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Machine Economy vs. Universal Basic Income

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posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 12:01 AM
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a reply to: AMPTAH

That is stagnation, rot and death. Humans need to expand it's in our genes, survival.

I guarantee you that reality never happens as we'll tear down the machine before it gets to that point.




posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 12:57 AM
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In a Star Trek like world, your basic needs and housing are already taken care of with no need for money. However to be useful and to get extra rights to use resources for personal use, you work or do a service for which you need to train. If our world becomes highly automated, many millions of unemployed might revolt without basic assistance.

As is now, some believe AI and robots are advancing enough they can imagine a time when AI will have a lot more processing power or smarts than humans and at that point, robotics might be able to do all basic human work tasks and some more advanced ones. AI might be able to learn without the need for a human to figure out a program to write. At the moment humans are required to write programs for all robots.

When robots leap frog this hurdle, millions of jobs can be automated leaving billions of humans out of work. Truck drivers, teachers, regular factory workers could all end up unemployed. Massive unemployment with no jobs available for humans could be a cause for mass rioting as unemployment benefits ran out. Thus we have talk about universal basic income. It would also free up people to create new businesses without a constant need to work a regular job. It could also free people to experiment with their creative talents without worrying about how to pay for basic needs.

I agree that right now much of this does not seem practical. Competing with super advanced robots in the future for simple jobs might be next to impossible if a robot can work 24/7 without sleep and no pay with only basic maintenance and one upfront cost. If robots can build robots and can learn skills faster than humans, humans will be at a major disadvantage. I have already read plans to replace soldiers on the battlefield with robots. Millions of robots could replace the jobs of millions of people. Imagine if a nation had a million man army versus a million terminator robots which don't sleep, eat, and are killing machines. I think cost of the robots would stay high for a while but when you compare wages of a person for one year versus the cost of a robot, they would pay for themselves real quick. I was thinking the textile industry might have stayed in the US if workers had been replaced with robots and the industry had robots that could do everything a human could.



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 01:02 AM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: AMPTAH

Right. And as we transition away from human labor we will still need a way to communicate value.


There is only one value that matters in the world, it's "energy".

Oil is the primal currency right now, because it represents a store of "energy", and is a form of storage that is very convenient for us to transport and use.

All the fiat currencies of the world take their value from oil.

The machines will need to use energy to perform their work. That limits how much the machines can do. And it's why we need to limit how much product and service the people demand from those machines.

All other things, like Intellectual Property, patents, copyrights, etc..are just "imaginary" things we create and attribute a fictional value to, but which in fact have no intrinsic value. You can copy a book easily, in digital form, without using much "energy", and distribute those books around the world without using much "energy". The real value of the book, is just the energy required to copy and transport it to the customer. That's it.

"Ideas" have no value. It's only when someone wants to use that idea, and has to employ "energy" in it's use, does any value actually enter the equation. If nobody wants to use a patented idea, that patent is worthless.

Even material resources like "iron" and "copper", can be created from energy alone. We can "make atoms" in particle colliders by smashing elementary particles together, we only have to give those particles enough energy, which we do by converting electrical energy into magnetic fields to accelerate the charged particles.

So, everything, in the end, comes back to "energy".

That's the measure of value that matters.



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 01:22 AM
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a reply to: projectvxn

I reckon the powers that should not be will give a choice between two handfulls of rise per day or a lead injection. To them a mimium income that is in any way sustainable is wefare (for individuals) at its worse.

I reckon whats more important to watch for is the welfare payments to the corporate sector to pay for the machines.



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 01:49 AM
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a reply to: AMPTAH

What does a programming language do?

It tells electrons how to behave in a machine.

I agree with you.

But anything that has value can be bought/sold/traded. That includes information, real goods, services rendered(selling excess energy from your solar roof), and so forth.

What I'm saying is that we are already doing many of these things already, but it is highly centralized, insecure in many respects, and even property that inherently belongs to you(your personal data, for instance) is today sold without you ever seeing a dime of it. In a centralized system like the systems used the world over(regardless of political structure) inherent property and the rights that come along with that(owning yourself) do not exist. With a decentralized economy, an inherent property is ALWAYS yours regardless of how you choose to use that information. You can even choose to sell that information and still retain ownership of it. These kinds of blockchains are already being implemented for intellectual property protection.

Yes, those things take energy. All of it will. This march will not stop. We are well on our way to becoming a Type 1 civilization, and the Machine Economy will be the standard by which it operates. For these purposes I am an advocate of both public and private energy research, to include nuclear fission, fusion, geothermal, wave, wind, and solar.

I do NOT believe that the future belongs to a centralized power system that ensures humanity lives under its thumb. I don't want to be beholden to governments, regardless of their ideological constructs, to control my ability to participate in the economy as I see fit. UBI is exactly that.



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 02:29 AM
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Interesting thread.

I would agree that UBI isn't a solution (although I think it's better than the current system of welfare).

