[ExI] Economics 2

ben benboc at lineone.net
Wed Apr 23 07:48:17 UTC 2008

Economics 2

In a reply to the thread "Yesterday's Mashed Potatoes",
Keith Henson wrote:

>There are extremely serious problems that face us in the very near
>future, and even worse ones slightly further out.  I would like to see
>more serious discussion, but it doesn't happen very often.

OK, challenge accepted!

Well, maybe.

Here's a concept from a work of fiction (Stross' Accelerando), that gave
me the willies: Economics 2. The idea is that a Singularity almost
inevitably leads to a super-efficient economic system that leaves no
room for the kinds of mental activities that we value so much, like
enjoying life, fun-having, etc. In fact, it's so efficient that it
basically squeezes out all trace of consciousness.

Is that likely to be one of the serious problems that we face? If it's
even the tiniest bit likely, how could we avoid it?

It sounds to me like the kind of attractor that, if it got started,
would suck everybody and everything in.

This is the kind of nightmare scenario that i hope somebody can
convincingly demonstrate belongs firmly in the realm of fiction (i.e.
can provably never happen).

ben zaiboc

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