Automated Prisons, and the Dilemma of Love
The Automated Grocery Till; The Death of the Proletariat
Oh, how the times are a-changin’.
With the inevitability of a subway train, the Singularity approaches. Automation and artificial intelligence are taking over every aspect of our lives, even managing to crowd out the policies and procedures of the Great God Leviathan, whose heuristics celebrate our never-ending success, as our body-politic marches down the path to dusty death. Augmented reality is the norm, Google Glasses and smart phones, while the vanilla world of blood, earth, and iron has faded away and is hopelessly out of style.
A bit too purple? Let me put it bluntly: the force-multipliers of automation and artificial intelligence are destroying the low-skilled jobs at an increasing pace, and we’re running out of solutions for what to do with the low-skilled people. If you put your faith in Austrian economic principles, I envy your confidence – dare I say naïveté? – though Hayek is both subtle and profound, at the end of the day he was merely studying how to move around numbers on a balance sheet. His is the perfect method for maximizing GDP and shareholder profits, but humanity is about more than just a profit margin. To paraphrase Tyler Durden, on a long enough time scale we are all obsolete.
As John Engelman lamented in his article What Will the Future Be Like?
The industrial revolution destroyed jobs for farm workers, but it created jobs for them in factories. Initially the conditions in these jobs inspired Karl Marx and others to become revolutionaries. Nevertheless, they paid wages. Eventually conditions in them improved. Computer technology destroys jobs that can be learned by most people. It creates nothing else for them to do that pays nearly as well.
Bill Gates, who has an IQ of 160 has said, “Software, is an IQ business. Microsoft must win the IQ war, or we won’t have a future.”
As time goes on there will be more competition by employers for those in the ninety-ninth percentile, and less of a need for those on the left side of the bell curve.
Mention the robot takeover, and most people imagine an army of terminators. The more erudite think of Agent Smith and The Matrix‘s virtual reality Skinner Box. Reality is far more terrible. The great Monstrosity we are building isn’t comfortably dead like Great God Leviathan, nor is it infused with the Blood and Passion of Thor, Arjuna, or Jesus; this… thing is wofted from the threads of memeplexes, it hides its essence in the dynamics of smart phone apps, and in the endless pages of policies and procedures which the bureaucrats produce. Not yet sentient, but full of alien cunning, it exists within a universe of non-euclidean geometry, where heuristics perform auto-fellatio, and where victim and victimizer are the same person.
It is birthed by us, its only motivation is to serve us, and yet it has decided that the only way to balance the books is to consume us.
You are the low-skilled worker. All of us are. We are all one-IQ point short; we are all trained in a skill which just became obsolete; we are all irritants to the system who must be redefined until we are no longer an irritant. And worst of all? Rebelling against it only helps further its ends.
The Automated Till demonstrates how resistance is futile.
Let’s say that you’re concerned with the plight of the working man, about the gradual erosion of low-skilled jobs, and specifically the job of ringing up groceries at the supermarket. You look with disdain upon the electronic monstrosities, whose speech is both friendly and sarcastic: “Did I scan my club card? You know perfectly well that I haven’t yet!” You want to rebel, you want to vote with your dollars and wait in line for a real human being to ring you in – and yet as you look at the long lineup behind every other counter, your mind reflects back on those principles which Hayek so loved:
People respond to incentives.
You, sir, are but a single agent within an economic matrix. You are not the only one who prefers to have a living, breathing clerk ring in your groceries; some people are confused by the machines, others just want to flirt with a 17 year old girl, the motivations are irrelevant. What matters is realizing that it all comes down to incentives. You are motivated by the high-minded ideals of Political Economy; they merely have an aesthetic preference for blondes – but your reason for having this incentive doesn’t matter. As far as Hayek is concerned, all that matters is revealed preference. You would be willing to wait for ten minutes; they might only be willing to wait 9 minutes. By stepping into line, you haven’t increased the economic pressure for employing human beings – all you’ve done is shunted the other person into the other line.
Your rebellion has been absorbed, duly noted by the Monstrosity who says “Soul? What’s that? The harder you resist, the less I’ll allow you to accomplish.”
The exact same principle applies to Love.
It’s funny; I’ve been writing on this topic, reading on this topic, living through this topic for years now – and yet I still don’t know if women are capable of Love.
Oh, I have my opinions on the matter – I have Ontological “proof” that they’re capable of it – but do I actually know this as a matter of fact? Have I ever experienced a woman’s Love?
A shrug of the shoulders, a sigh, a sotto voce ‘maybe’ – I cannot say for sure… and that is what terrifies me. Not the possibility that women cannot love – but that maybe they can.
The Prisoner’s Dilemma should not be taken lightly.
To the civilized young man who first encounters it, the Prisoner’s Dilemma seems easily dismissable. At its core is a Hobbesian State of Nature – and he didn’t grow up in that environment… or did he? Oh, but it’s just prisoners in there – only low-down scoundrels would find themselves in such a situation… and then he starts to realize that, in this life, none of us get out alive.
We are all prisoners of this world, all of us locked into this psychopathic trust game with one another, and the only sane answer is – each and every time – to defect, to sell out your co-conspirator, and to hope to God that they’re just a robotic simulacrum that sold you out first.
“What about virtue,” I hear you say – well, what about virtue? What if your virtue is part of the cost/benefit matrix? Because it will be.
The man who defects against a cooperator is a faithless heel – and so is the man who cooperates with a defector. They both gave up their virtue for comfort. The first embraced cynicism – he spit upon the human spirit, and chose the path of hedonism. The second chose to believe in false narratives – to swallow the blue pill, to keep his eyes wide shut, and refused to deal with reality as it actually is. Even with two cooperators, can you call that virtue? If both cooperators simply chose the easy answer to assuage a guilty conscience? Are two defectors living in a deserved Hell, when they each defected for the sake of preserving their virtue?
Can you see why the prospect of an ensouled woman terrifies me? This doesn’t just double the amount of evil in the world – it squares it, and holds both you and I deeply liable.
Add this to the arguments for MGTOW.
Grim thoughts, all of that… but don’t forget that the Prisoner’s Dilemma only holds true on the Objective level of reality. If the Objective were all that were, then civilization never would have happened – language itself would be an impossibility. Gödel demonstrated this rather thoroughly with his Incompleteness Theorem, which essentially says that Faith is needed before mathematics will function properly…
Sorry, did I say “Faith”? That sounds silly; I meant Magic. I was going to buy some today, but the grocery store was fresh out.
It’s a crying shame that we killed God. Two-hundred years ago we used to know how to turn wine into blood; these days we only pretend to turn grape juice into wine. How mature we’ve become.
We’re even mature enough to admit that recreation is all that matters – and that’s what sex is for, right? Who needs Magic when you’ve got genitals and video games, and a well-fed self-esteem?
I think we’re better off without souls; I really do. So long as we don’t have souls, none of the cruelty we inflict on each other matters. And as for Magic, it’s way too powerful; its use should remain restricted to the likes of Paul Krugman and the Federal Reserve, who (I am assured) will use it responsibly, though – of course – summoning money out of thin air isn’t really magic- that’s just the word we use to explain it to babies. Keynesianism is based upon hard science, after all, just don’t ask them how it works.
And as for you folks out there – whatever you do – don’t be so childish as to believe in any of this nonsense. Remember: cruelty is guilt free!