Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 49

Thread: Post scarcity what now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    39,923

    Post scarcity what now?

    So say that you no longer need to work.

    You have enough to get by, and a place to live. Just the basics, mind you, nothing fancy. But you could survive without lifting a finger if you wanted. Whether it be automation of labor, a universal minimum income, or whatever, you are no longer required to earn your daily bread by the sweat of your brow.

    What then?

    What would you choose to do with your now free time? Would you work anyway, just to fill the time or to earn extra goodies? Would you just play, or would you dedicate yourself to a cause? And what do you think others will do? What will occupy the masses?

    Once you no longer have to meet your own basic needs, what other motives will come to the forefront?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Clear Lake City, TX
    Posts
    13,218
    A little of each. I'd like to have the time to "play," as in do things around the house, or with my dog, or visit places. I'd also like to volunteer some time with an animal rescue group and/or shelter. And I'd probably get fidgety and find some sort of work to keep me productive/bring in extra cash.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

    Moderation will be in purple.
    Rules for Posting to This Board

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    16,958
    Would I be able to continue my education without having bills or loans in this scenario? If so, I might take a year or so off to travel, volunteer, write, etc. just as a break from the grind of grad school and the need to stay in school to keep my loan deferment.
    Last edited by KaiYeves; 2016-Nov-11 at 07:45 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    39,923
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Would I be able to continue my education without having bills or loans in this scenario? If so, I might take a year or so off to travel, volunteer, write, etc. just as a break from the grind of grad school and the need to stay in school to keep my loan deferment.
    If higher education is not covered, learning might still be a motive for earning.

    If it is, then I think a lot of us will also be taking time off before/during college life.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    6,480
    People are different. Some will want to work until they kick, while others will happily become a couch potato. Still others will turn to pursuits they never had time for, such as travel, art, hiking. That's in answer to your question about what others would do.

    In answer to what I'd do, I'm kinda living it now. While I do work occasionally, it's only at the request of my employer when they're in need of my specific talents. I never volunteer to work. To be honest, I haven't found a passion that keeps me fully occupied in my plentiful spare time. I do some reading. I do some hiking. I do some local and national travel by road. I participate in Yelp. I'm taking up golf. I thought I would find myself in my woodshop a lot but it hasn't happened. I'm sure it will eventually. But mostly I work on repairing my ancient house. And watch TV.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    39,923
    Ok, let's assume it is a total moneyless economy. No profit motive at all, all people have equal access to any goods. Let's say that robots have learned to fully repair, manufacture, and reprogram each other, and only need humans to give the orders. Fusion power achieved, farming advances makes plenty of food available to all on less land, full recycling of materials, etc.

    Now how does that change things?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    6,480
    OK, that's different. I see where you're going.

    That definitely changes things because now your pursuits are effectively risk free, financially. You've entered utopia, where pleasure is the only goal. You're still going to have a broad spectrum of what defines 'pleasure'. For myself, I'd travel and travel hard. I would see everything on my bucket list and then start on someone else's list.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    3,369
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    So say that you no longer need to work.

    You have enough to get by, and a place to live. Just the basics, mind you, nothing fancy. But you could survive without lifting a finger if you wanted. Whether it be automation of labor, a universal minimum income, or whatever, you are no longer required to earn your daily bread by the sweat of your brow.

    What then?

    What would you choose to do with your now free time? Would you work anyway, just to fill the time or to earn extra goodies? Would you just play, or would you dedicate yourself to a cause? And what do you think others will do? What will occupy the masses?

    Once you no longer have to meet your own basic needs, what other motives will come to the forefront?
    I'm in the situation you describe, Noclevername, since April. Some background: In my case, it's due to the accumulation of savings and growth of investments. I'll be eligible for a couple of small pensions in a few years, but they are not enough to live on. I made my choice to stop working "regularly" after long consideration and modelling of my historic investment choices/results, hoping to have adequately anticipated what could go wrong. An important driving force was seeing how many of my friends have died in recent years, or become seriously ill. In the end, I found myself asking, "Why would you keep working?"

