Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Where the **** are my robots? (or, Aim)

Okay, 2013, I've gotta ask this again: Where the **** are my robots?

We quarks had a grand master plan. We were going to build a world were we can live a combined sentient experience of pleasure. Sure, there would be work along the way, but in the end, every human experience would be heaven on earth. Literally.

What we didn't bargain for is Hell. Hell on Earth. Because it's here, too. There is meaning in having to go through hell to get to heaven.

Every human that's ever lived on this planet has worked hard to survive. And every generation of humans has contributed to the knowledge and capabilities that keep us on the path to widespread heaven. Unfortunately, the sentients in charge got their heaven, and they decided the purpose of all this human work was to keep their heaven getting more heavenly. They used power to decide they had no responsibility to the rest of the humans on the planet. They didn't actively try to make everything better for everyone. They weren't content with having only extravagantly more than the masses. They didn't try to reduce the workload, they piled it on.

If we're doomed by speed of replication, the best we can do is to try to slow down acceleration.

What is wrong with a world where humans are paid a living wage to do exactly what they care about doing, every day, while robots do the work? Why shouldn't that be a more valid goal, in fact, than speeding up the slow-drip of public resources into private hands?

Forget jobs as the means to feed and house a population. Pay people to be alive and contribute their unique gifts. Create environments for them to learn and explore what we know of the world in the context of what calls them.

How can we afford to do that? By focusing our resource use through creative resource pricing and taxation approaches that put power back in the hands of smaller entities. And by getting robots to do what they do best, and humans suck at  - boring, repetitive work.

2013, we are behind the times. We're still letting ourselves be fooled and fueled by old understanding. If we're going to believe in fairy tales, believe in mine - we can each live a happy, fulfilled life on this planet. It's possible. We just have to aim for it and build the ant hill grain by grain, generation by generation. It's aiming that represents our current challenge.

Wait, no. It's believing.