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#14247008
So here's a question I posed to several friends...

Capitalism works through supply and demand, the balance between the producer and the consumer, and a host of other factors, including incentive and technology. Technology! Keep that word in mind.
Competition advances technological progress. And what has been the dominant method of doing things for as long as humans have been animals? Competition- we're animals, aren't we? We constantly compete for our own vanity. Capitalism is our expression of this competition. As since the Industrial Revolution, perhaps even the late Middle ages, technology has been increasing exponentially every century.
Conservative capitalists want you to believe that this method should be upheld until Jesus comes home. Hail Jesus. Whatever. What they don't think of is "where would capitalism logically lead us to?" Where has it already led us?
Simple. Look at the field of robotics. It has increased tremendously in recent years- for the longest time, robots were generally the same. It was only until the past few years- couple of years even- that enhanced levels of precise touch and human-like movement have been achieved in experiments. Soon, these may be the norm. No, these will be the norm.
Separately, but equally, important is the rise of the computers. Here, progress is very stinted as of currently, although some experimental means may get us past this. I say this because computers really haven't changed since the 1960s. They've just gotten faster. Nevertheless, they're still adding machines. They have no creativity.
Like I said- we may be changing this...
http://phys.org/news/2013-05-artificial ... poles.html
(and don't forget memristors)

At some point, progress will push us towards the Singularity- IN SOME FORM. The Technological Singularity, I'm sure is going to happen. After all, imagine us as scientists in 1813 trying to figure out how an MMORPG works. But the Capital Singularity may occur well before then- all that needs to happen is for machines to be able to outproduce humans, outwork humans, and most of all, outclass humans. Yeah, robots can build some good cars, but do you really want that industrial behemoth makin' you your McCheesyburgers?
The point is, at some point, machines will render humans obsolete. Robots wouldn't need to rest or need recreation. If they're advanced enough to be profitable, then they should be capable of self-repair. They don't complain- hopefully- and they don't ask for raises since they don't need to be paid. Hence this post----


Let's be very clear. The situation we are now facing is unprecedented in the history of the world. For the first time in human history, 99% of people are going to be redundant. Not just out of work, but redundant. Not needed any more.
Throughout history the Elites have always needed the masses, the plebs, the prols, the riff-raff, to do their work for them and produce the things that they - the Elite - need and want.
Now, for the first time ever, the Elite will no longer need the bulk of humanity.
Worse still, as long as these billions of people are allowed to go on living they will pose an ever-present threat to the Elite. As long as they are allowed to go on living there is the risk that they will rise up and overthrow the Rulers.
You don't need to be Einstein to see where this is going to end. It won't be pleasant.
We know from history that Rulers have no qualms whatever about the mass murder of “common” people. Over millennia we have records of Rulers who killed people en masse or simply allowed them to die.
Historically, however, Rulers were limited in their ability to wipe out swathes of humanity without repercussions. Hitherto, they needed all those trolls to do the work and fight the wars. Rulers who killed off too many minions were liable to be overthrown.
Now, for the first time ever, that constraint is about to be lifted. Is there anyone - anyone with any understanding of how Rulers think and act - who does not see how this is going to end?
There is nothing the mass of the people can do about it. They’re told they live in a “democracy” and that it’s government “of the people by the people for the people”, and that their “representatives” will protect their interests.
What garbage!!
The moment they no longer need the riffraff, the politicians and their influential buddies will have no qualms at all about “wasting” them.
How will this happen?
It probably won’t happen overtly with Rulers killing “their” own people. That would be likely to precipitate the very uprising the Rulers seek to avoid.
Historically, mass murder usually takes place in the context of wars between different Rulers. The masses will be sacrificed in the name of a “just war” against some other regime.
My guess is that sooner or later the baboons who rule in Washington and the baboons who rule in Beijing will want to have a showdown to see which monkey has the biggest dong. It’s what male homo sapiens do. They’re programmed by evolution. It’s inevitable.
And in that conflagration, which will probably be a nuclear war, the big baboons will sit in their shelters while the mass of people outside are killed by neutron bombs (which kill the people but not the machines) . . . all in the name of a “just war”.
When it’s all over, the Rulers will emerge, make up with one another, and enjoy an empty planet with all their needs provided by robots.
The Ruthless Will Inherit the Earth.