    Well, I decided that there are still a few paying, professional things I really want to keep doing, for a little while at least. So I continue an arrangement I've had with a silviculture research group for many years. And for an industrial client I will do the digital image work and occasional data analysis that they seem to appreciate, but I won't go in the field for them unless it's a mentoring situation.

    So far, I've spent a lot of time travelling. I rode over 23,000 km on my motorcycle this year, and only drove the pickup ~1000 km (of which most was actually related to this continuing work!). I went to Europe in the spring with my sisters, partly on family business, partly holiday. I'm looking for a way to use up some travel points. Destination is still undecided, but I had been thinking of going to the AAAS meeting in Boston, not having attended one since the 2006 meeting in St Louis. So, even my retirement travelling can be nerdy. Which reminds me, for years I wanted to see pumpkins fly, so I made a point of meeting Trebuchet and the Lookingskyward clan. And, earlier in the year, I met PetersCreek when I travelled to Alaska.

    I have lots to do when I'm home. I'm presently refinishing furniture, something I thought was necessary, but didn't want to do when I was working. Now I have the time and patience to do it properly. I have finally settled on a design for a new headboard and integrated night tables, and bought the materials. It won't be anything fancy, just laminating lodgepole pine boards. But it took me hours to select the pieces. I'm letting them adjust for some time to my house's winter moisture levels before I begin working. Next spring I'll probably paint the house. This is something I would have abhorred when I was working, but now I actually look forward to it.

    I walk up to 11 km a day to maintain a semblance of fitness. When the weather cooperates, I ride one of my bicycles for exercise. I probably spend too much time online, reading the news, blogs and this site. I'm really happy that I have the time now to keep up with the weekly delivery of Science magazine, and I've even been able to read back issues.

    Next summer I plan to ride across Canada on the motorcycle. I did this when I was 23, I expect it will be fun at 58.

    There are plenty of other things I could do too, especially in my community. For now I plan to stay here, though my children have all moved away. I suspect that the arrival of grandchildren would change how I use my time, but that may not happen for a while. One thing I will not do is join that group of old guys that meets at their "men's shed". I don't want to listen to people complaining about their aches and pains (a friend of mine described that scene to me).

    I just realized that I did not use my canoe even once this year. Hmmm, must've been too busy doing other stuff.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    12,868
    I'm that boat. I haven't had a "real job" since 2010. I'll find a new job, but it isn't really pressing. Something different, something rewarding.

    If someone told me I didn't have to work, I'd say they were wrong. There is always something to learn and therefore always a place for teachers and learners.
    Solfe

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Peters Creek, Alaska
    Posts
    14,325
    Well, I have a mortgage, so I'll work for the foreseeable future but if I win the stupid big lottery that I never buy tickets for, I'll make beautiful wooden things full time. I hate to think that in some far flung future, robots would take over woodworking.
    Forum Rules►  ◄FAQ►  ◄ATM Forum Advice►  ◄Conspiracy Advice
    Click http://cosmoquest.org/forum/images/buttons/report-40b.png to report a post (even this one) to the moderation team.


    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    39,923
    I notice it's mostly retirees saying that their own lives would not change. But what about the more youthful and ambitious set, itching for something to do? How might they react?

    How do you think society overall would change?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    17,848
    I retired in 2010, and didn't actually NEED to work for a few years before that. So now I spend my time figuring out ways to make pumpkins fly, watching Doctor Who, and taking naps with the cat. Next year we plan on having a new house built, that'll take a bit of time.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    32,104
    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Well, I have a mortgage, so I'll work for the foreseeable future but if I win the stupid big lottery that I never buy tickets for, I'll make beautiful wooden things full time. I hate to think that in some far flung future, robots would take over woodworking.
    Personally, I think that society will always value, for whatever value, the handmade. While mass-produced furniture will be made by robots, there will still be a place for human craftsmanship.

    I haven't worked in over a decade, because I'm disabled. But I spend time with friends--I'd spend more time with friends if they didn't have to work! I write. I sew. I watch movies. I'd travel, if I could afford to. These days, of course, there's parenting, which is its own kind of work that it's hard to get days off from.

