Re: A Challenge To All Extropians

ChuckKuecker (
Sat, 16 May 1998 08:13:46 -0500

At 10:44 PM 5/15/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Hmm, I thought this thread withered away weeks can only hope.
>The flaw of your statement is I never once assumed anything, most
especially 'that
>the poor would get poorer.' Poverty, per say, has nothing to do with it.
It has
>to do with the means to providing for your own existence when increasing
>of the economy become automated. Being that I made no assumptions, I instead
>asked if any there are any free-marketeers, who could explain in as
specific terms
>as possible, what people will do as more and more jobs get automated?
>For example, what will the millions who are currently occupied in the retail
>sector do as this sector fades away from a proliferation of online
>and e-cash? Although some did answer this question with some success, others
>assumed they would simply find other jobs (w/o specifying anything), while
>said they would most likely perish. Neither response lives up to the
challenge I
>initially offered:

Retail will not die for a long time. You will find it difficult to email
fried chicken, for example. Until there is no more need for transportation
for people to go places, there will still be stores to cater to them. It's
lots more fun to shop in person, anyway. For retail to die out, we must
postulater a worls where no one leaves their homes..

>If people are unemployed through increasing automation, how will they support

If automation reaches the ultimate level of 'replicators' there will be no
reason to support oneself. You can go back to the 'hunter/gatherer' level
of life, since there will be anything you want available for the taking.
This excludes land, unless we get cheap space transport. Land will be the
only thing in short supply.

Yes, I am postulating a 'free' energy source, and I am also not projecting
beyond the next 100 years.

>For example, if the millions of people being automated out of the retail
sector do
>find other jobs, what what might those jobs be? Assuming there is a
market for
>them, can you say in all honesty that they *all* have the aptitude to be
>scientists, artists, designers, or engineers? If not, then what will they
do to
>support themselves?

With universal automation, the point is that there will be no need for most
of today's jobs. If you can get anything you want for free, why do you need
to make a living?

I think the bigger problem will be keeping the masses of displaced people
content with their lives..
Many will spend their entire lives in VR, living their dreams. No different
than losing oneself in a novel today, except in the future we will be able
to do it forever, if desired.

The transition form today's society to the future is a problem that must be
addressed. I am still puzzling on that..

Chuck Kuecker