I’ve been thinking about automation. Automation is disruptive. It improves efficiency at the cost of jobs. People wave their hands at this like somehow 3M idle truck drivers are going to solve their unemployment easily. This is what happened to this country. Billionaires and politicians shipped our jobs to Mexico and China, and the idle workforce got addicted to opioids. China returning the favor genetically modified opium poppies that can be grown year round and started sending tons of the 64 various analogues of fentanyl back in baggies. The fentanyl analogues have wildly different potency and a small therapeutic window between effect and death. RIP Tom Petty and Prince.
So what’s a mother to do? How do you create an economy for millions who are displaced and uneducated or under-educated? There are games now that allow the creation of economies within the game. You can “buy” actual virtual property using real money. Using your money you can build a house, furnish a house, and value add to your virtual life using your bank roll.
Imagine a virtual world where the game is retraining or initial training. The training pays you to learn, and the pay can be used to either create your virtual reality, enter into trading scenarios and competitions and group competitions. Currency would be digital like BTC and could be spent for real wold goods like food housing insurance etc or on virtual world goods and activities. You would have to engage to make any money. No sitting around in a stupor. The game would be stimulating enough to preclude the need for addiction. As expertise grew more avenues would open similar to different levels in a game. You could create online families as well engaged in common enterprise.
The game would allow a fair rule of law and justice in the administration of the rules, putting the lawyers out of business, as well as politicians. Since the currency is digital the money flow is completely track-able virtually eliminating fraud and illegal activity. If you’re a crook, your BTC would quit working and you can move to the woods with the ticks.
Jobs in the real world would feed back into the virtual economy. If you run a robot factory or a farm, or build housing, your work is essential and needs to be compensated. A population engaged in learning and entrepreneurial but legal enterprise and virtual reality would be a world wide economic powerhouse.
The concept is far from complete, barely a framework, but it would engage people in worthwhile work and virtually guarantee everyone a job. It eliminates the phony education system which hoovers up the futures of so many kids with pretend no knowledge education designed to give teachers a pensions. If your a fraud teacher no BTC for you.
The society is elastic and can be expanded as needed almost effortlessly.
8 Replies to “Living In A Game”
If I’m not mistaken there is some platform that is doing this. You buy virtual land etc and can start a digital entrepreneurship that can pay for stuff online or in the actual world.
It was quite an interesting concept when I read about it and for the life of me can’t recall what the name of this is.
It’s almost like phase 1 of the matrix is being laid down
I think there are several games like this. I’m a total non gamer, but if you hook monthly money to online performance you can retrain a workforce and once retrained create a substantial economy. There is no reason not to be able to invest profits you make in the game world moving you from a dependent class to an owner class. Plenty of things you can do beside waste time. China is already doing this using negative reinforcement and 5G to create a dystopian future, so why not create a constructive future?
Is it not what Facebook, Youtube, e-bays, Monetized blogs, etc., etc. already do. There are people that had learned to make a living in the virtual world that did not exist 20 years ago. They did not need hand holding or re-training.
There will always be winners and loser in every economy or economic change. I think that focusing on helping the losers (like re-training etc.), though feels good and seems noble will simply slow down the transition especially if the money to do it is taken out of tax kitty. Its a lot cheaper and more productive to import new middle (most required skill-set) class whenever you need it without the need for prescribed retraining of the less agile and fortunate. They (the imported) spent the money on the “correct” education, we (US economy) get the benefit. The Romans, Brits, Dutch even the Russians did it during their economic transition times. Labor like money should be fully mobile, colorless, gender-less, etc. Drug addicted truck drivers and outdated software engineers (See myself) are just the cost of that transition. Think of typesetters, milk men, gas station attendants, iron lung makers, to name a few. All used to make a living until digital print, grocery store refrigeration, and credit card, polio vaccine were invented.
