sharpermind

Just a collection of thoughts and ideas I manage to stitch together.

The Expansion of the American Poor

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     We live in a time of decline.  The poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer.  We like in a time where the Haves need less and less from the Have Nots.  I reminisce to the time of the Luddites in England, passionately bringing down sledge hammers on the automatons of the day that promised to replace the worker.  Of course, this did not completely come to fruition. Yes some textile workers where replaced, but the labor was needed elsewhere.  Someone needed to do the intricate stitch work, someone needed to keep the machines running, and business infrastructure and agreements still had to be made.  We needed people to deliver the goods to provide the raw materials. 

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     The machinery of the industrial revolution was primitive, requiring a lot of upkeep. The machinery of the 19th century became increasingly automated, but still required human oversight.  The 20th century brings us the “lights out” factory, called such because the factory is so self-sufficient that it no longer requires people to monitor it.  Maintenance is minimal and the quality of the work is so standardized that you don’t need someone to stand at the side of a conveyer belt like a scene from the Lucille Ball Show.  Anything that does slip through, optical sensors can pick them up at a faster and more accurate rate.  With the advent of 3D printing, all the intricate work and details can be made at unprecedented speeds and qualities with no assembly required.

 

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     The person/cooperation who owns the machine pockets the cash.  The government can try to protect the populace with capital goods taxes and redistribution the weather in an inefficient and unfair manner.  If the cost of production at home becomes too great, the cooperation can go overseas, or even build its own floating platform, completely free from tax.  With the need of only a skeleton crew if any, there will be little overhead.  Throw a number of solar and wind turbines out there and you are self-sufficient.  Automated automobiles already exist and have a better track record on the roads than human drivers.  The whole supply and delivery chain can be free of human interaction.

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     The corporations grow, the 1% of the 1% take in a larger portion of the human wealth making themselves untouchable oligarchs.  The distribution of wealth, as skewed as it already is, will get much worse.  Microbiological techniques already promise to extend life beyond its current limits.  Regrow failing organs, expanding the lifecycle of cells, and curing cancer will make these few nearly immortal.  They will manipulate the people to stop dissent, and shape the world according to whatever malevolent or malicious intent they may have.  We will have a new mount Olympus complete with Pantheon.

They are out there* (*Probably)

The Milky Way Galaxy

I recently read the following article:

By read, I mean quickly skim because I really haven’t read read, word by word, since grade school.  Having said that, what I was able to glean from the article, I was able to extrapolate the following.

1. There is other life out there*:

Lets look at it this way.  Intelligent life (on the same or greater intellect of humans) would be required to come on land in order to master electricity.  You cannot design electronics in an aquious environment, you must be dry.  Only with electricity can you create devices with the power to computate and manipulate your environment.  And if Earth is an average kid on his galactic block, you would expect life to develop at the same pace elsewhere.  It took about 3500 million years for the first animals to lay foot on land.  And after that another 170 million years before mammals became dominant.  It took 65 million years to go from the earliest primitive mammals to what we are today.

Now, in all that time on land wasted, if we had pursued down a more linear course without the rendezvous through the 185 million years of the Mesozoic era imagine what could have developed.  Triple the time that humans have had to evolve.  As long as a species could balance the needs of the population with limited resources, they could reach an intellect that would enable one to sail the Milky Way.

2. They aren’t looking to harm us*:

With the abundance of planets out there, there are surely plenty of those who are capable to sustain life without harboring intelligent life.  You can imagine that at 13+ light years, your supplies get exhausted eventually.  If one is to make the great cost to travel the cosmos, they will be looking to refuel and recoup their costs when they arrive on a new planet.  Assuming they want nothing of our primitive technology, they would be looking for raw resources or be looking to establish relations.

Electromagnetic broadcasts have been leaving our atmosphere since 1885, when Marconi first developed radio transmitter.  That is 135+ light years of signal.  Much more than our closest neighbor knows where we are.  An intelligent species would also likely monitor our exponentially increasing and develop a trajectory for our technology based on their own society and others they have found.  They would also know what technological era we would likely be in if they chose to arrive.  This would* guide their decision on whether Earth qualifies for a visit.

Having said all that:

3. We would only get a visit if they wanted to meet us*:

They know who we are, they know where we are, they know what we are capable of.  Just like any other emission, we have signaled that we can crack the atom.  The gamma rays we bedazzled the galaxy with were a clear sign that we had entered the quantum age.  It hard to say if they would assume correctly that we were using this in war, but then again nothing fuels invention like the threat of death.  They will be cautious of us, as we should of them.  They would also stare clear of us, because there is no need to engage this threat, unless they wanted to nip it in the bud. All our signals will put them right on the door step, if that is what they wanted.

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