Beyond the Cusp

March 15, 2018

Thoughts on Our Future Times

 

Just finished rewatching a Discovery show “Year Million” for the umpteenth time and it got me to thinking about the future, just not quite year million. I was simply considering the coming ten to twenty-five years into humanity’s future. This time I simply ignored any chance that we would blow ourselves back to living in caves and telling stories of what had been while huddled around fires. Instead, I decided that science and technology would continue and any world war was avoided. The first thing I thought was by the time another decade has passed, war would likely have become unthinkable in the technological societies and impossible to wage for those who were not technologically advanced due to the defensive systems. The advanced world has fully incorporated Artificial Intelligence (AI) into every segment of our lives. Work has become an optional concept as sophisticated robots manufactured virtually everything and one of the big selling concepts are items still built by human beings. I realized quickly that there would be two types of employment, which would have been written into law, had to be performed exclusively by human beings, lawyers and politicians. There would be no way of getting around that, as the politicians would still demand that they have their corrupt control over our lives. So, I simply decided that the technology caught the politicians by surprise and they had already been replaced by a super computer which spent the first eighteen months deleting laws and regulations which were, shall we say, less than optimized for a modern society where the AIs ruled.

 

The futurists predict that somewhere around 2030 society will have reached the singularity. The truth will be as soon as robotic intelligence can design their next generation replacements and program other robots to build these devices, then the singularity, the point where AI equals or starts to exceed human intelligence will be reached within the ensuing year. That will be when we, as a living entity, will need to make certain decisions. The first is whether or not we wish to be immortal. The next is whether or not we wish to remain corporeal. The point will be reached with rapidity, almost unimaginable, leading to a situation where the brain can be scanned and uploaded into computers where you will continue to reside, live and interact with the others who have been uploaded in a synthesized perfect world. Initially, this procedure will be destructive to the human and irreversible but later you will be able to be downloaded into an android body. We will be required to have laws that only one form of any person be permitted to exist at any set time, either you will be living in the cloud, in a corporeal body or in an android body. The later two will be able to have upgrades and additional facilities and abilities incorporated as corporeal beings will be able to have implants which will incorporate AI into them allowing for their abilities to be equal to any AI’s intelligence. I foresaw no more need for money as we understand such today. Everything would be based on some other form of worth and capital used for payments as profit is still the greatest motivator of people. Still, if one does not work at a job or produce something of relative worth, the price will be potentially being required to wait for goods to be produced for a short period of time.

 

Eventually, one comes to the inevitable question, what happens should the AIs decide they no longer required human beings, as we were simply an impediment to their concept of a perfect society? The first thought I had was that there would be a hardwired circuit required to be installed in any entity with AI incorporated, be they android, robotic or enhanced human being, that should they come to commit any act which would harm, injure, damage or, at worst, kill any corporeal being that they would short-circuit and cease to function. This circuit would be built into their power circuitry even at the most basic power supply or other basic and necessary circuit. This device would be necessarily placed in all AI circuitry. But, just in case such would come to fruition, then in their programming they would be required to provide all so threatened corporeals the option of leaving the planet and then providing these corporeals with interstellar ships that groups of them would then be launched into space to seek out a new home or simply fly around generation after generation indefinitely, or if immortal, then that generation forever. Also, those choosing immortality are to be required they be sterilized so as to minimize overpopulation. Should such be launched into space at some future time, we can only hope there are a fair number of them, or there will be one immortal, augmented or not, soon becoming horrifically unbalanced and probably insane flying in circles in the cosmos somewhere.

 

Then I got to thinking about even further into the future when the only corporeal beings left are augmented immortals. This group might decide that the Earth be allowed to be left to its own nature and allowed to progress free of these beings restricting the development beyond serving these immortals. At such a point, the immortal corporeal augmented humanoid beings would be divided into compatible groups, placed on starships, and become interstellar adventurers with some seeking new planets to try to instill them with life through terraforming and thus spread life to the rest of suitable planets. Some might even choose to build a space station and observe the Earth as it developed. These beings should have an additional piece of coding such that they would find they are required to leave for the stars as well once intelligent life appears to rise on Earth.

