TED Conversations

Alan Keeling

This conversation is closed.

Is the singularity inevitable and if so then what's the point?

Capitalism is driving the human race forward technologically speaking, you cannot sell a device that is worse and more expensive than the device that has come before it, generally speaking. This has only one inevitable outcome, A.I. / robots / nano-tech / genetic engineering etc and of course the potential for human extinction or salvation the more these kind of technologies mature.

So the question becomes are we the people just going to fall into this and let the money makers keep telling us all to make more profit and work harder, without speaking out and getting them to see, that this is where it could all end for everyone, including them.

I wrote a free ebook about this over 10 years ago, type heaven or hell it's your choice into Google. It's free so this is not me trying to make money, this is me still continuing a stream of consciousness that has lasted most of my life.

I am a tired older being of 46 years of age and I see things like the UK Government making unemployed people into slaves to a system, with their new Help to work program, that may as well say - your poor - do as we say. Which is like slow boiling a proverbial frog, I see the future they are trying to engineer. Eventually you will have roughly two sides, 1.rich 1. poor, the poor will be micro managed by the rich.

Job skills will be matched to work available in the area you live, the poor will get some kind of electronic message saying do this work or you will get no money this week. This is social engineering on a grand scale, you will have no rights or say so, as you will be fighting a machine running an algorithm.

This is part n parcel of the march towards the singularity, your CV is you, to the machine. You will be monitored 24/7 & your location tracked, if you don't turn up for the work allocated, then they will more than likely know why and punish you financially.

So do we just let this happen, do we even get a say in this Micro managing of the masses, towards a Singularity outcome!

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 2 2014: Alan,

    I feel your pain. The capitalistic economic system leading to the demise of mankind. So, what's the alternative economic system that won't destroy mankind? Who do we have to kill not to reach the event horizon, figuratively speaking?
    I would remiss in saying that I wouldn't feel a sense of loss... after all capitalism was born from the bartering system that developed at the dawn of modern human civilization when we came out of the forests and settled into villages and farms. Mankind has tried a number of variants over the years.... differing governance using differing economic models after 12,000 years, we have come back to capitalism...for the most part...
    The system is being manipulated by government as it has been in the past, but it seems governments can't keep their hands off of it. After all it is a system... a way of doing things and it is subject to foils of mankind.
    But, you seem to feel the system will take us over the edge.... Oh well, see you on the other side.
    • thumb
      May 2 2014: I hope the other side is better than this side.

      My good friend Bob and this is not a joke, had a heart attack today, he was forced to take a job that he was physically not in any state to take, but lack of money and benefit sanctions etc, left him with very few options. First day on the job and he collapses, from a heart attack - now that's a real killer system they are promoting, who cares, hey.

      The funny thing to me, is that in the old days.they would just work the slaves to death, but now they have the technology to save them. which costs the so called tax payer billions and then have the audacity to ask people how long do you think it will take before your ready to go back to the minimum wage job that almost killed you.

      Money the worlds greatest delusion.
      • thumb
        May 2 2014: Sorry to hear of your friend's bad luck. I have no idea why he would have taken a job that he was physically unable to do. I was faced with such a choice several years ago and made the choice not to challenge my physical wellbeing, Again, everyone has their choices, some are not the best.

        You make a point about slaves being worked to death. .I am not sure of the slavery issues in England but have read about the issue here in the states. Plantation owners paid $1000 for a young strong slave. No small amount. Unlike the movies and novels about cruel slave owners, most looked after their slaves, insuring they were fed and cared.

        Yes, technology has replaced people in many tasks and there are more people then available jobs in many sectors of the economy, I am not sure how this technology cost the taxpayers. Again, most technologies that replaces workers here is funded by the businesses. involved.

        The last point where your friend was asked when he was to return to work after his heart attack. Again, I am not familiar with English practices. Here, if you are disabled as by a heart attack, you are placed on a disability income until you are able to return to work.

        Your conversation seems to be orientated to England and situations that may be unique to your society. I am not saying that we don't have many problems here that have people in difficult situations. Businesses downsize, that is removing a number of people from their jobs for any number of reasons. Businesses close because their product and services are no longer marketable, People lack skills and training to do the jobs that are available. A thousand things.
        But I do know one thing. Any business that is out to market some goods or services needs at least four things to be successful: a place to work, materials to work with, people to do the work and capital in the form of time and money, People are the most important.
        Why would you want your business to fail? Nobody would.
      • May 4 2014: Prove that some socialist apparatchik won't order someone to take a job he's not suited for.
        • thumb
          May 4 2014: I am not actually sure why you think we are discussing socialism or maybe I have the wrong end of the stick as they say. I think most ideologies are pretty stupid at heart. Like I have said, the Zeitgeist movement addresses ideologies in general the same way I do. Human beings have basic needs, that we have to address first, then we might be able to go on from there & then build junk we don't need.

          Building toys and junk is all very nice, but if you walk into Disneyland and see a person outside holding a sign saying I will work for food, then I have some serious questions about the sanity of the human race.

          So in answer to your "prove that" statement, I have no doubt that functionaries of any ideology will tell you what to do, but the point of this discuss was for me to let off some steam about the ever impending Singularity and to see what others thought about it.

          Although I think I took a tangent into how the political elite manipulate us all for their own ends and what they perceive as the so called greater good. My friend having a heart attack, his first day on the job and having to take the job due to his lack of money, is once again just prove of the irrationality of almost every ideology.

          Ideology won't feed any of us, only a logical understanding of the resources available and how many mouths need to be fed will. The developed world can feed everybody, quite well, but I genuinely know people who wait at food banks, just so they can make ends meet.

          This is why I get annoyed, I can go around the back of any food store I know and at the end of the night, there will be mountains of stuff thrown out and put in landfill. The work that goes into maintaining this insanity amazes me, That's why as I see it, as the Singularity approaches, more and more people are going to have to start thinking in a very different way about how we all work and interact, otherwise we are all in a kind of peril.

          Machines, don't yet care about us, I just hope they will.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.