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https://medium.com/@nath_leigh/disruption-of-mental-work-1aef08ad4fc4 Disruption of Mental Work As much of the muscle work has been replaced by machines, the brain work is starting to face a similar fate by “intelligent” software bots. Cognitive computing like IBM’s Watson is giving computers the ability to “think”, which has the potential to disrupt a wide range of occupations. Computer power will become exponentially more powerful and AI algorithms being fed Big Data from the Internet of Things will evolve from a Smart Assistants like Siri, into Smart Workers and Smart Bosses and even to Smart Teachers and Doctors within the next 20 years. Disruption of Knowledge Work A Pew report on AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs which asked experts, “Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025?”, one of the key themes they found and reasons to be concerned was that automation has thus far impacted mostly blue-collar employment; the coming wave of innovation threatens to upend white-collar work as well. McKinsey Global Institute found that there were 230+ million knowledge workers in 2012 which accounts for 9% of the global workforce and 27% of global employment costs. They predict a $5–7 trillion potential economic impact by 2025 of automation of knowledge work. “Over the next 10 years, the work of 110 million to 140 million knowledge workers around the globe may be handled by cognitive robotic process automation systems. his shift to robotic process automation — which digitizes labor through the use of advanced machine intelligence, engagement, analytics, big data, social media, mobile technologies and cloud computing — will change the knowledge worker labor market as we know it.” — KPMG’s Cliff Justice. On its own, each technology has the capacity to change business activity. Taken together, they have the potential to radically reshape society, businesses, the workforce and the economy. These technologies are likely to significantly boost efficiency while eliminating many historic jobs. Big Data is allowing non-routine tasks to become programmable. When there is sufficient data information and computing power available, machine learning can be applied, aiding the computerisation of more tasks.
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http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/paul-mason-post-capitalism-will-set-you-free-1.2303406 Paul Mason sits in his two-up, two-down terraced house in south London while a newly arrived wheaten terrier, Lottie, still getting used to visitors, slumbers in a pen on a sultry afternoon. Mason, the outspoken economics editor of Channel 4 News, is readying to return to Greece, the land whose fortunes, or otherwise, he has charted at length. For some its experience marks the end of Europe’s single currency. But Mason believes the crisis facing capitalism does not stop at Greek overspending and maladministration – or, indeed, at an Irish banking crisis caused by property debt. In his new book, Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, Mason’s thesis is this: neoliberalism, the economic doctrine that has dominated the world since the fall of the Berlin Wall, has run its course, or soon will. “The future of neoliberalism is low wages. In the next 30 years 40 to 50 per cent of all jobs will disappear and be automated – retail and office administration, firstly,” he says. Even higher-skill jobs are being simplified or eradicated. “My job in television has been surrounded by less and less skilled people the more sound and editing have been automated.” The cause is the information-technology revolution. “There are no circumstances in which that technology creates more jobs. It is the first time that a technology has not done that. A hundred years ago, yes, lots of jobs were automated. Yes, you got a production line; the agricultural workforce were decimated, but new jobs were created that needed higher skills,” he says. “John Maynard Keynes in the 1920s said that once you have abundance you don’t have economics. I am not the first to argue that IT is creating a dynamic of cheapness, freeness and shareness – and cheap, free and shared forms of producing are things that mainstream economics has not got its head around. “But I am one of the first to say that this is totally related to the crisis that we are living through, that the stagnation, the failure of a new industrial revolution to take off, is basically down to the fact that neoliberalism was not the springboard for a new industrial revolution but turns out to be a dead end.” “Bullshit jobs” To some this will sound like a call to smash the machines in the manner of the Luddite millworkers of northern England as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace. Mason says it shouldn’t. “The real Luddites are the people who go around opening nail bars, contract cleaners, lap-dancing clubs, bullshit jobs. Capitalism is creating bullshit jobs. We have got nothing better for people to do, so we are going to create jobs to which you can’t apply technology, jobs for minimum wages.” The crisis awaiting capitalism dwarfs even current challenges, Mason says, quoting a disciple of the system, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Ageing societies will be unable to service national debt, he believes, and tax-raising powers will wither in the face of automation. Inequality, even