Kids with $100K gender study degrees is the cost of living with freedom, liberty and etc. If student loans were possible to discharge, no greedy banker would lend for such a thing. At the same time its not all that bad. Someone in the economy made the $100K and the student is now an indentured servant for life to pay them back. Who is to say it is not a “good” arrangement. Would they be better off truck driving without the loans or getting gender study degrees for a $100K and then truck driving. Macro economically, I think, the second one is better (not for the parents though)
I think you drank the nostalgia kool-aid about “college” College is not a place of learning, it is a business. Not a place of learning, but a place of propaganda. It is a fraud. The fraud is “you pay money, I will pretend to teach, you will pretend to learn. I will get a cushy job and a nice pension, you will get a piece of paper that will supposedly multiply you life long earning ability. Your parents will get the bill.” That’s the bargain. The student and the college face off against the parents in the commission of a fraud. Ever ask yourself WHY education cost grows at 3x inflation? It’s because 529b’s grow at 3x inflation. 529b’s are funded by parents and stove piped exclusively for colleges to use as their piggy banks. The chemistry taught this year to undergrads is the same chemistry I learned 50 years ago. In that day I paid $220 a semester for that knowledge. If college doesn’t value add to your life’s productivity, it’s merely a luxury, a publicly subsidized and ineffective luxury. There is a path within the maze that allows for acquisition of knowledge and improved productivity but it is a minor pathway. I taught Physics in college to undergrads. The physics for poets class had more kids interested in learning than the pre-med class which was “just tell me what will be on the test”. Cynical? Honest assessment? If you’re a seeker of truth Cynical would be the wrong choice. We spend 1 trillion/yr on education in this country so there is PLENTY of money to subsidize a better way.
Democratic law abiding economies run on productivity. In that system IQ is the primary determinant of where you end up on the bell curve. Certainly other aspects are involved but the data shows IQ is dominant. In a society where economic productivity is taken over by robots, people need a way to live their lives engaged in a productive way that does not interfere with the robots or assigns them to just doing menial shit like walking dogs. Creative destruction leads to improved productivity but also displacement. Since college is a fraud, my suggestion is to create a a virtual society where you get paid to become more productive. Education is a productivity multiplier but I see no reason to pay for non productive education. Non productive education is a luxury and you can pay for your luxury yourself, or con it out of your parents. The result will be opportunity for those interested in engaging to acquire necessary skill sets, and the actual acquisition of necessary skills will be what is paid for. The acquisition of your “passion” or “dream” unless that coincides with a necessary skill set is on you. I do not believe the truck driver with a 100K debt and a gender studies degree is better off. He/she merely starts with a big debt and a worthless piece of paper and is 4-6 years older than his cohort. He won’t be able to buy a house, start a savings program, create wealth for himself as easily as his younger debt free counterpart. The society will still fractionate according to IQ and that is fine. In the game you can use your new skills to increase your wealth which is the ultimate incentive to learn, as opposed to college where the goal is to commit fraud. In college the goal is to do as little as you can, in the game the incentive is to become killer smart. Every year new players arrive and have their chance to succeed on the playing field. New players can be handicapped as to rate of return, the same as golfers are handicapped tending to normalize for inexperience. Not sure what your reference to colorless gender-less or that nonsense is about. By definition in a virtual world you exist as an icon. Your ultimate wealth is determined by your acquisition of skills, but your ability to acquire skills is unimpeded.
Gasem, thank you for your blog. I really do enjoy your writing here and on other sites.
I do agree about college being a fraud. I always saw it as a racketeering institution which I guess is a same thing. However, I do think that everyone is in on it. You want a higher chance at making higher pay then pay the toll.
However, no one is making people attend overpriced US schools. There are choices. You can get an equivalent degree anywhere else on the planet at the fraction of the cost. If one is careful and open minded a degree could be had at state schools for practically nothing. I tested out of a quarter of my course work for a $37 exam fee per class. However, the fraud extends to 3rd parties when the hiring/licencing begins. Having a degree from the “wrong” school weeds you out from the majority of the initial recruiting/hiring/grad school that goes on. It is even worse for degrees from non-US schools. Try using your MD/DDS degree from Russia, Sweden, Israel in the US… nope can’t do it… got to pay the toll first. Hence, everyone is in on and is willing to pay. The sad part are the kids that don’t understand the value preposition of what they are paying for and end up with degrees that no one needs.
