[ExI] ai and job loss

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 7 21:27:04 UTC 2017

Personally, I am of the opinion that we would all benefit from a lot
more people, if we could find ways to feed trillions or more - which
will almost certainly include utilizing extraterrestrial resources.  adrian

I am reminded of Asimov's world of Trantor:  totally concreted and utterly
dependent on other worlds to feed its people.  No mention of zoos or parks
or anything at all of nature, which we are losing at a rapid pace - so sad.

I've lost the thread, but someone asked what the libertarian stance is on
sharing the wealth.  I cannot speak for anyone else, of course, but here is
my answer:

It would be highly desirable if everyone could fend for themselves.  The
more conservative libertarian seems to think that it's an outrage that
anyone is supported who seems not to be trying really hard to adapt and
feed himself and his family.

If only it were the case that lack of effort was the whole story.
Sometimes we simply cannot be self-sufficient.  Case in point:  cars.
Mostly we can't work on them anymore unless we have computers with
specialized software and the ability to understand what the sensors tell
us.  Easier on our brains and maybe even our pocketbooks to let someone
else do this.

The same is true of many of the things we used to be able to deal with
ourselves.  The technology has left most of us behind, and not only those
with limited intelligence - the old story.

Any system of morality has to have some attention to fairness.  I have
remarked that it is somewhat depressing the half of us are below average.
My son's reply to this is that it may be even more depressing that half of
us are above average.

So we have a lot of people with limited intelligence (not to mention those
who have limited physical abilities), who are dependent on the culture to
provide meaningful work for which they are trained by our educational
system.  Right now the culture is not doing a great job of this.  People
are required to take algebra to get a high school degree and will never
have any use for algebra at all.  Way too few people go to trade schools.

Bottom line:  I would never let people starve and go without the basic
necessities, which to me includes health care which doesn't pauperize
them.  Very few of those who are not working cannot.  OK - we'll care for
them.  The rest I would put to work doing something, if only picking up
paper on the roads.  At the same time I would train them to do jobs for
which there are openings.  Won't work?  Won't get training? Then no support
from the rest of us (except for children - totally consistent with
Heinlein's philosophy, by the way).

We'll have to see if the experiment with providing everyone with a basic
income, as is being done in Scandinavia, works out.  At this point I think
it's quitting too soon.  I will not say that I would always be opposed to

bill w

On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 1:29 PM, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 6:40 AM, William Flynn Wallace
> <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I have not done a study of this, but have seen it several times over the
> > years:  when the income in a country goes up birth rate goes down.  No
> one
> > knows why, but the obvious conclusion is that when people feel safe about
> > their children's future, as opposed to their starving to death, they
> decide
> > to spend their money on the ones they have and have fewer children.
> >
> > The usual objection to giving food away - foreign aid - is that you are
> just
> > going to encourage them to have more children.  That seems not to be the
> > case.
> If the aid is kept up consistently for a number of years.  It takes
> time for this effect to come into play.
> > I don't know of anything else we can do to limit population.
> Personally, I am of the opinion that we would all benefit from a lot
> more people, if we could find ways to feed trillions or more - which
> will almost certainly include utilizing extraterrestrial resources.
> > What would it take to feed every hungry mouth?  Has anyone done this
> study?
> That's a lot more mundane.  The main problem is political: bandits,
> too many with the backing (unofficial or official) of the local
> government, steal food or other resources meant for the poor and sell
> it for their own gain.  (Some of these bandits call themselves
> soldiers.  It doesn't change the fundamental pattern.)  The rural poor
> could fend for themselves if left alone to do so.
> There are smaller parts of poverty this wouldn't help, such as the
> urban poor who grew up on welfare, never learning what work is, or the
> few mentally unable to participate in reality let alone society, for
> whom psychotherapy and asylums were invented.
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