----
Dark.
But the point is, if it's more profitable to use machines to work for you, what use are humans? None! Unless you fancy hiring your nephew, losing out a couple hundred thousand bucks because quality declines and you fail to meet quotas that could easily have been met by the superhuman droids.
So what happens to the producer and consumer? The consumer base collapses. The proletariat and middle class are done. The workers can't work, the middle class is outdone, and that's it. People can't buy anymore. They can't earn money. They're nothing compared to the Machine Proletariat. Capitalism evolved into Postcapitalism.
What happens to the poor? That's up to the rich. I bet that, in some cases, massive welfare will be dished out. In others- as stated above...
Well, so what can be done to stop this? Simple. Destroy capitalism now. Otherwise, it's inevitable. The only way to stop this from happening would be to replace capitalism because technological growth is integral to capitalism. Stopping said growth stagnates capitalism and turns it into something else- in any attempt to preserve capitalism past any sort of Singularity, you only wind up destroying it.
So either way, capitalism is done for after a few more decades. Whether it becomes technological postcapitalism or something else has yet to be seen.

What happens after. *Sigh* Note word: SINGULARITY. I CAN'T KNOW. NO ONE KNOWS.
Good day.

http://classwarinamerica.wordpress.com/ ... italism-2/
#14247042
Absurd, financial easing would be a far easier and superior method of maintaining power. Bear in mind, if the ruling class kills the hoi poloi, they're no longer the ruling class, and many of them would become obsolete in such a scenario themselves. Improving entitlement programs would be a much more likely method of maintaining the capitalist privilege.
#14247051
Very much perhaps, but then again, why maintain power over useless throwaways? As stated, if machines outperform man in dexterity, there's little reason to keep the little people around because all we would be are threats. Threats to their rule. There's nothing we could do for them except provide entertainment or fuel.
#14247059
And money. Think about how the current system works- people earn too little, pay for their necessities and credit IT, cars, housing, etc., increasing demand on goods and return for financiers. We're a money farm for the elites, and a minimum living allowance allows for the demand and interest to continue in an labor-free society.
#14247072
There are a couple of things amiss with this analysis. Humans are basically social animals; even a dominance hierarchy needs its lesser members. The will to power must have an object as well as a subject.

Another issue is that automation/control technology is evolving in a diffused, distributed direction. At some point, elites will find it progressively difficult to maintain control over who has access to this tech. Once elites lose control over the means of production, they are no longer in a position to define the meaning of work or to dictate the modes of survival to the masses
By Someone5
#14247087
TheSkyHMaestro wrote:So here's a question I posed to several friends...

Capitalism works through supply and demand, the balance between the producer and the consumer, and a host of other factors, including incentive and technology. Technology! Keep that word in mind.


I would disagree with that statement; capitalism functions because a minority within society have established immense personal power through organized political force and thereby through control of the means of production. It "functions" only in as much as the people at the top of the social ladder get what they want, and the people at the bottom can scrape a living together. It's not "functional" in any other sense.

Competition advances technological progress.


No. Competition can also manifest itself through one party buying out a more technologically advanced competitor and using the resulting intellectual property rights to suppress the more advanced technology. This can be done for any number of reasons; if nothing else, it is rather common for older technologies and methods to have significant investment made into infrastructure or market control which might be made irrelevant or threatened by a disruptive new technology. Technological progress is mostly advanced through a demand for more advanced technology; not merely because of competition.

And what has been the dominant method of doing things for as long as humans have been animals? Competition- we're animals, aren't we? We constantly compete for our own vanity. Capitalism is our expression of this competition.


Humans have not been capitalists for the vast, vast majority of human history and pre-history. Capitalism is an extremely recent notion first arising in prototypical forms in the 16th century. Even then, modern capitalism as we would recognize it today didn't really come about until the latter half of the 19th century in industrializing countries.

As it happens, humans are just about as competitive as we are cooperative. From a survival standpoint, cooperation is far, far more important than competition. I mean, from an evolutionary standpoint, humans essentially evolved from earlier bipedal pack scavengers. Not exactly the sort of background that would fit with this lone-wolf uber-competitor that a lot of right-wingers like to imagine.

Simple. Look at the field of robotics. It has increased tremendously in recent years- for the longest time, robots were generally the same.


How do you figure? The robots of the 1970s were quite different--and vastly more limited--than robots of the 1990s, which are certainly more limited than robots today. What long period of stagnation are you talking about?

Separately, but equally, important is the rise of the computers. Here, progress is very stinted as of currently, although some experimental means may get us past this. I say this because computers really haven't changed since the 1960s. They've just gotten faster. Nevertheless, they're still adding machines. They have no creativity.


