Humans soon to become useless
Modern political and economic structures were built on humans being useful to the state: most notably as workers and soldiers, Harari argues. With those roles taken on by machines, our political and economic systems will simply stop attaching much value to humans, he argues.
Perhaps that Harari guy has been reading my blog? In 2011 I wrote:
What will happen when we are able to produce robots that can do even more jobs currently done by humans?
The prevailing wisdom is that people will move on to higher level work, like robot engineering and programming or creating art and literature. But that ignores the truth of HBD. Most people aren’t smart enough to do any of these things. And as far as robot engineering goes, I suspect that smart Chinese engineers will do this for a lot less money than smart Americans.
The standard libertarian response is “don’t worry, the free market will take care of everything,” but believing that the free market can take care of everything is almost like believing that God will take care of everything. Libertarians already vastly overestimate the efficiency as well as the actual freeness of the market, and we are moving into uncharted territories here.
I think that with the libertarian model, as the majority of humans become useless, we will, quite ironically, be afflicted with mass poverty even though we have moved into an era in which vast amounts of goods can be produced with hardly any labor. What incentive will there be to give the poor people even a fraction of this bounty if their labor contributions are worthless compared to more efficient robots?
As usual, other people get credit for being forward thinkers when I was thinking about this stuff five years ago.