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Future with no duties?

  1. Nov 2, 2016 #1
    Do you think in the future we might reach a point where the production's cost would be dropped near zero because of the automation and abundance of everything, and thus people wouldn't have to work? Everyone would have access to the same benefits and have the same quality of life, and social classes would be eliminated from the dictionary of humanity.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2016 #2

    Evo

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    No, I expect things will get worse as raw goods become more scarce, people will always have to work, just fewer will be able to find employment and fewer jobs will be needed, they will just become more specialized. Social classes will be become more separated.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2016 #3
    This will never happen. Maybe there's such place in the afterlife, but on Earth it is impossible. Both for physical reasons (how can you get unlimited resources on a limited planet?) and it is against human nature. They tried to reach a class-less society in socialism, didn't work.
     
  5. Nov 3, 2016 #4
    It is a possibility.
    The total population would have to drop drastically from the 10 billion or so by 2100, or from the 7.5 we have now. There just ain't enough coast line for everyone to have a beach front property if they would all want that, so there goes the framework of equality in just that one instance.

    Secondly, you would have to define same benefits and same quality of life. Rather than the utopia that one would hope it could be, a smaller percentage of that could only be achieved due to resource allocation. My utopia is not necessarily the same utopia as yours, if that is where you are going with this.
     
  6. Nov 3, 2016 #5

    russ_watters

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    Well, making decisions is work too, so in order to eliminate work not only would you need robots to do the physical labor, but you would also need AI to make all of the decisions. Two good movie trilogies that describe such a robot/AI utopia are "The Matrix" and "The Terminator". We're a long way from achieving such things though.

    In the near-term though, the others are likely right that automation and increasing technology create inequality due to the widening disparity in the value of the work people do. Because as in your vision of production costs dropping to near zero, what that really means is you stop paying people to do the work because their skills no longer have any value. But people who's skills still have value still get paid a lot to do their jobs.
     
  7. Nov 3, 2016 #6
    Yes and those jobs would those where it is necessary or desirable to be carried by humans e.g., health care and certain services and perhps those jobs that require image guided manipulation in varying situations, but they will be relatively small compared to the job we have now. With the hope of disease cures we could see a significant reduction in nursing jobs. We are eventually going to end up with an increasing number of people without independent purchasing power in a consumer oriented economy.

    Normal human behavior (foreboding) as it is and unfamiliar economic/social dynamics loom as significant problems. A well informed intelligent populace in any event will be required to make an orderly, civil transition from our present socio-economic system to the future relatively jobless one. Those currently in control and oriented toward the present system will probably have to be replaced to begin any meaningful progress in this direction. We will need new and insightful business leaders who do not put their own pockets first. And a populace who will not think every day is Christmas and that success is not measured by the number of toys that you accumulate.

    In the end the society is going to have to find a way to support a growing idle population to their satisfaction (think Maslow's Hierarchy). Can capitalism as we know it survive? What changes need to be made?
     
  8. Nov 3, 2016 #7
    There are plenty of historical examples of classes that lived lives of leisure supported by the work of free labor, serfs or slaves. Substitute robots for the underclasses and you might have something like a future leisure class. With dramatically falling birth rates this class might include most, if not all people eventually. Germany is one country that is already anticipating a declining native population.
     
  9. Nov 3, 2016 #8
    My thread was based on this video.
     
  10. Nov 3, 2016 #9
    Well, OK. It's still the "problem" of abundance vs. scarcity. What I'm saying is there's a history of classes that didn't need to work to live. At most they contended with management issues. They were able to fill their time to their satisfaction. While some lived lives of dissipation, most did not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  11. Nov 4, 2016 #10

    russ_watters

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    Ugh, Kaku. I should have known. He's smart enough that he should know better, but for whatever reason he doesn't seem to care. But his hair appears to be in decline, so perhaps his popularity will follow...

    Anyway, Star Trek is science fantasy. Unlike science fiction, the universe of a fantasy is basically just a pile of aesthetically pleasing but meaningless/thoughtless gibberish. The warp drive is powered by gibberish. The "photon torpedoes" use gibberish for explosives and both the transporter/replicator and the Star Trek society itself are designed to function based on the principle of gibberish.

    You cannot eliminate scarcity by building a replicator and you cannot have equality of outcome in any society, ever. My favorite painting is "Starry Night" -- can I have it? I want to be captain of the Enterprise; move over Jean, I'm taking over! And despite the apparent means and vague claim that they have eliminated these problems and the human failings that feed off them, they clearly have not. Which is a good thing, because otherwise the show would be reaaaly boring!

    By the way, just to make sure you don't get the wrong impression: I'm a big fan of ST-TNG.
     
  12. Nov 14, 2016 #11

    rbelli1

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    But at some point in the not so distant future everyone's needs will be taken care of by automation. There will be little work for most or all people. How do you have a society were not working means starvation and work is unavailable? All this in the same society where abundance of basic needs is essentially unlimited.

    This is a problem we are starting to see the edges of in many parts of the world. Stating 100% equality is impossible therefore we should just forget the whole thing is not only ignorant but self destructive. Once a certain portion of the population gets fatally desperate those at the top end up dead.

    BoB
     
  13. Nov 14, 2016 #12

    DaveC426913

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    IMO, even if we grant that all needs are met, the nature of humans en masse is that it will simply redefine average.

    If we can all afford 2 cars, then 4 cars will be the thing aspired to.

    It is already the case. Think of what we "need" right now, that was 50 years ago only a luxury.

    There is no objective definition of "enough". "Enough" is, at a minimum "more than average" which is a runaway process.
     
  14. Nov 14, 2016 #13
    I think if your needs will be met by demand, there would be no average. All you have to do is just to ask. On the other hand, I think one major problem in such an Utopian society is what humans would do if their needs are met by automation and AI. Homo Sapiens are action-oriented. Many people probably would lose their sense of purpose.
     
  15. Nov 14, 2016 #14

    DaveC426913

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    People will hoard and hten trade to those who want more.

    I will want a sedan AND a sports car. Again, how does one determine what "enough" is?
     
  16. Nov 14, 2016 #15
    Maybe it might have done if they hadn't bothered with the totalitarian authority thing.
     
  17. Nov 14, 2016 #16
    Micho Kaku has another video talking about cars in the future, predicting that people will share self-driving cars. All you need to do is to locate your location and the car will come to you. I think everything would be re-defined.
     
  18. Nov 14, 2016 #17
    Exactly my thoughts! No matter how hard I think about it, it seem impossible to me.
     
  19. Nov 14, 2016 #18
    Presently we call that a taxi.
     
  20. Nov 14, 2016 #19
    Yes, but at a large scale that you don't have to own a car. Which is more economical by the way. Because owned cars are not operating a significant amount of time. It would be more efficient to share them, and this would cause the number of cars to drop. Also, another difference, there would be no drivers to the cars.
     
  21. Nov 14, 2016 #20

    Evo

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    We're going waay too far with speculation now, so time to close.
     
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