Originally Posted by jake t buds
@Phaedrus The world you describe is quite a ways away. I realize the technology, but it will take a while for what you describe to become the norm. You can also count on economic ideology, as well as human error to get their hands into that world as well. I also predict a lot of conflict and violence. Death and destruction, even, during the transition.
The pesky issue of capital vs labor has been at conflict for the last century, and economic theory will be have to be vastly different in a world where machines make your steak. If there is no labor, where will the capital go? What will people do aside from staring into virtual reality goggles and eating vegetables?
But this is science fiction.
The reality today is that there is an artificially imposed class system. As long as the current social system remains in place, the new world will inevitably reflect that. Regardless of robots and technology.
That's what I'm getting at. Everyone seems to think they're living at the end of history, that all of the millenia of human progress was prearranged to lead up to their graduation from high school. Here's a news flash (and this is not directed at you, Jake)- the 13.84 billion years since the Big Bang was not designed just to create capitalism. It's not the ultimate economic system, it's just the current one. It will last until the next one. Human kind has had many political and economic systems up til now and if we don't become extinct soon we will have many more. Labor vs Capital has indeed been a long struggle, and it was preceded by many other struggles.
The possible future I describe is not coming in ten years, maybe not twenty. But I think there's a pretty solid chance it will happen in my lifetime. Think of Moore's Law- time and time again it's been predicted that we were right at the end of it but some breakthrough always extends it by another few years. Well decades actually. The future isn't ever as far away as it looks, and once things start to change they can change rapidly. Those of you who are old enough might remember growing up in the Cold War. I had nightmares as a child about nuclear attack (I lived very near some Minuteman missiles silos and 30 miles from one of the biggest SAC bases in the US). Yet the Berlin Wall fell while I was in college and with it the USSR. The world we live in would have been unthinkable 30 years ago. But here we are. Look at gay marriage. Maybe a decade ago it was unthinkable in most places and to advocate for it was extremely dangerous. A couple presidents ago DADT was the rule in the military. Even Clinton said marriage was a special aspect of men and women. Now marriage equality is the law of the land.
Those are just the social issues. Again, for the youngsters here for most of my life a telephone was something that sat in your house on a coffee table. When it rang you actually had to bite the bullet and answer it to see who it was. A computer wasn't something you had at home but your school probably had a few. I was the first chef I knew to have a cell phone. Now even little kids have them.
A lot of the things I've described are not in the far flung future- they're things that have been in use for years. Paralegals still exist of course but millions of docs are created by computer. And millions more are done at home on your own computer with templates. Sophisticated knowledge is being encoded into machine language. Already computers are better at diagnosing things than doctors (although for now they don't make housecalls or go on rounds alone). Computers have not only crushed the best human chess players, they've even defeated the best human Go players, something AI experts didn't think was even on the horizon five years ago. Computers have composed music that art critics have praised (and those critics had no clue that it was composed by an AI). Technology has already greatly changed with economy. How many travel agents do you know now? How many typists do you know in office steno pools? When is the last time you used a phone and talked to the operator? Do you know how many bank tellers there are now vs 20 years ago?
The problem is the friction between social systems created hundreds or even thousands of years ago and technology that is advancing faster than social systems can match. What bathroom can a post-op trans person use? There wasn't any means to change outward signs of sex when my dad was young. How does child support work with several fathers and two lesbian mothers fertilized in vitro? Under common law a man had to accept paternity of his wife's children unless he could prove he was impotent or "over the seas" at the time of conception- now a genetic test can determine parentage easily, yet the law hasn't caught up.
I fear that you're right- change will probably come very painfully. But there is some cause for hope in my earlier example of the fall of Soviet communism. I was stunned to see it happen, largely unseen and without violence. Probably no under under 40 or so can really understand how different the world was before and after.
I am not really worried about my job. I've been busting my ass on the line for most of the last few decades, well over 30 years. I have loved being a chef but I'm certainly a lot closer to the end of my career than the beginning. In all likelihood I'll have hung up my gyutos and either died or retired before my way of life gives way to...whatever comes next. But I hope the world has a plan in place before it's needed, not after.