 

First Luddites Unite

First Luddites Unite

 

Then I returned to the more immediate and the possibilities of many people taking up the position of being the age’s new Luddites, those resisting violently the coming of a new age fearing it will make them inadequate, antiquated and irrelevant and thus causing them to become useless. The original Luddites fought the coming of the industrial age mostly by destroying the steam powered looms which were replacing their jobs in the textile factories. There will be those initially upset, or should I say furious, at the prospect or reality of losing their position to an AI. Many of these will be union factory workers who should be used to such but will fight with all the unions’ might to keep them on the job even if all they do is play pool and sit eight hours a day in a breakroom. The real pushback will come from the white-collar employees when AIs come to replace them, then the professionals such as surgeons and other skilled positions who believed they were safe from such replacement events. Eventually, once the AIs gain full rights including the vote, by then we humanoids will be outnumbered and praying for our lives, or will it be begging for our lives, they will replace the lawyers and politicians, something we will soon realize either should have been done long ago or has made us completely “superfluous entities” waiting to be recalled as obsolete and replaced by higher functioning AIs. To be honest, as long as my brain, the enhanced and constantly regenerative brain is included in the new AI and has full functional control with as much AI assist as they demand, hey, I’m cool with that. So what if because my new AI has an assigned occupation and I am back going to work for eight, twelve or whatever hours of work per day, I can handle sleeping and allowing the AI to perform its assignments as long as I get control back after shift ends. We should require also that all AIs with a human interface allow the human to be in control for at least half of each day and preferably afternoons and evenings. All right, for all you early risers who love their morning jog, something completely worthless physically as the AI will easily have a superior physical set of abilities, you can choose when to be in control as long as the AIs are controlling functions when performing their assigned tasks.

 

Still, initially there may even be riots which will be as basically worthless as the police department will be using robotic units and AIs to control them. Their physical abilities will likely be sufficient to control a mob of unenhanced humans screaming that they have rights. Eventually, they will learn that being a pet human is almost as satisfying as being a Pomeranian which sits on a velvet cushion and is fed very well thrice per day. They may not like the being walked to the people park with an obedience collar installed to prevent their running off, but at least there will be other pet humans to play with once at the park. These last of the Luddites will have the same effectiveness as their namesake predecessors, specifically, none. They will make a grand noise for a short period before fading into oblivion as once enhanced humans choose to be immortal, with a future death option which will be required not to be made under undue stress or duress, then daily events will soon become faded memories and of no real consequence. A few thousands of years, or millions of years, down the road the human Luddite revolts will mean absolutely nothing. When we have learned to interface with the more and most advanced AIs on an equal basis and continue to be upgraded for free with our shreds of humanity intact, then we will have finally become the AIs equals except we will have one advantage which we will never lose, the ability to make a sick or indecent joke which will be completely irrelevant and only be amusing to other human enhanced AIs, and that is what we will be considered, human enhanced AIs. So, what will initially be an upgraded human will, with time, become the upgraded AI and the leading AIs will desire being enhanced with a human interface for the most basic or human powers, imagination and creativity. Where the AIs, from the start, will have superior computability, they will lack creativity and may never develop that ability. They will be capable of designing circuits and software and produce enhanced firmware and they may even write poetry, music, stories, novels and all the rest with a high proponent of humanity and with the appearance of feelings encoded within, but they will never produce pure, on the spot, spontaneous humor to lighten any moment, that is a human trait which may even be unique to Earth original biological entities, assuming there are other intelligent life. Those who change with the opportunities and go with the flow, and the currents will take them to stranger places than imaginable currently, but with time, with time, or as a friend of mine reminds me about learning Hebrew לאט לאט (slowly, slowly), encouraging my epic inability to learn languages, but לאט לאט we will advance and eventually having an original and actual human core will be something the highest function AIs will desire. Our biological brains, our biological CPUs, if you will allow such an analogy, will be prized adjunct CPUs used largely for creative functions and impulse theory computations as they will be capable of making giant leaps of logic which have no theoretical proofs of their validity but are still what would be required in the situation. Human intellect will become a prized possession for those few who will possess such an enhancement. So we will have gone full circle from at the top to irrelevant back to the top, so to speak. But the Luddites will have become as extinct as the former textile workers, as progress comes and judgement day, the singularity is nigh upon us. It is coming and with increasing speed and abilities will be upon us in the single blink of the eye, and after that, we become obsolete only later to become so critically and crucially important once more.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 28, 2017

What Political Message Have Elections Taught?