in Scandinavia, will grow dramatically. “The OECD’s economists were too polite to say it, so let’s spell it out: for the developed world the best of capitalism is behind us, and for the rest it will be over in our lifetime,” he writes in his book. Matters can end in one of two ways: “In the first scenario, the global elite clings on, imposing the cost of the crisis on to workers , pensioners and the poor over the next 10 or 20 years.” If this happens the enforcers of globalisation, as he sees them – the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation – will survive, but much weakened. “The cost of saving globalisation is borne by the ordinary people of the developed world. But growth stagnates.” “Globalisation falls apart” There is an even bleaker vista. “The consensus breaks. Parties of the hard right and left come to power as ordinary people refuse to pay the price of austerity. Instead states then try to impose the cost of the crisis on each other. “Globalisation falls apart, the global institutions become powerless and, in the process, the conflicts that have burned these past 20 years – drug wars, post-Soviet nationalism, jihadism, uncontrolled migration and resistance to it – light a fire at the centre of the system. “In this scenario lip service to international law evaporates; torture, censorship, arbitrary detention and mass surveillance become the regular tools of statecraft. This is a variant of what happened in the 1930s, and there is no guarantee it cannot happen again.” And this is before the political, economic and social costs of global warming, ageing societies and rapid population growth are counted. “If we can’t create a sustainable global order and restore economic dynamism, the decades after 2050 will be chaos,” Mason says. But the future is as yet unwritten. Capitalism is bust, he argues, but post-capitalism could thrive, offering shaded groves of adequate incomes, co-operation, sharing. One key will be a basic income for everybody – £120 a week in the UK, similar to its maximum state pension – to help people “volunteer, set up co-ops, edit Wikipedia, learn how to used 3D design software, make a late entry or early exit from working life, switch more easily in and out of high-intensity, stressful jobs.” The idea is not new. The left and right have both, at different times, embraced it, but it would double the welfare bill – “a significant claim on resources”, he admits. People would be free to do other work. “The ultimate aim is to reduce to a minimum the hours it takes to produce what humanity needs,” Mason writes. In turn the world of finance would change: central bankers would be democratically elected and told to follow sustainability targets. Society would be served by the economy, not the other way around. Crippling national debts would wither in the face of higher inflation; banks’ profits would be capped; accountants would be jailed for even suggesting tax evasion. Offshore financial havens would be destroyed; the companies using them would be told to return to their home bases “or be treated as the financial equivalent of al-Qaeda”. The richest 1 per cent would fight to protect their power, even though, Mason says, they recognise that capitalism’s days are numbered. “But there is good news. The 99 per cent are coming to the rescue. Post-capitalism will set you free.” Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future is published by Allen Lane
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http://www.techrepublic.com/article/chinese-factory-replaces-90-of-humans-with-robots-production-soars/ Chinese factory replaces 90% of humans with robots, production soars The gravest fear that has rippled through humanity from the technology industry is that, someday, almost all of our jobs will be replaced by robots. While that fear is often laughed off as something that will only happen far into the future, the truth is that it's actually happening right now. In Dongguan City, located in the central Guangdong province of China, a technology company has set up a factory run almost exclusively by robots, and the results are fascinating. The Changying Precision Technology Company factory in Dongguan has automated production lines that use robotic arms to produce parts for cell phones. The factory also has automated machining equipment, autonomous transport trucks, and other automated equipment in the warehouse. There are still people working at the factory, though. Three workers check and monitor each production line and there are other employees who monitor a computer control system. Previously, there were 650 employees at the factory. With the new robots, there's now only 60. Luo Weiqiang, general manager of the company, told the People's Daily that the number of employees could drop to 20 in the future. The robots have produced almost three times as many pieces as were produced before. According to the People's Daily, production per person has increased from 8,000 pieces to 21,000 pieces. That's a 162.5% increase. The increased production rate hasn't come at the cost of quality either. In fact, quality has improved. Before the robots, the product defect rate was 25%, now it is below 5%. Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology, also based in Dongguan, announced a similar effort in May 2015. This region of China is often referred to as the "world's workshop" due to the high number of factories located there.
