Thursday, December 11, 2008

The New Boss is the Same as the Old Boss

The fundamental truth about money. Beyond the utilitarian value of the paper and metals of which tangible currency is made, its value rests only on that which human beings are willing to give it. Remove people from the equation and what you have are symbolic pieces of printed paper, embossed metal disks and electronic records of stocks, bonds and various financial transactions, none of which can be traded for goods and services.

From the moment people began using money as a medium of exchange for goods and services, the course was set for the inevitable rise of a parallel economic system based on pure technological forces that operate outside the sphere of human influence.

Economists may argue that as long as people are needed to produce, acquire and protect material wealth, then "He who has the gold makes the rule" still applies. However, an economic system based on technologies that completely replace human beings whenever necessary would make this revision of the original golden rule irrelevant. Likewise, the idea that no individual is above the law would no longer apply to people who possess sufficiently advanced technologies. In other words, the right kind of technology can position individuals who apply it beyond the reach of society’s laws.

At a time when national economies are collapsing, a new technology unlike anything the world has seen is on the horizon. Some may come to see it as a new dawn while others may view it as a gathering storm. Regardless of how people perceive this technology, one thing is certain; the entire economic power structure of the world will be turned upside down by the emergence of a powerful non-computerized form of machine intelligence. At the very least, it will redefine the meaning and source of wealth. Wherever the human labor-based economies of the world weaken or collapse, this new techno-currency-based economy will move in to fill the vacuum. Those who ignore the approach of this economic transformation will find themselves blindsided by the future.

To what extent and how quickly will the old economic order be affected? Consider the following:

After World War II, railroad executives in the United States who once dominated the country’s transportation infrastructure failed to understand that they were in the transportation business and should be looking beyond trains and tracks. While they remained limited in their world view, commercial airlines stole most of their passenger service business and as a final humiliation, the railroad companies were tasked with transporting cement to build the Interstate Highway System. The railroad executives learned, too late, that the seeds of decline are sown during prosperous times.

Microprocessor manufacturers and software companies run the risk of becoming legacy enterprises and marginalized in ways similar to what happed to the U.S. railroad companies. Their only chance to remain at the forefront of technological innovation is to recognize that the ground upon which they stand is about to shift dramatically and to become early adopters of the new machine intelligence technology.

Government agencies, banks and insurance companies will decline in relevance as the silicon nation state emerges from within the industrialized world’s archaic economic system. This is because the machines behind the technology have the potential to organize into a device-controlling “parallel Internet” that is global and wireless, cannot be intercepted, blocked, regulated or taxed. People will find themselves empowered by the machine intelligence technology in ways beyond what they have experienced thus far through the present-day Internet. As people develop their abilities to control the technology and directly influence their world, they will become independent of the economic institutions and government agencies that regulate the division of labor.

The big winners, at least the ones that apply the machine intelligence technology early on, will be telecommunications companies, medical and prosthetic device manufacturers, robot manufacturers and the Internet video gaming industry.

The machine intelligence technology has the potential to avert a collision with an economic iceberg looming before national economies in general and their aging populations in particular.

Industrialized nations and even emerging economies are facing the following dilemma in their future, if not already in their present:

Pension funds, annuities and entitlements such as social security funds upon which retirees depend are likely to be adversely affected by the mere fact that as the ratio between the number of people working and the number of retirees becomes unsustainable, national economies will decline. Regardless of how prudently or cleverly retirement funds are invested or managed, in the final analysis, it all comes down to how much a society can produce versus how much it consumes.

The point is that the people who are not yet retired and have a tough enough time supporting their immediate families are going to need help producing additional goods and services in support of what are essentially their retired parents and grandparents. Again, no matter how you work the numbers or which financial instruments you use to ensure retirement income, someone or something is going to have to provide services in exchange for the retirement funds. If the services run short, it will require more of the retirement funds to buy the services. This amounts to inflation without an increase in the actual money supply with the result being a precipitous decline in the standard of living.

The machine intelligence technology, when integrated into electromechanical devices that replace human labor will, in effect, become part of the retirement plan for aging populations. In essence, a machine that can provide services on your behalf becomes your retirement income.

What you have just read is a highly unlikely scenario.  As the MMIP technology is far more likely to be militarized.  Given that we live in a very EVIL world, militarizing the MMIP technology to oppress, murder, and enslave the populace is a much more likely scenario.  

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