Thursday, July 24, 2003

Robotic Nation, by Marshall Brain

Robotic Nation, by Marshall Brain

.... When a significant portion of the normal American population is permanently living in government welfare dormitories because of unemployment, what we will have is a third-world nation. These citizens will be imprisoned by unemployment in their own society. If you are an adult in America and you do not have a job, you are flat out of luck. That is how our economy is structured today -- you cannot live your life unless you have a job. Many people -- perhaps a majority of Americans -- will find themselves out of luck in the coming decades.

The arrival of humanoid robots should be a cause for celebration. With the robots doing most of the work, it should be possible for everyone to go on perpetual vacation. Instead, robots will displace millions of employees, leaving them unable to find work and therefore destitute. I believe that it is time to start rethinking our economy and understanding how we will allow people to live their lives in a robotic nation...

A favorite theme of science fiction for decades -- writers have explored many potential solutions. Interesting implications for societies (Japan, etc) with declining birth rates.

Socialism is not yet dead. In 1996 I predicted the return of socialism by 2001; maybe I was only off by 20-30 years.

No comments: