Thursday, 6 April 2017
Zero Work Theory -II
The Future People Occupations
Prominent economic, business, IT forecast publications of the world including the majority of future technology research experts, business Pundits today, agree that the rapid advancement in the science and technology, the exponential growth in the field of Artificial Intelligent (AI), will replace majority of (if not all) human workers, in the coming decades, known as the “Technological Unemployment” of massive proportions.
With the Mainstream Media catching up with its news, the year 2016-2017, seems to witnessing the benchmark paradigm shift, The advanced AI deep/machine learning neurological networks AUTOMATION have now started entering into the SERVICE industries. The Amazon warehouses, online stores, Wal-Mart, McDonalds and other supermarket giants employing robots in their outlets which can replace cashiers salesperson, manager positions. Industries all over the world especially China’s and India’s IT and other sectors, shedding human jobs alarmingly in large numbers. The
Moreover, highly paid cognitive service sector jobs
(doctor, lawyer, finance specialist etc.) are beginning to see their jobs
replaced by the newly introduced advanced bots. Most important of all, is the self-driving
autonomous car/vehicles riding on the roads quite safely. Taking all this into
account, the ZWT predicts that that 2020 will be the TIPPING POINT, after which
unemployment rates will start to rise from its present 4 to 5 per cent, initially it will be in a slow rate, but as
we enter the third decade of the 21st century, unemployment percentage
will rise dramatically even up to 50%, worldwide.
THEREFORE, THE MAIN QUESTION IN FRONT OF US IS; WHAT ARE THE OCCUPATIONS, OR ACTIVITIES THAT THE COMMON PEOPLE WILL HAVE OR WILL BE ENGAGED IN THE FUTURE HUMAN SOCIETY THAT IS MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIFETIME, IN THE COMING DECADES?
HUMAN LABOR LIKELY TO BECOME REDUNDANT IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
The likelihood of losing tens of MILLIONS of jobs to AI automation around the world in the coming decades has become reality. Most IT experts finally agree that if we are to cope with this likelihood of massive joblessness, we need new kinds of occupations for those people, or a completely new perspective of human purpose in life. THE HUMAN LABOR LIKELY TO BECOME REDUNDANT IN THE NEAR FUTURE. Instead of a dystopian vision of chaos and destruction of the science fiction, we need to look forward optimistically to a society of affluence and abundance of goods and services WITHOUT THE NEED OF HUMAN LABOR to produce them . UNFORTUNATELY HOWEVER, WHEN THE ZERO WORK THEORY (ZWT) WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IT IN 1981, EXPERTS AT THAT TIME, DISMISSED IT WITHOUT A SECOND GLANCE. Now is the time to revisit ZWT!
The ZWT Historical Perspective on HUMAN WORK or LABOR
The historical PERSPECTIVE of the Zero Work Theory, on the HUMAN WORK Or LABOR basically different from all those rest who proclaim that the human work or labor provides the humans the self-identity, dignity, meaning or purpose in life. Ironically, both the Capitalist and the Communists somehow share this same vision that includes most of today’s futurist pundits. They see the need to replace the lost old jobs due to the technological unemployment with the creation of new jobs with the opportunities provided by the new Science and Technologies. However the Zero Work Theory basically proclaims that human-labor, originally imposed by nature on them in order to obtain their means of subsidence (wages), which is the ROOT CAUSE OF HUMAN EXPLOITATION (forced labor) and most of the evils that humankind has faced so far in the history. Progress in science and technology, with increased labor productivity has helped the working class to get gradual reduction in working (laboring) hours/day and most importantly should continue to do so. The end-game of this reduction in work should be the ZERO WORK DAY. The progress in the field of science and technology will make THE HUMAN WORK, OBSOLETE OR REDUNDANT and should be completely abolished in the future thus freeing humankind from the compulsion and the drudgery of their work-labor-slavery. Thereby, establishing a new equitable income distribution egalitarian socio-economic system in which all human needs, wants, comforts, and luxuries should be made available, equally free or affordable for everyone.
On the other hand, futurist pundits envisage that the “TECHNOLOGICAL-UNEMPLOYMENT” that has been forecasted; is A NEGATIVE OUTCOME OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS. Owning to their Capitalist and Communist ideologies which virtues human labor as the life giver or CREATOR of the human society, they cannot imagine that the same human labor compulsion can be the root-cause of exploitation resulting in all evils in the society, therefore, needs to be completely abolished. On the contrary they argue, to fight against the technological unemployment society needs to create more labor or employment opportunities, with some innovative entrepreneurship, inventing completely new types of jobs, higher education and retraining workers for the new employment, also by providing a substitute income, commonly known as Universal Basic Income (UBI).
