It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

My Idea for a Utopia

page: 3
4
<< 1  2   >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 02:26 PM
link   
reply to post by Hazelnut
 


As it stands in *today's* economy and lifestyles, people do indeed enjoying working with and creating new technology. They have that interest as it earns them an income. In a world where everyone is able to do whatever they desire, it just might happen that people who enjoy technology today may not actually *desire* to do that when other avenues of pleasure are then opened up to them.

I myself enjoy technology and would love to work in any field involving it, but if presented with a choice between that or leisurely traveling the globe, I'd rather take the extended globe trotting trip any day. It's one thing to enjoy working with something compared to being able to do *anything* you wanted to do.

I personally disagree that if people were left alone they would be more productive. Just read or watch the news for reasons why I would think that. One thing that drives the human mind is greed, it's an unavoidable mode of survival. Without the drive of greed, no species would be alive today. But as a complex society we can learn to overcome greed by providing and working together, but we can't overcome greed if people are left to do whatever they choose.




posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 02:30 PM
link   
hazelnut keeps dropping that real talk



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 02:34 PM
link   
reply to post by sirnex
 


In your scenario, people only work because they are greedy. I don't agree with that. People work to maintain themselves and their families. In all of human history, that is the primary activity of humans and animals.

Once certain people set themselves up in superior positions, limit information and creat authorities with the power to enforce laws that support the superior class, we all went downhill.

If you didn't have to work in technology, you might actually have the freedom to discover something else you are fascinated with and pursue that. I have no interest in technology now. But I can't say that in the world we are speculating about, I might not become very interested and want to spend my time creating an application that ensures everyday is a good day for everyone.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 02:36 PM
link   
reply to post by YoungGod88
 


Is that a good thing or a bad thing?



I'm out of the loop it seems.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 02:46 PM
link   
reply to post by Hazelnut
 



In your scenario, people only work because they are greedy. I don't agree with that. People work to maintain themselves and their families. In all of human history, that is the primary activity of humans and animals.


That's only half the truth right there. Yes, we do work for monetary compensation in order to provide for our families. Yes, the lust to have more and better thing's leads to the greed of money and it's requirement in order to obtain and provide for those lust's.

If everything is provided for an individual and an individual is left to do as they please, then the desire to work is drastically reduced. I no longer need to work with robotics as the robots will just repair themselves, I'm now free to travel the world as that is something I desire *more* than working in robotics.


Once certain people set themselves up in superior positions, limit information and creat authorities with the power to enforce laws that support the superior class, we all went downhill.


I agree with you there and that is one end of a broad spectrum, the other end is enabling a lazy society of people who do nothing but rely upon technological wonders to provide for them. This other end leads to a similar fate of going downhill. Especially when people begin to rely on the assumption that because technology has worked for so long without fault, it will continue to do so for a very long time, leading people to commit to other desires that are more personally important than maintaining that technology.


If you didn't have to work in technology, you might actually have the freedom to discover something else you are fascinated with and pursue that. I have no interest in technology now. But I can't say that in the world we are speculating about, I might not become very interested and want to spend my time creating an application that ensures everyday is a good day for everyone.


Possibly true, possibly not. Really it depends on how optimistic you feel about the human potential. From every example we have of the human potential throughout history, it only goes to show that unfounded optimism is a faulty thing to 'hope' for. Even before the advent of complex societies and bartering methods, people were greedy for their desires. We are by nature a greedy species and always have been and have been becoming even more greedy as we advance our societies and technologies.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 02:59 PM
link   
reply to post by sirnex
 


My viewpoint is probably not shared by most, I readily admit to that. But I can't help who I am and how I think. I am not greedy and have never been. Actually I found that I'm happiest when I can give to others. And when I'm actually doing something worthwhile. I should assume then, that only a small portion of the population living now would agree with me? If that is the case, then my ideals and values are mere fantasy and nothing more.

