI.  In reality I think the next hundred years will see a lot of experimentation from different nations for new ways of structuring societies and governments.  Some of these experiments will likely be the result of democratic votes.  In other areas it'll be the result of decisions made by autocrats, dictators, or plutocrats/mega-corporations.  I could see conflict breaking out between nations as different ideas clash. 

Eventually I see us becoming less and less 200 distinct nations and more and more one world working hopefully together.  The real hope is that we have as healthy of a planet/population as possible when that time comes. 

In the meantime, I feel like the transition will be far easier for those who:

- are more highly educated
- have a high net worth, and
- are in good health. 

I try to focus on these three things, and I try to vote for politicians who think more globally and less nationally. 

jooniFLORisploo

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I think if the governments don't straighten up, there will be an uprising of good, mellow people. UBI will be one symptom of that, but it may be created nongovernmentally. More than that, people will start building small eco friendly homes despite the laws against them, etc. We'll do it in sneaky ways in regulated areas, take over nonregulated areas, etc. And fight back to ensure our right to have them. Will be a weird war.

Raeon

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What've you read on quantum computing? I've never delved into that subject.

https://squawker.org/analysis/d-wave-quantum-computers-are-transforming-your-world/

This article does a pretty good job of explaining it in simple terms.
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gaja

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I think we will see more and more "public service jobs", and shorter work weeks. The average person needs help to keep physically and mentally active, and we have good statistics from Nordic welfare states showing that just paying people to stay home makes them sick(er). So, yes, probably some sort of ubi for those that fall outside the job market, but not without a demand to do something useful for society.
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aaahhrealmarcus

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The future Star Trek world do they get UBI, or not have the concept of money at all?

No money in the Federation. It's a cashless society, like Burning Man ;)

I've talked to my buds about UBI quite a bit and we all expect the US to go full Mad Max before there's any serious movement here.
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The future Star Trek world do they get UBI, or not have the concept of money at all?

No money in the Federation. It's a cashless society, like Burning Man ;)

I've talked to my buds about UBI quite a bit and we all expect the US to go full Mad Max before there's any serious movement here.

Basically that's my thought on the topic. I selected No. 2, even though I think the wording is a bit melodramatic. I don't really expect an apocalypse, I just think that humans are too hard-wired to be tribalistic and xenophobic to accept anything resembling a UBI in a big, diverse country like ours. All you have to do is turn on Fox News to see how pissed conservatives get when we give poor children free health care. Can you imagine how pissed they'd be if we gave an able-bodied homeless person 20 grand? (Even when they're getting $20,000 themselves?) I don't think that the complete dissolution of our society is likely, but sadly, I think it's more likely than UBI.
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prognastat

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This differs depending on your location.

However where I am located, the US I expect it to get worse before it gets better. In the US there is a very strong backbone of expecting hard work and an abhorrence of people getting "free stuff". Due to this I suspect that once automation makes a significant portion of the labour force useless that we will not be ready for it politically/socially.

Vindicated

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This differs depending on your location.

However where I am located, the US I expect it to get worse before it gets better. In the US there is a very strong backbone of expecting hard work and an abhorrence of people getting "free stuff". Due to this I suspect that once automation makes a significant portion of the labour force useless that we will not be ready for it politically/socially.

This is the best point I've seen yet.  Once a high percentage of "blue collar" workers are replaced with automation, they'll realize that they're in need of a hand-out, and the current GOP party will have to alter drastically to keep their votes.
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Raeon

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However where I am located, the US I expect it to get worse before it gets better. In the US there is a very strong backbone of expecting hard work and an abhorrence of people getting "free stuff". Due to this I suspect that once automation makes a significant portion of the labour force useless that we will not be ready for it politically/socially.

I really like this point.  So much of our government is run by feelings that oftentimes logic gets thrown right out the door
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alsoknownasDean

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Do many societies not already have a version of UBI, in unemployment benefits?

Some people can live for a long time on these payments.

But yeah, I don't think a 'UBI' that's high enough for large amounts of people to choose not to work is likely. In part for the whole 'who pays it' thing, but also the situation of what a whole bunch of bored (and probably angry) people would get up to.

Now, then there's whatever happens politically when lots of people lose their jobs due to automation. It'd be a large voting bloc. Perhaps they'll elect someone who promises to make things better again (or, if you prefer, 'great again') and 'bring the jobs back'. Maybe they even look past a candidate's significant character flaws in order to do so.

For the whole 'machines replacing jobs' thing, I think that there'll be new jobs created (many service industries might still require humans). Then of course there's always war. We won't have to worry about machines turning on all of humanity, we humans have been killing each other for millions of years.

aaahhrealmarcus

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This differs depending on your location.

However where I am located, the US I expect it to get worse before it gets better. In the US there is a very strong backbone of expecting hard work and an abhorrence of people getting "free stuff". Due to this I suspect that once automation makes a significant portion of the labour force useless that we will not be ready for it politically/socially.

This is the best point I've seen yet.  Once a high percentage of "blue collar" workers are replaced with automation, they'll realize that they're in need of a hand-out, and the current GOP party will have to alter drastically to keep their votes.