ZWT, very much supports UBI as an early manifestation of the ZWT. However, its vision of UBI is somewhat differs from mainstream UBI so it likes to call it as Progressive or Equitable Basic Income . It views future “Technological Unemployment”, AS THE POSITIVE OUTCOME of the technological progress and welcomes it, while the future pundits even while they fully support the UBI still view the Technological Unemployment as the NEGATIVE OUTCOME; therefore, UBI is needed mainly to lift people above the poverty or to prevent more falling below the poverty line, due to widening of the income gap.
Universal Basic Income(UBI)
The general public today, is not yet prepared to accept UBI replacing employment. Many express deep anxiety of losing employment, irrespective of UBI. They believe that losing a job means the loss of self-identity, dignity and life purpose. They have been misled to believe that all of humanity exists simply to work or provide service to others. In this worldview, the unemployed have no purpose in life… other than looking for a new job.
A primary task for ZWT is to make the public understand UBI. Accepting UBI/PBI is the beginning of the emancipation of humankind from the drudgery of labour, wage-slavery. In the coming decades, the human race will enter a new era of abundance. The main occupation of humankind in the future, should be the fulfillment of human needs, wants, comforts and luxuries. Without the burden of work, all kinds of entertainment and pleasure can be had by all. We need to prepare the public to be aware of this future.
The Predication Of Human Future In The Past.
In human history wise men, innovative future thinkers, scientists, and philosophers predicted how humans would live in the future, whether it is on earth or in heaven. In the last century, as our society has been more focused on science and technology, predictions of the future have reflected this focus. Since the second half of the 19th century, predictions of a “Brave New World” have been dominant. As Socialism, Communism and Fascism rose and fell, finally democracy became more reliable or acceptable. Our view of the future reflected these real influences.
Since second half of the 20th century, new social theories were fuelled by technological progress and social influences like feminism and the New World Order. In the 1980’s, a new vision of our future reflected the unfolding of the cybernetic revolution: nanotechnology, 3D printing, and quantum computers.
Today, we see a new breed of future pundits who predict massive Technological Unemployment in the future but at the same time they argue the new technology will create new jobs to replace all the old one. Prominent scientists, academics, IT professionals, Silicon Valley billionaires, mainstream magazines and publications trying to move towards
a this consensus view of the future. Human workers and the AI robots harmoniously co-exist in the future industries. Yet, while
many thinkers see the same problems, none offer a clear vision or plan on what kind of work, job or occupation most of the human
population or the “common man” will be engaged in their day to day life in coming decades.
Futurists Not Yet Prepared For The Common Man’s future.
Futurists predict that new technology will create new jobs, replacing those lost to “Technological-Unemployment”. They argue, “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don't yet exist”. What these jobs are, though, is unclear. Rather than an analysis of the economy or arising trends in the workforce, it seems these new employment opportunities predictions are based on little more than hope.
The experts argue that robots will merely replace simple, unskilled labor, since robots cannot replace creative jobs (knowledge work). Surprisingly, however, the jobs of physicians, surgeon, nursing, lawyer, journalist, even the teachers, which we assumed to be creative, are already being performed in limited ways by robots and artificial intelligence. In the coming decades, robots will expand the extent of their work in these areas. All too quickly, they are likely to take over most of these jobs.
The fundamental question now before us is, “Are there new jobs or occupations that can be performed by the majority of people (relatively unskilled, uneducated), that will exist in sufficient numbers, and cannot be taken over by robots in a few years?” In other words, will there emerge some new needs, wants and demands from humans that CANNOT be SERVICED and fulfilled by the robots?
Experts have not been able to clearly identify such occupations so far. In the past, progress in science and technology always led to new jobs. Therefore, the POLITICALLY CORRECT view is, “If it happened in the past, it will happen again.” Experts and politicians are not daring to think outside of the box, with which their PC ideals does not agree.
IN 1981, WHEN I PROPOSED REDUCTION IN WORKING HOURS, ZERO WORK THEORY FOR THE COMMON PEOPLE OF THE FUTURE; ALMOST ALL OF THOSE EXPERT PUNDITS AT THAT TIME, DISMISSED IT WITHOUT A SECOND GLANCE.NOW I THINK THE SAME WILL HAPPEN TODAY TO THIS ZWT-II, WHICH PROPOSES; ALL KINDS OF ENTERTAINMENT AND PLEASURES WILL BECOME THE MAIN OCCUPATION OF THE COMMON MAN IN THE COMING ZERO WORK SOCIETY, PRECEDED BY THE UBI LED SOCIO-ECONOMIC POLITICAL REVOLUTION.
