Automated Prisons, and the Dilemma of Love

 

self-service-checkout-automation

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.

ͼ-Ѻ-ͽ

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 preferenceYou 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.

ͼ-Ѻ-ͽ

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.

ͼ-Ѻ-ͽ

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!

 

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Davis M.J. Aurini

Trained as a Historian at McMaster University, and as an Infantry soldier in the Canadian Forces, I'm a Scholar, Author, Film Maker, and a God fearing Catholic, who loves women for their illogical nature.

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15 Responses

  1. Actually a big driver of the robot takeover is the change to other side of the decision equation: cost of having [the specific available] people. Even with the ever-lower cost of technology, the cap.ex. necessary for automating these menial tasks is substantial. It’s the cost of the alternative that is out of control.

    Were these automatic systems to be compared to 1950s workers (even to 1950s teenagers), with 1950s labor laws, 1950s work ethics, and above all 1950s attitudes, the speed of menial task automation would be significantly lower.

    Not that it wouldn’t be happening. But the incentives for developing technology come from societal changes, much more than the converse. (Which is also happening, as these things are jointly endogenous.)

    Cheers,
    JCS

    PS: I wrote a blog post about this whole automation thing sometime ago. But kept the above out of it; too political for my blog.

  2. Aurini says:

    @Jose; agreed, the “Fight for Fifteen” is an example of the moral rot and degeneration that’s also driving a lot of this.

    It’s quite hilarious, if you think about it; we have the technology to turn this world into a paradise, and instead we’re turning it into a hell. We can’t even admit that men are women are different – admitting to IQ differences is impossible.

  3. Bishop says:

    “you can’t keep walking and you can’t stand still, if the thunder won’t get ya’ the lighting will”

    We can either retool our society from top to bottom or accept our destiny . . .even if it means dragging the reluctant along, bawling.
    If we were to widen the senses and abilities of people, we could broaden the palette of their consumption. Food for thought?

  4. A soul is only useful for those who have time for introspection. Western society has culled most of this inconvenience to their agenda away. It’s why *they* are afraid of pschedelics; doing LSD causes one to look deep into their soul… or at least deep enough to undersatand the profundity of “the sky is blue” (raises hand). In a society based around external validation, one true act of introspection is enough to tip the balance out of their favor.

    Women *are* capable of love. It’s just hard for them to stay in love, because it is a pleasure of the flesh. In simplest terms, it’s the feeling created by a series of chemical reactions when in proximity to someone. Then one day, that feeling goes away. You can try to keep hammering away at that feeling with Ms. Right, only to find diminishing returns. You can try to replicate those feelings with Ms. Right Now, and that first buzz may take you to that happy place, but then you’ll have to move on to the next Ms. Right Now to keep going. Hmmm, am I talking about women, or drugs? You decide. Pleasures of the flesh are fleeting. Pleasures of the mind, you can’t get rid of. Pleasures of the soul: Priceless.

  5. Yankee Sean says:

    I think I finally understand Donovan’s desire to forsake society altogether. Our society destroys the soul, only complete withdrawal from society saves it. But we know what happens to those who try to escape society: they are branded lunatics and terrorists, and the armies of benevolent Leviathan march to their doorstep to either drag them back, kicking or screaming, or to kill them. Why is it that a violent death at a young age seems a far better fate than a soulless existence as a cog in a machine until I am discarded and forgotten?

  6. Kristophr says:

    None of this shit lasts.

    People lived short brutal lives not too lang ago. Stop whining. If there is a problem, just deal with it, and use your damned head. When being free and dealing fairly with others is outlawed, become an outlaw. There are some benefits to outlawry. Enjoy them.

    Just go rogue. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on.

  7. Bob Wallaced says:

    This is what I mean by the Machine State. We are meaningless interchangeable cogs. Even the smart. I see no way out except to withdraw. The Machine is to serve us, not we the Machine.

  8. 'Reality' Doug says:

    My faith is in lust not guilt. Guilt is a tool of another’s lust. So it love. Illusions they are, as real as you want them to be, mere stand-ins for lust (incentives). Lust makes the world go round.

    Rollo: “For one sex’s sexual strategy to become realized, the other sex’s strategy must be compromised or abandoned entirely.”

    The Merovingian: “Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without.”

    Some humanity must go, for humanity to grow. Why keep unnecessary overhead? It is only a question of what socio-ecological fundamentals will be. If you don’t have a patriarchy, you are fucked as a man.

  9. I was thinking about this the other day, there really is no way to escape the machine. Some might imagine they will shun technology, but that doesn’t work either. How much tech is too much? Should we goo back 50 years? 100? 1000? I live around the Amish, and I can tell you they aren’t quaint spiritual people, they’re filthy smelly savages. When we shun technology we shun something in us that makes us human, we shun the creative spark. A spark I believe is divinely given. Technology, just like art, exists not merely because we can make it but because we must. We are driven to. Sadly however both technology and art/entertainment seem likely to consume us. It seems we will either be trapped in a life of meaningless luxury ala Logan’s Run, roll around in the mud like the Amish, or have our skulls crushed under the metallic foot of the T-1000.

    I guess this sort of bleak outlook for mankind is why I say never put faith in humanity, put faith in God and in humanity put, at best, a cautious optimism. After all everything under the sun is vanity. Einstein taught us that no real fixed point of reference in the material universe is even possible. So short of looking to the Most High, what else could there even be?

  10. Aurini says:

    Tomorrow’s post is even darker, but for the record… well, it’s always darkest before the dawn. I got a feeling there’s something positive in store for us – just don’t “believe” in that nonsense. Believe we’re damned to hell in an AI’s torture cube.

  11. 'Reality' Doug says:

    @Bechtloff, you make a great point about technology. However, the emotive requirement to be more is emotive neediness. I have heard so many Christians say ‘There’s got to be a hell’, praying for God to take their side in life, etc. One thing I’ve learned from Game is that masculinity is its own frame of reference. Wherever you go, there you are. Regular men have created technology, even against the establishment’s religious order. The obvious example is Gallileo. Believe whatever makes you most effective, but that does not make it True if it’s true for you.

  12. Adrian says:

    Kristophr has nailed it. The agony of standing your ground in the face of a world that will punish you for it is infinitely preferable to the gradual quiet corrosive torment of succumbing to its insane demands. Die on your feet, that’s what you were always meant to do anyway, and that’s what victory is. Living on your knees is the worst possible outcome, and is THE definition of ultimate defeat. I realize all of this sounds airy and out of touch with the grim reality of the human experience, but it’s still worth pondering. Are you on your knees? Good, now that you know, get up. Fuck their New World Order, it will eventually fall. You may not live to see it, but I’m convinced that you will somehow, outside of this reality, in ways we don’t understand, face judgment for where you’ve stood in history. No fear mongering, just a call to claim your birthright, the ability to genuinely say, “FUCK YOU”

  13. John Engelman says:

    Few of the jobs replaced by automation were rewarding, fun jobs. We could deal with automation by reducing the work week while raising the minimum wage.

    Reforms like these have worked in the past. In the nineteenth century millions of men, women, and even children worked twelve hours as day six days a week in dangerous factories and mines for subsistence incomes.

    Meanwhile the owners of those factories and mines lived like European royalty.

    Government regulations and graduated income taxes changed that.

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