It would please me to no end to see every person living their lives as they see fit. I wouldn't worry too much about some rogue few who would rather control others by fear and intimidation because once people have an actual taste of freedom (real freedom) they won't willingly revert back to what we have now and will quickly deal with the trouble-makers justly. They are the few. We are the many. At least in my fantasy.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 03:06 PM
link   
reply to post by Hazelnut
 


Honestly, real freedom involves allowing people the freedom to literally do anything they wanted, including the not so good things. True freedom is a form of free will without rule or restriction. Personally I would hate for people to have true freedom of will. A true utopia would require a rigid social structure with rigid rules that all members of that society must agree on. Utopia doesn't inherently mean absolute freedom of will, it just means a near perfect society free of the normal ills of a society.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 03:29 PM
link   
reply to post by Alaskan Man
 




Why wouldn't it work? what would the draw backs be?


It would work.

There are however, two slight problems:

1) The transition period. We have a mostly stable social structure right now. And while the structure you describe would also be stable, the transition from the this one to that one might not be very stable. It's not entirely practical to build an entire society of robots and automation overnight.

Where do you start? And how do you start? For example, let's say, hypothetically, that you decide to replace the retail service industry with robots. It's menial, simple work, and nobody really wants to do it. But, when robots start replacing people, those people are losing their jobs, and now no longer have any income. Which is fine for a society with no money, but we're not there yet. So far we've only barely started replacing the service industry. But you already have millions of people out of work who need to provide food and shelter for themselves because you haven't automated those industry yet. And those people will be unhappy, and start making a tremendous fuss. And...let's ask the question: who is going to pay for this transition? Is the government going to use tax money to build these robots? They're certainly not going to design, build, and install themselves. So now you have taxpayers losing their jobs because their tax money was used to replace them.

Major recipe for unhappy people. I simplify, but I think you understand the idea. It's a perfectly functional system, but how does one get there from here without massive pain and suffering?

2) The present system allows for the existence of people with more power than others. Those people will lose their relative power if the system you're describing is put into place. Sure...they'll still have food and houses, and they won't have to fix their own meals when the robots are doing it any more than they have to now with their servants doing it...but these people have very little to gain by changing the system, but they have a great deal to lose: their power. The ability to look at others and feel superior. The option of manipulating and lording themselves over others. You may frown, but there are people who enjoy these thigns. And, many of them, because they enjoy it, have manouvered themselves into positions of power so that they can. And...these people have power and influence. So they may choose to use that power and influence to stop the transition from occuring.


[edit on 6-10-2009 by LordBucket]



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 04:47 PM
link   
Have you ever seen Wall-E? If not watch it. Thats what will happen.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 05:14 PM
link   
"Utopia" could only be an enforced dictatorship.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 05:49 PM
link   
Hmmm
Good idea, but there are a few things
1. Maintenance. Who would repair these robots? There can't possibly be enough mechanics to fix these things. Plus, if I were a mechanic who is supposed to fix robots that make life perfect, I would demand some power over everyone else. If I don't get power, you don't get utopia. This power would probably manifest itself in:
Money- thats right money isnt used
Material Goods-- thats right, everything is free
Slaves. If everything is free, the only thing worth having would be people, who are not free(money-wise). I can see it now, the Mechanic Class are the rulers of the world. This could be averted by robots that fix other robots, though...

2. The robots that replace simple jobs will not be a problem. When the jobs starts to get complicated (school teachers, intellectuals, etc) they could realize that they are enslaved and revolt. Imagine having a perfect world one day, and total mayhem the next.

3. If everybody has infinite leisure time, bad things will happen. Now that many people are not distracted by work, they start wars, murder, etc...
Free time= thinking time= ideas= disagreements with other people's ideas=war=death
yes, free time=death


4. On the topic of war, having robots controlling the entire world, essentially, is not good. They make a perfect target for other nations to attack in case of war. Cripple your enemy's entire way of life!

[edit on 6-10-2009 by fleetlord]



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 06:22 PM
link   
reply to post by Huey Adinasi
 


Thats one form of "utopia" especially the kind with quotation marks around it, but I can imagine other forms, which make them just as real.

So i wouldn't be so fast to say an enforced dictatorship is the only way.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 06:25 PM
link   
I think you guys should read the last chapter of the celestine prophecy for more info on what advancement in human society beyond just technology holds in store.....actually read the whole book.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 07:57 PM
link   

Originally posted by Hazelnut
reply to post by YoungGod88
 


Is that a good thing or a bad thing?



I'm out of the loop it seems.