On labor being fungible: As I see it, the US labor market (and others.. especially Japan) had been distorted for a very long time. White male (in US) was a grossly overpaid entity for a very long time. Not his fault… it was simply a product of same jobs being closed to others creating a closed market a monopoly of sots. If and when opened to others same jobs paid less. This distortion is slowly going away as more and more groups become protected (women, racial minorities, etc.). However, in my opinion, the distortion will continue as long as labor market excludes free movement of labor. For true capitalism to thrive, labor market should be open to all and anyone with the needed skill set should be able come from anywhere in the world and do the work and get paid market wage. When this happens a lot of other distortions including college fraud will become more evident.
Eris you’re very kind tnx
Interesting idea, almost a sci fi novel plot that verges between the utopian (Keynes: robots and technology will enable my grandchildren to work a few hours a week and spend the balance of time pursuing art, literature and leisure) and the dystopian (humans provide basic custodial care and maintenance for our robot overlords in exchange for the daily bread and circus).
While the concept of a virtual education as learned experience that values skills and gamifies those with the greatest potential to become an on-ramp back into paying work in the real world sounds interesting, as a non-gamer, I fear a generation that forgets how to turn it all off and go for a hike or a swim.
Baseless fear? Very possibly. As someone without a gaming console in our home, I am out of touch and this may very well be the reality for most of my kids’ peers.
How does the new virtual framework incorporate reading, exercise, flirting, sex or sunsets? Not trying to probe weaknesses, just figuring out how it might be compatible with the greater pageant of the human experience.
Super interesting seed you’ve germinated, Gasem.
Dystopia is already here. You think 5G is some kind of new speedy cell “phone” network. It is not. 5G is the network that links up to 3M devices over a 1/2 square block area. Phones will be far less than 1% of what is linked. What will be linked are sensors that track movement and behavior, cameras that can read lips, microphones able to survail your “needs”. If you step out your door and utter the word UBER, one will arrive in minutes.
In China this dystopia is underway. 5G is deployed and is being used to “manage” the society using a system called social credit. If your social credit drops below some specified criteria based on some AI’s assessment of your”goodness” as a citizen you will loose privilege. You will step out your door utter UBER and none will come. You will decide to take a Vaca and no tickets will be issued because you don’t fit the criteria. In China if you belong to undesirable sects based on conscience, you become living donors. You are rounded up, marked as undesirable, tissue typed and put on the market as a living organ donor. Once the procedure is done, the crematoria is right next door. In the land of machines, machine owners and their necessary forces are kings. If you think you’re getting a job walking a dog you’d be wrong.
The machines create destruction as well as productivity, and in the physical society once that machine dense productivity is breached, humans will do little to value add. I read Google used a quantum computer to solve a 10,000 year problem in 200 seconds. Nobody is competing with that. My system creates a parallel virtual society where humans can exist and value add according to natural human ability. The government can simply create fiat, set up a tax structure, and charge humans “taxes” to exist, and then provide them with a reality in which to generate fiat for taxes and the ability to trade extra fiat in an economy. It’s what is done now. You pay your taxes in dollars not BTC or Gold. You can also use your fiat to buy food and housing in the physical realm or create estates in the virtual realm and as you trade learn and build you will grow relatively wealthier and more secure. Nations once again can trade. This therefore divorces the tyranny of the machines from the warfare and welfare of the people. Their work is actually productive across society, but does not need to be just “menial make work”. The rules of the system allows a far more honest and less political justice and rule of law. It provides the ability to maintain some kind of singular identity as a person, and a means to attain some hierarchy in the social realm as well.
As far as exercise, go take a walk, ride a bike what ever. The system is agnostic on that. The system is designed to provide a means of genuine and interesting work that pays you genuine wages to people who would otherwise become would become commodities outside of the virtual world. People existing as commodities in a collective is the prime horror of the Matrix.