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/martin-ford/the-truth-about-unemploym_b_428619.html The Truth About Unemployment -- And Why It May Get Worse The official unemployment rate remains at 10%, and economists are projecting that the job market will take years to recover. Is it possible that, beyond the obvious impact of the financial crisis, there is another largely unacknowledged factor contributing significantly to the dismal unemployment situation? I believe that there is, and I argue that case in my new book, The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future. In the past two decades, information technology has advanced dramatically and is increasingly being employed to eliminate jobs of all types. Job automation technology, together with globalization, has been the primary force behind the stagnant wages and diminished opportunities for less educated workers we've seen in recent years. Because information technology accelerates (roughly doubling every two years), rather than increasing at a constant rate, we can expect that the coming years and decades will see even more dramatic progress. In the future, automation is no longer going to be something that primarily impacts low wage, uneducated workers. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and software automation applications will increasingly enable computers to do jobs that require significant training and education. College graduates who take "knowledge worker" jobs will find themselves threatened not only by low-wage offshore competitors but also by machines and software algorithms that can perform sophisticated analysis and decision making. At the same time, continuing progress in manufacturing automation and the introduction of advanced commercial robots will continue to diminish opportunities for lower skill workers. Technological progress is relentless, and machines and computers will eventually approach the point where they will match or exceed the average worker's ability to perform most routine work tasks. The result is likely to be structural unemployment that ultimately impacts the workforce at virtually all levels -- from workers without high school diplomas to those who hold graduate degrees. Most mainstream economists dismiss this scenario. They continue to believe that the economy will restructure and create adequate numbers of jobs in the long run. Historically this has, in fact, been the case. Millions of jobs were eliminated in agriculture when mechanized farm equipment was introduced. That resulted in a migration to the manufacturing sector. Likewise, manufacturing automation and globalization has resulted in the transition to a largely service-based economy in the United States and other developed countries. In the past, technology has typically impacted one employment sector at a time, leaving or creating other areas for workers to transition into. That's unlikely to be the case this time around. Accelerating information technology will offer a completely unprecedented level of work capability -- and it can be applied virtually everywhere. As technology providers compete and innovate, automation will certainly become more affordable and more accessible to even the smallest businesses. If a business can save money through automation, competitive pressures will leave it no choice but to do so. While there will certainly continue to be jobs that cannot be automated, the reality is that a very large percentage of the 140 million or so workers in the United States are employed in jobs that are fundamentally routine and repetitive in nature. Enormous numbers of these jobs are going to be vaporized by technology in the coming decades, and because that technology will be available across the board, there is really very little reason to believe that entirely new employment sectors capable of absorbing massive numbers of workers will be created. The problem is not just one of unemployment. In my book, I use a thought experiment or mental simulation based on "lights in a tunnel" to illustrate the overall economic impact of relentlessly advancing job automation technology. As unemployment increases and wages fall, discretionary consumer spending and confidence will likewise plummet. The result will be a downward economic spiral that will be very difficult to arrest. Beyond some threshold, the business models of mass market industries would be threatened as there would simply be too few viable consumers to purchase their products. We would also likely see unprecedented levels of debt defaults, plunging asset values and financial system disruptions that might easily exceed what has so far occurred in the current crisis. I believe that the impact of accelerating automation technology is likely to present an enormous economic, social and political challenge over the next ten to twenty years and beyond. Yet, the issue is simply not on the radar. In The Lights in the Tunnel, I suggest some possible reforms that might address the issue, but the reality is that the problem is potentially so disruptive that even progressive thinkers would probably find some of my ideas extreme. Conservatives will likely view my proposals as unthinkable. Nonetheless, if we are ultimately destined to progress into a world where traditional jobs are simply unavailable and where a huge percentage of the population has little in the way of marketable skills or opportunity to earn an income, there will be few if any viable solutions that would not be perceived as radical. Martin Ford is the author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future and has a blog at econfuture.wordpress.com.