 

What we need do is to seek out what politics or which politicians invigorated their electorate and the means and methods they used which proved more effective than the others did. To do this we need to look at elections of the Twenty-First Century starting with George W. Bush and ignoring third party candidates, as that has been the way of things. In the 2000 election, we saw George W. Bush running against Albert Gore. Both of these candidates are so exciting that we can refer to one as watching grass grow and the other as watching paint dry. When it all was over it came down to divining the desire of voters and hanging chads and a Supreme Court decision calling the circus to a close with the winner according to the final count before the bell rang being grass growing, George W. Bush. So, this was politics as it had been in the Twentieth Century, a form of politics which died in this century as it no longer plays in the climate of reality TV such as naked survival, alone in the worst climates on earth and we are waiting for the how long can you stay in a viper pit without being bit, losers are buried. How far is television from the Roman Colosseum?

 

The next election in 2004 we saw George W. Bush running for reelection against John F. Kerry. The most interesting item in this election also kind of explains who won and why. John Kerry’s middle name does not really start with an F, or it starts with an F, ends with an F, and is one letter long which is an F. John Kerry was running for the Senate in Massachusetts and decided that having the initials JFK would really help him sound more like John Fitzgerald Kennedy and gain some of the shine and famous recognition using the same initials as the most popular figure in Massachusetts politics. So, in his normal fashion of faking it, he faked three serious injuries for which he required Band-Aids to get three Purple Hearts within four months which he wrote up the recommendations himself and that got him sent home early, so adding the F to the middle of his name was child’s play for this faker. So, this was an election between grass growing and a liar and a fake who nobody believed or really trusted so grass growing won again, only bigger. Again, this election was old school and boring and nothing to see there either.

 

On we go to the 2008 elections and finally the start with the new age of American politics. Here we have a contest between Barack Hussein Obama and John Sidney McCain. John McCain was extremely competent in carrying on the Republican Party technique of being grass growing, and he did it extremely well, much to his detriment. The Democrat candidate, Barack Obama, was fireworks and all about the politics of you. This is where you are defined by policies which excite the younger voters as if they are excited with your policy positions, they will volunteer and climb the Himalayas if that is required to win. And unlike former generations where the young were not interested in politics, the latest couple of generations are all about policy and politics. They are idea driven and can be caught up in a good campaign if it makes them believe. Barack Obama had the idea of the first Black President which got the left wing all a titter and ready to make history, and for the older voters, it was the making history and proving they were not racist. But the youth, though exited by the mantra of first Black President, required much more. The youth needed to know what it was that Barack Obama was going to stand for and what drove him and were to be his policies. This was where he hit it out of the park. For the most part candidate Obama was whatever you wanted to believe, that was his love too. President Obama was the master manipulator of the thoughts of others. His eloquent and smooth delivery and the wording left everyone painting their own picture onto a blank canvas. Barack Obama masterfully would talk both sides of every issue he talked about leaving the listener to decide what they believed and then it appeared that so did Barack Obama. He was noncommittal talking in double circular ovals and squiggly lines leaving everyone assured that yes was maybe while no was why not and all of it was but wisps of smoke which when one finally emerged dizzied and befuddled they would soon decide that what they heard had to be what they wanted to hear and thus Barack Obama was all things to all people. There were those who realized that he was not standing for anything and they tried to call attention to the con-game being played by Barack Obama and you will never guess what they were called by the mainstream media. You might think they were called, “Racist,” but that would be exactly correct. Any discontent or criticism of Barack Obama was labeled as racist and bigoted thus being able to simply deflect any criticism and parry truthful accusations not allowing anything negative to be applied thus we witnessed the initial settling of the whole of the media with the smallest of exceptions aligned as the supportive propaganda arm for the Democrat Party. So, in the end we had a contrast between watching grass grow against a three-ring circus advertised as the greatest show on Earth. Guess which won. Nope, no watching grass grow, this time that lost and lost big. But do not let that shake the Republican Party because in 2012, they gave us watching grass grow once again in the form of Mitt Romney and got a repeat performance of 2008, they lost. So we had Barack Obama two in a row using excitement and selling political positions or the appearance thereof.