    For people with more ambition than I, well, I frankly don't think it's possible to automate everything. Production of art, as I mentioned. I'm really wary of the idea of a government by computer, or even a court system by computer. There are also, in my opinion, no few professions where the human touch is valuable and possibly indispensable--teaching, for starters. I do not believe in a world where there are no jobs, just one where no one has the financial need to work.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12,154
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post

    Production of art, as I mentioned.
    About that: http://www.livescience.com/54364-com...-painting.html

    Now for someoneto do spacecraft art that way.

    On topic--just knowing my time belonged to me--and not an employer--I'd go back to school, travel as well.

    I'd actually live.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    10,348
    There's a reason that they have to pay us to go to work, and it's because while many people find work to be reasonably enjoyable, nobody likes to spend an increasingly great amount of time under the thumbs of people who think "subordinate" equals "shiftless, subhuman."

    I love my current job, and may continue doing it in a post-scarcity economy. I'd probably spend a lot more time on my bike, and continue to avoid moving much closer to the equator.

    As an aside, it's not a post-scarcity economy unless it's that for everybody.

    Now, for a question; is the society written about in A Torrent of Faces post-scarcity? Or just a very effective welfare state?
    Last edited by swampyankee; 2016-Nov-12 at 08:57 PM.
    Information about American English usage here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    12,868
    I'm going back to school to become a teacher. Social Studies Ed first and then ultimately Special Education.

    If I have learned anything, people will continue to have children who will always ask - Who, What, Why, When. Until that stops happen, there will always be a need for teachers and mentors.

    Even the simplest task seem to have mentors involved, like fishing, astronomy or camping. There is always a better way to do something and thankfully almost always someone to share that info. I'm a student right now, and some day a teacher, but I am beginning to suspect that I will always be a student no matter what I actually end up doing professionally.

    (Edit - I'm 44, now. Not a retiree, just not particularly in need of more income than what I have, nor is that income enough for more than a decade of "coasting". I will have to work again at some point.)
    Last edited by Solfe; 2016-Nov-13 at 03:51 AM.
    Solfe

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,641
    Definitely traveling.
    And art.

    A lot of artists would continue to create, I'll bet. With some it's not money, it's often a need that comes pouring out.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    10,348
    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I'm going back to school to become a teacher. Social Studies Ed first and then ultimately Special Education.

    If I have learned anything, people will continue to have children who will always ask - Who, What, Why, When. Until that stops happen, there will always be a need for teachers and mentors.

    Even the simplest task seem to have mentors involved, like fishing, astronomy or camping. There is always a better way to do something and thankfully almost always someone to share that info. I'm a student right now, and some day a teacher, but I am beginning to suspect that I will always be a student no matter what I actually end up doing professionally.

    (Edit - I'm 44, now. Not a retiree, just not particularly in need of more income than what I have, nor is that income enough for more than a decade of "coasting". I will have to work again at some point.)
    Congratulations!

    I moved from software development into teaching, in my mid-50s.

    Second best decision I ever made.
    Information about American English usage here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    12,868
    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Congratulations!

    I moved from software development into teaching, in my mid-50s.

    Second best decision I ever made.
    I moved from IT and product liaison to teaching. What had been going on for a while was every job I touched actually required more than just me. I left one part of IT and was replaced by 2 different people. I trained them. When I moved on, I ended up training 3 people (three people, 3 different jobs). In product support, I was training groups of 8-20 people at time on a rotating basis.

    The fact of the matter is, I didn't get a whole heck of a lot of liaison or IT work done. I was 9/10's trainer. They yanked that away from me which made perfect sense, but I left lost. I went back to school for Engineering and bumped in to a wonderful woman trying to get people in to a paraeducator curriculum. One class and I suddenly knew what I was really meant to do. I could have toughed out Calc 2* & 3 and Diffy Q, but teaching was more my speed.

