Technology is not enough

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Technology is not enough

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-02-19 08:38pm

I'm sure some people find the idea of transhumanism laughable, but I think this has some good insights. There's a podcast episode there, so that might be more in-depth than the print. I'm sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

https://www.singularityweblog.com/techn ... ot-enough/

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I am tired of hearing that science and technology will save the world.

It is almost the same as saying “Jesus will save you!”

It evokes the very same passive quasi-religious hope that something or someone out there will magically solve all our problems, bring abundance in our lives, help us live forever and bring back the dead.

I am sorry to break this to you but science and technology will not save the world. Never have.

For example, we have all the science and technology to provide water, food, shelter and sanitation – the mere basic necessities, to every hungry and homeless person on our planet. And yet 800 million people are starving. 800 million lack access to clean and safe drinking water and another 2 1/2 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. An estimated 100 million people are homeless worldwide and as many as 1.6 billion people lack adequate housing.

Global warming is another obvious example: we know the science – it is pretty uncontroversial and conclusive. And we do have all the technology to move beyond both fossil fuels and meat consumption – the two most damaging factors not only to our environment but also to our own health. And yet we are not taking action. Hoping that the science will turn out to be wrong. That someone else will give up driving an SUV or eating meat three times per day. And that artificial intelligence will come and solve all of our problems.

Our civilization is like an alcoholic with a failing liver – we hope we can 3d bio-print a new one just in time, while failing to acknowledge our self-destructive habits and our own responsibility, thereby failing to address the actual problem, rather than the symptom.

It’s like hoping to win the lottery – it’s not totally impossible, but it is almost certain we won’t. [And even if we do, then what? It will only provide more time, not necessarily a solution.] And so we sit, and wait, and hope for science and technology to come save the world. And we are getting both fat and lazy as we are eating and driving ourselves to death. Both personally and collectively.

We are destroying ourselves and our planet and we put our hopes and fears in things like God, science and technology:

Our techno-deity aka “science and technology” will save us. [sic]

Or the wrath of God-like super-intelligent AI will destroy us.

And we keep telling ourselves that convenient story. That lie. So that we can keep avoiding an inconvenient truth:

That humanity is the greatest threat and hope for humanity. Not some omni-present, all-knowing, almighty force residing outside of us.

No.

It is us who are the greatest force on our planet – the real destroyers and creators. It is us who ought to take the blame for where we are today and the problems we have. It is us who are driving the train towards the trainwreck. And, it is only us, who can move our own foot off the gas pedal and hit the brakes to save ourselves.

So what would Socrates say?

Technology is NOT enough!

And neither is science.

P.S. Many thanks to my friend Sven Mastbooms for the original cartoon he made specially for this article.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-19 09:44pm

The percentages on the lack of clean water, lack of housing, and so on, were worse in the past. Technology may not be 'enough,' but it surely is 'a lot.'

Aside from that, I have nothing much to say.

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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby B5B7 » 2017-02-19 10:50pm

Only people can save or "destroy" the world (our culture), so obviously people have to improve their behaviour.
Technology makes this easier. It is not technology that causes mass starvation and water shortages and human slavery (as OP article itself admits).
An ambulance can't take a person to hospital, it needs a driver. An operation room can't save a patient, it needs a surgery team.
So, sure in that sense science and technology can't save the world, you also need educated people to use that technology, and also needed is decent politicians and bureaucrats to ensure that technology is used properly. This latter area is where nations are sorely lacking, and that is a human problem. Fix the people, fix the problems. Of course, this is the hardest problem in the world. There has been some progress, as it isn't only politicians and bureaucrats that affect society, it is also driven forward by what everyone else does. The world is better than it was as a general rule.

So the OP is right that it is a human problem. He is attacking a phantom. No one believes science and technology alone will fix things.
The saying he is attacking is a shorthand. Science and technology are tools, and tools need tool-users. So scientists and technologists, along with everyone else, can save the world.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Flagg » 2017-02-20 03:45am

That's more a lesson in "survival of the fittest" than "technology is the badz!!!"

Like the old Carlin joke: "The kid that ate too many marbles didn't get to grow up to have kids of his own." :lol:
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby FTeik » 2017-02-20 02:58pm

Stalin was on to something, when he said the solution to every problem was death, since the source of every problem was man.