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http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/sallakanderson20150801The Social Fabric of a Technically Advanced Society Nicole Sallak Anderson By Nicole Sallak Anderson ehumandawn.blogspot.com Posted: Aug 1, 2015 There is so much human potential. I see it everywhere I turn. Yet something seems to hold us back, ever so slightly, from actually becoming a stable species. Yes, we have come a long way, yet at this moment in time it seems we have but two choices before us, begin to cooperate and live in harmony, or destroy everything, including our planet. I’m not sure I’m an optimist, but I don’t think spending too much time on doomsday scenarios is a good use of my time. Deep down I believe we can use our minds, hearts and technology to completely transform the human experience across the globe—taking a world where 50% live on only $2 a day and turning it into a world where technology is shared with everyone—and all humans, animals and the planet benefit from this collaboration. Rather than label such a place utopia, can we simply agree this is the final implementation of the Technological Revolution? Long ago, we began to organize in new ways with the Agricultural Revolution. More recently, the Industrial Revolution changed humanity.We’re now in the middle of shifting into the Information Age, but as long as half of us don’t have running water, live in war torn nations, and die of curable disease, we really aren’t there. We’re half way there. It’s like starting college and taking one hundred years to graduate. And it’s driving us insane. How do we complete the current Technological Revolution? We can’t merely rely on technological advancement to do it, because we can’t create a new paradigm from within the old paradigm. Rather we must step out of our scarcity mentality and create a society that truly supports a technically advanced world. This is a very different social fabric than the one we see right now. Currently our currency is greed, at any cost. Technology is only pursued if there’s profit and thus most people do not benefit from the revelations we’ve made. Our innovation is being held captive by greedy, small, fearful minds and the systems to which they cling. To move forward and truly become a technically advanced society, we must change the story of our lives from competition to collaboration. From fear to courage. From greed to need. Rather than focus on the end of the world, I want to look at the next evolution of humanity. We ushered in the Technological Revolution, it’s now time to complete it and make it a reality across the globe. I’m not sure how to get there, but here are a few key aspects I think one might see if they suddenly woke up in a technically advanced society: An economic system of abundance In his article titled, The End of Capitalism Has Begun, author Paul Mason writes, “…all mainstream economics proceed from a condition of scarcity, yet the most dynamic force in our modern world, information, is abundant and wants to be free.” Of course, many classical economists mock Mason’s premise, but I think he’s on to something. If we landed on a planet with a technically advanced society, we’d see abundance everywhere, because information age would have been fully realized and it will upend everything as we know it. Our businesses since the Industrial Revolution have relied on materials and labor. Information knows nothing of such limitations. “Yet information is abundant. Information goods are freely replicable. Once a thing is made, it can be copied/pasted infinitely.” [Mason] We are only just beginning to see the effects of the information-based economy on our goods and labor force. What once took over 100K employees to deliver (photos developed by Kodak) now takes less than 20 people to implement and issue (Instagram.) Universal Access to Information In a technologically advanced society, all information is retrievable in a straightforward manner. Some call it the “Great Mind” of humanity and I think it’ll be something close. Every thought, idea, invention, picture, item of legislation, etc. will be available online. Nothing can really be hidden in such a world, especially if everyone has network access. Thus the “Great Mind” grows, changes and morphs as more and more people access it, add to it, and use it. Think of Wikipedia on a grand scale. Most importantly, NO ONE is locked out. Network access is a given and every human being participates according to his/her need. In such a world our imaginations will be held as critical assets to productivity. As Mason writes, “The power of imagination will become critical. In an information society, no thought, debate or dream is wasted.” Decentralization of food, healthcare, education, currency, and manufacturing In other words, it’s an open sourced world. Gone are the days of limiting the distribution of life-saving technologies in order to increase the value of a company’s stock. Once the “Great Mind” is in place, anyone can begin to create their products, and then share them with everyone else. Eventually forcing all of our large, monolithic monopolies to come to terms with the fact that they no longer hold the patent, or the exclusive path, to any service. From health care to infrastructure to energy distribution, a technically advanced society is an Open Source society. I think there’s a reason Minecraft is so popular with the youth, they long for such freedom of creativity and sharing in our “real” world. Perhaps they’re on to something. Decoupling of work and personal definition In a technically advanced society, people are imaginative and lithe. They move from task to task as their interior and exterior needs guide. No one choses a career at 18 and remains stuck in the wheel for life, for no job can really last that long. Ideas as well as society’s needs are always changing. Humans are educated to take part in shaping their world and assisting where their current skill set is needed. Yes, there will still be inventors, coders and health care workers, but other work, like cleaning up the environment, teaching the youth, raising our children, caring for our old, bringing countries online, installing renewable energy will also be important. Just as no idea is wasted in a technically advanced