0116 - The Essence of Life - 2019.12.23
Everyone's familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, yeah? I don't need to explain that? Cool.
Much of the world of Forward is defined by automation. I think the automation of many menial jobs will define the next century, and how we respond to that economic challenge will define whether we move toward utopia or dystopia.
Let's face it, as of this writing, unmanned vehicles aren't particularly safe. They've made mistakes. They've killed people. There are a wide variety of real-world scenarios that automated cars simply don't know how to handle yet, and I, for one, do not feel safe living in Elon Musk's beta testing environment... but it would appear that I don't have much of a choice.
I'm not saying unmanned vehicles will take over our streets next year, or five or ten or even twenty years from now. But fifty? If you don't think they're taking over in fifty years, you're crazy. Remember, they don't have to be perfect - they just have to be better, on average, than a human driver. That's not as hard to do as you may think.
And, once unmanned driving becomes the norm, that's going to replace every bus driver, every truck driver, every taxi - yes, even gig economy rideshare guys. It's not soon. It's not easy. It's not ideal. But it is inevitable.
I'm just using vehicles as an obvious, easy-to-parse example. Automation is already replacing workers all over the world. By the time 2167 rolls around, there are no jobs. Only careers.
You know the difference between a job and a career, don't you? A job is the bullshit you have to do to keep the lights on and put food on the table. A career is the thing you're proud of, the thing you specialize in, the thing you build on, the thing that's important.
A career is higher on Maslow's pyramid.
And, of course, the world of Forward has plenty of careers. People start new businesses. People manage collections. People make art. People pursue science. Orb is a teacher. Caleb served their country.
So what do you do when you dedicate your life to a career, you derive your self-actualization from your excellence at a task, only to one day wake up and realize that you're making the world a worse place?