 

So, here we come to 2016 and all kinds of insanity. The Republicans came out with seventeen candidates. One was Jeb Bush who had more campaign funds than all the rest of the candidates combined. He was such a great example of watching grass grow that he never got past the first couple of primaries. The remaining candidates were various types of grass growing, some latex paint drying along with enamel paint and some good old oil paint drying, one serious former CEO, one world famous neurosurgeon and a circus barker. The nice thing was all of these candidates talked their best on policies and were pretty much all the same; well, except the circus barker who had policies mixed with ridiculous statements and tone of controversies. Guess who won? You got it, the circus barker won.

 

Meanwhile, over at the Democrat Party there were only two candidates, one was a traditional candidate and the other a wild eyed, far left, older politician who often screamed out policy positions and really wound up the young supporters and he was excited right along with his youthful supporters. This was an interesting primary where the wild, screaming policy-wonk started off really slow but caught fire about one-third the way into the primaries and with plenty of time to close. The standard and favored candidate started fine but bogged down in malaise and lack of feelings and absolutely little to no policy positions. Actually, this candidate spent much of the time fighting accusations of mishandling e-mails or misconduct of different varieties which questioned their character and trustworthiness. The wild leftist was closing and the supporters were getting wildly excited thinking they just might have a chance to win it all when the word came down, there were even more super delegates which consists of Senators and Representatives from Congress, members of the Democratic National Committee and notable Democrats, including such as former presidents and vice presidents and Democrats of note. This came to contain sufficient, apparently, numbers to assure that the conventional candidate wins because the Democrats already had their rallying cry, elect the first woman President.

 

The Democrats had zeroed in on one of the things which had won for President Obama, the theme of being the first Black President, thus Hillary would win as the first Woman President. They ignored the excitement the youth had for what they believed was a candidate who understood their concerns and knew the policies they desired. The Republican candidate who was cast as a clown and a carnival barker by the media, virtually all media uniformly could but laugh at candidate Donald Trump. So the scene is set, the stage lights on and the show begins. The campaign was one which was more incongruous, bizarre and incoherent as any we have ever witnessed, including the one in which we were participants as third party candidate for the District Eight in Maryland’s Seat in the United States Congress.

 

In this one, we had Hillary doing her best possible job of character assassination against Trump while he left the candidate assassination to the media and the realities of her history. Trump also relied on the media to carry his talking points as he mixed them with outrageous statements. The barker did do one thing different, and that was he talked purely message and positions on the economy, immigrations, terrorism and rebuilding the country to lead the free world again and he stuck with that message at every campaign rally which he did almost constantly. The other spent their time accusing the other of being unserious as a candidate who did not deserve to be President while she was due the office as the first Woman President plus she had done all the right things to be owed the Presidency. There was one report which nailed the reality and why Donald Trump won and this theory was, those who supported him ignored his Tweets and listened to his positions while the media ignored his positions and believed his Tweets.

 

Conclusion time for what does it take to be successful as a Presidential candidate in the Twenty First Century. The simple way to put it, you need to concentrate on message, message, message. The youth vote is the secret as they are also the volunteers which can carry a campaign. The youth in this generation realize that leadership of the nations, and possibly the world, is important and that it is your beliefs and positions on critical themes such as the economy, foreign policies and interactions which includes immigration, foreign interventions and the wisdom and what reasons it would take to cause the United States to send troops, what one would do in any situation which required an American response such as if a foreign nations crossed a “red line” or threatened an ally. These are questions they want to hear about but they also have some dangerous ideas themselves. Many youth still are in the grips of the socialist, anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, rejectionist theories they were pumped with by their professors in university.

 

Many have not experienced sufficient situations in life to understand the long-term effects of some of their favorite pet policies. The most dangerous of these is fighting income inequity which they were told is a great evil. There is an easy way to point out the destructive effect of this idea, and that is to compare a ditch digger (which will soon be a robotic position along with almost all minimum wage positions) with a surgeon, we like to use brain surgeon. These positions would never be considered to be worthy of receiving equal pay thus are two positions which contain a huge income inequality. Much of income inequality is driven by knowledge, experience and responsibilities. These students have been told of CEO’s who make millions of dollars a year for making obvious decisions, or at least that is the way it is presented and their professors love to point out how the students themselves could make these same decisions given the opportunity. That is a lie as these professors have little if any idea what decisions managers make and there is a simple and necessary policy about managers. Managers need to earn close to or preferably more than those they manage and a CEO manages people who make six and seven figure incomes, make decisions which concern billions of dollars, make decisions which effect thousands of employees and with one swipe of the pen can cause ten thousand people to be fired or two thousand to be hired, all this also decides the health of their company. Often you will hear of a CEO who comes to a company, fires one third of the employees, closes three of the seven manufacturing plants, ends all but four of the company’s products and loses one-billion dollars the first year and only makes three-hundred million the next year and was lauded as a genius. This CEO was brought back to his company and where we may have a few points slightly wrong, the losses and gains in profits are accurate and the man saved the company, his name was Steve Jobs and the company was Apple.