society, no work is beneath anyone (besides, we’ll have robots to do the nastiest, most dangerous work, right?) Nor is work the only thing that matters. The main goal of education now becomes enabling children to discover themselves and figure out how the world needs their skills, rather than being told what skills are needed. How could anyone truly know the most important skillset of the 21st century, with technology changing the game at every turn? Better to be inspired and imaginative than intelligent, at least by today’s standards. The arts would also flourish in a technically advanced society because artists and storytellers would be freed from forced labor to enlighten, engage and inspire the population. Today many people spend their working lives doing jobs they think are unnecessary. As David Graber has written, we create “…bullshit jobs on little pay…” in order to prop up our current economic paradigm. We often describe ourselves as our work. A technically advanced society challenges us to describe ourselves as our skills and interests. Universal Basic Income As I’ve written in previous blogs on the topic, I believe the disassociation of work from wages is necessary for us to free our technology and truly advance into the information age. The basic housing, food, transportation and health care costs MUST be granted to all citizens, in every nation. To see one another as worthy of life is a first step. I realize this is a hard thing, but technology demands it of us. We won’t get there with the economics of scarcity, which is why I started this list with the Economics of Abundance. The information age is the great equalizer. The sooner we understand this and guarantee a basic income for all individuals, the sooner we can truly reap the benefits of the promise of the future. Servant Leadership Decentralization still needs leaders, but not rulers. This is often called Servant Leadership—those who are willing to work to create space where other people’s needs are met. We currently have the mindset that to need something makes us weak, but in a technically advanced society, needs point the way towards innovation, improvement and ingenuity. I recently worked at an education conference where George Hoffecker, co-founder of Hoffecker Burgess Consulting and advocate extraordinaire of Appreciative Inquiry, spoke of needs as “life expressing itself.” Our needs, he suggested, are life giving, but our strategies for getting our needs met can be a problem. A Servant Leader does not fix the person’s need, but instead makes space for others to express their needs and be heard. From there, solutions can be figured out together. He also suggested that a Servant Leader often hears the Yes behind the No by making the effort to understand the needs of the one who is showing resistance. This is a very different paradigm than what we see in Washington DC right now, and I’d suggest that in a technically advanced society, the governmental structure we have would need to be dismantled. Servant Leaders need to be close to the people they work for. Local governments would become more important and Servant Leaders would spend their days with the people inspiring them to create a community that at the same time allows the freedom of the individual. How then would we create laws that affects the whole? Who needs Congress, or the EU, when we have… Direct Democracy With everyone connected to the network in some way, be it a telepathic neuro-implant or a Smartphone, legislation can be brought to our finger tips. Reddit-like boards will exist to allow dialogue. Servant Leaders will moderate and encourage us to be civil using tool sets like Appreciative Inquiry to enable the Internet Troll to become extinct. Laws can be recommended, shut down, or modified, and then voted upon by all subscribers. Voter registration is encouraged for all citizens, but not forced. Yes, we’ll need a great security system, and this form of democracy can only exist if the previous six items have been established. In addition, we need an EDUCATED population, but if we’ve decoupled work from identity and wages, the education of our children now has the goal of creating informed, inquisitive and imaginative members of society. Imagine something like TPP or the Patriot Act happening under such a system. Anything can be corrupted, I know. But if our leaders are truly servants and our technology is truly open sourced, many of the issues we see now in politics are naturally removed from the picture, finally enabling us to fully embrace and implement the Information Age. A Planetary Identity Nationality no longer has a place in a technically advanced society. We are all beings sharing the same network, information and data as well as natural resources. Information truly is the great equalizer. Take this example: 3D printing. Trade is completely different in a world of 3D printing from home. Danit Peleg, an Israeli fashion designer, just created an entire clothing line and 3D printed it from her house! Check out her video, it’s amazing and her work will change the entire fashion industry. Now, shopping becomes designing our own outfit, or purchasing designs online and printing out at home, thus creating an online fashion community, with an individual bias. The concept of a multi-international company like The Gap selling slave made clothing falls away, leaving us with a global citizenry. We’re almost there and our social media is bringing us together faster than anything else. Her video went from 1000 views to over 1 Million in just seven days. Good ideas spread like wildfire on a global network. Our planet’s resources are shared. What happens to the people in the Congo in order to get minerals for our iPhones, matters. What happens to the Pacific Ocean garbage patch, matters. No longer can we drain the aquafers in one place without causing a drought somewhere else. We are connected, one people, one race. Rather than focus on national exceptionalism, in a technically advanced society, the people focus on human exceptionalism as stewards of one another and the land, and all cultures are shared and honored. We are the people of Earth. Once we understand that at our core, we will see the promise of technology finally shed its shackles, and we will truly become a technically advanced society.