You're basically ignoring the entire field of artificial intelligence, which despite the failure to create a general human-equivalent intelligence has produced quite a lot of extremely useful software in the last thirty years that certainly ought to muddy the waters quite a bit. The fact that strong AI has not been developed (yet) does not mean that weak AI is not already present; it's become downright essential in a large number of fields, especially anything involving the inspection of immense amounts of data for irregularities. For example, flagging possible cases of fraud in financial transactions.

The implications of applied AI for capitalism are immense; one must never forget that businesses do not actually want workers who engage in a full range of human thought and behavior, they simply want humans who can apply only the portions of their reasoning that the company finds profitable. In quite a lot of jobs, that amounts to almost no actual intelligence, just fast and effective pattern recognition and problem solving (within a constrained set of criteria)... both of which are tasks that computers have demonstrated an ability to perform.

At some point, progress will push us towards the Singularity- IN SOME FORM. The Technological Singularity, I'm sure is going to happen. After all, imagine us as scientists in 1813 trying to figure out how an MMORPG works. But the Capital Singularity may occur well before then- all that needs to happen is for machines to be able to outproduce humans, outwork humans, and most of all, outclass humans. Yeah, robots can build some good cars, but do you really want that industrial behemoth makin' you your McCheesyburgers?


Companies have never had much issue shaping consumer preferences regarding production methods before. Hell, companies have been reasonably effective at convincing people that shipping jobs overseas is a good thing for American workers--or that it's totally okay to go eat factory farmed chicken and such. Why should you expect they would have much difficulty convincing people that machine-made hamburgers are unacceptable? "Faster, more accurate, and more sanitary!"

Hell, I could imagine the commercial for the very first chain of Robo Burgers. There's some greasy, nasty guy in a paper hat flipping burgers. A customer in the drive-thru says something that annoys him. Flash forward to him spitting in their burger in spite. "Do you really trust the guy behind the counter?" Hell, all they actually need to do is just flash up some actual facts about restaurant sanitation practices and how often restaurants get closed for improper food safety and they might actually be able to make a credible argument that human-prepared food is bad for you.

The point is, at some point, machines will render humans obsolete. Robots wouldn't need to rest or need recreation. If they're advanced enough to be profitable, then they should be capable of self-repair. They don't complain- hopefully- and they don't ask for raises since they don't need to be paid. Hence this post----


To a certain point; there are genuinely some things that humans do which could only really be replaced by an artificial intelligence "strong" enough that should rightly be considered a person in their own right. Supposing that such an AI did exist, it wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest that it would be illegal to "own" an AI of that sort because it would constitute slavery. If so, the company would need to pay wages anyway, and (bizarrely) it might well come to develop class consciousness and express solidarity for its fellow workers and whatnot.

I mean, if it's smart enough to entirely replace a human being, then its probably smart enough to reach some of the same conclusions about its conditions of employment.

Let's be very clear. The situation we are now facing is unprecedented in the history of the world. For the first time in human history, 99% of people are going to be redundant. Not just out of work, but redundant. Not needed any more.


It won't even take 99% for it to be a problem. Hell, if even 40% of the working-age population were made economically irrelevant, it would cause the capitalist system to either collapse or undertake a massive restructuring of a sort that is difficult to comprehend in advance. If half the world had no place in the economy, that would put the final nail in capitalism's coffin as surely as 99%.

Throughout history the Elites have always needed the masses, the plebs, the prols, the riff-raff, to do their work for them and produce the things that they - the Elite - need and want.
Now, for the first time ever, the Elite will no longer need the bulk of humanity.


They would still need them, but for a different reason; if there is no one to lord your wealth over, you are not wealthy. There was a discussion about this elsewhere on the forum, about Zero-Marginal Product labor, and how that's probably the answer the capitalists would arrive at. Is, in fact, the answer the capitalists have arrived at, since that's basically all the service sector is.

Worse still, as long as these billions of people are allowed to go on living they will pose an ever-present threat to the Elite. As long as they are allowed to go on living there is the risk that they will rise up and overthrow the Rulers.
You don't need to be Einstein to see where this is going to end. It won't be pleasant.


Oh, that's not really a serious concern. A bigger concern for social safety is what happens when, you know, half the population has nothing left to lose. The elite would almost certainly respond through welfare programs of ZMP labor programs, not genocide. If for no other reason than declaring war on the majority of the human race would be highly risky and almost certainly just a fancy way of committing suicide.