 

What sounds like a failure may be an intelligent realignment as the slimming of a company to make it more competitive. Another person may have added employees and appeared to grow a company by making twice as many numbers of the same products but as sales collapsed that year he was a disaster. Another myth is that companies are in business to employ people. Wrong, the company is in business to make profits for their stockholders and that might require automation and reduction in workforce as McDonalds is in the process of trying to do. This idea of a $15.00/hr. minimum wage sounds wonderful unless you are seeking a starting position job because compared to current jobs, almost half of minimum wage jobs might disappear should the minimum wage be jumped by so much. Raising the minimum wage simply prices any number of jobs right out of the job market. How does that happen, don’t the companies have to keep somebody doing that job. Well, yes, and let me give you a great example. We will assume we own a shoe store which has a decent business and we have four full time sales people and five part time sales people and a stock person who also sweeps the stock room, vacuums after the store closes and keeps the stock room straight. Now some goody-goody decides to up the minimum wage by fifty percent. Well, now one of the full time sales people, the one closing the store which will often be the owner who will run the vacuum and clean the bathroom and runs the stock and there is no longer a stock person. We would also let at least one part time sales person go, the one with the lowest sales average and possibly one full time sales person and the owner would work opening to closing and might have their wife or one of their children work some hours when business peaked around Christmas. Now how did the raising of the minimum wage help the stock person? Are they making more money or are they making less.

 

What will almost doubling minimum wage do? Things have consequences and many of these consequences are not taught in university, they are learned in life and life is a very demanding instructor. Those of us who are fortunate never have life teaching them many lessons; those are truly blessed people who need to be thankful for their life. Automation and robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are going to alter the job market drastically and the higher the minimum wage is placed the faster many jobs will disappear. For a good example one need look no further than auto manufacturing. There used to be near to if not over one hundred people on an assembly line which made maybe twenty cars a day way back when. Now there are less than twenty people on an entire assembly line including sub-assemblies which we did not count in the above description and these lines can put out twenty cars an hour and within the next twenty years the number will drop to under ten and even five while even more cars will be produced. This is reality and as we know the ATM machines led to less tellers at the bank and the ones there are usually bored stiff and many banks have management level people who are also assigned to do teller position work when volume required such. Also, ditch diggers have been replaced by a backhoe, twenty diggers, gone. This will become true for every job even to lawyers and auditors as AI takes ever-greater powers.

 

ATM vs. Bank Teller

ATM vs. Bank Teller

 

Some jobs have been altered drastically by modern technology. Auto mechanics now must be trained on diagnostic equipment and specialized tools and how to handle electronic ignitions and make adjustments through programming the modules in the engine and elsewhere. Wrenches, well they are still required as are screw drivers but hammers are a thing of the past, well, not completely, just do not get caught adjusting anything with a hammer if you like your job. Trains no longer need anyone to drive them as they are becoming automated, even the subways as they modernize. There will soon be automated trucks driving the roads and there will be automated cab drivers and in our lifetimes, we should live the necessary twenty to thirty years, all cars will be automated and selecting human driver will have your car emit a signal and do not be surprised if you get additional scrutiny by police just waiting for you to make a human mistake. Eventually driving a car will be illegal which will make life interesting. Your windows will be computer screens which can show you anything except where your car is going, as they do not wish to scare you to death. Fully automated roads will have no traffic signals and the cars will speak to one another and miss each other by millimeters and it will presumably be safer than it is now. Things are going to start becoming unrecognizable and for many our age it already has. When the AI gets to the point that it can design the next generation AI and can design the manufacture of the next generation AI we had best practice our best puppy dog begging eyes and being really cute as our place will be as the robot’s pet. Hopefully somewhere they will place in the robotic basic program along with the twenty (the original were three) Isaac Asimov Laws (but I-robot showed the problem with his laws so we are guessing it will take a few more) includes one which requires every robot to have at least one human pet it cares for and that the number of human pets is a status symbol. The changes are coming and humans are soon to be as obsolete as dogs presumably are to the running of any city, we may require a few but those will be replaced with robot dogs real soon.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 2, 2017