Random shower thought: the news about Amazon's merger, coupled with this thread and some other things got me thinking, for UBI fans would it make more sense to support activities that may hasten the need for UBI? I've always gone out of my way to spend money at brick & mortar, locally owned shops, avoid self-checkout and digital menus, etc. But does it make more sense not to? Or is that the same kind of logical fallacy that leads people to vote for someone they think is going to "burn it all down?"
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Vindicated

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This differs depending on your location.

However where I am located, the US I expect it to get worse before it gets better. In the US there is a very strong backbone of expecting hard work and an abhorrence of people getting "free stuff". Due to this I suspect that once automation makes a significant portion of the labour force useless that we will not be ready for it politically/socially.

This is the best point I've seen yet.  Once a high percentage of "blue collar" workers are replaced with automation, they'll realize that they're in need of a hand-out, and the current GOP party will have to alter drastically to keep their votes.

Random shower thought: the news about Amazon's merger, coupled with this thread and some other things got me thinking, for UBI fans would it make more sense to support activities that may hasten the need for UBI? I've always gone out of my way to spend money at brick & mortar, locally owned shops, avoid self-checkout and digital menus, etc. But does it make more sense not to? Or is that the same kind of logical fallacy that leads people to vote for someone they think is going to "burn it all down?"

Why do you avoid those things?  Just to support non-autonomous businesses?

I just use whatever is most convenient.  Sometimes Brick & Mortar is what I need, sometimes I just want to order something on Amazon.  I use Self-Checkout 90% of the time these days, but I usually buy groceries twice a week, so the orders are small.
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afuera

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The thing that I always get caught up on regarding UBI is the motivation.  If everyone gets $X regardless of any actual work they do (beneficial to society or otherwise), what motivation is there for anyone to do anything?  Until we have a 100% robot workforce, I don't see what motivation the "workers" have to support the "non-workers".
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Vindicated

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The thing that I always get caught up on regarding UBI is the motivation.  If everyone gets $X regardless of any actual work they do (beneficial to society or otherwise), what motivation is there for anyone to do anything?  Until we have a 100% robot workforce, I don't see what motivation the "workers" have to support the "non-workers".

I believe the idea is to provide a small amount, like $1000/mo.  Just enough that everyone can afford a roof over their heads, and basic foods.  Then, you could eliminate all other social welfare programs, because this covers everyone.  Since everyone receives this, there is no incentive to stay out of the work force.  Currently, if you get a part-time job, you lose benefits that you were receiving for not having a job at all.  Therefore, people just don't work.  Since everyone would receive this $1000, regardless of whether they work, then I believe more people would take on jobs, or other entrepreneurial activities, to make some extra money.

I'm sure there are many different forms of UBI, but this is what I've pictured as a reasonable option.
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jooniFLORisploo

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The thing that I always get caught up on regarding UBI is the motivation.  If everyone gets $X regardless of any actual work they do (beneficial to society or otherwise), what motivation is there for anyone to do anything?  Until we have a 100% robot workforce, I don't see what motivation the "workers" have to support the "non-workers".

I know heaps of people -FIREd, retired, receiving welfare or disability benefits, supported by a spouse or parent, etc- who don't need to work yet do, every single day. We work because we love to help out, love to contribute, enjoy certain activities, etc.

If a person isn't contributing, there's often something going on (severe depression, in temporary recovery, etc). That's a minority.

Pigeon

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Looking at the current political climate in the US anyways, I don't think there's a chance of UBI for a very long time, if ever. 

There are too many people who are totally committed to obliterating any sort of social safety net, even if it is directly against their own self-interest.   Income inequality will just continue to get worse.  Jeff Bezos will be a bazillionaire, along with a few other people.  Pretty much everyone else will be SOL.

Eventually, after enough starvation, there will be riots and massive violence, and most people will be killed.  I don't think it will be some alien organization taking over, we will eat our own instead.

I probably didn't help with the insomnia, sorry.

okits

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Looking at the current political climate in the US anyways, I don't think there's a chance of UBI for a very long time, if ever. 

There are too many people who are totally committed to obliterating any sort of social safety net, even if it is directly against their own self-interest.   Income inequality will just continue to get worse.  Jeff Bezos will be a bazillionaire, along with a few other people.  Pretty much everyone else will be SOL.

Eventually, after enough starvation, there will be riots and massive violence, and most people will be killed.  I don't think it will be some alien organization taking over, we will eat our own instead.

I probably didn't help with the insomnia, sorry.

Maybe not quite so extreme, but I predict some moderate dystopian version of this.  Income inequality, eating our young/self-annihilation.  Hopefully it happens in slow motion so we have lots of chances to correct course. 
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jooniFLORisploo

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We will eat our babies??

(I could see that, as other species do such things. I've just never heard anyone say this!)

Gondolin

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Eventually, after enough starvation, there will be riots and massive violence, and most people will be killed

Pretty big jump here from "Jeff Bezos becomes a bazillionaire", no?

