apple_achia t1_jd18x8g wrote

Fair enough. It’s amazing how something at least a little founded in reality like “the upper classes don’t have our best interests at heart” or “in an emergency, the rich don’t tend to protect the poor first” comes to just cartoonish positions like “the rich will gun everyone who doesn’t own enough property down in a giant reverse-Passover type of situation”


apple_achia t1_jd12w45 wrote

Not saying this would happen but I find most of your arguments to be either wildly ahistorical or childish. First of all, the social murder of the poor is not an all or nothing game. And it does not require the most cartoonishly evil murder weapon possible to be done. We’ve seen it happen multiple times in history without Boston dynamics dogs strapped with guns executing order 66 for your Reddit epic awards.

>rich people do not see themselves as a collective in group

(Citation needed)- hundreds of years of history in everything from self consciously bourgeois revolutions to collective action within political parties to squash “populism,” even into personal lives in where the extremely wealthy are educated (in a place like England for example, they’re all largely together in a group of schools from the time they can read, and continue onto one of a handful of elite universities), even just to the modern intermingling of celebrity, business, and political culture all coalesce to tell me you already have no idea what you’re talking about.

The rich do in fact have a sense of class solidarity, that’s why in almost every western country, income is the most accurate predictor of voting outcome. Not race, gender, or social sensibility. Of course there’s infighting within the upper classes, that’s why you have (in America) democratic billionaires who recommend austerity and deregulation, and republican billionaires who recommend the same. The base of the parties are different, but as you climb the ladder of wealth it becomes increasingly easy to hop back and forth with cultural affect as it suits you. This is why someone like Elon could be a darling of the Democratic Party one year, because they’re more likely to pass policy benefiting an electric car baron, and republican the next, for some nice tax cuts, and an “Antiwoke” affect amongst other things.

Of course there are internal lines within an income bracket, a shopkeeper and a lawyer or doctor will have different interests, and these interests have interesting consequences within politics… but we won’t get into that, the fact is you start off your argument by saying “class politics don’t exist”

Laughable. Truly laughable. I don’t even feel the need to continue. But I will. Just a little while.

Any moral argument can be dismissed because of historical precedent. The Eugenicist political movement did not start (entirely) as a fight for racial purity but as class war coming from the upper class of England. See, Malthus popularized the idea that overpopulation was a serious problem and subsequently academics argued that things like poverty and criminality were familial, heritable traits. I can link some papers if you’d like, or some modern academics writing about it, or even a fun podcast about it.

The rich sought to, and enacted in government and private industry, policies to purposefully and systematically kill the poor through what would come to be called “social murder.” It’s from the social movement that brought us the workhouse that we still get a lot of our talking points about overpopulation today, even if “heritability” has at least partially been stripped out, but that’s neither here nor there.

Only later, did this expand from familial and class based thinking into racialized thinking, specifically when these ideologies were exported to the United States (especially the south, although a majority of states would enact at least a handful of directly eugenics-based laws), and then from there back to Europe again.

If you don’t think such a thing is at least possible to rise again as a method of class war under say, unprecedented and worsening climate crisis leading to lower crop yields and heightening social tensions, i really don’t know what to tell you.

As for the idea that the rich are slow to build up mass killing machines powered by robots, what do you call the massive expansion of drone warfare? They may not be autonomous, but since the great War liberal internationalists have written about and theorized a “humane War” to be fought without soldiers, or waged on enemy combatants without putting a soldier in harms way. That’s not to say that all the poor and wretched of the world will be killed in one fell swoop or anything like that, just to point out that between surveillance capitalism and automation within the military (and eventually the police), we could be headed for a more brutal world for the underclasses.

The idea that the rich would have any trouble investing in violence rather than practical solutions that could be cheaper is laughable if you take even one look at even local politics, and how much money can be demonstrably saved by housing the homeless for free. Costs on policing, costs on hospitals, costs on social services, all around, could be saved several times over, and it’s been done before. But where does money in the largest cities tend to go instead? Directly into police budgets.