No man, no problem.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-02-20 03:49pm

Flagg wrote:That's more a lesson in "survival of the fittest" than "technology is the badz!!!"

Like the old Carlin joke: "The kid that ate too many marbles didn't get to grow up to have kids of his own." :lol:


The article was getting at that. It wasn't against technology so much as it was against pure technological solutionism: the idea that if your technology gets advanced enough then there will be no more societal problems.

That's naive of course, science and technology are just tools, what matters is what humanity does with them.

That's what I took away from it at least, I've been wrong before.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Zixinus » 2017-02-20 04:13pm

I think the notion that the article is against is the idea that every current problem created by technology in the first place will eventually be solved , in time, cheaply and conveniently, by new technologies. The attitude that the problem will be solved down the line rather than handled right now, with imperfect solutions that demand substantial sacrifice.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-02-20 04:15pm

I think the point is that we have lots of techno-optimists who unite with people I can only describe as techno-fascists, and then proceed to extoll the glories of the brave new world. So the situation is even more dangerous than the article argues: there are people who trust in Deus Ex Machina as a solution, but this Deus has direct owners (like all good religion, there are priests and prophets, and they control the message and the masses).

The optimists are usually the friendly, good kind. They would tell about how Monsanto saves the world from hunger or how Uber "disrupts" old industries for the benefit of the common man. And the people who own that technology are very glad to hear this, because they are calling the shots.

The article made an important point, that all of technology cannot stop the necessity of social reform. Facebook cannot replace a revolution. If anything, it can even do the exact opposite: help people like Trump come to power, through unverified "alternative facts" being spread like a virus.

But while we all realize horrible future can also have majestic technology (I think the remake of Westworld has been particularly good as a recent example), we don't want to think that social reform is more necessary than technology to make a better future viable. That thought is anathema, because the owners of technology will start losing cash. And they don't want that. And neither do we, right?
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby cosmicalstorm » 2017-02-20 04:51pm

When technology can provide IQ boosting genetic fixes and cybernetic implants it will be able to adress these issues more effectively.

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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Zixinus » 2017-02-20 05:06pm

cosmicalstorm wrote:When technology can provide IQ boosting genetic fixes and cybernetic implants it will be able to adress these issues more effectively.


Only if they are available to everyone in the sense "anyone that wants them can get them" and not just "the same way a ferradi is available to anyone".
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Starglider » 2017-02-20 05:42pm

cosmicalstorm wrote:When technology can provide IQ boosting genetic fixes and cybernetic implants it will be able to adress these issues more effectively.


Increasing IQ reduces petty criminality but doesn't make people less selfish. You would need to increase empathy and decrease sociopathy to do that.

In general though the author has no perspective. Technology has been the enabler for social progress throughout most of civilised history; social progress follows along behind improvements in manufacturing, transport and communications. When it lags too far behind, things get particularly tragic.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Thanas » 2017-02-20 05:49pm

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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-20 06:18pm

Starglider wrote:
cosmicalstorm wrote:When technology can provide IQ boosting genetic fixes and cybernetic implants it will be able to adress these issues more effectively.
Increasing IQ reduces petty criminality but doesn't make people less selfish. You would need to increase empathy and decrease sociopathy to do that.
One would hope that increasing IQ would also make the general public less susceptible to 'madness of crowds' and collective self-destructive behaviors that don't even benefit themselves as individuals. But the benefits, if any, do seem to be pretty subtle.

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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-02-21 01:25am

Starglider wrote:Technology has been the enabler for social progress throughout most of civilised history

Here Starglider fails basic reasoning, turning causality of the chain upside down. This should have been: social progress allowed technology to flourish and develop. Social progress allows rapid advancements in communication, manufacturing and transportation to take place. The two are at the very least interconnected. Social regress usually leads to a swift and observable step back in terms of technology as well.

It is, again, the prophets of the bad future who like to claim that technology is the enabler. This allows them to try and push technological development while ignoring the underlying social base entirely. But usually this blows up in their face, and this time it may happen as well. Just need to wait a bit.
cosmicalstorm wrote:When technology can provide IQ boosting genetic fixes and cybernetic implants it will be able to adress these issues more effectively.