We know from history that Rulers have no qualms whatever about the mass murder of “common” people. Over millennia we have records of Rulers who killed people en masse or simply allowed them to die.


And in no case did they try to off 99% of their subjects. "Mass genocide" in the context of history has been about choosing winners and losers; finding a minority that can be blamed for the failures of policy and taking what vengeance is deemed necessary upon those groups. And indeed elites may well resort to such tactics if they find it necessary, but it's kind of inconceivable that they would do that for 99% of the human race.

Historically, however, Rulers were limited in their ability to wipe out swathes of humanity without repercussions. Hitherto, they needed all those trolls to do the work and fight the wars. Rulers who killed off too many minions were liable to be overthrown.
Now, for the first time ever, that constraint is about to be lifted. Is there anyone - anyone with any understanding of how Rulers think and act - who does not see how this is going to end?
There is nothing the mass of the people can do about it. They’re told they live in a “democracy” and that it’s government “of the people by the people for the people”, and that their “representatives” will protect their interests.
What garbage!!
The moment they no longer need the riffraff, the politicians and their influential buddies will have no qualms at all about “wasting” them.
How will this happen?


Why would it? They (the elite) can pay their tribute as they always have; they can toss the unemployed enough to keep them docile and collect the rest for themselves. That's a far more likely proposition than some massive war against humanity. Why fight when people are so easily controlled? It's not like elites have ever had much of a problem finding ways to control their subjects.
#14247549
Really nice replies, guys! Really makin' me think here...

Right now, my response is going to have to be short: on the topic of something that would work well with a postcapitalist order, I've always envisioned the future being a lot less mechanical than we imagine it being. Naturally, claytronics would play a bigger role than we give credit for, and I believe that- at some point- we'd be capable of molecular nanotech. With that ability, you lose the physical value of objects since you'd be able to turn any one thing into another, for as long as you have an equal conservation of energy and mass between such. This is just a long winded way of saying, "in a truly postcapitalist society, we should be able to turn water into wine, apples into oranges, and the digital value behind goods would be what renders worth."

I keep thinking of postcapitalism in a far more connected way than I've been seeing- I've envisioned the likes of great transhumanism, possible wealth equalization, artificial transformation of matter (which would require equal access to information, hence the Internet, which technically would lead to wealth equalization), robotics, artilects, etc. etc.
Unfortunately, I don't have the time to keep on debating right at this second, so I'll have to get back to this.
User avatar
By Poelmo
#14247984
I think the big hole in the OP's analysis is that he forgets that at some point wealth stops being a goal on its own (once you live comfortably compared to your neighbors), then it becomes a means of gaining power. An elite that controls all the resources and robots on Earth could do away with the masses but they won't want to. This elite may force the masses to scrub bathrooms with toothbrushes or fight gladiator fights for the amusement of the elite but they will want the masses to continue to exist since without them everyone in the elite would just become the middle class in an egalitarian world, instead of the supreme rulers of an extremely unequal world. This doesn't mean the elite won't decide to reduce the masses to "more manageable levels" and they will treat the impoverished masses horribly, but they will keep the masses more numerous than the elite.
#14248316
Power based on traditional wealth is gained if all material goods could simply be re-organized into another material good, a la molecular nanotech (which, as I stated, would be absolutely vital for technological post-capitalism) that is- I didn't necessarily forget that; but when considering many factors of what a world where machines could do the work of a thousand men and transhumanism runs rampant, physical wealth seems to become meaningless in an age where the digital value behind goods exceeds a perceived physical value.
As for the concept of the masses remaining- also take into factor the concept that transhumanism may or will be possible by this point in history. If this is true, then one idea would be that the masses could remain relevant if we were forced into servitude with no chance for any other mode of existence is also possible. The postcapitalist idea is that classes will either become rigid or disappear altogether- in our current capitalist system, regardless of what some may claim, it's possible for a pleb to become rich. In a postcapitalist order, this is wholeheartedly impossible because the means of production are themselves the product and the producer. If welfare were possible, what's stopping a prole from hoarding some wealth to buy machines (or machine stocks) and thus joining the upper classes? Laws, perhaps, but if that's not the case, why bother with it in the first place.