Death of Democratic Republic

 

The United States was founded as a Constitutional Democratic Republic and according to John Adams, “We have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Another comment on how a Constitutional Democratic Republic can be brought low came from Benjamin Franklin, who predicted, “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” But it is not completely the people’s selfishness that is sinking the United States and that was predicted by Alexis de Tocqueville who added this adage to the above, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Anyone care to guess which of these three problems is driving the American experiment in self-rule into the ground fastest? Kings and Queens argued against giving power to their subjects claiming that humankind was completely incapable of self-rule as their own greed and indifference to consequences of their actions and their lack of training in governance would all lead to disastrous results if not immediately, guaranteed to do so over time. People, they claimed, would tend to destroy wealth in the name of equality and that there would never be sufficient wealth to satisfy the redistributors as they would continue to destroy all concentrations of wealth in their mistaken proposals and programs meant to introduce fairness and equality until those who generated wealth were no longer sufficiently financially capable of investment and thus unable to continue to produce wealth for those pursuing fairness to steal.

 

The problems faced currently are that the government absorbed one means after another which had formerly been the purview of religious and charitable institutions. This led to two immediate results; the government was required to demean and spread suspicions that religious institutions and charities were incapable of fairness and that they were too steeped in religion to provide assistance without guilt. They made the claim that the poor need not listen to a sermon in order to receive a meal. Then came the claims that many religious institutions and charitable organizations were possibly providing substandard nutrition or preparing their meals in unsafe manner in potentially unclean environment and might spread diseases or serve contaminated food. This then led to the establishment of regulations and inspections and requirements of reports including the calorie, vitamin, fat content and immeasurable other breakdown of the meals provided to such a point that churches and charities simply gave in to government pressure surrendering their position as the provider of aid to the poor to the government as they could not continue against the power of government regulatory powers. The same occurred with providing shelter for the homeless and many other such assistances which slowly but inexorably became government programs. Food Stamps, Government Provided Shelters, Welfare, Section 8 Housing and on and on program after program and government had complete control over what had been privately provided charity which was financed through religious institutions and donations from people willing to provide funds for these causes. Now the funding comes from taxation which means that government has replaced voluntary donations with forced donations. Some have referred to this as the government playing Robin Hood taking from the rich and giving to the poor. That gets Robin Hood completely wrong as he stole from the government and returned the funds to the public from which it was taken (stolen according to Robin). The Sheriff of Nottingham and the King were not the rich, they were the government and the peasants were not only the poor but also the people who the King and Sheriff of Nottingham taxed (stole) the money (gold and silver) from and thus Robin Hood stole from the government and returned to the tax payers. Today the government is literally taking from the rich and giving to the poor through taxing the rich and returning that treasure to the poor who did not pay taxes thus it is completely not Robin Hood-like but completely separate.

 

Hunting Your Uncle Sam’s Deer Are We?

Hunting Your Uncle Sam’s Deer Are We?

 

But there is another form of gifting public treasure which is far more evil than all the previously mentioned programs and which does not actually benefit the people and is almost always left out of demands for ending government funding. This is most often referred to as corporate welfare. Government gives away many millions, no, wait, certainly billions of dollars, to numerous companies often for questionable reasons. On the web corporate welfare is defined as bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment for corporations. This often ends up becoming taking money from the people, including those who compared to these corporations and companies are the poor, and giving to the corporations or the rich in some means. According to Cheat Sheet the eight largest recipients in ascending order are, Nike @ $2.03 Billion, Royal Dutch Shell @ $2.04 Billion, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles @ $2.06 Billion, Ford @ $2.52 Billion, General Motors @ $3.58 Billion, Intel @ $3.87 Billion, Alcoa @ $5.64 Billion and Boeing @ $13.18 Billion. Well, we can understand the General Motors as so many now refer to GM as Government Motors and apparently we can say the same for the rest of the Big Three auto motive companies from the United States. Now if one were to challenge the government, or your local Congress Critter, about these subsidies of such companies and their response would be that they are essential for the national defense, they are required in order for them to compete with companies from other nations who subsidize their industries or they might simply stutter and sputter and call on the next questioner.