How? Stating something requires some proof. At least try, you know.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby FTeik » 2017-02-21 04:56am

cosmicalstorm wrote:When technology can provide IQ boosting genetic fixes and cybernetic implants it will be able to adress these issues more effectively.


What have intelligence and cybernetic implants to do with morals and decency? Humans are already intelligent enough to identify problems and come up with a solution for them - but as long as they are not directly concerned, they are too lazy and apathic to deal with them.

@K.A.Pital: I don't agree with your idea, that technological progress follows social progress. Among other things the invention of the printing-press made the enlightment possible, the anti-baby-pill was a huge boost to the equality of woman and according to Marx, the industrialisation would create the proletariat needed for a social revolution, IIRC
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-21 05:07am

Social stasis can prevent technological advancement. Social progress can permit technological advancement, or even drive it.

Technological stasis can prevent social advancement. Technological progress can permit social advancement, or even drive it.

Technology seldom advances significantly in a socially stagnant or regressive atmosphere. Society seldom advances in a technologically stagnant or regressive atmosphere.

Which part of "it's a symbiotic relationship" is confusing, or even non-obvious?

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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-02-21 01:30pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Social stasis can prevent technological advancement. Social progress can permit technological advancement, or even drive it.

Technological stasis can prevent social advancement. Technological progress can permit social advancement, or even drive it.

Technology seldom advances significantly in a socially stagnant or regressive atmosphere. Society seldom advances in a technologically stagnant or regressive atmosphere.

Which part of "it's a symbiotic relationship" is confusing, or even non-obvious?

I would say that this is mistaking the cause and effect on a basic level, treating technology as an outside force that exists outside society, and is not produced by it. It is a mechanistic error, much like the mechanistic error of many economic models which cannot fully explain the nuances of human behaviour and resort to the introduction of "outside forces". Which outside forces?

Technology is always produced by society, much like everything we have. The level of technology and its uses depend on the state of society, on its structure, its intellectual capabilities. Technology is just a much a product of intellectual labour of society as anything else that is produced by the society.

In recent years this link has been weakened due to capitalistic globalism, which like a parasite can suck nations dry, collect the best minds on the planet, put them in a glass jar or aquarium - good name that - and make them produce shiny new technologies. This creates the illusion of exogenous technology in society.

But the truth is techology is always endogenous. Even the "symbiotic relationship" is only like that because technology is a part of society and no outside force in the first place. Social development will occur and it will produce technology - this is what history has shown. Not the other way around, if we are speaking in pure cause and effect terms.

Exogenous technology for Earth would be contact with alien tech and its reverse engineering. This has not happened.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Shroom Man 777 » 2017-02-21 02:33pm

And there's cherry-picking and selective-vision. One can say there's social progress for some people due to technology's fruits, but that's not exclusive with... an out-group' being excluded from these fruits and progresses, much to their expense.

It all depends on who you ignore/leave behind and what your perspectives leave out due to myopic perceptions and preconceptions of ultimate rationality. Is it actual rationality... or is there some underlying dysfunction or malfunction that makes one deliberately turn away from those who are getting shafted, or even deride their plights?

And yes, even if on paper there are improvements in the living standards of even the "bottom-class" then, what? Morbidly obese people dying of diabetes, or getting lead in their water, or getting sick of diseases that are so "expensive" that they only exist because they've evolved out of the overuse of pricey advanced antibiotics and antiseptic conditions (so they're not cheap diseases :P ) would still count as having better lives than miserable leaf-wearing jungle people who can't get lead poisoning because they don't even have plumbing or can't even get antibiotic-resistant acronym infections because they don't have antibiotics OR alphabets to make disease-acronyms... so they should stop complaining, these entitled brats! :P ;) But nonetheless this is a sign of disparity and imbalance and for fuck's sake, condescending derisive shits should get off their high horses and be humane.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-02-21 04:47pm

K. A. Pital wrote:I would say that this is mistaking the cause and effect on a basic level, treating technology as an outside force that exists outside society, and is not produced by it. It is a mechanistic error, much like the mechanistic error of many economic models which cannot fully explain the nuances of human behaviour and resort to the introduction of "outside forces". Which outside forces?

Technology is always produced by society, much like everything we have. The level of technology and its uses depend on the state of society, on its structure, its intellectual capabilities. Technology is just a much a product of intellectual labour of society as anything else that is produced by the society.