If I am following you what you mean is that as technology reduces the need for Labour the solution is wider ownership/participation in the new means of production. Technology allows everyone to participate in the economy in a better way without centralised ownership/control.

As a first thought the main problem I see would be that with current wealth inequality it wouldn't very hard to move to that style of economy as the haves would have a major head start over the have nots.

Will think about this a bit and come back. Very good thread actually.



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 06:55 AM
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a reply to: projectvxn
I worked as a machine operator for over a decade. I watched processes evolve from humans hand assembling parts to full automation of said parts. Two machines can produce what dozens of humans could have made in the same amount of time. However there are still several persons required to run the machine. Yes, there are less people required to make the same amount of parts, but there are still humans required. Even machines with robotics and automation require operators. Someone has to build the parts that make up the machines, set up the machines, program the robotics, and keep them running. No automation machine in my experience has ever run flawlessly. They are all a work in progress. At our current level of technology, it's going to be a very long time before little roombas that roll around and change sensors and fluids and worn out moving parts can maintain the machines and themselves. By the time we are advanced enough to create machines and robotics that run themselves, we will have solved our society's economic and social problems as well.
edit on 2-2-2018 by gr8skott because: edit



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 07:51 AM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: Aazadan

All you've done is restate the definition of a UBI and repackaging it.

Blockchains are immutable, decentralized, and 2nd/3rd gen blockchains are scalable.

These experiments are already happening with great success.

Look into what VeChain and Walton are doing for IoT economics and logistics validation.



Blockchains are just a record keeping system for things that have already happened. There's no application here.



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 08:25 AM
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Very good thread indeed.

To sum up the question, what do we do with people once the Singularity occurs and they have become obsolete? Our elected officials (there is no leadership there) will probably follow literature and go with Huxley’s Brave New World and occupy our time with sex and soma. Which is already happening to a degree with legalization of a certain substance and the insistence of paid birth control pills.

I would say the Singularity is far closer than anyone wants to admit. To borrow from Star Trek, replicators will be the answer to UBI. By that time “energy credits” will not be a currency as green sources will produce unlimited amounts. All of which is great from myopic view of meeting needs, but people have that pesky habit of wants. Chief among what’s is to satisfy curiosity, so we will explore. Not just space, but crafting, art, running a store...all sorts of things. We will sojourn our ideas until we run out and realize the futility of existence. Then as a species we will be extinct.

To draw again on literature, the Twilight Zone episode where a guy wanted everyone gone to read all the books in peace only to have his glasses break at the end. We will go until we have no motivation to continue. Everything along the way is a distraction to that end.



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 10:55 AM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: Aazadan

All you've done is restate the definition of a UBI and repackaging it.

Blockchains are immutable, decentralized, and 2nd/3rd gen blockchains are scalable.

These experiments are already happening with great success.

Look into what VeChain and Walton are doing for IoT economics and logistics validation.



Blockchains are just a record keeping system for things that have already happened. There's no application here.


I believe the argument (without wishing to speak further OP) is that as labour loses value due to increased automation then there may be technological alternatives (including block chain)that allow individuals to maintain economic worth without centralised control.

In a highly automated society two of the most important assets will be information and computing power. If block chain or similar allowed a competitive advantage to individuals rather big centralised servers then that is one way.

I am far from convinced myself but think the concept is interesting.



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 11:22 AM
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originally posted by: ScepticScot

In a highly automated society two of the most important assets will be information and computing power.


Right. The "value" each individual will have, in the future, is his personal "knowledge" of how to use the "Free Resources" to his advantage. We see this right now, on the internet. If you "know" certain things, then you can enjoy the same things, in many cases, as people who have lots of cash to pay others who know, but don't themselves "know" anything.

You can even get entirely "free education" today, by using online education sites like edX, coursera, FutureLearn, etc..and learn just as much as those "lucky" people who pay the high tuition costs to attend the prestegeious universities like MIT, Harvard, etc..you just have to "know" where to look, and what to select from what's "freely available" out there as a resource already.

There are many websites that teach people how to "grow" their own food, "grow ops", using modern technology with special "grow lights" etc..and to do this in small confined spaces, like an apartment, so that you don't need to own lots of land to "feed yourself".

Soon, there will be software that enables you to "make your own clothes", by letting you enter your body measurements, pick a design pattern you like, and generating the "gcode" for the cutting pattern, so you can use your own personal CNC-enabled Cutting and Sowing machine, to tailor your own custom designed clothing wear.

The'll be home systems that convert the "solar energy" arriving at your location, into "fuel" by using that energy, in electrical form, to break down Water H2O, into Hydrogen and Oxygen, and let you burn that Hydrogen fuel to power devices at home and for transportation, without having you stuck on some electrical grid paying the utility companies a montly fee..etc..

So..the technology that is coming will make people independent to a certain extent, and things like UBI will only be used to buy certain things, like your Home PC to access information on the internet, etc..



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 03:12 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan




Blockchains are just a record keeping system for things that have already happened. There's no application here.


