Expiration date on the economy as we know it

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More and more it keeps ocuring to me that the modern economies and styles of government that we have now may have a fast approaching expiration date. For example, with AI and autonomous robotics, we could soon have exponentially fast growing industrial complexes in space. And the amount of precious resources available in asteroids dwarf those that we have access to on Earth, not to mention mining them doesn't harm our environment. So who dominates in space and robtics+AI will control the planet? Will there soon be a time when making a living wage through time-value transactions will be obsolete? So what will we do if that is the case? Should this be a hot button political issue?
 
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More and more it keeps ocuring to me that the modern economies and styles of government that we have now may have a fast approaching expiration date. For example, with AI and autonomous robotics, we could soon have exponentially fast growing industrial complexes in space.
You are getting ahead of things by decades, I think, and you don't seem to get how onerous it is to bring things down to Earth even if they are mined/created in space. As long as we depend on chemical rockets that problem isn't going away.
 
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Isn't decades a very small amount of time? Preparing now for something major coming in a matter of decades seems a little late IMO.
 

Vanadium 50

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Do you think the 2019 economy was predictable from 1949? 1969? 1989? Even 2016? (The inevitable post-Trump stock market crash)

Bohr summed it up well: "It is difficult to predict, especially the future"
 
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Do you think the 2019 economy was predictable from 1949? 1969? 1989? Even 2016? (The inevitable post-Trump stock market crash)

Bohr summed it up well: "It is difficult to predict, especially the future"
I'm not so sure. Not everything is difficult to predict. Some things are obvious, practically inevitable overall. Predicting a stock market crash, vs a new way of life is a different thing too right? This is a microscopic event compared to the macroscopic. Basically, we've had a system where people exchange their time/work for things of value for at least 5,000 years. So going from that to something entirely different in a matter of decades is a big deal. And one could argue that decades is optimistic, since it is in theory an accelerating phenomena which has already begun.
 
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I'm not so sure. Not everything is difficult to predict. Some things are obvious, practically inevitable overall. Predicting a stock market crash, vs a new way of life is a different thing too right? This is a microscopic event compared to the macroscopic. Basically, we've had a system where people exchange their time/work for things of value for at least 5,000 years. So going from that to something entirely different in a matter of decades is a big deal. And one could argue that decades is optimistic, since it is in theory an accelerating phenomena which has already begun.
You are ignoring at least the one problem I pointed out. Sounds to me like you have an agenda here.
 
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You are ignoring at least the one problem I pointed out. Sounds to me like you have an agenda here.
Why I'm the one with an agenda? You're the one trying to make it a divisive topic and getting persona/emotional about it. I'm just asking what people think. I have a limited understanding just like everyone else. You made a good point about the issue with chemical rockets, the dependence on external resources and ability to freely scale up industrial processes to enormous proportions in space is just one part of the topic. Aside, you didn't give any substance in your argument, so I don't know what response you expect, and I don't know why you expect me to challenge everything you say as if you an I are in some kind of 1 v 1 debate. Besides space, there is the issue of an onset of an increasing lack of practical things to pay people to do. If you don't think these things will happen in a near enough time frame to care about now, that's fine. An open analysis of the topic in general is what I expected, not a two sided black and white issue that people fight eachother about.
 

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So going from that to something entirely different in a matter of decades is a big deal.
From "what" to "what something entirely different?"
 
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So who dominates in space and robtics+AI will control the planet?
You are taking that wrong. The ones in control will issue the licenses for space & robotics stuff.
 

Vanadium 50

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. Basically, we've had a system where people exchange their time/work for things of value for at least 5,000 years. So going from that to something entirely different in a matter of decades is a big deal.
You've given no evidence that this will be the case, have avoided addressing a rather substantial objection, and waved away our rather bad historical track record at such predictions.
 

256bits

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More and more it keeps ocuring to me that the modern economies and styles of government that we have now may have a fast approaching expiration date
What style of government are you referring to?
Monarchist, dictatorship, communist, democracy are some examples of government, not to mention the different economic approaches that are expressed within countries.
Which one(s) are fast approaching expiration?
 
The worries about "making a living" are a little premature and from what I see are similar to previous concerns at the start of the various industrial revolutions. In practice the removal of jobs from one sector just opens up opportunity in another sector and a chance to diversify your economy.

For example when we developed machines to make clothes / starting using robots to build cars / the computing revolution. In the early days of these people were worried about the potential job losses but those people still found work elseware and the same will happen again.
 

pinball1970

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Coal mining, steel work, shipbuilding, car manufacturing were huge in the UK after the war and were very, much reduced if not disappeared 50 years later.

Communities struggled and some never recovered.

The Luddites had a similar problem in the 19th Century.

New technology comes in with new opportunities and the old one goes out and takes people and communities with it if they are not able to adapt.

