[p2p-research] A thirty year future of the transition to widescale P2P economies

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Wed Nov 11 23:03:33 CET 2009

I don't think you need robotics for "post-scarcity". We could have two hour 
workweeks even now if we eliminated most guarding work and reduced our 
expectations for material goods. A lot of this is state of mind, like Bob 
Black talked about.
"I haven't as yet even mentioned the possibility of cutting way down on the 
little work that remains by automating and cybernizing it. All the 
scientists and engineers and technicians freed from bothering with war 
research and planned obsolescence should have a good time devising means to 
eliminate fatigue and tedium and danger from activities like mining. 
Undoubtedly they'll find other projects to amuse themselves with. Perhaps 
they'll set up world-wide all-inclusive multi-media communications systems 
or found space colonies. Perhaps. I myself am no gadget freak. I wouldn't 
care to live in a push button paradise. I don't want robot slaves to do 
everything; I want to do things myself. There is, I think, a place for 
labor-saving technology, but a modest place. The historical and 
pre-historical record is not encouraging. When productive technology went 
from hunting-gathering to agriculture and on to industry, work increased 
while skills and self-determination diminished. The further evolution of 
industrialism has accentuated what Harry Braverman called the degradation of 
work. Intelligent observers have always been aware of this. John Stuart Mill 
wrote that all the labor-saving inventions ever devised haven't saved a 
moment's labor. The enthusiastic technophiles -- Saint-Simon, Comte, Lenin, 
B.F. Skinner -- have always been unabashed authoritarians also; which is to 
say, technocrats. We should be more than sceptical about the promises of the 
computer mystics. They work like dogs; chances are, if they have their way, 
so will the rest of us. But if they have any particularized contributions 
more readily subordinated to human purposes than the run of high tech, let's 
give them a hearing. "

--Paul Fernhout

Ryan Lanham wrote:
> How does one get to post-scarcity without robotics?
> Ryan
> On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 6:55 PM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com>wrote:
>> I see a big contradiction between freefall and total robotization, with
>> freefall, who's going to invest in total automation?
>> so I would add 2 centuries to the robotic prediction, though I'm not at all
>> certain that this will occur, I think it's a capitalist fantasy essentially,
>> to remove all human contact with making and producing its own livelihood
>> (I'm aware of course that leftleaning people have the same vision from
>> another angle)
>> On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 11:29 PM, Ryan Lanham <rlanham1963 at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> The intent here is brevity based on highlights...
>>> 2010
>>> The US begins to move rapidly toward social measures in medicine and
>>> climate management that essentially break the back of any notion of a small
>>> government state.  In chaos, the Republican Party splits and reforms to
>>> advance primarily an anti-immigration agenda.  The United States enters a
>>> long period of turning inward that will be copied in Europe and Asia.  The
>>> era of international flows and trades is now past its peak.
>>> 2014
>>> China declares that the new communist vision is growth of opportunity
>>> through local joy and happiness, effectively mandating that the People
>>> become consumers.  The US dollar, in long decline as a carrying currency,
>>> starts to become a secondary currency to the new Pan-Asia unit.
>>> 2017
>>> Mandarin becomes the first language of the web.  Nearly all children
>>> globally begin to study Chinese.  India and China greatly enhance their
>>> economic links.
>>> 2019
>>> Ubiquitous cloud computing and device linkage makes security,
>>> communication, income, banking and money all converge.  The average
>>> household uses more compute cycles per second than the most powerful
>>> supercomputers in 2000.  Provision of electricty and cooling are the major
>>> economic components of any household budget having surpassed transportation
>>> in 2016.
>>> 2020
>>> As carbon reaches 425 ppm, the destructive impacts of climate change are
>>> now starting to cause massive migrations and social turmoil.  Nations set 10
>>> year targets to eliminate fossil fuel from their economies.
>>> The United States, which as become an isolated power in its lost decade of
>>> economic growth, begins to envision radical restructuring of local economies
>>> to reduce carbon outputs and to protect aging populations who are dominant
>>> politically and economically, but no longer personally productive.  The old
>>> call for robotic support helpers along lines in use in Japan for 1/2 a
>>> decade.
>>> 2022
>>> Most global universities exist only on line.  Older institutions have been
>>> turned into open communities and greenscapes with collective governance
>>> strategies along lines of co-ops or townhall styled local governments.
>>>  Obesity penalities eliminate demands for poor food choices in most of
>>> the world.
>>> 2025
>>> Nearly all projects are capitalized against a social account that builds
>>> facilities determined by complex AI-assisted long-range eco-survival plans.
>>> Most food and pharmaceutical production occurs within 10 miles of the
>>> consumer's living space.  Earth's population peaks at 8 and 3/4 billion.
>>> Most fish are extinct that are not in enclosed sea farms.  40% of all
>>> known species in 2009 are extinct or severaly endangered.  Many plants have
>>> succumbed to warming and treed landscapes outside of near arctic locations
>>> or rain forests are rare.
>>> 2027
>>> Anti-work parties become commonplace along European models started in
>>> universities in the 20-teens.  The agendas generally call half-jokingly for
>>> "bread and circuses"   Most envision an handover to robots within 20 years
>>> for all important managerial and process functions.
>>> 2030
>>> The computer processing power of integrated software clouds exceeds human
>>> brains by several orders of magnitude.  Nearly all software is designed and
>>> written by robots.  All medicine is done by robots.  The average age of
>>> persons in the US and Europe climbs to 50.   Millions are now living to
>>> 110.
>>> 2032
>>> Nearly all economic activity occurs within 10 miles of one's home.  Robots
>>> and cloud computing handle most entertainment, chores, management processes
>>> and research.  Humans overwhelmingly work on governing the commons in local
>>> pools of advisors to robotic planners.
>>> 2035
>>> Average age of a human is 44.  In Germany, the average age is 63.  In the
>>> US it is 55.  Population is now in freefall...down to roughly 7.5 billion.
>>> Plans predict a global population of 2.4 billion humans in 2090 with carbon
>>> levels stabilized at 437 ppm.
>>> 2040
>>> Life is essentially no different in China than it is in Utah or Nigeria.
>>> People live in clusters of robotically managed groups with little need for
>>> long-range travel or movement.  Exercise is a common "career."  Other
>>> similar self-focused careers are designed by robots for people to feel
>>> meaning and enjoyment.
>>> P2P exchanges of goods and services occur between robots who use excess
>>> capacities to perform the production of planned needs.  Shipping is entirely
>>> automated.
>>> Humans plan for a world with dramatically lower population rates.  Few
>>> choose to reproduce because the high social responsibilities entailed in
>>> multiple offspring.
>>> --
>>> Ryan Lanham
>>> _______________________________________________
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>> --
>> Work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhurakij_Pundit_University - Research:
>> http://www.dpu.ac.th/dpuic/info/Research.html - Think thank:
>> http://www.asianforesightinstitute.org/index.php/eng/The-AFI
>> P2P Foundation: http://p2pfoundation.net  - http://blog.p2pfoundation.net
>> Connect: http://p2pfoundation.ning.com; Discuss:
>> http://listcultures.org/mailman/listinfo/p2presearch_listcultures.org
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