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Author Topic: Post-Scarcity Thread  (Read 7234 times)

Frumple

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #60 on: October 13, 2014, 09:59:22 pm »

It also seems that the concept of a lifetime marrage is starting to break down, and more people seem to want something closer to a friendship - something that doesn't tie the people together for life.
I'm not even sure there's ever truthfully been a concept of lifetime marriage, honestly, at least in regards to emotional relationship fidelity (fiscal relationship fidelity is an entirely different discussion). It's certainly been a cultural norm given lip service over the centuries, but extramarital affairs have been incredibly common for at least as long and often either tacitly or explicitly accepted. Concept of a lifetime marriage has a lot of self-deception and a lot of economics involved with it, but... relatively little reality, imo.

I could definitely see how more idle time (read: potential for self-reflection and study) would lead to an upswing in honesty regarding the subject, though.

The current problem with work is a distribution problem, more than a cultural problem. The problem is deciding who has to work/study, and who doesn't.
That... is definitely a cultural problem. The distribution problem is trivial -- we've got more individuals than we actually need to get pretty much everything done. Almost every roadblock and inefficiency in doing so is explicitly due to cultural norms. The logistics aspect of it is frankly a non-issue, imo. If our collective societies actually wanted, in their entireties, our various problems solved, they would be. We could do things by ruddy random lots and get pretty much everything done, if it came to it (assuming a means of enforcement or a willingness to comply, anyway), nevermind all the massively more efficient means of going about things we have in our collective methodologies.

Quote
Or better, why should someone have the right to not work, when there is still work to do. This is the problem that technology is creating.
That's... backwards? The problem is that we're creating work out of aether because there isn't work to be done for a lot of people, but we still demand that people work before they eat. Also that instead of maintaining production and reducing hours, we're either increasing production and maintaining hours, or increasing production and reducing hours. It's really one of the biggest problems the modernized world has -- figuring out what the hell to do with all the people for whom there is no meaningful work to do.

Technology definitely hasn't been creating more work for us. The productivity gains we've been seeing in pretty much every single field has drastically reduced the amount of effort we need to maintain parity in... pretty much any industry you want to look at.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 10:01:48 pm by Frumple »
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Bohandas

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #61 on: October 13, 2014, 11:39:50 pm »

there are countries with a scarcity of people, china comes to mind with their surplus of men, and a shortage of women. if you value interaction with the opposite sex, this is an important resource to keep track of. too many men or women means that someone is going to die alone.

This can also be solved by modernization. In the form of porn and homosexuality (and homosexual porn).
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LordBucket

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #62 on: October 13, 2014, 11:40:17 pm »

Sexbots and VR have the potential to address the gender shortage issue. Her and Cherry 2000 probably aren't too far away.



That's a robot. And we're already seeing virtual companions with Siri, Cortana, Amelia, etc. They're not "there yet." But, I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing people form emotional bonds with their cellphones within the next 5-10 years.



Now, I want to talk about work:

The current problem with work is a distribution problem, more than a cultural problem. The problem is deciding who has to work/study, and who doesn't. Or better, why should someone have the right to not work, when there is still work to do. This is the problem that technology is creating.

This is potentially a messy issue. There are way it could be painlessly resolved, but it remains to be seen whether humans will choose more painful or less painful means. But like Frumple says, I don't think that thinking of it as work "distribution" is a productive way of looking at it.

Reducing the work week and spreading out employment is one possibility.

UBI is another. If the Swiss do decide to make it happen and if it works, I can imagine the EU following within a couple years. and if that works out...I can imagine others following also.

Somebody inventing a Star Trek replicator capable of replicating itself would solve the problem almost immediately. It might lead to a couple chaotic weeks, but after those weeks, I think we'd be in the clear.

Failing all of the above, I can conceive of services simply becoming so cheap that people are able to scrape by, until eventually it simply becomes obvious that very few people need to work and then a cascade where the remaining services become cheap or free too.

I don't know how it will work out, but I'd choose any of those options over bloody revolution and a return to the dark ages.