Now as to any action like this requiring a United front, I think this misunderstands collective action as well. We’d much more likely see the return of poor houses accompanied by lower wages and harsher policing as a means to accomplish the social murder of the poor than some single mass culling of the poor like you’d see in a science fiction movie. This seems to be where most of your problem comes from. You’ve already picked the method, and decided that intent is necessary. But the Victorian bourgeois didn’t need everyone to be on board. Only the ones with political power. Hell, most of them didn’t need to be conscious of what was happening on the ground for the impoverished. Their own world was segregated enough that they could dismiss it as inevitable or unfortunate.

So what do I think is likely to happen as a worst case scenario if not exactly the “mass culling” you imagine?

A slow, grinding reduction of quality of life amongst the middle and lower classes, a collapse of the middle class altogether back into the working class they arose from, a steep increase in deaths by preventable causes, continued and steepening asset price inflation preventing the lower classes from building wealth, consolidation amongst corporations and property owners, increased wealth inequality, the return of the company town, increased police militarization, the criminalization of parts of life previously untouched by a police presence, increased surveillance, harsher penalties for deviance or delinquency, and violent crackdowns on social unrest, the return of great power conflict and proxy wars. Anything sound familiar with processes already historically under way?

Much more akin to the conversion of parts of the world into an open air prison than the machine war from terminator.


apple_achia t1_jd0w9ke wrote

Then you missed the initial rise of the eugenicist political movement. Don’t worry, none of us were alive, but in its earliest incarnations in England it was about tying specific families to criminality and poverty in England, and called for the slow systematic eradication of the poor. In this process and as it was exported elsewhere it became racialized, but make no mistake, initially it was class war.


apple_achia t1_izdhsnk wrote

I think you’re minimizing problems like food deserts here, and it seems quite disingenuous to say “the poor are becoming fat, so any complaints about scarcity of food in America is invalid”- they’re growing fat because the only food they can afford are nutritionally null processed foods. In spite of the abundance of calories, they’re not getting enough nutrients necessary for survival. And then you have the fact that an immense number of children in this country are not fat and are not well fed- and are skipping meals consistently. Sure there are fewer cases of this happening today, yet still only a little over half of American children consistently eat 3 meals a day. I for one know if I didn’t have a school lunch program when I was child, I would’ve been skipping two meals a day rather than just one. But sure, people are just bitching about nothing. Those uppity poors must be well fed, I mean look at the size of them.


apple_achia t1_izdh6a1 wrote

I often hear people argue against this by saying more goods than ever will be produced, how can the working class see a loss in wealth?

I think people fail to account for the immense lack of jobs this will cause, as well as the relative power gain the wealthy will experience by controlling even more of the manufacturing process than they already do. Any downward pressure on the price of goods would be totally offset for the working classes by the immense downward pressure also caused on wages, and the inflationary pressure that would happen on a good like housing or food- not because they are more scarce, but because the people in control of them can afford to take relatively more of your income


apple_achia t1_izdg43r wrote

Will it transition? I mean most opportunities in the past to reflect diminishing have been taken advantage of by the already wealthy- who often get to control how the new surplus society creates is distributed. Why would this be any different? The material wealth of the industrial revolution wasn’t brought to the masses before actual revolution in some cases and then conciliation by the rich to buy off revolution in others, like in the new deal.

We’ll see a massive decrease in the purchasing power of the working classes due to the increased leverage ownership of AI and manufacturing technology gives to the wealthy, probably a new flood of people to the “gig” economy and informal economy, and further bloated budgets for defense and policing to crack down on increasing unrest brought by economic uncertainty as well as the impacts of climate change. Now more goods than ever will be produced, so when I say purchasing power will decrease dramatically for those not already wealthy, I want to elaborate: many goods will decrease in price dramatically, but the benefit of this will, for the lowest portions of the population, be outweighed by dramatic increases in prices of things like housing, as well as the massive downward pressure on wages a more competitive labor pool will experience as mass unemployment takes hold. We’ll likely see some incremental reform, say a Universal basic income or something similar, but not to any degree to change the fundamental shift in power dynamics a singularity would cause.