In recent years this link has been weakened due to capitalistic globalism, which like a parasite can suck nations dry, collect the best minds on the planet, put them in a glass jar or aquarium - good name that - and make them produce shiny new technologies. This creates the illusion of exogenous technology in society.

But the truth is techology is always endogenous. Even the "symbiotic relationship" is only like that because technology is a part of society and no outside force in the first place. Social development will occur and it will produce technology - this is what history has shown. Not the other way around, if we are speaking in pure cause and effect terms.
This is a bit like saying "everything is caused by the sun," because the sun is the source of all the energy that powers the Earth's biosphere, that provided the stored energy in fossil fuels, that heats the Earth enough to make it habitable, and so on.

Saying "the sun makes it go" is not a useful observation unless we talk in detail about the causal mechanisms by which solar energy causes things to happen. We would not be in a position to benefit from all this solar energy, if not for other scientific facts, other processes, other complications.

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When all you have is Marx, everything looks like a consequence of changing social structures. But even if that is in some sense true, saying "all changes are caused by social changes" does not adequately capture the complexity and richness of the interactions.

There are social advances we have now, that would almost certainly not exist if not for the successes of 20th century medical researchers.

Conversely, those 20th century medical researchers would not have been able to do their good work, if not for living in a society with public education, reasonably low levels of internal violence, and freedom of (or freedom from) religion.

But then we can flip back, and point out that we have public education because of advances in productivity that make it neither necessary nor desirable to have children working as laborers, rather than as students. We have low levels of internal violence in part because physical competition for the means of survival has decreased, due to food, clothing, and shelter being easier to procure even for the most miserable and lowly members of developed societies. We have freedom of religion in part because previous generations of scientists made discoveries that gave us the idea of a reason-based, fact-based worldview that is not automatically dependent on mysticism or the nature of the god(s).

And we could turn around and point to social advances that made those technical advances possible, and vice versa, and so on back to the days when the first cavemen discovered fire and in the process made cooking food possible. Or, conversely, when the first cavemen banded together and thus made it possible to maintain a communal campfire in the first place.

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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-02-21 05:27pm

When all you have is Marx, everything looks like a consequence of changing social structures.

I am actually disagreeing with Marx here - even if the disagreement is slight. To Marx, the means of production (which include technology) can revolutionarize the social, the mode of production. I think it was mentioned above even.

I think that the underlying truth of the cycle (social change -> technical change -> social change) begins with the social. It is a bit of a chicken and egg problem, but everything begins with the social. Even the spread of an invented technology is impossible without social interaction - this also explains why multiple inventions over history can exist (certain thing was discovered and rediscovered several times, maybe even over centuries), but only once social structures can support and carry the invention to reach full potential, will the invention be mass-used. This poses a severe challenge to the idea of independent technological development or technology as the driver of social development.

If technology is the driver, why the enormous volume of premature inventions and discoveries made by mankind went nowhere and did not produce a social revolution? Why only the ones we know were mass-accepted did?

If everything at least begins with the social, technology has a place as a product of society which acts as a feedback loop (invention -> better communication/health/etc -> more inventions/idea-sharing/etc). But if everything begins with the bare technology, with the means of production alone - wait, it actually cannot.
There are social advances we have now, that would almost certainly not exist if not for the successes of 20th century medical researchers.

True, but you don't trace this success to the underlying productive order in society? I mean, the researchers could discover antibiotics by accident before, but their synthetic mass-production revolutionarized healthcare, not the discovery alone.

The question is not whether technology can or cannot act as a feedback mechanism. The question is, can it cause social progress?

If you look at tribes of hunter-gatherers who come in contact with technology, there is actually precious little progress or use from that technology. Which again makes it unlikely technology itself can 'drive' anything. You can give smartphones to a hunter-gatherer tribe, but their usefulness will be miniscule. It might be that if you grant the technology to a society that has no use for it, after several cycles of generations it will simply be lost. Again underscoring the primacy of the social structure. The social structure will expose the fact that a given technology (much like humans and their minds) make sense only inside an appropriate society.

Once hunter gatherers transition to agriculture - it is a decision simultaneously made by many people - then some technology will start making sense, so people will produce this technology and go on. Technology advancement will start, as usual, only with the social decisions that predate any such advancement.
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Re: Technology is not enough

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-03-30 04:31am

Sorry if this is thread necromancy, but I thought it would be better to just update the topic with a new post by the same person.