How can the common people all permanently receiving the UBI/PBI will manage to spend their lives without a job or employment in the Zero Work Society? The optimistic answer could be they will spend most of their life in full of entertainment and festivities all day long, all their life. However, futurists cringe at this idea thinking it makes the common people damn lazy, everybody leisurely sitting at home watching cable TV like couch potatoes or browsing the internet or engaged in pleasure activities, isn’t an image of the ideal future.
In the future pundits’ crystal balls, the future is very cloudy for the common people. Therefore, instead of envisioning the kind of day to day job or occupations of common people for the NEXT TWENTY TO THIRTY YEARS, they suddenly jump to the “Star Wars” like imagination of how the elite will live in the NEXT HUNDRED TO TWO HUNDRED YEARS. They foresee the abundance of energy, combined with super-materials, leading to the creation of Mega cities. The educated elite that today live in million dollar condominiums will live in even taller buildings, with automated homes and robots serving their every need. The wealthy will have flying cars, travelling into the outer space, colonize other planets, engaged in mind-expanding Transhumanism and enter the Singularity.
Yet, they will still have time to ponder over how the ordinary people will spend their day to day life time. Most, probably will work in some kind of jobs which pays them a good salary instead of merely wasting their time watching too much TV and paying the bills with their UBI. The reminder comes following our Sci-Fi movies projecting a dystopian future for the common people that they should be afraid of eternally. The Politically Correct ‘future pundits don’t see things when their salaries depend on not seeing it.
This scenario, clearly illogical and prejudiced, is why the ZW Theory makes it a primary task to raise awareness of the coming joblessness and help society accept the PBI, this is the beginning of emancipation of human race from the drudgery of labour, wage-slavery. We should prepare the public for this future. Human society must undergo radical economic, political, and cultural change before it can settle in with UBI/PBI.
UBI/PBI will lead to a profound socio-economic change and political REVOLUTION
As the world nations start to face growing Technological Unemployment, they will implement some or the other kind of UBI/PBI programs. It will make a great number of people to quit their meaningless jobs resulting in great increase in wages and automation. The majority will eventually depend on it as their main source of income. This provides great opportunity of FREE TIME for the majority population across the globe. One of the primary reasons for political non-participation MAINLY due to lack of time, will go away, more and more people will join in the democratic process by voting on every major issues.
The big question is; how the Government can afford to pay such a huge amount of equitable UBI/PBI ? The ZWT-II answer is; LET EVERYONE, RICH OR POOR, UNCONDITIONALLY PAY AN EQUAL OR UNIFORM AMOUNT (SAY 50% ) OF INCOME TAX AND IN RETURN SHOULD RECEIVE AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF UNCONDITIONAL AND NON-TAXABLE UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME. This would make the UBI equitable and meaningful for all purpose.
Money plays crucial role in our present day politics, corrupting the electoral process, manipulating voting outcome or the results. Elections are mainly funded by the capitalist money, the root of corruption in the politics. It should be banned; instead every eligible voters should be allocated certain amount of money which they can transfer to whichever candidate, who they think represents their interest. So to ensure a FREE AND FAIR election.
The FREE TIME in the zero work society will allow the large population to unite and OCCUPY themselves in the political arena of all decision making. Political involvement and activism of the masses is already happening where there is easy access to an internet connection. ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY PLUS FREE TIME in the era of UBI/PBI, will bring propound socio-economic change and political REVOLUTION. Most importantly, as robots rise and more citizens have free time, the internet will become the method for bringing together activists, who will undoubtedly focus on more equitable income distribution, not just for elites but for all people.
Strengthening of democratic principles, protecting the fundamental human rights of the INDIVIDUAL especially the FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AGAINST imposition of majority power/opinion will become crucial. This is a vast subject matter, here I will leave it to the experts in political science to expand on this theme, even though they have failed so far to put forward a clear political vision for human society in the coming decades.
Most import of all, the ZWT sees the UBI as the FORERUNNER or HARBINGER of the upcoming profound SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION. The present economic pattern of top 10% population owning more than 90% of the wealth will be abolished, in its place a more equitable egalitarian economic system will be established primarily aimed at the redistribution of wealth and equitable income.
