From John Ray's shorter notes
July 23, 2017
A Greenie airhead!
The fantasy below is by Ida Auken, a Member of the Parliament of Denmark and a priest of the Church of Denmark. She is a member of a radical Leftist party and as Green as they come
Her fantasy set out below reminds one powerfully of an earlier fantasy, which predicted that "the state will wither away" (Marx, Engels, Lenin) -- which was a very bad prophecy. The State in fact grows rather than recedes. She thinks private property will wither away, which is also Marxist and just as improbable. Her prophecy dismisses almost the whole of human experience.
Ida's idea seems to be that a coming era of robotics will abolish the need to work. But that prophecy has been made many times as machines became more and more sophisticated. Yet the proportion of the population working remains much the same through all these changes. People's needs and wants expand as the possibilities do.
And private property is now way more extensive than ever before. Kitchen gadgets alone have proliferated enormously. I have an electric crockpot, an electric can-opener, an electric rice-cooker, a microwave oven, an electric sandwich maker etc. My parents had none of those even in their declining years.
The actual trend in society is massively opposite to what the poor deluded woman hypothesizes. The brain beneath her blonde hair clearly has some twisted bits in it. She is high on dreams. Her no. 1 passion seems to be recycling, which is quite labor-intensive. One wonders how that fits in with her dream of idleness below
Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city - or should I say, "our city". I don't own anything. I don't own a car. I don't own a house. I don't own any appliances or any clothes.
It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us in this city. Everything you considered a product, has now become a service. We have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much.
First communication became digitized and free to everyone. Then, when clean energy became free, things started to move quickly. Transportation dropped dramatically in price. It made no sense for us to own cars anymore, because we could call a driverless vehicle or a flying car for longer journeys within minutes. We started transporting ourselves in a much more organized and coordinated way when public transport became easier, quicker and more convenient than the car. Now I can hardly believe that we accepted congestion and traffic jams, not to mention the air pollution from combustion engines. What were we thinking?
Sometimes I use my bike when I go to see some of my friends. I enjoy the exercise and the ride. It kind of gets the soul to come along on the journey. Funny how some things seem never seem to lose their excitement: walking, biking, cooking, drawing and growing plants. It makes perfect sense and reminds us of how our culture emerged out of a close relationship with nature.
"Environmental problems seem far away"
In our city we don't pay any rent, because someone else is using our free space whenever we do not need it. My living room is used for business meetings when I am not there.
Once in awhile, I will choose to cook for myself. It is easy - the necessary kitchen equipment is delivered at my door within minutes. Since transport became free, we stopped having all those things stuffed into our home. Why keep a pasta-maker and a crepe cooker crammed into our cupboards? We can just order them when we need them.
This also made the breakthrough of the circular economy easier. When products are turned into services, no one has an interest in things with a short life span. Everything is designed for durability, repairability and recyclability. The materials are flowing more quickly in our economy and can be transformed to new products pretty easily. Environmental problems seem far away, since we only use clean energy and clean production methods. The air is clean, the water is clean and nobody would dare to touch the protected areas of nature because they constitute such value to our well being. In the cities we have plenty of green space and plants and trees all over. I still do not understand why in the past we filled all free spots in the city with concrete.
The death of shopping
Shopping? I can't really remember what that is. For most of us, it has been turned into choosing things to use. Sometimes I find this fun, and sometimes I just want the algorithm to do it for me. It knows my taste better than I do by now.
When AI and robots took over so much of our work, we suddenly had time to eat well, sleep well and spend time with other people. The concept of rush hour makes no sense anymore, since the work that we do can be done at any time. I don't really know if I would call it work anymore. It is more like thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.
For a while, everything was turned into entertainment and people did not want to bother themselves with difficult issues. It was only at the last minute that we found out how to use all these new technologies for better purposes than just killing time.
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