This much seems certain, but what happens from there is a question we’ll have to wait on. I for one am hopeful that age of peace and unprecedented prosperity is on the other side of this, but with the institutional structures of our day where they stand, it will take significant struggle to see this through even when the technology advanced to a point where it’s possible to live post scarcity, and the outcome of that struggle is not inevitable.


apple_achia t1_ivkhrm3 wrote

The last time the atmosphere changed in composition by a comparable amount to the last 250 years, Cyanobacteria was colonizing the ocean and photosynthesizing, injecting O2 into the atmosphere and causing one of 6 recorded mass extinctions. Now granted, this was at a fraction of the speed, it took place over a few thousand years, a lightning flash in geologic terms, and changed the composition by a smaller percentage make up.

So yes, the biosphere has seen changes in the past, even within humanities timescale. But not by this amount and this abruptly. To say there have been “worse” ecological changes in the past is obfuscation of the crisis we’re in.


apple_achia t1_ivbt6yh wrote

Gees it’s like those issues tend to reproduce themselves when new technology develops since nobody ever touches the power structure behind them. Surely the invention of the cotton gin will end slavery and the oppression of the African diaspora.

If there were reasonable expectations for what something like protein folding simulations could accomplish, I wouldn’t poke fun like this. There’s a reason I’m not doing this on a computational biology subreddit right now

But no, rather than thinking of enzymatic pathway engineering or costly advances in artificial food technology or expensive and extensive clinical trials on novel proteins, this sub always goes to “eureka! I’m immortal! We can be gods!”


apple_achia OP t1_iva5v5b wrote

Yes making yourself unable to die IS a big concern of life huh? And stripping away all of your defense mechanisms in favor of being a nothing but a very vulnerable brain does make that a bit more difficult.

Well I’d say primarily that in spite of your insistence on leaving behind the prison of the flesh, like it or not, your brain is made of meat and it uses some 20% of all the calories you take in. The idea that you should just lop off the bits that aren’t useful to make life more efficient takes it as a given that these parts are NOT useful, while in reality we have very few vestigial structures. Humans have bodies because brains don’t form let alone survive on their own. We have stomachs because chemical energy from plants and animals are an efficient and available way to gain energy without needing a society to build and maintain an entire power plant, a power plant mind you that when you’re in your little brain box, nobody will be watching. We have limbs because it’s dangerous to sit in one spot for your entire life, the emergence of animal life taught such a lesson to the plants and fungi. You’re talking about voluntarily neutering yourself so you can just sit about castrated from the physical world and pretend really hard that you’re happy, that you’re a god and not a clump of cells in a box.


apple_achia t1_iva2dsn wrote

Well sorry but if AGI is going to solve all of our problems and usher in a new era the least it can do is start with the impending doom staring all of you in the face.

If there werent any pessimists on this sub, it would just be a circlejerk about how protein folding software is going to make you immortal by 2025

I like to poke and prod, because otherwise all you’d get here are people saying a singularity will bring us all into paradise. We’d be immortal beings, living in computational metaverses, omnipotent in their own rights. This is something I’ve actually seen multiple times on this sub. Now we’re doubtlessly in an unprecedented age of technological advancement, but without examining our ideas about this we’re bound to overestimate progress in the same way people on the collapse subreddit assume civilization will end yesterday. I’m here to interrogate ideas, bring a little bit of reality back into the mix, and occasionally have a laugh when someone tells me I’m going to be immortal. You know, because no generation before us has ever thought that.


apple_achia OP t1_iva1nvp wrote

That’d the thing though, definitionally it wouldn’t be reality. It would be meaningless. You wouldn’t be in a mansion, your body would still be here. Wasting away while your mind toils away, praying that nobody on the outside turns off the lights


apple_achia OP t1_iv9yjiz wrote

So as to how AGI will solve the climate crisis: we already know the problem is fossil fuel consumption and excessive resource extraction. This is the human activity in question Are you suggesting that AGI would coordinate human economic activity to prevent climate change in some way? Perhaps a way that would limit resource consumption to a sustainable level and assure a relatively equitable distribution of wealth and agency?