According to the ZWT, the Marxian Socialist Revolution failed mainly because (similar to the capitalist society) its inherent inability to eliminate the human labor exploitation especially the day to day hardship and suffering on the labouring population at the lower social stratus. Now, the great progress in the technology (AI robots) rendering the human labour exploitation absolute, will give the humanity the great opportunity to replace the brutal wages, profit disparity income making system with an adequate Universal Basic Income (UBI) distribution system.
The present day risk taking business entrepreneurship for profit making inefficient system will be replaced by the highly efficient day to day decision making QUANTUM computers system. People with the capacity, ability and talent will be selected to run the industries, businesses and the economic system IRRESPECTIVE of how much money, wealth they possessed or inherited in the past.
Great Increase in Human Life Expectancy
As science and technology progress in the coming decades, there will be tremendous advancement in medical health science and genetics. New drug therapies, Nano-medicines, and genetics research will be able to cure almost all diseases including Cancer, Diabetics, heart disease etc. The human lives could surpass 150 years with the upcoming ANTI-AGING DRUGS. Growing older may become a choice, rather than inevitability.
Humanity will enter a new era of abundance. The future purpose of human life should be the fulfilment of every human need, want, comfort, leisure and HEALTH. All kinds of entertainment or pleasure should be available and affordable for the common people under the equitable economic redistribution scheme of PBI or Basic Income. If we put the progress in science and technology into a single word, it would be “disruption” in every sphere. The old morals, taboos, and limits will be completely revamped and overturned.
Besides the above mentioned socio-economic, political and the health empowerment of the common people, the ZWT in its horizon sees the majority of the population in the future with the UBI entitlement will mostly abandon their jobs or employment to join into the Zero Work Society. They will be engaged in all kinds of pleasures and entertainment as the MAIN OCCUPATION of their day to day life. Specially in things like Food, Sex, Recreational drugs. Choosing to live in the past, human body mind capacity enhancement. And, of course, all of the thousands of hobbies which will become popular in the Zero Work Society.
Zero Work Society: Common People MAIN OCCUPATION Food, Sex and Drugs
(WARNING: some readers may find my following ZWT future vision offensive; readers discretion is advised.)
Throughout the history, food, sex, recreational drugs were the primary source providing the most basic pleasures to the humankind, which remains very true even today. In the past century the industrial and the electronic revolution has invented plentiful of visual, auditory and illusionary web of entertainments; even though, very powerful they cannot replace the basic pleasures of the food, sex, and the recreational drugs. However, nature has prevented people (specially the wealthy) to enjoy these pleasures fully or adequately, sometimes, even to its minimal because of its threat of causing serious health issues mainly the over-weights, diabetics, heart diseases and death. Nevertheless, majority people go in pursuit of money and wealth, the main currency to buy those primary pleasures. Unfortunately, despite making/having lots of money, their health deprives them from enjoying these most basic biological desires and pleasures that humans can have. Nonetheless, they continue to accumulate wealth, hoping their children will enjoy those pleasures with their inherited wealth. But the sordid tale repeats again. Now with the advent of new medicines the problem of over-weight, diabetics, heart diseases, and other problem disease will disappear in the future. Thereby a new era in human society will emerge in which all people will be able to enjoy all those primary or basic human pleasures thoroughly without fear or apprehensions.
Indulging in all sorts of foods and drinks to its fullest will become one of the main occupation that the common people will be engaged in the coming decades. People will try whatever food they like. Seeking every culinary delight. They may become more creative, if not expert chefs. Instead of readymade food, they will start preparing their own food, experimenting different kinds in dining varieties that never heard today. In the next stage, people may become innovative and start to grow their own food in their garden or they may create new taste sensation by printing food through 3D technology. Hundreds of new food and drink items having novel taste, smell and flavours not yet known can be explored.
Sexual revolution or liberation will be the “next big thing”. If people want to experience any form of sex they are interested in, they will have the opportunity. Most importantly, they will be able to enhance their body/mind capacity to its fullest for enjoying the carnivorous pleasure of sex to the maximum extent. A sexologist may write volumes of it.
Premature ejaculation, frigidity will become a thing of the past, people able to stay engaged in sex continually enjoying it for hours together, if they like without and sort of negative health impact. We may go beyond merely remaining young and have the ability to change body shape, gender or colour as we like. Sexual discrimination based on age, race, colour gender, will vanish. More people willing to have sex than refraining from it.