There will always be jobs to do surely? Whether its building mining rockets, flying them or extracting valuable ores and precious metals from asteroids.
 
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This is not a personal attack but perhaps others do not foresee the outcome and it's potential consequences as you believe they will cause, and that has dictated their responses?

I believe I gave a generic answer to the work issue you raised.

In terms of actions we should be taking, arguably the greatest threat to us at the moment is climate change. And yet, we do not see governments taking this issue seriously either and there is only so much the general public can do themselves.

I am not sure what kind of response you were expecting.....but as I stated people predicting doom and the end of our system when a new technology / ability becomes avaiable to humanity is nothing new and yet we still seem to carry on just fine.
 
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I'm not predicting doom. An explosion of human productivity and available resources in theory could solve a great deal of human suffering, end poverty, end famine, end environmental degradation, and elevate the standard of living for everyone to very a high level. The sheer practicality is hard to deny. Is there any example in history where humans have discovered an extremely useful technology but chose not to use it? We can certainly try to block it, delay it, limit it, try and keep things the way they are, maybe indefinitely suppress it? I don't know?
 
To quote you Jarvis

....could solve a great deal of human suffering, end poverty, end famine, end environmental degradation, and elevate the standard of living for everyone to very a high level...

You have highlighted some very serious and worthwhile issues here, unfortunately I do not beieve for one second they will get resolved due to a resource injection. These issues are all resolvable right now if the global political will was there. For example, I believe these are all solvable with just our military budgets alone if humanity chose to do so.

More likely just as with our current system, the rich corporations and governments will just use them to further their own interests.

Until humanity can come together as one for the sake of humanity as a whole, nothing will change in that respect. I think only the discovery of other intelligent life would be a significant incentive to do so though.
 
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For example, with AI and autonomous robotics, we could soon have exponentially fast growing industrial complexes in space.
You what now? That's a lot of fancy words, I'll admit. What is AI to you? Do we live in a Hollywood movie where robots have become sentient? I'd be content with slower than exponential growth.

the amount of precious resources available in asteroids dwarf those that we have access to on Earth, not to mention mining them doesn't harm our environment
Well, yes, but how do you plan on getting the power to reach them? Once in space, that's perhaps a non-issue, but you still need the device to escape Earth.
So who dominates in space and robtics+AI will control the planet?
Radiation dominates, I predict. Robots are of great assistance, but they don't reason at the same level as humans can. Perhaps, you're getting too far ahead of yourself.
Will there soon be a time when making a living wage through time-value transactions will be obsolete?
Will there be a time when 'going to work' is obsolete? During a war, perhaps.
So what will we do if that is the case?
If you're concerned with survival, then you would need to become self-sufficient. Robots or "AI" will be the least of your worries.
Should this be a hot button political issue?
Is this a statement or a question? I sense it's a rhetorical one.
 
.....with AI and autonomous robotics, we could soon have exponentially fast growing industrial complexes...... who dominates in space and robtics+AI will control the planet? Will there soon be a time when making a living wage through time-value transactions will be obsolete? So what will we do if that is the case?
The economy will probably continue just fine. Economies already expand exponentially - the question is, at what rate? The effect of automation and robotics is to replace human labour, and we are seeing this going on already. The lower skilled jobs are being automated. One effect this is having is that automated manufacturing (but not jobs!) is returning production to the west from Asia. Land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship are the four traditional factors of production. Labour, and eventually entrepreneurship, are being replaced by capital. By removing two of the four constraints on growth we'd expect economic growth to speed up. (The US is in its longest expansionary phase ever, I hear.) Asia is investing heavily in AI, so we have a lot of healthy competition going on.
As demand for human labour decreases calls for a basic income will rise - people will become pensioners, living off investment income (doesn't sound so bad to me). Without the need for human labour then the arid desert regions on Earth will become productive. (Africa, N.America and Australia, along with Mongolia and the Gobi region) may be big winners here.) And all without going into space.
Of course, with true AI, and then super-human AI, space will be colonised. Robots, not needing air nor water, have a natural competitors advantage over human in space. But I think the Earth will be transformed first.
But "we" don't have to do anything to prepare for this - market forces are already driving the transformation. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
 
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To quote you Jarvis

....could solve a great deal of human suffering, end poverty, end famine, end environmental degradation, and elevate the standard of living for everyone to very a high level...

You have highlighted some very serious and worthwhile issues here, unfortunately I do not believe for one second they will get resolved due to a resource injection. These issues are all resolvable right now if the global political will was there. For example, I believe these are all solvable with just our military budgets alone if humanity chose to do so.

More likely just as with our current system, the rich corporations and governments will just use them to further their own interests.

