A Challenge To All Extropians/Free Martketeers

Yak Wax (yakwax@yahoo.com)
Tue, 28 Apr 1998 10:16:55 -0700 (PDT)

Paul Hughes challenged:

> Over the last several years I have become a
> big advocate for free-markets. However,
> there have been some nagging questions that
> I have yet to answer without resorting to
> some form of socialism in order to solve.
> Can any free-market advocate answer any
> and/or all of the following questions:
> 1) Is there a single field, which is
> intrinsically safe from automation in the
> course of the next 20-30 years? If you can
> think of more fields, please elaborate.

Being human.

> 2) Are these remaining fields if any,
> sufficient to employ the majority of
> humanity? If not, what will the rest of
> humanity do in order to survive?

These fields are enough to employ the whole of humanity, being human
is something humanity is good at.

> 3) For those who are unemployed and do not
> have sufficient investment income, is death
> the inevitable result? If not, how will
> they survive?

Automation will mean that your average "poor" person will have the
ability of one of today's large corporations. Their standard of
living won't just be higher, it will be transhuman.

> 4) Will most people alive today be able to
> save enough before their jobs become
> automated?

You're attributing automation with centralism. Autonomous
technologies can produce other autonomous technologies at near-zero
prices, when this happens *everyone* will have these technologies, not
just large corporations and governments. Currently automation looks
bad because of centralism, think of a world where you send your
automaton to work for you rather than be replaced by it. Every person
already consists of many autonomous components, adding to these does
not mean outmoding ourselves.

> 5) If how much money one has saved is the
> key to surviving automation, does this not
> portend very badly for young people who
> have had less time to save for their forced
> retirement? If this is true, does this mean
> that the future is going to be populated
> almost entirely of rich and old people and
> their children?

If markets become a ubiquitous means of resource sharing, I would
expect transactions to become a reactionary (autonomous) response.
That should take care of all our "money" problems, and we can worry
about other things.

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