    *I passed Calc 2 on the condition that I take college math 1 & 2 and not another Calc course. I would have had to take Calc 2 again to graduate. I agreed to a D-, but I think the teacher changed it to C- when I switched degree programs, which was rather kind.
    Solfe

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    6,480
    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Well, I have a mortgage, so I'll work for the foreseeable future but if I win the stupid big lottery that I never buy tickets for, I'll make beautiful wooden things full time. I hate to think that in some far flung future, robots would take over woodworking.
    But even if they did for mass, or semi-mass, production of wooden consumer goods, that doesn't mean people won't do woodworking as an enjoyable pursuit.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    10,348
    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Well, I have a mortgage, so I'll work for the foreseeable future but if I win the stupid big lottery that I never buy tickets for, I'll make beautiful wooden things full time. I hate to think that in some far flung future, robots would take over woodworking.
    You're too late: CNC machining is used for mass production of wooden parts. What robots won't -- can't -- take over is woodworking as artistry. Certainly, in a post-scarcity society, no one would forbid you from either DIY or sculpture.
    Information about American English usage here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    12,868
    Clever, I just thought of a book that you might find interesting - Farm, Shop, Landing. It's a study of the Hudson Valley, 1780-1860. In the 1780's the Hudson Valley people were basically subsistence farmers, they had a very networked existence because labor was social a commodity. It was controlled by family connections and tavern life.

    Obviously, they were transformed into a group that feed resources to the NYC markets. But I wonder if perhaps they thought they were entering a "post-subsistence" world. Slightly different than "post-scarcity" but still a big transformation.

    They ended up with timothy grass and animal husbandry as major products and not so much the apples we know today.
    Solfe

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    No longer near Grover's Mill
    Posts
    5,865
    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    You're too late: CNC machining is used for mass production of wooden parts.
    Heck, even some Waterford crystal is being made on CNC machines.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    511
    I'd continue studying computer science and programming but my current main project of getting a good job and my side project of making games I want made would switch places.

    At least for the first case of low level, reasonable post-scarcity.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,114
    I now have neither the ability nor, at present, the need to earn money. I've done this and that; for now it's verse (unpublished and probably unpublishable, even if I wanted to).

    http://www.atkwanti.co.uk/verse/villanelles.htm


    for instance. Well I enjoy trying to write it. YMMV, as they say.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    39,923
    And what do you all think others will do? What will occupy the masses?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,114
    Given the intense desire so many people have to tell other people what to do with their spare energy, I wonder if we have to hope that a post scarcity culture might evolve into a post coercive culture.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    32,104
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    And what do you all think others will do? What will occupy the masses?
    Whatever they want to occupy them. Pop culture, shopping, collecting, crafting--almost everyone has a hobby or three, and I shouldn't wonder that the idea of being able to pursue their hobby full time would be quite appealing to a lot of people. Maybe people would get more involved in their communities, but that's optimism nad probably not realism.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Pontoise France
    Posts
    2,319
    Well I am retired now ,with some good enough pensions and some savings. So I don't need to work. I thought before retiring that I would be travelling around the world ,but I did not do it and the farther I went was Bruxelles or the south of France (and I leave near Paris ). But I did transform myself in a kind of social animal and that strange because I have always been rather solitary.
    I am now the president of the union council of my residence , also I work several days a month for two non profit organisation and I am in the mood of doing more . All for free. As I have stopped working ,I began to encounters more people and opportunities came to me et I had just to choose between them.And I have enough time to goof around like I am doing now !

    I have a friend who just bet on the horses and do some hiking and I have two brothers who cant stop working even if they don't need it like me. So I think it's in your DNA , they is no general rule.

    Edit : I forgot I do a little gardenning
    Last edited by galacsi; 2016-Nov-14 at 07:21 PM.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    21,477
    Who are "the masses", by the way?
    Given universal conformity to either of the premises ("just the basics", or "equal access to any goods") I think I might be one.

    If it was "just the basics", I'd work to finance my interests. If it was "equal access to any goods", I'd spend my time on my interests.

    Grant Hutchison
    Science Denier and Government Sponsored Propagandist. Here to help.
    Blog

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •