Holy fuck did that paragraph go off the rails.
Also Solly wasn't talking about the internet but technology absolutely, which completely negates our previous posts but fuck it.
My argument stems from a formula propositioned in cultural anthropology by Leslie White: P=ET. Essentially, cultural change = energy[economic capital]*technology[efficiency]. It's a pretty reductionist view of cultural change but it seems historically accurate for Western civilization, at least.
solly are you still studying anthropology? have any anthropology book recommendations other than the more well known pop-sci stuff?
Just looking at my bookshelf... Cholas and Pishtacos is an excellent ethnography, if a bit dense. The Sorrow of the Lonely and the Burning of the Dancers is a classic that I would recommend for anyone - it's a bit jargon-heavy but it's seriously engaging. My personal favourite is Whorf's stuff regarding linguistic relativity. he didn't write a single book about it, but you can find a series of essays on it in his posthumous compilation here. If you're not into the longer reads, here's a short article Whorf wrote regarding the Hopi language and scientific cognition, I would really recommend it..
Don't you want to someday in the near future debate the merits and criticisms of modern monetary theory with lil' old Lord?
so the two social systems can't co-exist. in any society where everything is done by robots, there would crop up completely antithetical communities where one can reap what one sows as opposed to reap what robots sow. the fact of FUNDAMENTALLY 'reaping what you sow' at every level is the hippie ideal.
what i'm saying is that these communes would certainly exist and i would therefore go and live in one if society ever got to that point, although presumably i'd have to muster some confidence.
i think we will all eventually become luddites. robots are a nice as a theory now but if they start being rolled out on things that demand human empathy - that demand core humanity, communal values, etc. - then a lot of people will get frustrated and oppose their mass implementation. if society does become robot-orientated it will be a gradual process and that will permit plenty of time to develop alternative lifestyles, places where people say firmly "we do not want all this shit".
already i go in my local convenience store and i see there's some bastard automated till thing, or you can get served by a real person. i deliberately never use the bastard automated till thing because it gives me no pleasure of having spoken to someone when i use it. if it gets to the point when i literally HAVE to be served by a robot, i will simply not tolerate that and join an alternative community. it'll be hard giving up modern life, but i'll be rewarded.
also most economics is utter horseshit. i have very little faith in anything anyone says who is an "economist". they are known for being habitually wrong and misleading. some economists just have no notion at all that beyond all of their theory lies actual human beings with consciousness and feelings.
I don't think we'll ever get to the point where we'll have robots for every manual labor. It's more efficient to use machines for hard jobs like lifting tons of weight or mass producing products, but anything else can be accomplished through human power.
I'd like to see a robot completely run a farm. :P
You can't program a robot to run a farm, but you can program a robot to learn how to run a farm.
I don't see the correlation.
"having a meaningful connection to what you're eating/drinking" is a difficult thing to explain in objective terms. but i'm fairly sure wanting to grow your own crops and cook your own meals is in some way a residual innate human need.
perhaps if we had a robot society we could force people to live in a farm every now and then to reconnect with the world of human labour / the seasonal cycle. this is what they do in Thomas more's "utopia" - everybody just messes about educating themselves but they have to work at least some of the time.
it would take so long to do that... or we could just grow our own food, set up kolkhozes where people work together to produce food. this is a better vision for the future.You can't program a robot to run a farm, but you can program a robot to learn how to run a farm.
two visions for the future:
- we deal with the surplus of our bloated western capitalist economies by producing robots to do all of our manual labour, leading to greater efficiency and maximum use of capital but loss of any connection with the seasonal cycle* / *obligatory* manual labour.
- we learn to work together on farms, develop a political system that genuinely emancipates everybody and rid ourselves of all of the needless conveniences we've developed in the modern era. this is surely a POSSIBILIY in the eventually post-racial world of the 21st century.
*the seasonal cycle is what gives us art and poetry. art and poetry require some (albeit abstract, loose) connection with the changing of the seasonal cycle. if we convert to a robotic economy we do not necessarily *lose* art and poetry but it becomes significantly devalued and not really understood by everybody.
i'm aware that i'm dealing on purely subjective terms. i'm not an anthropologist and never claimed to be. just somebody who thinks that art and poetry are fundamental to everybody, that we're to some extent losing our connection with them now, and that we will do so further if we become a robot-centric economy
Hicky I have no idea wtf you're arguing anymore
But seriously, anatomically modern humans evolved long before the advent of agriculture, to suggest farming is inherent to the human psyche is just as arbitrary as working in office spaces is.