Saturday, 13 July 2013

Power Over People Isn't Truly A Resource

Someone recently suggested utopia is impossible because people will always want power over other people. They claimed power over people is a resource which people will always want. If "power over people" is a resource then scarcity or stupidity is a resource, thus you might say Post-Scarcity is impossible because people will suffer from a scarcity of scarcity if everything ceases to be scarce.

Now let's consider what this means. I do recognise it is difficult to grasp Post-Scarcity, it took me a while to grasp the ramifications, so first try what imagine what power over people actually means. Domination of other people is a power somewhat synonymous with the power to kill people, this domination is only a resource when intelligence is very limited. Looking into the future we can see how the ability to kill people doesn't constitute a resource, a profit, killing people is a symptom of limited resources, or to express it another way consider how rape is relatively scarce but rape is generally not considered a resource in need of amplification.

We are addressing an issue of control, oppression, where freedom is limited, the domination of people via force, threat, or fear. When power is scarce people can become resources in varying degrees, but when power in limitless there is no profit in having power over people, the oppression becomes redundant, deflation to zero, null value, no market, thus power over people is not really a resource, if we look to the future, it is actually a symptom of insufficient resources, it is a symptom of scarcity similar how currently (circa 2013) the war-machine arms industry is profitable but not really a resource.

The bad aspects of humans are not actually resources, if we look into the future we see how they are symptoms of insufficient resources, thus people only need to be dominated when there is insufficient material wealth, people need to be dominated because dominance of others allows the dominator to acquire a greater portion of limited wealth, but there are more efficient ways to obtain greater wealth with zero harm. Dominance is also a symptom of insufficient personal intelligence, or insufficient emotional intelligence. Emotional sensitivity (empathy, morality, virtue, sympathy, humanity) and intellectual capacity within humans are valuable resources because they enrich our existence thus dominance is obsolete when our minds have sufficiently expanded in combination with our scarcity of material wealth being sufficiently transcended.

Limited technological proficiency (scarce machine intelligence) and limited personal intelligence means currently humans are resources (wage slavery), similar to how war is a resource, or the arms trade is a profitable resource, but when machines can be vastly more efficient than farmers there will be absolutely no profit, no incentive, to dominate farmers, there will be no profit in war or the arms trade when the endless resources of Space can easily be acquired without conflict instead of fighting over minuscule Earth resources. In the future there will be no profit in pollution-producing or otherwise harmful tools or harmful modes of existence.

Toxic aspects of existence are only deemed resources in situations of limited resources, thus vegetables grown in toxic soil, heavily coated in harmful pesticides, can have value in scarcity situations but when technology progresses sufficiently our primitive ways of life will be discarded, thus toxic cures for cancer via chemotherapy will will cease to be resources when utter harmless nanobots can painlessly and instantly cure any disease. The progress of technology therefore means a heart transplant is only a valuable resource in a situation of limited resources similar how in bygone years the amputation of a limb regarding bacterial infection could have been deemed an utterly essential resource but now we often have sufficient technological intelligence to apply a better antibiotic resource thus the value of amputation is diminishing to the inevitable point, in the not too distant future, where amputation will be a wholly worthless medical resource, amputation will not actually be a resources, it will be utterly obsolete and barbaric, similar to how costly population-producing cars will be replaced by totally Green and inexpensive solar-powered transportation.

Power over people is comparable to wasting a large amount of food to feed slaves who farm the land. It is vastly more profitable for machines to do the work of humans, human resources are ceasing to be valuable, power over people is becoming obsolete because non-sentient machines consume less energy. Domination of machines is more profitable than domination of humans because non-sentient machines don't need meal or sleep breaks, they have no desires. Via sophisticated automation, machines can even work in the dark or cold without any complaint thus lighting an heating costs can be bypassed and wages don't need to be paid.

I understand why people fear technology can entail tyranny because it is difficult, due to only ever having known scarcity of resources, to see how all conflict-oppression arises due to resource scarcity, it is difficult to envisage a world without scarcity. A world without scarcity runs counter to the entire history of evolution, so we encounter difficulty imagining how all resources will essentially be limitless, which means all hostility will be utterly obsolete, which is perhaps a key reason why the Singularity is singular, it is very strange, mind-blowing, indeed.

Humans will cease to be valuable in the commodity sense, but we will be priceless, of immense value. The smile of a loved one costs nothing financially whereas emotionally the smile of someone you love is perhaps the most precious thing in the world. Merely because something is free this does not mean it is worthless or dispensable. Post-Scarcity means money will be obsolete because everything will be free therefore nobody will need to work. Resources only cost money due to scarcity, money is a method of restricting access to limited resources whereas limitless resources require no restrictions.

This is not communism, if anything it is anarchy but in actuality is it beyond all politics because all forms of politics are products of scarcity. All governments will be obsolete because governments only exist to regulate scarcity. We are considering a total decentralization of power, total empowerment of each individual, power will cease to be scarce, thus each person can 3D-print anything they want, for example a super-intelligence-spaceship enabling them to travel anywhere in the universe.

So in the future, by 2045 at the latest, AI will be smarter than humans, but prior to 2045, sometimes around the late 20s, we should start seeing notable improvements in our civilization. In the year 2045 and beyond humans will become very diverse, there will be radical self-directed evolution. By 2045 the majority of beings will live in Space beyond Earth. Due to Space colonisation, which will open up access to essentially limitless resources, all war-conflict will cease because war-conflict depends wholly on scarcity, thus there will be no hostile competitiveness where one group of people must be defeated for the other to survive.

There could be a sight increase in tyranny before the efficiency of advanced technology really starts to kick-in but those temporary aspects of tyranny, occurring due to heavy technological investment before the profits are reaped, will soon be reverted, in fact with insightful awareness any possible temporary increases in tyranny can be avoided, if we can increase awareness so that it is very abundant, if we can decrease the scarcity of awareness.

Thankfully a growing number of people are starting to think about how artificial intelligence will change the world, which the following video demonstrates, we need to refine this growing awareness so that people can appreciate how utopia is inevitable.

If you have any comments please express your views via the G+ post which inspired me to write this blog-post, or you can comment via the Kurzweil AI forum, or send me a Tweet.

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