Its a good thing

whenever you say something and some one tells you that's real talk

it means either what you said was true or it makes alot of sense



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 08:08 PM
link   
I think in this robotic utopia of yours the problem lies in the fact that private capital purchased the R&D into this technology. That means that the elite paid for this. Do you honestly think that they will then use those robot minions that replace all of us now useless eaters just to do the work required to support your utopia for everyone? I think you are mistaken. The people who paid for it are going to want to use those same robot minions to do away with the now useless labor force.

That means judgment day like the Terminator saga for all of us and a utopia for them once we are turned into recycling.



posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 09:51 AM
link   
The slight problem is that our continued existance in this or a similar robot utopia type is that we are attempting to infinitely run a closed system. For example: throwing things 'away' (where is away?) and building new things all the time. This requires space and resources from limited means.



posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 01:48 PM
link   
reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


I made a thread a long while back about a short story, well relatively short where robots build everything and society becomes a utopia of people doing whatever makes them happy. As there is no need to grab money crime goes way down to being almost non existant and scientific research leaps years ahead.

Why don't you read the story and take a look because it basically covers everything you're on about.

marshallbrain.com...



posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 02:30 PM
link   
I love a good techno-topian fantasy, and I've got to say that I've invested considerable thought in the idea of conquering you all (and then releasing you and treating you very well after I've settled a few scores on behalf of myself, my family, and my social class) with the help of a massive military-industrial-robot-Vagabond complex. So allow me to walk you through a few of the finer points.

So, assuming you already have the robotics technology and the algorithms or even full on AI to effectively manage it in a "hands off" mode (which I think is a realistic point for us to reach within 50 years or less), here is your agenda:

Goal 1: Introduce and Allocate Robotic Labor (Transition)
  • A. Building enough robots over a realistic period of time and at a realistic expense The production of robots must not displace the production of necessities, or we won't live to enjoy the robots.

  • B. Assign priority to certain fields of work for robotic replacement of human labor Fix what's broken first: fill unfilled jobs, delaying the problem of displacing human workers.

  • C. Assure every person of their ability to control some portion of the economy, either in the form of labor or materials needed by others. Each human worker, at the time of their displacement, but receive a new stake in the economy equal to or greater than their former one.


The logical first step for 1st generation robots is to bring about the second generation of robots. The second step is to fill unmet basic needs. By keeping the emerging field from ever becoming dependent upon human labor, and then beginning the move into existing fields in areas already at a deficit of labor and materials you prevent an initial largescale displacement of workers and the accompanying destabilization of the economy and society.

A few key details of this transition are as follow:

i. Robots must procure materials with which to make more robots, preferably by the recycling of materials which cannot practically be accessed for recycling by humans. In short, they are emplaced at landfills to sort and achieve maximum recycling of our waste materials.

ii. Robots must produce a power infrastructure capable of meeting the new demand for power which they present. This means building the infrastructure for a hydrogen economy (or, failing the advent of fusion power or some equally abundant and clean system, robots would have to be much more limited in their scope of application and be powered by vegitable-derived sugars and alcohols supported by their own agriculture, giving them a sort of jury-rigged animal biology and symbiosis with the rest of the planet). That last idea would go nicely with another early-stage use of robotic labor: establishing local agriculture in underfed regions of the world.

iii. Robots must assemble more robots.

iv. the next phases of automation would be in fields where human-powered production is either too inefficient to be profitable (sweatshop labor) or too limited to be affordable (fields like medicine where prices are high in part because there isn't enough to go around)

v. the robots are organized into small to medium sized companies, owned by the consumers they supply (through stock issued according to the consumer's amount of consumption), paying ALL PROFITS as dividends to those stockholders, and despite their small size, partially cooperating in a guild to take advantage of economies of scale, while also exercizing enough autonomy to allow for competition in innovation within the developing field. The effect of this is that the consumer owns the means of production and is refunded all profits, and consequently recieves goods at cost- furthermore, if the stockholder reduces consumption and for that reason transfers some of his shares to others who are increasing their consumption, the consumer is effectively receiving a further refund (which may even represent a net profit, since this is effectively a future's market regulated by the requirement that you actually buy and use the goods before you can trade the futures) [this system does not apply to the sale of the robots themselves, as explained next]

