[ExI] retrainability of plebeians

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri May 1 03:28:57 UTC 2009

On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 6:31 PM, Emlyn <emlynoregan at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

### Do paid workers do it for their "bit" or simply because they want
to buy a flat screen TV?

Do the unemployed volunteer a lot?
> 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.

### There are two reasons why humans do it: because some people need
to have their sewers cleaned and because people who clean sewers are
cheaper to hire than people who make sewer cleaning robots. This may
change in favor the robot makers but even then somebody will need to
commit resources (time, capital) to cleaning sewers, and that person
will need to be rewarded for their sacrifice, in some sort of
material, or spiritual coin.


 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
> all.

### Since you would need to tax private industry into oblivion to
provide an universal income guarantee, nothing would get automated.
And why would you expect that there would be a sufficient amount of
voluntary contribution to sewer cleaning or building and maintenance
of sewer cleaning equipment? How many volunteer sewer cleaners have
you met recently?

> 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.

### What percentage of the population spend 8 or more hours a day
producing good quality Linux software? 0.01%? 0.00001%? Somewhere
around the lower bound, I think.

If it was true that a lot of people could find all their meaning in
serving others, there would be no monetary economy - some of such
servants would be farmers, feeding other servants, who would produce
all the goods needed to keep all servants alive (in effect generating
their own income guarantee), and all of them would then spend all
their extra time providing free flat screen TV's, haircuts and
blowjobs to all comers. Since it's not happening, it's a proof that
the vast majority of humans are not charitable, although most would
like to pretend they are.


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