sun posted: Sun 2018-04-08 05:13:45 tags: n/a
There was an artcle linked on Reddit about what humans will do when much of survival-work is automated. The article assumed a universal basic income to allow mankind working at "being human" - investing time in family and self-improvement. I think that's incredibly naive - it could just as easily be that 99.9% of humans will still have to scrabble and drudge. Eveywhere in Marxist theory, replace "means of production" with "machines of production", and realize that "private security" and "law enforcement" can also be automated by swarms of surveillance and combat drones, to keep production in the stranglehold of the few.

I have a friend or three on FB who like to amplify commentators like SciBabe who seek to remind us that genetically-modified organism food is not inherently or universally toxic. Humans have been artificially selecting and domesticating plants and animals for millenia. Modern bananas and the proliferation of dog breeds are just 2 examples. The truly scary things about GMOs are organism patenting and licensing. We've all heard the stories of Monsanto sueing farmers into the dirt for the misfortune of a neighboring farm's licensed DNA chaff blowing across property boundaries to contaminate "open source" crops. GMO patent congloms are in a real position to pick off indie farmers who balk at licensing costs taking a bite up front out of each field of wheat, corn or soy, leaving our food supply locked down by equally strong-armed landlord congloms. We will all be tenant farmers, not freeholders, if the trend is allowed to continue.

For that matter, HUMAN reproduction is on track to be "automated". Fertilization, DNA testing and gene-editing will make it affordable to select characteristics and reject genetically-defective zygotes before implantation. This will happen sooner than global automation forces us to decide between guaranteed basic support and the less human alternatives. There will be some real and global controversies about the ethics of uncontrolled human reproduction. Already we've seen legislation in some areas that makes it difficult to elect and plan to give birth at home with a midwife instead of at a hospital with medics and pressure to accept epidural anaesthesia and episiotomies. For better or worse, these pressures to conform selection and delivery will extend to pressure to conform socialization and childrearing.