Re: Nanotech Restrictions (differences with haves and have-nots in2050)

From: phil osborn (
Date: Sat Apr 15 2000 - 23:43:15 MDT

>From: Adrian Tymes <>>Subject: Re: Nanotech Restrictions
> (differences with haves and have-nots in2050)
>Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 19:33:45 -0700
>john grigg wrote:
> > I am curious to know what the list members think will be the real
> > differences between the "haves and the have-nots" a half-century from
>Education, and the mental - as opposed to physical - ability to obtain
>new information as it becomes available and desirable, will probably be
>one of the determining differences. Quite likely, anyone who wishes to
>do so and knows how to will be able to log on from their home or nearest
>public access terminal to find answers to the pressing questions of the
>moment, in degrees of seriousness ranging from the humor behind a
>friend's light jest regarding something one is not quite familiar with,
>to the user-created manual on a tool one is using, to auto-generated
>(and, one would hope, accurate) lists of customers for whatever creative
>effort one has been inspired to do, to various media embodiments of
>answers to "how do I do that". The main reason the have nots will not
>be enriching themselves this way, is that they will not know or not
>think to apply that to their problems.
>Health is likely to be another distinguishing factor. Haves: enhanced
>beyond human norms, rate of death approaching zero - though probably not
>actually reaching it, unless one excludes death-and-revive (as, for
>instance, is promised by cryogenic suspension and nanotechnology) from
>the death count. Have nots: healthy by 2000s standards, but still
>suffer from the common cold and such; generally not enhanced much beyond
>2000-era human norms.

Consider that one half of the human population has lived mostly by virtue of
information technology in recent times. I.e., women. Most women in Western
society for most of the previous century could just as easilly have been
dispensed with by the men who were the primary "bread-winners" in most
households. It's very easy and economical to live as a single male, but most
women found a man who was willing to finance their lives as well as their

For what? Love, obviously. That's the short answer, and the most correct
approximation perhaps. The reality is more complex, but what the men got in
return - in the relationships that actually worked, anyway - was visibility
- dailly feedback keeping them centered and aware of themselves from a
highly experienced source. Sex, after all, is a feedback loop, modulated by
the nature of the various components. But of course sex is generally only a
small portion of the total interaction.

Consider how much people pay for a massage, when auto-massage machines are
readilly available. The point of consciousness is feedback. Consciouness
determines action in the face of alternatives, makes choices based on the
experience - feedback - of previous actions. Incentive - all the forms of
internal rewards - are forms of feedback. Art is a perceptual
concretization - feedback - of internal constructs. We work not to eat -
that alone would occupy a tiny fraction of the time and effort we employ -
but to see ourselves through our consequences in the world - feedback.

I.e., bottom line is that we humans - or even higher mammals - have always
lived primarily in an information economy.

With unemployment in the recognized occupations falling to its natural
limits, as the information economy progresses we will likely have companies
(another old concept, but for lack of a better term) begging for people to
engage their minds in all kinds of projects. All these web freebies
financed by banner ads? That's the future. There is going to be a "labor"
shortage of monumental proportions that will likely have an impact similar
to the great "Black Death" die-off of the late Middle Ages, which is often
credited with destroying the old hierarchies and leading to the Renaissance.

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