What? Logistics IS record keeping(and blockchains can and do function in real-time). All money does is communicate value. Today, in modern economics, everything that is bought/sold/traded at a certain market value is recorded somewhere, usually the intermediary(exchanges/banks/so forth), which creates a centralized system of record keeping and value transfer that relies on fiat with its own set of scaling limitations.

UBI schemes are inherently inflationary because they would have to be global in scale and denominated by an asset transferable into local fiat. A single global power structure would have dominance over everything bought and sold, while also retaining the rights to YOUR inherent property, instead of maintaining those records on a blockchain you own.

This is all about maintaining records. The future of commerce will be the transfer of value at the speed of information. The very nature of money is changing right before our eyes. History is literally being made.
edit on 2 2 18 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: ScepticScot

Blockchain is basically a meme. It's an inefficient system. Theres a few applications where it's useful, but those are rather narrow. It's a decentralized public ledger.

Even most cryptos are going to fail. For example, all the smart contract stuff is highly risky, because you're reliant on the contract being written correctly. With a paper contract, an illegal term can be stricken out by a judge. Once a smart contract is written, the terms cannot be changed, so you can only fulfill the contract or not. And then to deal with the rest you're back in the courts (if you can find the person... blockchains exist to promote anonymity) to solve the issue.



posted on Feb, 2 2018 @ 09:23 PM
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originally posted by: AMPTAH
You can even get entirely "free education" today, by using online education sites like edX, coursera, FutureLearn, etc..and learn just as much as those "lucky" people who pay the high tuition costs to attend the prestegeious universities like MIT, Harvard, etc..you just have to "know" where to look, and what to select from what's "freely available" out there as a resource already.


College isn't about paying for knowledge. You can do that from books. It's about having access to professionals in their field. It's the same reason why anyone serious about their careers will spend thousands a year attending industry conferences... networking, seminars, and direct access to the top minds in the field.



posted on Feb, 3 2018 @ 05:26 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

I'm hoping rudimentary AI and virtual reality will also decentralize human learning as well.

All of your educational training can be recorded to your blockchain. There will still need to be areas of life that will require a human touch. AI and automation should be a partner for our abilities to explore and do all the other things humans do, not a means to replace ourselves.


edit on 3 2 18 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 3 2018 @ 01:49 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
I'm hoping rudimentary AI and virtual reality will also decentralize human learning as well.


I write VR and AR educational software for a living. Blockchain doesn't really have a place in it. There's advances to be made in that field, that's just not one of them.



posted on Feb, 3 2018 @ 02:57 PM
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I firmly believe there is a clash coming between technology and culture.

Automation, if implemented to a certain extent in our current society is bad. There just isn't the infrastructure there to maintain any semblance of normalcy. However, it is inevitably the future.

I think you are spot on about the importance of value assignment. And, decentralized approaches have significant benefits even if they innately require widespread adoption.

It seems that, historically, our species changes FAR behind the curve of our innovation and tools. In this specific situation and time though, I feel the results will be disastrous if we do that, or attemot to shoehorn it in to existing paradigms.

The value in decentralized approaches, even if it shifts power and authority away from centralized structures, is a distinct increase in the quality of life of everyone involved (if implemented "correctly," of course). Advancement happens at an exponentially faster rate, even if we only consider the drastically increased pool of participants who have the means and resource to actually participate.

The clash between culture and technology should be interesting. I'm not particularly confident we will do anything other than what we have always done. Just try to force things into the paradigm that has existed since the Neolithic Revolution, perhaps for no other reason than a generational habit.

I've harped on about this particular topic for years, since I feel it is actually of critical importance, but it seems the typical response is either ambivalence or trying to fit it into the current societal box (which is already stretching at the seams). I actually feel those responses aren't too problematic.. if it were any other period in history. Unique situations require novel responses.



posted on Feb, 3 2018 @ 03:02 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: projectvxn
I'm hoping rudimentary AI and virtual reality will also decentralize human learning as well.


I write VR and AR educational software for a living. Blockchain doesn't really have a place in it. There's advances to be made in that field, that's just not one of them.


Uh huh.

What about virtual marketplaces.

Are you saying there are no blockchain applications for that?

Because you would be wrong

This is just one example.

What I was talking about was far less of an extreme example. You take your courses via VR, and store your results, diplomas and test scores via blockchain ledgers for record keeping.

You keep making these assertions, but you don't seem to know ANYTHING about what blockchains are being used for.



posted on Feb, 3 2018 @ 03:10 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Might I suggest actually looking into blockchains beyond just the typical take (as a mere footnote of currency)?

For all intents and purposes, VR and AR are simply general display devices. Arguably, blockchain isn't relevant to the devices themselves (I'd argue it has a place in certain aspects), the content that is being displayed most certainly can fall into the realm of blockchains. If for no other reason than massive, vague general applications and use.



posted on Feb, 3 2018 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: Serdgiam

There are projects, right now, where virtual marketplaces are being created along with virtual communities.

Some of these projects are truly inspiring works of art.



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