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http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-03/star-trek-economy-and-life-after-the-dismal-science Star Trek Economics: Life After the Dismal Science 91 AUG 3, 2015 8:00 AM EDT By Noah Smith I grew up watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (easily the best of the Star Trek shows). There’s one big, obvious thing missing from the future society depicted in the program. No one is doing business. There is almost no one buying and selling, except for a few species for whom commerce is a form of traditional religion. Food and luxuries are free, provided by “replicators” -- machines capable of creating essentially anything from pure energy. Recreation, provided by virtual reality, is infinite in scope. Scarcity -- the central defining concept of economics -- seems to have been eliminated. Is this really the future? Is it possible? Is it something we want? Periodically, economists and economics writers struggle with this question. Back in 2013, Rick Webb and Matt Yglesias theorized that as society gets richer and richer, capitalism and free markets will still exist, but will simply recede into the background. Others have described Star Trek not as a socialist paradise, but as a libertarian one. A writer named Manu Saadia is even writing a book about the topic. So let’s think about the economics of Star Trek. What we’re really thinking about is how to get to economic utopia. It’s an important question. The first thing to consider is how to distribute the fruits of plenty. If we can harness renewable energy to ward off a collapse when fossil fuels run out, then it’s a good bet that increased automation, virtual reality and other technological advances will provide us with a world of plenty unimaginable in previous times. Current world annual gross domestic product per capita, in purchasing power parity terms, is only about $13,000 -- enough to put food on the table and a roof over one’s head. What happens when it is $100,000, or $200,000? It would seem ridiculous to limit this incredible plenty to a few people. When the world gets rich enough, a trivial tax on the rich would be enough to provide everyone on Earth with a basic income that would allow them to lead lives of leisure. Or, as Yglesias suggests, voluntary giveaways by the rich could support the rest, since we might get more altruistic as our lives become more comfortable. Who cares if the robots put us all out of a job, when we can create paradise with just a tiny dash of redistribution? Of course, this depends crucially on the number of humans being limited. As economist Thomas Malthus pointed out in the 19th century, exponential population growth will eventually bring back scarcity no matter how rich we are. Fortunately, it looks like that won’t be a problem -- global fertility rates are converging to replacement level, meaning that world population will level off. It is unlikely that a population bomb will threaten the leisure society. There is also the problem of the dignity of work -- people enjoy feeling needed. But human values change over time, and there seems no obvious reason why people couldn’t get their self-worth from artistic self-expression, or from hobbies. This is the basic Star Trek future. But actually, I think that the future has a far more radical transformation in store for us. I predict that technological advances will actually end economics as we know it, and destroy scarcity, by changing the nature of human desire. In economics, a core assumption is that desires and motivations are fixed, and that our actions are merely attempts to fulfill those desires -- that, to quote 18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume, “reason is…only the slave of the passions.” But desires and motivations come from the brain, and the brain can be hacked and modified with technology. Someday -- perhaps sooner than we think -- we will be able to change what we want. Reason will no longer be the slave of the passions; instead, the two will do an eternal, elaborate dance, as we constantly decide what kind of people we want to be. That will have huge ramifications for human society. Some people will doubtless choose to simply be satisfied and happy all the time, like MDMA (“Molly”) users but with no risk of drug tolerance or addiction. But these people won't be the ones who choose to be productive. The people out there exploring the stars -- the people on the bridge of the starship Enterprise -- will be the ones who want to be explorers, who choose to be restless and never satisfied. If they are not born with the requisite motivation, they will use advanced technology to implant it in themselves. In other words, the rise of new technology means that all the economic questions will change. Instead of a world defined by scarcity, we will live in a world defined by self-expression. We will be able to decide the kind of people that we want to be, and the kind of lives we want to live, instead of having the world decide for us. The Star Trek utopia will free us from the fetters of the dismal science.
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