The big problems aren't going to start in the ultra-wealthy and resource rich Americas.
The big problems will start in North Africa/Mid East where rising temps will exacerbate food and water scarcity.

Quote
?We will eat our babies??

(I could see that, as other species do such things. I've just never heard anyone say this!)

Never heard anyone say it? It's a modest proposal.
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Driftwood

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Eventually, after enough starvation, there will be riots and massive violence, and most people will be killed

Pretty big jump here from "Jeff Bezos becomes a bazillionaire", no?

The big problems aren't going to start in the ultra-wealthy and resource rich Americas.
The big problems will start in North Africa/Mid East where rising temps will exacerbate food and water scarcity.

Quote
?We will eat our babies??

(I could see that, as other species do such things. I've just never heard anyone say this!)

Never heard anyone say it? It's a modest proposal.

Well, if we're going to be eating people, doesn't it make more sense to eat adults?  Let the babies grow up, you'll get more meat. 
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marty998

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Quote
Eventually, after enough starvation, there will be riots and massive violence, and most people will be killed

Pretty big jump here from "Jeff Bezos becomes a bazillionaire", no?

The big problems aren't going to start in the ultra-wealthy and resource rich Americas.
The big problems will start in North Africa/Mid East where rising temps will exacerbate food and water scarcity.

Quote
?We will eat our babies??

(I could see that, as other species do such things. I've just never heard anyone say this!)

Never heard anyone say it? It's a modest proposal.

Well, if we're going to be eating people, doesn't it make more sense to eat adults?  Let the babies grow up, you'll get more meat. 

The kids will consume more meat than they will eventually provide.

Pigeon

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Quote
Eventually, after enough starvation, there will be riots and massive violence, and most people will be killed

Pretty big jump here from "Jeff Bezos becomes a bazillionaire", no?

The big problems aren't going to start in the ultra-wealthy and resource rich Americas.
The big problems will start in North Africa/Mid East where rising temps will exacerbate food and water scarcity.

Quote
?We will eat our babies??

(I could see that, as other species do such things. I've just never heard anyone say this!)

Never heard anyone say it? It's a modest proposal.

Well, if we're going to be eating people, doesn't it make more sense to eat adults?  Let the babies grow up, you'll get more meat.

But they are more tender when they are young.

wenchsenior

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Quote
Eventually, after enough starvation, there will be riots and massive violence, and most people will be killed

Pretty big jump here from "Jeff Bezos becomes a bazillionaire", no?

The big problems aren't going to start in the ultra-wealthy and resource rich Americas.
The big problems will start in North Africa/Mid East where rising temps will exacerbate food and water scarcity.

Quote
?We will eat our babies??

(I could see that, as other species do such things. I've just never heard anyone say this!)

Never heard anyone say it? It's a modest proposal.

Well, if we're going to be eating people, doesn't it make more sense to eat adults?  Let the babies grow up, you'll get more meat. 

The kids will consume more meat than they will eventually provide.

Yup, it works this way with top-trophic-level animals...it's nearly always more energetically efficient to cannibalize your young in times in food shortage, than to try to provide enough food to raise it.  Cannibalization allows you to recover some of your energy output that was invested in your young, in the hopes that conditions will improve and you can try again later.

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does godwin's law cover baby eating?

Gondolin

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Quote
Cannibalization allows you to recover some of your energy output that was invested in your young, in the hopes that conditions will improve and you can try again later.

But! For humans with opposable thumbs it's much more efficient to simply terminate unwanted pregnancies and avoid the initial energy expenditure entirely.
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Financial.Velociraptor

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does godwin's law cover baby eating?

Another "Godwin's Law Nazi!"  See what I did there?
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Linda_Norway

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I couldn't choose my own idea in the vote. I lay awake at night because I fear the climate changes. In the next decades I expect us to experience:
- more extreme weather and therefore failed harvests
- dirtier water, floods give contamination
- large populations need to move because there land is under water or they don't have enough water
- mud slides from mountain sides, many houses built in places that are not safe anymore
- distribution trouble, therefore a shortage of goods in grocery stores
- more polarization and wars
- big companies controlling on politics (already the case in US for climate change)
- as soon as we will lack enough food, people will start robbing others, like those that grow there own stuff

As you notice, I am not an optimist. I hope we will get some normal decades and that I can enjoy my FIRE in some years. But I fear that it will come sooner than we expect.

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we just started watching 'humans' on netflix so i voted for the robots.

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I think the poll should be:

1 Universal Basic Income world wide
2 UBI in rich countries, and business as usual in poorer countries, notably the Middle East and Africa.
3 Dysfunctional world
4 AI takes over the world
5 Have another rum

I grew up in the fifties and sixties, and scientists thought that we would move to a prosperous way of life, supported by automated economies, early in the 21st century. I would have chosen Option 1 in the past, but now I choose Option 2. I find it difficult to believe the whole world will become dysfunctional, even allowing for spectacularly dysfunctional societies like Islamic State. I do not see much prospect for Option 4, partly because consciousness is still a mystery, and also because we can unplug computers.