Sunday, September 5, 2010

Computers and Social Parity


.

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.

http://www.research.ibm.com/deepqa/



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

public funding..

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

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