vi. with robots first being used to supply the needy, who cannot at first pay for them, you have no doubt deduced that this will effectively close the wealth gap on a global scale and is unlikely to happen as the result of profit motive. Thus we can conclude that the most likely way this will ever be implemented is by a non-profit academic or philanthropic organization operating world-wide, not by a corporation or state. This does not eliminate but merely consolidates the problem of a status quo upheaval. Completely eliminating that upheaval requires that the people (and not the organization implementing the automation) forcibly keep government and corporate interests at bay during the transition. Thus highly functioning democracies with a fairly low degree of corruption are a prerequisite for the transition, barring our reliance on a technocratic Charlemagne.


From Transition to Mainstream: So now we have a world with a quickly closing wealth gap, where an ever increasing number of the things that people depend on to live are recieved at-cost or sometimes even cost-repaid basis. This works on a free market system that encourages thrift in high demand areas (which is how you achieve cost repaid or even cost-repaid plus profit conditions). This expands, with total production (and thus average standard of living world wide) preceding reduction in human workforce, causing a series of small expansions and contractions of supply as production peaks, then backs off as humans move out of the workforce. Until finally, we reach a limit:

Goal 2: Sustainable living in a world where raw materials run out before labor supply.
  • A. The fundamental basis of wealth must continue to be human labor and accomplishment

  • B. Rendundancy must be eliminated and Long-lasting possessions and utilities must be heavily preferred over disposable ones, especially for non-recyclables


i. While I have spelled out that one's consumption habbits form a baseline that can be altered by thrift or excess via the futures mechanism, what has not been covered yet is what establishes the initial budget on which that consumption is based. This is logically based on human labor, beginning with what ones wealth was before the transition, and of course subject to change based on how one acquires wealth by his own industry after the transition. If you were one of the needy who didn't have a job before the transition and were in poverty, you would begin at a subsistence level, and by thrift would have to improve that, or else would have to capitalize on your newfound security as an opportunity to start working on other things. You might entertain, you might invent, you might blow glass so that those who don't like assembly line goods can have the little luxuries. This also continues to impose personal responsibility on reproductive trends, to prevent a locust effect.

ii. The above would require a separate currency (probably the respective currencies used before the transition, as opposed to the standardized stock-based currency that would be used for the fruits of automated labor) allowing for a degree of democratically directed economic policy to balance against the laissez faire system that would be widely insisted upon as the individual found himself to be the primary holder of wealth.

iii. the smaller companies of the developing phase would eventually probably be integrated at least in many areas, reducing redundancy by reducing the uncertainty generated by competition (which is less necessary when the consumer is also a supplier, and cannot practically engage in predatory commercial practices against himself). This reduction in variety would logically favor permanent objects rather than disposables, so that consumers could get a cost-rebate when they stopped consuming and sold their shares of the production. This would also create a growing second-hand market, reducing the likelihood of a full cost rebate on sale as time went on, and thus sustaining some impetus for development and avoiding the tendency of people to buy things they don't necessarily want just because it's their turn to get it. The limited variety would of course also drive up demand for individually produced goods and services that have seen human hands and human minds at some point in their conception.


Anyway, I'll probably come back to this at some point because the organization didn't hold up as well as I hoped. I'm sure I missed a few points and didn't articulate others well enough.

But long story short, you have to account for phased implementation, distribution of the means of production, continuation of market forces, continued limits imposed not by labor shortage but by energy and material shortage, environmental impact, population growth, etc.

And all of that means that a completely free economy is unlikely.
A free economy, where opportunity costs do not prevent us from wanting one of everything, requires enormous waste. There has to be enough steak, chicken, lobster, and fish for everyone at dinner- so that if everyone wanted lobster they wouldn't run out. But then all that steak and chicken and fish just get thrown away. That's seriously multiplying your waste generation, energy consumption, raw material consumption, and thus reducing the capacity of the earth to support humans. Thus instead of depriving the currently living of wealth, we end up depriving future generations of the opportunity to live- still a case of haves and have nots. We are far better off to focus on striking a better balance between work and play while continuing to make at least some of the difficult economic choices that are and always have been a part of life.



new topics

top topics



 
4
<< 1  2   >>

log in

join