(2013-03-15) Moldbug Unemployment Solutions

Mencius Moldbug offers a number of approaches to reducing UnEmployment.

  • Solution A: These surplus human robots can simply be sacrificed, like worn-out lab mice. At this point they stop being liabilities and become assets again, since they can be sold as organs or at least organ meats.
  • Solution B: So, it's supposed to be a problem that in the future, work will be obsolete, and we'll be able to produce goods and services without any human labor at all? That doesn't sound like a problem to me. It sounds like a victory. The problem with Solution B is that we've already tried it, quite extensively... Solution B is not the culmination of human civilization, it turns out, but its destruction. Even in terms of mere Pig-Philosophy, it is destructive, because it ruins a human asset. If we appraise humans as robots, we see that this is a special kind of robot: it rusts up if not continually operating. (Note Basic Income fans.)
  • Solution C: combines physical imprisonment with Virtual Reality enrichment. It's not clear what a life-scale virtual environment would consist of, but it would surely involve work or something like it. I don't find Solution C particularly creepy, but I may be alone in this.
  • Solution D: to keep the peasants fit, healthy and happy, pay them to do otherwise unnecessary work. Like, you know, building pyramids. (Bullshit Jobs Workfare)
  • Solution E: eliminate foreign trade (Free Trade, Trade Deficit). The hedonic effect, of course, would be negative - but as we've seen, inadequate hedonism is anything but our problem.
  • Solution F: a reality we'll eventually have to face: technology restriction... Once we admit that USG isn't working and has to go, we can imagine replacing it with something that doesn't suck - and can actually wield such a tool... targeted technology controls designed to create market demand for the type of unskilled human laborers that modern industry has made obsolete, but that we are politically unwilling to kill and sell as organ meat... For instance, two forms of semi-skilled labor well-known to be good for the human soul are (a) Craftsmanship and (b) farming (Agriculture). Compared to the demand for these professions that once existed, both have been essentially eradicated... Consider one targeted technology restriction: no plastic toys... Or take agricultural labor, for which an arbitrary level of demand can be created simply by banning industrial farming techniques. Every ghetto rat in America today could find employment as an organic slow-food artisan.

Normal sane people, especially rich ones, are socially well-integrated and live in consensus reality, ie, a Plato's cave of pure blithering idiocy. And yet, I assert, in actual reality - my Solutions E and F are slam-dunk no-brainers. (We'd still need a way to safely shut down the Solution D debt bomb, but that's a matter for another post.)


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