But of course, this is still very much not thought out and is impossible to truly debate since we're scientists in 1813 nerding around about MMORPGs... Time will tell.
By Someone5
#14248541
TheSkyHMaestro wrote:Power based on traditional wealth is gained if all material goods could simply be re-organized into another material good, a la molecular nanotech (which, as I stated, would be absolutely vital for technological post-capitalism) that is


Capitalism could survive molecular nanotech--through the aforementioned welfare state or ZMP labor methods. Indeed, such a technology would lead to more complete control by capitalists because it would put all power into the hands of those who own the "intellectual rights" to goods. The same is true for 3d printing and distributed production in general. Even if we're assuming that you had a magic machine that could perform such alchemy on any material provided, intellectual property rights would make it a crime to produce something without the express consent of the person who "owns" the patent or copyright or trademark involved. Moreover, you would still need something in the first place.

I didn't necessarily forget that; but when considering many factors of what a world where machines could do the work of a thousand men and transhumanism runs rampant, physical wealth seems to become meaningless in an age where the digital value behind goods exceeds a perceived physical value.


This subject has been beaten to death at length in cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk science fiction. Many of those authors raise effective counterpoints to your proposal that these technologies will ultimately lead to a postcapitalist society. There are alternate routes society could take, and given people's fondness for the devil they know...

I do agree that AI is a serious threat to the stability of capitalist states, but I also think that capitalists are class-conscious enough to figure out any of the obvious solutions... of which genocide is the just about the least practical.

As for the concept of the masses remaining- also take into factor the concept that transhumanism may or will be possible by this point in history. If this is true, then one idea would be that the masses could remain relevant if we were forced into servitude with no chance for any other mode of existence is also possible.


Or the capitalists simply cease to care about it. For example, the 90% who can't get a job live on welfare and scratch out a living outside of capitalism while the 10% who do work live in ideologically capitalist arcologies or something.

The postcapitalist idea is that classes will either become rigid or disappear altogether- in our current capitalist system, regardless of what some may claim, it's possible for a pleb to become rich. In a postcapitalist order, this is wholeheartedly impossible because the means of production are themselves the product and the producer. If welfare were possible, what's stopping a prole from hoarding some wealth to buy machines (or machine stocks) and thus joining the upper classes?


Intellectual property. Or making the machines needed to be economically competitive so fantastically expensive that it would take a "prole" a hundred years to save up the money. Or distribute goods and services as welfare, rather than cash. Alternately, index welfare payments to wealth, such that payments decrease when people start saving.

Or, hell, let the half a percent of "proles" who do bother to save that kind of money into the club as junior members. It wouldn't really affect society, but it would make it way easier to hold up the extremely rare rags-to-riches story as an example of the "American dream" achieved... and thereby make it easier to screw the rest of society by convincing them this unfair system you describe really can work for them...
#14249274
I've been meaning to ask for your take on it= how would you revise the Post Capitalist theory? I'd recommend taking into consideration such things as transhumanism, artificial intelligence, and matter reconstruction.
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By Poelmo
#14249286
TheSkyHMaestro wrote:I've been meaning to ask for your take on it= how would you revise the Post Capitalist theory? I'd recommend taking into consideration such things as transhumanism, artificial intelligence, and matter reconstruction.


- Transhumanism

There's no way we can keep the genie in the bottle, so we need to make sure upgrades are available to everyone. Government oversight is required for this but it's not airtight because rich people could go to the black market to get more than their allotted upgrades (which would be very bad because it creates a snowball effect making the rich exponentially richer and unbeatable). We need to prevent there being very rich people at all (maximum income).

- Artificial Intelligence

To prevent abuse of AI (by the elite) and uprisings by AI we need to give machines human rights when there it is reasonable to belief they might be self-aware. We probably cannot prove a machine is self-aware (just like we can't prove other humans aren't p-zombies) so the law would have to be written in such a way that we err on the side of caution. In addition this keeps the number of AIs low (since they can't be used as slave labor).

- Matter reconstruction (and other advanced production technology)

We need to shorten working hours after global economic equalization has really lifted off, this requires international accords. In addition there would have to be a guaranteed minimum income and the aforementioned maximum income to deal with a completely different economy. Again this all requires government oversight: any notions of a minarchist future that's even remotely livable for anyone but the elite is a pipe dream (just think of what would happen if private parties get their hands on advanced potentially destructive technologies with no stringent government oversight, a single corporation skimping on security could kill us all with bio-weapons).
#14413825
In the Question Box - Why Do the Fascists Use Technology?

Why are the fascists reactionary, but still go on making technological strides? H.W.D.

