I’ve been reading a lot of Julian Huxley lately and, as usual, have been worrying about the fates of all the useless people of the world.
There will be as many of them as we at able to feed.
If Huxley is right, then human fulfillment is the end goal of the secular humanist religion. If recent trends tell us anything, this will only be achieved in effigy form.
When they’re all snug tight in their VR pods, maybe they’ll get to play all the permutation of the Buddha sim a few trillion times.
But, in my mind, is this really how we help people?
Maybe it is.
To help others is to hex them. However, I am not advocating that all humanity stop helping each other. I suppose the middle path is the key, and for people to help each other in gainful manners which also benefit the provider of humanitarian aid in ways other than affirmations of their importance or giving them the satisfaction of being needed – these are subtly toxic motives for humanitarianism. Nothing that I’m saying is terribly out of line with contemporary global development discourses – people need to be empowered rather than dependent.
So, I suppose the path to true power and riches lies in helping other people, helping them sort out their conflicts with each other and with themselves.
But, what do people really need? Maybe it really is the VR sims and universal basic income. Maybe they can be arrayed into distributed computing systems, and in playing their video games they would actually be crunching numbers, Ender’s Game style. But then again, wouldn’t that be less efficient than if they were, well, employed out here in the outside world?
I know that the world needs a certain ratio of entertainers and entertainees, but wouldn’t those entertainees just be those who build the technological infrastructure rather than those who have no adaptive niche in society?
This discussion dovetails quite nicely into my discussion about how the elite stay in power, and how can renegotiate for our rights.
Now, time to get cracking on that Buddha sim…