Bohandas

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #63 on: October 13, 2014, 11:42:24 pm »

Sexbots and VR have the potential to address the gender shortage issue. Her and Cherry 2000 probably aren't too far away.

and the Fleshlight. Don't forget that.
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mainiac

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #64 on: October 14, 2014, 12:46:25 am »

Sexbots and VR have the potential to address the gender shortage issue. Her and Cherry 2000 probably aren't too far away.

and the Fleshlight. Don't forget that.

Yeah. New technologies are much more likely to be things that aren't exact analogues to what they replace.  Compare Facebook and skype.  In the 50s everyone in the world would have predicted video telephone like skype, it's like talking or telephone but better.  Nobody would have predicted Facebook.  Facebook is the much bigger deal.

So I think sexbots are less likely to revolutionize sex compared to some method of stimulation that people aren't thinking about yet.
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LordBucket

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #65 on: October 14, 2014, 01:00:13 am »

So I think sexbots are less likely to revolutionize sex compared to some method of stimulation that people aren't thinking about yet.

Well, there's this. But there are benefits to companionship besides sex. And while the cost effectiveness of VR might tend to give advantages to software-only companions...along with being easier to distribute, clean and repair, a robot might have an easier time feeding your cat, taking out the trash, chasing away spiders, etc.

Bohandas

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #66 on: October 14, 2014, 01:28:22 am »

So I think sexbots are less likely to revolutionize sex compared to some method of stimulation that people aren't thinking about yet.

Well, there's this.

IMHO that is something like that probably is something that peopleare thinking of as things similar to it and to the other technologies mentioned in the article have turned up in many different unrelated sci-fi movies and series (Sleeper [the Orb and, you know, the Orgasmotron; the guy in this article actually lifted his product's name directly from Sleeper], Demolition Man [the sex helmet thingy], The Adventures of Pluto Nash [the happiness chip], and the Red Dwarf novels [where stimulation of the brain's pleasure centers is combined with virtual reality to create an experience more addictive than speedballing], just to name a few)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 01:34:12 am by Bohandas »
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alexandertnt

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #67 on: October 14, 2014, 05:36:14 am »

I'm not even sure there's ever truthfully been a concept of lifetime marriage, honestly, at least in regards to emotional relationship fidelity (fiscal relationship fidelity is an entirely different discussion). It's certainly been a cultural norm given lip service over the centuries, but extramarital affairs have been incredibly common for at least as long and often either tacitly or explicitly accepted.

I quite agree with you.

It would have been more accurate if I had said there was less social pressure to pursue marrage or other traditional relationships, and flexability in relationships is being more and more accepted. People have more of a "live and let live" attitude than they used to, which is great.
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Bohandas

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #68 on: October 31, 2014, 07:38:43 pm »

if everyone on the planet each had a magic box with a button on it that every time anyone pressed it, a paperclip magically materialized inside the box...would you claim that paperclips were scarce because the work of pushing the button was required to generate paperclips?
Since the creation of the paperclip is a production process, and human labor, no matter how trivial, is not infinite, the paperclips are a limited resource and therefore scarce. That's going by the definition of scarcity I can find anyway, I haven't studied economics.

From wiktionary
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/scarce

Scarce (adj)
1. Uncommon, rare; difficult to find; insufficient to meet a demand.
2. Scantily supplied (with); deficient (in); used with of.

The paperclips in that example could hardly be called difficult to find or scantily supplied
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 07:56:55 pm by Bohandas »
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Angle

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #69 on: October 31, 2014, 09:35:44 pm »

Hmmm... I don't know if I'd be so bold as to propose a post-scarcity economy, but I do think our economic system could use a major overhaul.
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Helgoland

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Re: Post-Scarcity Thread
« Reply #70 on: November 01, 2014, 07:24:36 am »

The paperclips in that example could hardly be called difficult to find or scantily supplied
Depends on the scale. They're not scarce if you want to hold papers together with them; they are scarce if you want to use them as a source of metal to replace traditional mining.
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