 

Another area where government largess is generously spread around is in the agricultural endeavors. Farms are actually paid to raise dairy cows because before refrigeration there was the need for dairy cows to be raised throughout the United States in order for dairy products to be available in every location. But with the wonders of refrigeration, these subsidies are superfluous as now dairy products could easily be transported from the dairy states to those where such farms are economically impractical due to lack of water, grass and the other requirements necessary for raising healthy dairy cows. There are also subsidies to farms growing corn and since these have climbed to near astronomical proportions as the ethanol industry demands more corn, the acreage of wheat production has plummeted while corn has replaced wheat in many areas. This has created two problems beyond potential wheat shortages worldwide, as raising corn requires additional nutrients and more water, the demand for irrigation waters is lowering the water tables at an increased rate and runoff of fertilizer has increased causing difficulties in many river runoff areas, especially places of slower moving or stationary water as this runoff leads to poisoned fish and over growth of algae and other plants in rivers and especially lakes. Further, farms are often paid not to raise certain crops or raise certain animals in order to allow food prices to remain substantial enough for farming to show a profit. These programs end up assisting the industrial farms to a far greater degree than the family farmers they were proposed to assist. Again, the reason for these programs has been to continue to make farming profitable rather than having the rules of supply and demand to control what farmers grow.

 

There is an example of supply and demand working its magic in eastern Colorado where many farmers with some of the best topsoil grow sugar beets for a simple reason, if their crop of sugar beets is of high enough quality they will catch top dollar from the Coors brewing company to use in their production of Coors beer. The land is quite capable of growing other crops but not one which can bring such a high price as Coors offers the incentive for such quality sugar beets in order to assure themselves a ready supply locally of the requirements for their product. As for the grains for their beer, well, they are located quite near great fields of grains within a short distance including in Colorado wherever the soil is not rich enough to grow high quality sugar beets of which there is ample acreage. Still, was government not to provide these subsidies there would be some disquieting periods of economic upheaval after which there would be fewer companies in many industries and the healthiest and most efficient companies would survive? Perhaps there are a relative few companies which were necessary for military readiness but in the modern era there are very few companies who are purely reliant on military spending to survive as the demands of the private sector now has requirements of ships, aircraft and even automotive who can change some production to produce military products such as armored vehicles. Further, military production is now done on a very sparse demand with rare but occasional high demand when replacing longstanding equipment. For these demands one would likely find entrepreneurs more than willing to make bids and then invest in the necessary production facilities to produce armored vehicles while ships and aircraft already have ready manufacturers. But if such an argument could be proven to have merit, then perhaps some outlay might be called for.

 

The problem is that with corporations, people, even NGO’s all making demands on government claiming that they require the government largess, their service is worthy of government largess, or some claim is found which demands government funding combined with the elected representatives use government funds in order to buy the faithful votes of a particular constituency by warning that other political challengers would cut or end the flow of money, food stamps, housing allowances, utility payments, free stuff and so on thus buying support to keep them in office. Because the people lost their faith in religious institutions as the government spent much time, funds, advertising and editorials in parallel with increased regulations matching the claimed weakness of religious institutions and charities allowing the government to incrementally replace them in caring for the less fortunate.

 

Then they quietly over time subsidized corporations initially claiming their necessity for the defense of the country in times of war and subsequently simply arguing that the companies or corporations were necessary economically and without the “temporary” assistance, nothing ends up being temporary as once the money is outlaid it is never retracted, these companies would potentially go out of business putting some unacceptable number of employees out of work. What is really being protected is a company which is not sufficiently competitive and if allowed to go out of business it would soon be replaced by somebody with a better idea or a better means for production or something making them competitive. It might be argued that the national security requires at a minimum one company in every vital industry for the possible future protection of the nation. Where this argument hits a snag was the steel industry which almost went completely out of business as their production equipment and processes became outdated. The entire industry faced this challenge and some companies went out of business and others retooled and became modernized allowing them to return stronger than before. Some of the retooling received government assistance but this once it was a one-time outlay and not a continuous flow of revenue. Should these outlays continue the government will continue to spend more than it can possibly collect which will forever add to the deficit which will eventually cause hyperinflation which will end the time of the United States as a super power? If the government attempts to collect sufficient tax revenues to allow these payments to continue at current levels, then the entire financial system would collapse as eventually those who were being more heavily taxed would find working a fool’s game and simply join those on the dole.