Why the politics of the future is technology and technology is the future of politics

Technology drives change. And, by definition, change turns the world upside down. So it takes a perfectly good blue-blood nobleman and turns him into a pauper. It takes a king and, at best, makes him a ceremonial figurehead with no real power. It takes a shepherd and makes him a laborer, hopefully a member of the middle-class or, occasionally, a capitalist. And so, in the end, technology, as a bringer of change, is about politics. Because, as my undegraduate textbook defined it, politics is about “who gets what, from whom, under what conditions, and for what purpose.”

To those who know history this is no revelation. Every time we’ve had a technological change we’ve had both social and political change. Karl Marx was but one of a few who has pointed out that our socio-economic system, and therefore our politics, is determined by and derived from the mode of production. That was the case with the Industrial Revolution when we replaced muscle power with artificial power. And it will be the case with the AI Revolution when we replace human intelligence with artificial intelligence.

So if you think that 4 million truck drivers going out of business because of self-driving vehicles is merely a limited technological change then you are fooling yourself. We are all truck drivers now. And it is not just a matter of education or re/training. It is a matter of time. And that is but the beginning of the most seismic political and therefore dangerous period of our civilization. The kind that will dwarf the previous Industrial and Agrarian Revolutions. And the signs are easy to see.

Take Brexit or the election of President Trump. Those are not just the misguided votes of the stupid and uneducated. They are the protest vote of the excluded, marginalized and disregarded millions of people who are struggling to make ends meet. The people who can’t connect with a cocooned LA multi-millionaire telling them we live in an age of abundance. Or hope to attend his elitist organization where a couple of months cost more than what they make per year. The people who couldn’t afford to care about “humanity’s grand challenges” because they know that feeding their families, paying their mortgage or medical bills, and sending their kids to school are their daily economic grand challenges. Now ad 4 million truck drivers. And keep adding more occupations and people. Millions of them. Where does this take us?

It takes us to politics.

Neoliberalism has failed. And it is no mere coincidence that it has failed worst where it all started – Ronald Reagan’s United States of America and Margaret Thatcher’s United Kingdom. Because the world order we live in was born in 1980 with the wholesale global introduction of Thatcher-ism and Reaganomics. And their ideological promises that:

A rising tide lifts all boats.
If the rich have more money, they will create more jobs.
Lower taxes will lead to more prosperity.
Increases in housing and stock market prices will increase prosperity for everyone.
Trade deals and globalization will make everyone better off.
These Laissez-faire neo-liberal promises turned out to be lies. It’s that simple. For most of the UK and US voting population the last 3 or 4 decades were either an experience of stagnation or an experience of decline. And that is why people have lost faith in mainstream media telling them that the economy has recovered. Or Silicon Valley millionaires telling them we live in a world of abundance. Because people can see for themselves.

Noone is too stupid to know if their lives are better today than they were 30 or 40 years ago. And no statistics, mass media or rose-glassed-books can change that reality for them. But politics can. And so it is natural to be compelled to take political action and vote away from the current system and personalities. Because it’s become abundantly clear the current system is a global casino where the people in charge have loaded the dice. Yes, a few can win this game every once-in-a-while and keep the myth that winning is possible but most are sure to lose. Because the casino never loses. And so voters desperately want to stop gambling and change the game to one where they can actually start winning. And are thus compelled to believe the sales pitches of political opportunists and demagogues who promise to reform the system. It is what happened in Germany and Italy after WWI. And the whole world paid a high price for it.

Economic polarization leads to discontent, social instability, upheaval, and eventually, if left unchecked, revolution. In fact, we know that economic polarization is arguably the best indicator for an impending revolution. And the statistics of the past 3 or 4 decades are pretty clear that the middle class is being decimated. And freedom and democracy follow economics. But economics follows technology. As Elon Musk said at the recent Asilomar Conference on Beneficial AI: “Freedom consists of the distribution of power and despotism in its concentration.”

