Friday, November 28, 2014

Anecdotes, Spaceships and Economics

Hi! Happy Friday!

What do anecdotes, spaceships and economics all have in common?

Read on, dear read, read on!

Ferguson. Lots of anecdotes flying around of stories of black crime and stories of white crime not being treated the same as Ferguson. There are also statistics of black-on-black crime rationalizing police profiling of blacks, hey its okay because statistics say, don't ya' know? People use self-selected anecdotes and not solely anecdotes illustrating general statistical trends when they want to represent groups. Then people also use statistics for not treating individuals as individual when they want to justify profiling. For example, two black people have nothing in common based upon their skin color, nothing. Same was white folk having nothing in common based upon their skin color. Black-on-black crime is as meaningless a statistic as white-on-white crime. There is no meaning. Quit saying it. Black profiling by police though is very real because police over simplify. They profile. Joan Fedor said, "The biggest threat to Democracy to day is over simplified solutions to complicated problems." Nothing is more intellectually lazy or over simplified than using skin color. Police need training not to over simplify and do the hard work of meeting each individual with sophistication of a world mixed.  Face it we suck at using math and reason. What to make of all this? and spaceships, and economics?

Let's take a different approach of systems and scale.

Image you live in a spaceship. Imagine. What are the characteristics?
  1. Housing provided.
  2. Food provided.
  3. Nothing to build. 
  4. Free time is virtually 100%.
  5. Does having a job make sense on a spaceship? Money?
  6. Your primary occupation is using your mind.  
  7. Zero sum game. There is a fixed set of resources. Supply and demand do not apply to physical things.  
Further, imagine you live in a space port and are building a spaceship. You live on the spaceship as that ship is built out. Your life would be such that you would be gradually transitioning from a global economy to a spaceship economy; from unknown and renewable levels of resources to fixed.

The fact is that jobs today require ever increasing capabilities of the mind leaving more and more people behind. Education cannot impart capability. As automation and computers ever increasingly take over the menial, the repeatable and the well defined mental tasks then humans are left in a virtual spaceship like setting. Every day fewer humans are employable even if you educate them every single day. 

Face it, human brains and bodies are being made obsolete at a time our world population is increasing. If our brains and bodies at an aggregate level are obsolete then what are we suppose to do?

We need to admit the reality: there isn't enough work to go around and mental capacity for work is growing. If you are not born smart no amount of education can change that.

This is a fuzzy logic problem. As we take more-and-more bites out of the apple we are getting to the core. We are building out the Earth. From a fuzzy perspective we are transitioning from a world unknown to a spaceship existence.

The seven characteristics above are more applicable every single day to all of us. We are converging on spaceship Earth.

What does this mean? First, it means that even the rich are left holding a bag. Not all the rich folks are rotten to the apple core and some I believe would like to provide viable solutions to the masses. But they have no solutions.

That is because we need to change our world view. We need to transition from world unknown with seemingly endless new horizons to spaceship Earth with all land accounted for and resources quantifiable. Human labor is obsolete.

When I worked at Coherent back in the late 1980s the company had a program to give makeshift work to folks who wouldn't otherwise mentally or physically work. That's where its at today when 100% of automated farming comes online and  housing provides for the entire worlds population and so on.

What meaningful rewarding job can you do? That's the trillion dollar question that the richest of rich have no answer. Even if they have good intentions. We are becoming spaceship Earth.

The problem with Ferguson can be described as anecdotes, spaceships and economics. We do not understand scale. We do not understand statistics. Even the smartest of the smart have not identified the transition of scale, moving from labor to automation.

We need to start a new value system where people who have 100% free time are not denigrated. Because that 100% free time model is going to continue to become more common place; a new norm. We need to start educating people not for just for jobs that can easily be automated and replaced.

Today, 2% of the world's population can feed 100%, where previously 100% were engaged in feeding 100%. Take the previous sentence and replace the occupation of feeding with the occupations of transportation, health care, service and so on. Every occupation is being automated against a backdrop of increasing world population.

The era of the job is coming to a close but for a few required for necessity of survival. It is a reality we need to admit and move on from there. Consumerism for the sake of a job is going to strip the Earth. We need to stop. We need to understand and figure out how to manage ever increasing amounts of free time, and not demean those who do not have the luxury of a life-survival job. For that demeaning practice of putting down the jobless I could never be a conservative. The bar of mental capability required to acquire a job is rising every single day and leaving our education system behind. The smug value of "get a job or you're a loser" needs to change, conservatives, unless you can show the education system is sufficient. Automation is replacing jobs faster than education can hope to keep pace. Enough.

We are spaceship Earth.

Well come! and Well met! 

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