This link is to an interesting article from IBM about a
challenging new advancement in Computer Technology.
It led me to thinking about the changes coming to society
that will challenge our assumptions about the governance
of the Human Community.
Computers and the competition for life.
There is no such thing as a self sufficient person.
The Human Community is a cooperative effort.
The child may do chores at home but he is dependent
on his parents for survival. His primary contribution
at his age is learning skills that are taught in school
and at home.. Adults are not self sufficient. Each
indivdual is sustained by wages from employment or
community assistance with which he purchase goods
and service from others.
No one in the human community is self sufficient .
None gather fiber, spin thread, weave cloth, cut and sew
their own clothes. None make the tools themselves
that are necessary for these task. Even your occupation
was made possible by others. You learned your knowledge
and skills in an education facility provide by a private or
It is true that in a capitalist society, there is the competitive
component that gives the illusion of striving for self
sufficiency. If life were a race, when it is done there
would appear to be one winner. But in truth the contestants
would be spread out in order of finish that corresponds to
skill of running, amount of effort, degree of conditioning,
and other factors. The participants are rewarded according
to where they finished the race.
In life everyone is in the race with out choice. Even if you
have no ability to run, the only way out of the race is death.
If you have no feet then the community of racers will have
to give you wheel a chair or let die you at the starting line.
The question becomes – is their an obligation of the
community to sustain the efforts of the inadequate or
to eliminate them because they cannot compete.
This is an over-simplification of life’s run, but it illustrates
both the interdependency of life and how we value the
intrinsic value of each participant and the competitive
function that affect the size of your reward for participating.
My posting about Computor Intelligence is to illustrate
that the nature of the race is changing. Fewer and fewer
people will have the skills necessary to compete.
The race is about producing goods and service for all
members in the race. Even if only a few are actually
capable of gaining the big Prize. The race actually
produces more than enough to sustain all life.
How do you feel about the “underclass ” who lack the
ability to fairly compete. Does their life have intrinsic
value that should be sustain while you compete for the
Big Prize, or will you view them as “the others” and
eliminate them from the competition for life.
I have a FaceBook Page with almost 5000 Friends in my
Circle. Among my Friends are some Consrvative
Republicans and a few Libertarians who debate with me
constantly about the unfairness of being taxed on their
possessions for the benefit of the “unwashed & incompetents”
of the human Comunity. When I was absorbing the implications
of the effect that advancing technology was going to have on
society, I could not help but think: ” Damn – they are not going
to like this. They will go into a panic about the chance that
accumalting great wealth will fade away in a mass of
incompetent human beings feeding on the State in a
Progressive Democracy obsessed with ideas of Social Parity”
Copyright © William Hodge 2010 Tuesday, June 29, 2010