…it is a crazy world we live in, no? The Czar has moved to America, and in America? In America they are building robots. Robots, Tevye, mechanical men. Soon no one will have to work so very hard, soon maybe we will all be rich men, eh?
I love Tevye. Like Forest Gump he’s one of the strongest and gentlest of creatures possible to imagine, which probably explains why both of them are fictional. Still, look with eyes that can see and it isn’t hard to see bits and pieces of both men in many people. There is even yet a great deal of nobility in the world. Not as much as there used to be, but still a good amount.
One of the many things I’m watching in relation to the supply of nobility are those robots. Well, not as much the robots as the onset of the “artificial intelligences” dear Dr. Strangefuck wants to have running them. I’m watching them because of what they’re going to do to humanity by ways and means unrecognized by most. Allowing for a couple of other things not recognized by very many people I’m afraid it’s not going to be pretty. But, probably better to start at the beginning.
Face it, the nerds of the world are in celebration. Their dreams are coming true. AI robotics and the rise of the benign techno-tyrants and hey, the nerds get their turn at the top of the food chain. Fair enough, every dog gets to have his day when the over decorated, sophisticate kinky, round healed horny soashwhore thinks he’s the one she wants for her toy. Enjoy her while it lasts kid, she’s very high maintenance. No, the rise of the techno nerd is not the focus of my concern.
The focus of my concern is akin to the income gap thing, how the rich just keep getting richer making the poor look even poorer by comparison. Money doesn’t play much if any part in my concern, although the competence and productivity that are the foundation of money’s value most certainly do. Both of those are at risk, of course they are, but even more than that is poised to fall into the abyss as a consequence of AI.
Societies have this odd habit of migrating in the general direction of what’s needed to maintain the internal delusions and self deceptions a society uses to define itself. If you’re looking for where a society is headed next this is a good thing to bear in mind. One of the most major players on the modern stage of social definition by self deception is partisan politics, and the onset of AI driven industry is going to have a massive, a huge impact on what they have to work with.
The collective entity cePartisanPolitical has two daughters, ceLiberal and ceConservative. Very binary, very us and them, and very-very saleable. One reason it is so easily sold is that both polarities facilitate something that no one will admit to and most people will secretly do: pick an attitude that lets them support their own ego by looking distinctly down on the remainder of their world. The daughters offer their faithful a radically different platform, rationalization, in support of this secret agenda, of course they do. But the net effect is the same which is how their mother keeps tabs on her daughters’ playtime and maintains her position in the mix.
The conservatives? They’re very sporting folk, the ones who call themselves winners on the big playground of life regardless of their bank balance. In large degree they’re the ones still trapped in the false doctrine of God favoring the righteous (read compulsive traditional) with financial success, it shapes their attitudes about a great many things. They’re not really a large portion of this concern.
Why? Because there’s only so far down you can push the floor of ceConservative’s world. Broke is broke, destitute is destitute. If you try and push that floor any lower, if you even push to many down onto that floor? People have a bad habit of protesting that with this little thing called a revolution. Those get bloody, and they’re terrible for business. They’ll be stone faced defiant in public, but all of those within ceConservative’s sphere of influence are aware of this, scared of it, ceConservative has always been a prime sponsor of the spy vs spy surveillance security thing so she can keep a close eye on that line, she pretty well has to.
No, where AI is concerned it’s ceLiberal that worries me. You see, the way ceLiberal sells her version of live looking down a long nose is by using socially sanctioned pity to pump up her hosts in comparison to those less fortunate. The rationalization she offers, and it’s a good one solidly founded in causal reasoning, is that of course you have to look down on them if you’re going to see those who need your help.
The demand of ceLiberal is that if you want to claim her name you must make an apology for any success of your own by living to help those who didn’t climb as far up ceConservative’s ladder of success as you did. It goes without saying that ceLiberal is the younger daughter, her tactic is a superbly sanctimonious counter-attack against what ceConservative has been hustling for quite a few centuries.
It’s not a totally ignoble tactic, but of course it’s self defeating in the long run. If you truly help someone then there comes a time when that someone doesn’t need any more help. If you hang around trying to “help” after that point you’re not helping, you’re at best a nuisance, at worst an enabler. If you’re true to your life definition of living to “help” you have to go find someone else unfortunate enough to endure your pity in exchange for a hand up.
If there were only a small percentage of liberals this wouldn’t be much of a problem. No minor fraction is going to run the world out of people who genuinely need help. But when ceLiberal is hosted on a fairly high percentage of a fixed population? Under those circumstances running out of people victimized by unjust discrimination is a very real problem.
When ceLiberal began challenging ceConservative on the political scene the unifying focus were groups comprising twenty, twenty-five, thirty percent of the population suffering legitimate injustices. Seventy five years later they’re down to groups of one percent, half a percent, tiny groups of people where the eccentricities of personality, sexuality, that put them in such a small group in the first place are going to attract unhappy attention regardless of the society they live in.
The standard answer for this has been for ceLiberal to periodically spend a cycle convincing the world that what wasn’t a problem yesterday is a terrible pressing problem now. All their yammer and bully publicity tactics are focused for a time selling the idea that what was considered the normal consequences of some life choice yesterday are actually a foul and unjust discrimination today. That’s where ceLiberal is today… short a new demographic to pity. Sadly, over the years ceLiberal has shown a terrible habit of manufacturing her own basestock for the pity parties that unify her hosts.
The problem with introducing AI into this situation is that AI will in short order defeat one of the naturally occurring safety factors on the power of collective entities such as ceLiberal. Collective entities are mounted on human lives, the lifespan of the collective is tied hard and fast to state of the human lives that host it. One mitigating factor on that power is that regardless of how the humans orient and arrange themselves and their attitudes to establish “this is me, I’m part of us, that is the them that I am not a part of” the sum competence of the species had to remain adequate to support life. Hungry people, cold people very quickly dump all social definitions (and a great deal beyond just those definitions!) to arrange a full belly and a warm place to sleep. Fact of life.
With AI in the game the constraint of survival is gone. The humans are free to define themselves by descending to depths of despair and depravity never before imagined without needing to worry about remaining sufficiently sane to keep the race alive, AI is in charge of that. With the physical removed from the picture what is left? Maturity, rationality, anything to resemble the ethical? Of course. All those things which supported the sanity required to stay alive are no longer needed, disposable, each and every one will erode away into history as AI renders them obsolete.
Given ceLiberal’s panache for redefining rational life into artificial pathos it’s transparent how AI could easily be ceLiberal’s Messiah and the Waterloo of her hated sister ceConservative. There has never been any bottom beneath ceLiberal’s need for something more pathetic to unify her hosts in ego supporting pity, with AI in the game finding something more emotionally pathetic will no longer be a problem.
In the long run this is the most dangerous scenario that has ever darkened my thought. A century after AI becomes a genuine power player I can easily see God Almighty changing the sign over the Gate of Souls from “Earth” to “Hell” and directing his attention elsewhere. There will be nothing noble left in the human race.