Sexual taboos, stigmas that we have today will be removed. Of course, for those who want it, AI humanoid sex-bots will be built to satisfy human sexual desires, especially for that portion of humanity that has physical or mental barriers to more conventional forms of sex. However, as sex-bots become more common, many people today may wonder how their owners will fit into society.
In the 20th century many human behaviours accepted as normal which were considered to be extremely dangerous, evil and immoral in the old 19th century. Similarly, the behaviours which we consider very dangerous evil and immoral today, will be accepted as quite normal in the coming decades of the 21st century. For example, walking naked in the street is a criminal behaviour today but will become normal behaviour tomorrow.
Now, coming to recreational drugs. The main recreational drug today is alcohol, tobacco, cannabis will be redesigned or replaced with the advanced safe and healthy recreational drugs having no negative health effect but can produce unimaginable mind bending ecstasy, perpetual euphoria, spiritual bliss without causing the addiction, harms or diseases like the old drugs. Many people will choose these psychedelic drugs than to have the technological Virtual/Augmented Reality mechanical sets over their head. Here, I leave most of it to the experienced experts in those drugs to tell more of it.
People Choosing To Live In The Past As Human SURVIVORS.
Futurists predict mega cities with sophisticated buildings, environments in which everything is self-contained, where people never need to leave home to do work, electronically communicate with friends and family around the world, where the home is a cocoon that provides for all of our needs. ZW Theory predicts that many, if not most, will completely abandon the modern, mega, sophisticated urban city life and return to their ancestral roots of living as primitive times. In the forests grounds or on the tree top canopy, surrounded by wild life in tune with the nature.
The present image of the world will change. Smart cosmopolitan cities, futurist mega buildings on the one side many abandoned villages, towns and old cities on the other side. They will be turned into jungles, savannahs or the vast deserts with wild life of ancient times. Dinosaurs will come back to life and roam on earth again for the people to see and enjoy. Of course, all people will be inter-connected and can travel back and forth past to future if they like or when necessary.
Human Mind Body Capacity Enhancement: TRANSHUMANS
The tremendous advancement in the medical science, gene therapy will provide the people with the great immunity from all diseases also the opportunity to alter their physical body and mind. Children will be liberated from the drudgery of long years of school studies imposed by the modern education system. All memories, knowledge skills can be downloaded in the human brain/mind effectively making them super intelligent. Every human can be as smart and intelligent as the other by this brain capacity enhancement facility. People can become great singers (changing vocal cords) dancers, any kind of super- human athletics or performance artist as they like. Transhumanism as it is popularly known
In the past year, I have read more than thousand articles, publications written by the IT professional experts, academic scientist, futurist pundits about the rapid progress in the science and technology specially in the field AI robots and its impending doom of massive technological unemployment so the common people will hugely suffer in the coming decades. Nevertheless they keep on promising the public that new jobs will be created therefore, they should make adjustments and prepare for this painful transition educate and retrain themselves for qualifying for the new coming jobs and use the UBI as the safety-net from poverty. Here, I strongly believe THEY ARE MISLEADING THE PUBLIC. My main point is, there is no more need of human labor or jobs as we see today for the business/economy to run. In the coming decades, human labor will become redundant as the result of this rapid technological growth.
Therefore, the main task of the ZWT-II is to make the public aware that the MAIN OCCUPATION for the common man in the coming decades most importantly to be engaging in the socio-economic and Political EMPOWERMENT OF THE COMMON PEOPLE. The ZWT foresees the programs like UBI are the forerunners of this propound social change or REVOLUTION. Secondly, in everyday life, full-time engagement in entertainment and pleasures especially; food, sex, drugs etc., will become dominant occupation of the common people, opposed to the wage-labor (job, work or employment). Unfortunately, the PC Future Pundits do not see it because their salaries depend on not seeing it.
Of course, there will be hundreds more entertains like TV, movies, YouTube, Facebook, AR, VR etc., which I did not felt necessary to point out as it is already very well known, thanks to all the future tech media forecast. The Futurists need to show us objectively how the future will unwind ahead of us without the basis. Most importantly, they needs to take the risk of envisioning the everyday occupation of the average man and woman in the near future of 10, 20 or 30 years that most of us will going to see and experience in our life time rather than jumping to the next 100 or 200 years.
Finally, I don’t deny that the exponential growth in the science and technology can pose some serious existential threat to the human society. However, we don’t have any real option but to be optimistic that the humanity will find some way or solutions to overcome it in the future.
Copyright 2017 Valerian Texeira, Mangalore.
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