New Civilization News: The Leisure Society    
 The Leisure Society6 comments
picture 17 Mar 2004 @ 05:55, by Flemming Funch

When I was a kid I was very interested in the future. One thing that was pretty obvious, other than flying cars and space stations, would be that by now we'd really not have to work, per se. It was sort of self-evident, even when I was ten. Of course, if we keep being able to do things better and better, more and more efficiently, more and more bang for the buck, more and more automation - then there would be less and less of an actual need for work. It is a simple calculation. The stuff we need could be produced by a smaller and smaller percentage of the population. Which would allow us to spend our time being creative and having a good time.

The reason that didn't happen might be in the same category as why a brand new 3GHz PC isn't any faster than a 4.77MHz IBM PC from 20 years ago. In principle it should be a thousand times faster, and it is, technically speaking. But it doesn't do anything more. It takes longer to start up Word on it than to start WordStar on that ancient relic. And there are many more things that can go wrong, and more one needs to learn in order to use it.

Maybe the reason is in the same category as why my household budget looks about the same, no matter how much or how little I make. There's not quite enough for what I need, and I tend to pay things late. If somebody came along and gave me $10,000 extra per month, I would at first feel rich, and pay all my bills, and put some aside. But gradually I would come to think I needed a bigger version of everything, and I'd invest in some things I wouldn't otherwise have. And pretty soon I would have used it up, and have more regular expenses, and I'd again be a little behind. While still living essentially the same way. You know, in a house, eating food, driving vehicles, wearing clothes, breathing air.

You can probably draw a nice systems diagram of how there are several self-reinforcing loops involved in these scenarios. If there's capacity to make more stuff or do more things, they will be done, and they will create new needs and new ideas about new things that need to be done. The PC of today would indeed run WordStar like lightning, but I'd be missing the graphics, and would quickly look around for other things it ought to do. Voids will be filled. And there's the influence from all the other folks who have some new gadget or feature. If my neighbor has 3D displays on his walls, I'll feel a little left out, even if I was doing great with a monochrome screen at some other point in time.

So, what would it take for progress to actually add up to progress, rather than to staying in the same spot with some slightly different gear?

I think the main limiting factor is not the envy of my neighbor's stuff, but the economics of production. It doesn't have to be that way, but with the way business is currently structured economically, it is quite natural. Economic rewards flow to those who keep the wheels churning, rather than necessarily to those who solve the biggest problems in the most efficient way. There's no economic incentive to constructing the machinery that would give everybody in the world food to eat every day, without them having to work. Even though it would be fairly easy and comparatively cheap to do. But it wouldn't turn a profit. People who aren't working don't make money to buy stuff, so they aren't good consumers. People who aren't working is a problem in the current scheme of things. Something that requires the financing of unemployement payments, which requires that the wheels are churning faster somewhere else, creating profits that can be diverted for that purpose. It is all pretty insane of course.

If you can formulate an economic scheme that clearly measures the actual costs of various approaches, and the value people perceive in them, and which which allows easy financing of the permanent solving of big problems, and gives little value to wasteful and unnecessary work - then it can all change rather quickly. No, I'm not talking about communism. Rather about a free market with a good enough flow of high quality of information, using a different kind of currency. A currency that is built on quality of life, and which doesn't have a built-in accelerating corrosion that encourages fake productivity for its own sake. Rather, a system the encourages the optimization and maximization of free time and creativity.

It is not too late. The future is yet to come.

[< Back] [New Civilization News]



17 Mar 2004 @ 07:10 by jmarc : Have you read Vonneguts' Player Piano?
It makes one think twice about wishing for an automated workless society.  

18 Mar 2004 @ 01:35 by maxtobin : Its a brave new world Flemming
I vote for you as one of the chief architects, a shame the funding fathers do not have any heart connection or they would be there with the extra $10K for you right now!!! We all create the future together, the economy gets in the way untill it doesnt. I'm working on that at the moment too. Also there is a need to link in with the ancestral councils, there is much work being done on many levels and we are all en-cour-age-d to lift it higher and resonate with that which is of the highest and the best we can I-mage-in
Blessings to you from Pacific zone. (We are from your future here and see each day first)  

28 Nov 2015 @ 01:23 by Vishal @ : oVggZiBfMjjYscLMgxdA
Form small discussion grpous of up to 12 people each wherever you can.There is a likelihood – not yet fully explored – that there will emerge grpous that are made up of persons, some of whom are not “material entities” but are persons encountered within inner spaces.The objective of these grpous are to study and discuss• 1. Declining access to Fuel• 2. Pollution and Global Climate Change• 3. Global Monetary Collapse• 4. The Growth Model of Development.amongst their members and with other grpous all over the world and formulate responses to these issues and the many others that may arise in relation to these at local and global levels with the objective of civilizational transformation and conscious evolutionTo engage these issues it is necessary that the members of this group learn how to transcend their anthropocentric ego based gender biased authoritarian identities and relate to each other in supportive facilitative inspirational and therapeutic ways making it possible to associate, communicate and relate to other individuals with honest and genuine intentsTherefore all these grpous practice systems of teaching and training aimed at achieving this objective.These grpous also follow procedures and protocols aimed at facilitating, supporting, inspiring and therapeutically responding to processes of changeThey use various strategies to generate required resources and linguistic and communication skills for their sustenance and development and effective expression at local and global levelThese grpous may become nodes of a global network that may function as a global perceptual mechanism and as a global strategic guidance system that can guide us through Civilizational Transformation and towards Conscious Evolution.PROCESSES AND PROTOCOLSThe grpous meet on Saturday evenings.Each group has a center and a periphery – neither the center nor the periphery are determined, but emerge and change naturallyThe demarcation of center and periphery are dynamic and interchangeable tending towards a dynamic equilibrium amongst a network of people whose networking forms the group which functions as a node of the global network.Interactions between these networked people that gives rise to the group tends towards greater and greater levels of openness and transparency transcending elements of identity and making connectivity possible.Connectivity is based on an understanding that individual life is unsustainable and we are all dependent on each others help especially in relation to responding to the issues identified as being critical.Wherever possible the outcome of group interactions will be documented – wherever possible in audio visual format and shared with other grpous throughout the world.  

21 Feb 2016 @ 08:37 by Bettie @ : lhXqkqYsFZVjQtmwQQYI

18 Aug 2016 @ 11:03 by National drink of Pakistan @ : Malik
All the tragedy for Pakistan is constantly on the worsen like relief offers and benefit fall far besides what is. More benefit is frantically needed for the potential for enormous fatalities should begin to loom.  

25 Nov 2016 @ 06:44 by SejarahQQ @ : Agen DominoQQ Online
This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.  

Your Name:
Your URL: (or email)
For verification, please type the word you see on the left:

Other entries in
20 Nov 2005 @ 05:01: BitLight LightHitParade: Old CDs Put to Good Use
9 Aug 2005 @ 03:01: Here is a legit reasonable personal free offer to everyone in NCN
14 Dec 2002 @ 23:47: Devices - Instant Revolution
24 Nov 2001 @ 17:50: Inventor Fair in Germany
18 Oct 2001 @ 09:36: Non-metallic magnet

[< Back] [New Civilization News] [PermaLink]?