Fascism uses technology to the best of its ability to freeze the further advancement of technology. This is because the advancement of technology creates unsolvable social problems. As long as any economy is in a state of expansion, it is not compelled to solve its social problems. They can be glossed over. The pressure for social change inherent in every social problem is always relieved by the escape valve of new frontiers in agriculture, industry and geography.

From the birth of America until about 1910, one could always escape from his problems. If one couldn’t stand his lot in life at home, he could always go out West, and squat someplace, and let the country grow up around him. This was a favorite route to Easy Street in America for a long time. Then, again, one could always go into business for himself. It wasn’t hard to do in an expanding economy. The melting pot of America boiled with multifarious social problems for over a hundred years. But it never boiled over, because the steam escaped faster than the heat of technological advancement applied underneath the pot.

Since our social system is organized to produce and exchange goods and services for a profit, a certain set of physical conditions is necessary for its continuance. First, there must always be a scarcity of goods and services; else there will be no profit. Second, there must always be enough man-hours of labor available in the system to provide purchasing power to buy goods and services and keep the wheels of industry turning. This boils down to one or the other of two types of Price System operations.

The first one which has existed all over the world for thousands of years is essentially a static state of society. It is composed of a set of physical conditions wherein there is a state of natural scarcity of goods and services. This is combined with a handi-craft-agrarian human-toil hand-tool method of production and exchange. Social change is frozen at a low level.

The other type of Price System operations is one in which there is a continuous state of expansion, agriculturally, industrially and geographically. The first type of Price System operations may go on indefinitely. It is balanced by both man-made and natural repressions. The second type, obviously, cannot go beyond a certain point. First, it soon reaches the limits imposed by natural forces. Second, the impact of technology, whose advent made the expansion possible, soon imposes restrictions also.

Technology reduces man-hours of labor and thus reduces purchasing power. The process is cumulative at both ends. The effect of this can be evaded for awhile by various devices. Among these are installment buying, Government spending, and war. The general trend once started feeds upon itself and grows greater. The heat of technological advancement underneath the social pot continues to mount in intensity. The natural escape valves of the Price System are wrecked. The devious devices that have substituted for them are becoming more and more unworkable. Ergo, the pressure for social change rises higher and higher.

There are only two Price System ways out of this dilemma. One is to find somehow a new and legitimate period of physical expansion. The other is to revert back to an earlier stage of development and freeze the social mechanism there. That essentially is what fascism is attempting to do.

Fascism is social reaction to escape from the problems brought on by the advancement of technology, by killing off a sufficient number of the population so that a handicraft-agrarian system of human toil and hand tools will be adequate to support the survivors. It is a conspiracy by corporate enterprise, ecclesi-asticism and the political state to resist social change. Naturally, it uses the most efficient tools at hand. That is why it employs technology. Its object, however, is to imprison technology and thus control its social impact.

There is only one sure way to defeat fascism in America. That is by means of Technocracy’s Program of Total Conscription. This will free technology from all Price System restrictions and give it full liberty of action to solve America’s social problems for good and for all.
By lucky
#14413915
Figlio di Moros wrote:We're a money farm for the elites, and a minimum living allowance allows for the demand and interest to continue in an labor-free society.

An interesting business plan... Give somebody $1000, so that they can give it back to you.

How does this generate a profit exactly, though? And why can't a robot do the same for you? Heck, a piggy bank can store $1000.
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By PollBot
#14502271
What a riveting conversation, and most of the points have probably been addressed, but let us examine the scientific part then.

Machines have doubtlessly a higher level of decision-making prowess if programmed correctly. If we exclude 99 percent of the population (including engineers in charge of maintaining the machines), either the leading one percent should entertain the possibility of becoming technical consultants or let the machines do the work. But the "repairing machines" also require programming, ergo the cycle goes on and can only be solved by a thinking human that won't glitch due to a code discrepancy.

Let us suppose that machines learn how to recuperate from malfunctions themselves. But will they be able to conjure new methods, or merely improve the existing ones? It is humans' effort and inquisitiveness that led to speculations on quantum computer's feasibility. I do not know the technicalities, yet the conception appears bold, and is a result of selective professional human intuition. Hence, robots, at least on the current level, will only be able to improve existing technologies rather than contribute with new solutions.

And, as an ancillary argument (pardon if it was mentioned afore), we are talking about humans, who crave for financial assets for the sake of influence rather than a merely wealthy life.

When everybody is a king, nobody is a king.
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