The Automatons

Replaced Humans

Every single economic theory or philosophy whether it is capitalism or communism function under one primary assumption, humans are always doing work. In the past 50 years something has happened that puts all economic theories into jeopardy and the consequences are not science fiction, they are already happening. Humans are being replaced by automatons both in physical activity, by robots, and virtually with code.

Capitalism which to date has been the best system for rising quality of life has had an unexpected consequence that no one is truly confronting. Contrary to what idealists may believe capitalism doesn’t have the objective of creating jobs, instead jobs are a bi-product or a side effect of greed. If a CEO has the option of two employees that can do the same job as ten employees, if he is a capitalist, he will choose two. Employees are a huge expense, everyone knows it, but they are a requirement of scale. The system works perfect until you start cutting humans out. The side effect of creating jobs is being cured paradoxically by the very system everyone believes is supposed to create jobs.

Capitalism works perfect until you start cutting humans out.

Unemployment will continue to rise and everyone will continue to look at the traditional reason and this is highly problematic. Governments will dump money into companies who will throw it into R&D to create more advanced systems that cut more humans out.  Most developers are aware that their job usually involves making things that cut jobs. The more efficient the code, the less people are needed. When I write code there is the potential I could be writing an employee that will work 24 hours a day, and be 100% efficient; you won’t stand a chance no matter how nice your resume is. These problems will continue to snow ball and by the time everyone realizes that the biggest competition for a job isn’t a human but a mainframe, it may be too late.

The answers may be difficult, but a place to start is to realize that work generated by automatons at some point, even if it is a percentage, need to be redistributed socially. Since automatons don’t generate revenue for themselves, they can not spend their own work product. Without spending all economies will fall apart. If automatons are not taxed the only way anyone will be able to purchase anything is by enslaving themselves to corporations who will employ people not because they need them but because they can. If this happens it will make both robber barons and the darkest communism look like utopia. Even worse would be the situation that, in response to wide scale loss of jobs due to technology, humans respond by destroying technology and moving the world back in time in order to support dated economic systems.

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  1. The Setta
    May 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    From they way I understand this, humans will be replaced by machines and thus there will be no way for people to access money (wages). Also since people don’t have money, business owners will not have an incentive to make products to sell using their automatons. The solution cannot be to enslave a few humans to make them pay for the products. That’s like putting money from one pocket to the other. The solution is to get rid of money. Money has always been used to quantify people’s needs. Needs that without the monetary unit system would never be measurable accurately. No one can measure with specific units how badly they want a piece of pie without comparing it to some other need. You either want it or not. We just settle for a measurement based on the money they have, because of the scarcity of money and not the pie. That way we say a rich person is someone who has enough means to satisfy his greed and eliminate his fear of scarcity. If automatons can create everything we need and we have enough energy to keep them going then why does anyone have to work. And for that matter why does anyone have to pay for stuff. Essentially production can become a totally automated process and all we need to do is enjoy the faculties of our brains i.e. reason, imagination, will, perception, memory (enjoying things we already have gone through) and intuition to create new automations and automatons. To innovate. Just like we do with many of the abstract experiences we go through in life, like love (we naturally innovate ways to impress our loved ones), friendship (we are always making new friends and finding out whats new with our friends), travel (we always want to travel to new places)

    • May 14, 2012 at 12:53 am

      When humans can no longer leverage other humans capitalism will fail. What you’re referring to is essentially a socialism where a lot of the effort is moved over to robots. The main problem with this is that there is a huge gap between that point and where we are at now. This is why I also believe the conversations are important to have during this process of conversion because otherwise we might end up with a very bizarre or awkward system that leaves a lot of people out.

      There is another possibility and that is our economy just fundamentally changes. A good example is water. Water is so abundant in first world countries that no one really thinks about it when they are using it in production. If we get to the point that production is so easy because of automatons and things like 3D printing, it might become just like water; we will just be use to having certain things that right now are more difficult to ascertain.

      I don’t think humans can ever stop working, even entertainment is a form of work it is way to gain education (regardless of actual value). An example is lion cubs play fighting, to them it is amusing but it has a very important role as training, it is the same for us. However what can change is the work we do, like you said we can become focused on innovation, art, and higher level research. I think this a very important step towards Elolight, the fact that anyone had to do redundant, repetitive work to make a living is something I think humanity needs to overcome.

  2. The Setta
    May 14, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Totally agree. To me when youre enjoying the process its no longer work. Nice stuff

  1. May 14, 2012 at 1:37 am
  2. July 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm
  3. July 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm
  4. July 25, 2012 at 7:32 am

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