Until humanity can come together as one for the sake of humanity as a whole, nothing will change in that respect. I think only the discovery of other intelligent life would be a significant incentive to do so though.
In any case, it seems that this kind of power is now achievable, at least in theory. It's hard to imagine it not being seized, especially since there are so many competing groups in the world. If one country or corporation decides to try and hold back in order to maintain normalcy, that wont necessarily stop others, e.g. China. Would the US for example want to watch them scale up their productivity exponentially, but not do the same?

In my view, the non-central nature of the worlds power and competition are more likely to force us to realize these capabilities as fast as possible. In a way, it seems like it might be a catch 22. We can't not do it for the reasons above, but if we do, then we (I think) have to make some drastic changes to how our economy works and how society functions. A lot of people seem to think this would cause some sort of massive cataclysm or something. I'm not sure I agree with that, but have no doubt that a lot of things could go wrong for a lot of people in this scenario if the situation is mishandled.

So anyway, supposing we now have all of this capacity, what do we do with it? One country can keep the regular old people with no jobs in poverty, but meanwhile they have to watch another country utilize it effectively and become a massive Utopia with ultra high standards of living. Maybe people are oppressed everywhere? I doubt it. Naturally, seeing what's possible, and being denied that possibility would likely be a huge drive for people to force change, and become modernized rather than become the futuristic equivalent of a third world country.

Maybe I'm making too many assumptions, or maybe I'm trying to think too far ahead? How can you know without thinking about it in the first place though.
 
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You what now? That's a lot of fancy words, I'll admit. What is AI to you? Do we live in a Hollywood movie where robots have become sentient? I'd be content with slower than exponential growth.


Well, yes, but how do you plan on getting the power to reach them? Once in space, that's perhaps a non-issue, but you still need the device to escape Earth.

Radiation dominates, I predict. Robots are of great assistance, but they don't reason at the same level as humans can. Perhaps, you're getting too far ahead of yourself.

Will there be a time when 'going to work' is obsolete? During a war, perhaps.

If you're concerned with survival, then you would need to become self-sufficient. Robots or "AI" will be the least of your worries.

Is this a statement or a question? I sense it's a rhetorical one.
AI in this context just matters in the sense that input from human beings is not a limiting factor. In space, the limitation is energy and natural resources, which are quite vast. It really doesn't take much more than the technology we already have (only a little bit more sophistication) to begin exploiting it. If you need an analogy, you can think of population dynamics e.g. the logistic function, in an environment with practically limitless carrying capacity, and an extremely high growth-rate. I'm not saying this is some kind of threat that AI is going to take over. I'm saying AI can be used to produce a heck of a lot of stuff for us, and make us all live like royalty without having to do much of anything at all.

Since you asked for it, here is the futuristic, perhaps exaggerated, case. In the future, someone like me could say send a small device up into space on a balloon or something, that then zips off, begins harvesting resources, producing other devices that also harvest resources, building infrastructure, and so forth, growing at an exponential rate. And within 20 years it could grow me a trillion pounds of food, mine me a billion pounds of gold and turn it all into ornate jewelry, make me a zillion i-pads, and a trillion mansions.

It all sounds bizarre, and I was trying to be a little comical. But the core of what I am saying isn't science fiction any more than laser beams or televisions are.
 
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In the future, someone like me could say send a small device up into space on a balloon or something
Seriously? Balloons do not get to space.

Also, getting food back from space would be insanely expensive compared to just growing it here.

I really think you are overlooking the logistical problems with the scenarios that you envision. You are just waving your hands about them.
 
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Seriously? Balloons do not get to space.

Also, getting food back from space would be insanely expensive compared to just growing it here.

I really think you are overlooking the logistical problems with the scenarios that you envision. You are just waving your hands about them.
You cut out the end of the sentence that says, then zips off. I was trying to imply it starts off in a balloon, then has some propulsion method after that. This is my comical example, don't take it so seriously.

Getting things back from space, there is a logistical problem. Not in being able to do it, or in the cost, just whether the kind of traffic would disrupt our atmosphere too much, and the specifics depend on the way it's done.
 
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You cut out the end of the sentence that says, then zips off. I was trying to imply it starts off in a balloon, then has some propulsion method after that.
You are correct. My bad
Getting things back from space, there is a logistical problem. Not in being able to do it, or in the cost, just whether the kind of traffic would disrupt our atmosphere too much, and the specifics depend on the way it's done.
You mention the cost only in passing. I still think you haven't thought this through.
 
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The cost is free, because all of the fuel or energy you would ever need to collect is available in space. And assuming you have the right technology, collecting any of it costs essentially the same to you as collecting massive quantities of it. Quite literally, the one thing that you need to do all of this, could be mass produced itself.
 
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The cost is free, because all of the fuel or energy you would ever need to collect is available in space. And assuming you have the right technology, collecting any of it costs essentially the same to you as collecting massive quantities of it. Quite literally, the one thing that you need to do all of this, could be mass produced itself.
OK. Good point. My thinking tends to be too Earth-bound.
 

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