It may be able to figure out a technical fix to a few problems, like perhaps fossil fuels are eliminated by nuclear fusion, but then we have waste storage to deal with, as well as agricultural land coordination and management. And if that’s solved, population growth may become so explosive that becomes a problem. And then you cant necessarily solve that with new technology, until we can terraform space, we’d have to make some difficult decisions.

If this is the case, how would this AGI coerce the non cooperative or police it’s boundaries, if someone were to go and try and open an extra oil drill too many, or clear cut a vital piece of forest? Strike out on their own in some unacceptable way.

Would AGI then, have a monopoly on force/ coercion as well as economic boundaries and therefore amount to the AGI acting as a state?


apple_achia OP t1_iv9ycj0 wrote

for those who believe AGI will solve the climate crisis: we already know the problem is excessive fossil fuel consumption and resource extraction. Are you suggesting that AGI would coordinate human economic activity to prevent climate change in some way? Perhaps a way that would limit resource consumption to a sustainable level and assure a relatively equitable distribution of wealth and agency?

How would this AGI police the boundaries set? Or prevent someone from opening up an extra oil drill, or clear cutting a vital piece of forest or wetlands? Would it have the power to tell people to stop reproducing because there are too many humans to live sustainably on a piece of land? Are humans able to resist these orders if they find them to be unjust? Would they be coerced by the threat of violence either by AGI run robotics or human soldiers? Would the monopoly on violence and coordination of economic activity constitute an AGI run State?

We have material limits, so nuclear fusion would eliminate reliance on fossil fuels, but this technology wouldn’t solve something like clear cutting of land for agricultural land. And if you could increase efficiency of such a thing, you may see human population increase to the point where land is scarce. If this is solved, we may have issues with storing long term nuclear waste. To have AGI do anything more than kick the can down the road for more people to make decisions with how to deal with these problems, you’d have to be advocating for some sort of centrally planned AGI society. Or am I missing something?


apple_achia OP t1_iv9xy1a wrote

As for AGI having the capacity to solve the climate crisis: I think this assumes we don’t understand what the solution to the problem is. That’s not the problem, the problem is coordinating actions across human beings to ensure our agency isn’t entirely neutered, we live a comfortable life, and we don’t use up all of the resources our existence depends on. AGI solving this would rely on it coordinating human actions in some way, this would by nature have to be coerced.

If AGI solves the climate crisis, it will be our King, and do so by coordinating our supply chains and economic activity.


apple_achia t1_iv9wy11 wrote

Funny you should say that. On my post regarding climate change and singularity, I got into a lengthy discussion with someone who claimed that having a true metaverse, a simulated reality people could secede into where they could act as a God and experience whatever they want, would solve the climate crisis. That the ultimate fantasy IS the solution. presumably the thought was that if this happens, enough people would opt into it that we’d be able to save enough resources to stop climate change.

So shallow. No acknowledgment that this would just be offering an extremely pleasurable form of suicide to the masses. No acknowledgement that the people most likely to take such an option would be the least materially well off, and thus the people causing the problem the least. No mention that this wouldn’t affect any existing power structure and so even if it was Jeff Bezos himself that chose to digitally castrate himself into experiencing only a simulation of reality, someone else would just take his place.

I think many people on this sub are just technological optimists unable to reckon with the heightening crises of industrialized society, and anxiously awaiting a savior. Maybe there will be a technological singularity before climate change makes that next to impossible, but the idea the result of that will just be a fantasy VR machine is absurd and shallow.


apple_achia OP t1_iv9vsid wrote

You seem to believe what we perceive IS reality and therefore if I stimulate my brain to believe there is a steak in my belly, there may as well be. You have a shallow understanding of what is constructed and what is objective. None of us perceive objective reality, it’s ontologically impossible, but we are having a physical impact on the universe and our senses, as well as how we construct our understanding from the stimuli those senses provide, are our only shot and understanding that reality. And obscuring that through a self made deception of the senses is NOT reality.