So if you think that a few dozen people, controlling more data and more wealth, than any government ever has in the history of our civilization, is merely a technological change, think again. It is profoundly political because it ultimately is about the distribution, or rather the concentration, of power. More power than we have ever had in the history of the world. In fewer and fewer hands. And people have not failed to notice that this trend has coincided with an exponential explosion of technology. So, at the very least, it is by now pretty clear that technology on its own doesn’t necessarily have a positive effect on democracy or the standard of living. And that we need to have a few other factors in place to spread more evenly the accumulated surplus, rather than watch passively as it concentrates.

Peter Diamandis often talks about the coming of the world’s first trillionaires. And I have no doubt he is correct. Though I somehow fail to see this as a necessarily good thing for many others than those trillionaires. In fact, it is a clear sign of the further concentration Elon Musk was talking about. But there is another, more important trend happening at the same time.

In the past capital needed labor in order to perpetuate and multiply itself. Just as much as labor needed capital in order to earn wages. This long-standing mutual co-dependency gave bargaining power to labor and allowed for an equitable distribution of the consequently produced economic surplus. Which in turn gave us the most prosperous period of capitalism during which both capital and labor were benefiting from the above arrangement.

Today, a new era is beginning. An era, when with the rise or robotic automation and AI, the super rich can control not only capital but also labor. Thus human labor is no longer necessarily needed by capital, at least not at a price which would pay for AI and robots. But that price itself is constantly shrinking, while the cost of living is rising. So the incentives are clear. And the trends are not likely to change. To the point when trillionaires can literally build private armies of robot laborers and soldiers to do their bidding. And change doesn’t get more political than this.

So we are currently experiencing a backlash against the above trends. And yet it is easier for economists to see the end of the world rather than the end of capitalism as we know it. And Silicon Valley struggles to understand the rest of America that elected Donald Trump but insists that what both the USA and the world at large need is simply more of Silicon Valley. Failing to recognize the facts that California, with its crumbling infrastructure, environmental mismanagement and 20.6% of the population living in poverty, is hardly a good role model of anything.

Yes, the “Golden State”, where you have the highest congregation of both billionaires and high tech, is the nation’s poorest state. So clearly neither technology nor a large number of hyper-rich people are sufficient to make a difference for the public good. But yet poorer countries, with less technology and less wealth, somehow do. Then doesn’t it make more sense to be humble and seek lessons that California can learn from the rest of the world? Rather than push to export yourself abroad “to save the world.”

And most of those lessons California has to learn are, of course, not technological but political. Furthermore, every grand challenge that humanity has is, at some level, a political one. That is why the idea that Singularity University will “solve humanity’s grand challenges” within the current political realm is utterly self-serving and ridiculous. The new world will be new because it will not be just a bigger and better version of California’s prized horse – aka Silicon Valley. The new world will be fundamentally new because we’ll have to go beyond horses. So the idea that the coming exponentially disruptive change can occur without equally disruptive political, social and economic change is dangerously short-sighted or even delusional.

And, in a country where the presumption that those who don’t work don’t deserve to eat reigns unchallenged, things are only going to get more and more unstable in the face of further concentration of power, technological unemployment and economic polarization. And that is why not focusing on changing the current political and socio-economic paradigm but rather on “monetizing” it as much as possible, is not only selfish. In the long run, it might turn out to be potentially suicidal, not just for California, but for humanity in general.

So what do we do? Where do we begin?

Even the longest journey starts with a single step. In this case it is to recognize that technology is not enough (SP NOTE: I'm taking points away from the author due to linking to his old blog post). Because it is as much about politics as it is about technology. It always has been. And that the politics of the future is technology just as much as technology is the future of politics. And, most importantly, that we may get the technology right but if we get the politics wrong, then, we are all doomed. The sooner we wake up to that basic truth the better chance we have. Because if the current trends persist the people will likely rise up in revolt long before the machines do. They already have. Only next time the revolt may not be happening at the voting booth.

And while Rome is burning there is always someone having a party or trying to make money. Or both. So it is time to get very clear about our mission – be it personally or collectively: are we here to party, to make money or to put down the fire, build a new world order (SP NOTE: well that was a bad choice of phrasing) and make a dent in the universe?!…
"A quasar is the most powerful object in the universe. It is bright with energy" - Captain Ryker demonstrating his "knowledge"

"You drongos will have to do better than that if you want to beat the devil!" - Hugh Dawkins, also known as "The Tasmanian Devil"


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