[ExI] retrainability of plebeians

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Thu Apr 30 22:31:16 UTC 2009

>> Also, this is not a fair comparison. People who are in paid work
>> already feel they are doing their fair share.
> ### I didn't understand the above.

People in paid work don't feel like they need to give back. It's a
social norm, that being in paid work means you are "doing your bit"
for society. So not a very strong drive to volunteer.

>> If people didn't need to be paid and so all their time could happily
>> be unpaid time, how many people would do something useful with their
>> time, vs how many would waste their time (watching tv / playing WoW)?
> ### 85% outright waste (boozing, scheming, etc.), 10% good-intentioned
> waste (missionary work, all kinds of stupid activism) , 5% sexy useful
> stuff, like proving Fermat's theorem.
> Nobody would ever clean the sewers.

Ok, two points about this.

1: Let's say that sewers need cleaning. Then, why would we want to
make a person do it? It's a job for a machine. The only reason we
think it's ok for a person to do it now is because we are used to
people doing crap like this. If a universal income made it really hard
to employ people to do this, then it would provide incentive to
private industry (or a free project!) to automate the job once and for

2: I actually think you'd still have people volunteering to do work
like this. Absent the need to earn a living, people still need to find
meaning in their lives. Many find meaning by doing something they know
is needed by others, no matter that it's a bit shitty. I'm constantly
surprised, for instance, at the depth of driver support on Linux.
These drivers are mostly maintained by volunteers I think.

> -----------------------------
>> Also, if the percentage of "usefuls" in the latter scenario is lower
>> than in the former, is the work of the people who comprise the margin
>> a significant loss?
> ### Yes. Almost all that we enjoy is the result of paid work.
> Rafal

In Rome maybe they would have used the same naturalistic falacy to
justify slavery?


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