Sure, I’ll concede many people would definitely choose this. But that would functionally just be mass suicide by a pleasurable means. It’d be treated in society the same way a heroin overdose is. After all, that’s also tricking the senses into experiencing bliss, while your physical body withers away.

And then there’s the question of how this would affect climate change? Wouldn’t the least materially well off be the most likely ones to seek the refuge of a false pleasurable world? The people who use exponentially more resources than the rest of us, and are therefore causing the problem, would for the most part go on with their lives. And if they don’t, but the system is totally unchanged, we just have the option for the pleasurable suicide of simulated reality, others would take their place like they always have when the powerful die.


apple_achia OP t1_iv9vbnx wrote

No we won’t. Because some of us will affect others more, and in THAT way send ripples through the universe. Personally I’d think if you have any connection to nature, you’d never consider getting in an experience machine, because it itself is the opposite of nature, it functions to cleave all of your experience from nature. I also draw meaning from nature, and I believe most people do in some way, which is why I have a hard time believing this would be a functional solution to anything. Functionally what you would be doing is providing a humane and enjoyable form of euthanasia as a solution to the climate crisis, and hoping enough people opt out to change our carbon impact on the world and avert climate catastrophe.

I’d say another problem with that is that the people causing the problem most directly, ie those with power who use exponentially more resources than the rest of us, would be the least likely to take it. And if the poorest billion take this option, but were living off next to no carbon any way, no impact would be made


apple_achia OP t1_iv9tzyu wrote

Ok, what we feel to be meaningful is subjective, But your body, no matter how your mind constructs your experience of reality, does have an objective effect on the universe. And you’d be giving that up. As well as any chance of reproducing the arrangement of matter and interactions that make up what you define as “yourself,” which is itself a construct. You’d be seceding from reality in a novel and pleasurable method of assisted suicide. Sure, in your mind you’d be doing whatever gives you joy, building beautiful monuments, eating the finest food, falling in love with a simulated other, exercising your omnipotence, but in reality, to any other onlooker, you’d be wasting away, entirely impotent, and unable to affect anyone else’s experience of reality, which itself is where MOST people derive their meaning in some form or other.

Some of us would rather try and build something for the future generations to utilize. Or touch another consciousness in some way. Maybe make Something objectively useful for the propagation of future life. But if you don’t share such a sense of purpose, maybe it’s best for you to get in the solitary confinement experience machine and dream of a thousand years of pleasure till your body fades away.


apple_achia OP t1_iv9to8t wrote

And I think you’re not grasping the nature of representation versus reality. This is Not a Pipe. End of story. And if you’d rather secede from reality to enjoy the falsities of images, just because they promise you infinite dopamine, and you truly believe that wouldn’t lead into a self referential loop of madness, if you’d give up your birthright for shadows on the wall, then do it. The rest of us will work on making something worth living for. Go on, cut yourself off from the tree of life to a simulacrum, this technology would be nothing but a new method of assisted suicide, or did you forget that life actually needs to propagate itself to keep going. Good luck simulating that. I’ll be building it, with all of the risks and difficulties entailed.


apple_achia OP t1_iv9sv2d wrote

Because it’s a trick of the mind. Because you have an effect on the material world, and the meaning of our experiences isn’t just determined by the feeling they give us but their objective effect on reality around us. Why give up your real family, a real sunset, a real river, born of minuscule odds from the thermodynamic madness that is our universe, for a mere representation of one? Without the limitations of reality it’s all meaningless. You couldn’t ever be said to have experienced any of it. You probably couldn’t even react to these experiences in a realistic way, because you’d lose the bearing on reality that developed your senses in the first place. You may as well be in solitary confinement, or dead. You’d be raving mad within a year.


apple_achia OP t1_iv9si1y wrote

Hey I’m not the one advocating for stripping half of humanity of its body and family in favor of prodding it’s brain with electricity here, don’t pretend I’m the villain for calling you names. If you ever want this to be real, or expect it to be, you can expect a little bit of back lash pal