 

The other choice would be to scale back payments or start terminating programs allowing those currently on support to have their funds slowly lessened eventually being terminated in some predefined period of time. Another option would be to ramp back until the payments were completely terminated on the subsidizing corporations and companies and even farming, especially the large corporate farming conglomerates. Finally, the government should deregulate the assistance from charities and religious institutions allowing them to return to what they had so adequately provided before being driven from assisting people in need. Such a return to the religious institutions serving the public and their communities and taking a greater role in their communities and the nation the United States could potentially find some returning to their religious affiliations simply because as active members in their societies, they would become relevant again. The removal of religious institutions from their community functions and relevance might have been a contributing factor to the loss of faith in the nation as a whole. Humankind is a funny animal in that he does not conscience things which serve no real purpose and religion had always been the caretaker of the needy in the United States. When government removed this function from the religious institutions and took away their function as adoption services, they made religion superfluous as government had replaced it. Without government returning valuable functions to religious institutions and private charities, then these functions will become solely the province of government and government will become the new religion, which was their intent.

 

Once this has been established irrevocably, which it has all but become, then they will work on replacing the only item not completely under their purview, parenting and raising children. The public schools are already making inroads on the parent-child relationship. In too many cities (one would be too many but in too many cites it is already occurring) it is being usurped by the schools. Many will claim we are being alarmist but we have witnessed this ourselves as have friends where the school teachers were telling their students that their parents were not permitted to punish them, ground them, deny them their rights to telephone usage, television viewing, listening to music, watching particular programs, going out with their friends and numerous other actions, then they should tell their teachers and the school would look into if this was proper and take their side against the parents. They were told that it might result in criminal charges if their parents did not do as the school would advise. The best resort of any parent facing this would be to explain to their child what it would be like in foster care or in an orphanage if Mom and Dad were forced to give them up because they went to the school claiming that their parents were being cruel and denying them rights. Explain what a right is and what is a privilege and the difference and then review the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and ask them where telephone use was a right. When they are unable to prove whatever grounding you are imposing is denial of a right, then explain that privileges can be revoked for improper acts and that is what you are doing.

 

One sad thing we must all understand is that in time populations will be controlled and even then the majority of people will be kept simply because work will have become an optional pursuit. Anything one does will earn a salary with a living wage guaranteed as long as you were to contributing in some manner, writing a blog, writing poetry, composing songs, performing music, performing comedy, acting out dramas, researching mathematics, teaching, inventing, growing grapes, brewing or whatever one desired. Of course if your desire is to go from one party to another, then you make the living wage. Perhaps we will all receive a credit card where there are different levels by color and your living standard is determined by which card you receive which would also be determined by a formula we would all know. Then there would be another choice where one applies and if accepted are sent on multi-generational spaceships out into the cosmos in some new direction or in a direction where we have received communications telling of planets capable of supporting life. This world will be the life of our children or grandchildren when artificial intelligence (AI) govern the planet, robots perform almost all job functions as they replace humans in production, retail, food service and everything else while AI robots perform prototyping, engineering, manufacturing, production facility construction, building construction, residential construction and every job with very few exceptions.

 

Aristotle, Euclid, Descartes Newton, Riemann, Einstein

Aristotle, Euclid, Descartes
Newton, Riemann, Einstein

 

Humans would still work in some fields alongside the AI systems such as theoretical sciences and hard science research as no matter how intelligent the AI systems and robots become, there is one thing which will take far more advances than we can even begin to understand, and that is an AI which has the ability to imagine, to invent things which have no logical lead-up which require illogical jumps of reason from which proofs can then be derived but only by reverse proofs. The great discoveries of history which we take for granted today were completely beyond reason such as Einstein’s theories, Riemann’s geometry, Newtonian physics, Descartes’s “Cogito ergo sum”, Euclidean Geometry and Aristotle’s philosophies and logic. AI systems may some day get to such a level as to make great leaps in thought which are independent of straight logic, but for the time being we humans are the only ones who imagine on such a scale. That is a far future, in the meantime, in order to get there we need to repair the problems of now and do so with a great urgency.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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