Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Daze of Futurists Past

File under: All of this has happened before/ All of this will happen again. 

As an addenda to yesterday's post about how today's breed of Those Who Speculate About The Social Costs of The Robots of Tomorrow often seem oblivious to the serious speculating about tomorrow which yesterday's Those Who Speculate About The Social Costs of The Robots of Tomorrow were doing long before today's speculators about the social costs of the robots of tomorrow were even born (see how tricky plotting a time travel story can get!) here is a quick reminder of my favorite explanation of the origins of the word "sabotage":
...from the Netherlands in the 15th century when workers would throw their sabots (wooden shoes) into the wooden gears of the textile looms to break the cogs, feeling the automated machines would render the human workers obsolete.
Because whether you write about it in the 15th, 21th or 36th centuries, human nature never changes.


n1ck said...

Hey DG:

Have you ever seen the movie Primer?

It is my favorite time travel movie, and I highly recommend it. I'd say it definitely fits your definition of a science-fiction movie, and not just a time western.

That said, and more on-topic:

Human nature is probably 3/4 nurturing, and the more just a society is, the more just the human beings living in it will be, with sociopaths being the exception.

In a capitalistic society like ours (or, a fascist/neo-feudalistic society that it has become) the sociopaths become the norm, and good, just and moral people become the outsiders.

Capital and money will always exist, no matter how socialistic/communistic a society is, as you can use a piece of paper with your signature as money (see: contracts). So, I'm not just attacking money, "capitalism", or the ability of some individuals to have more or less than other individuals.

But the capitalism that we have today is just neo-feudalism creeping up on us, making everyone but the richest a serf.

I think that history itself has always been and always will be a back-and-forth between the sociopaths who try to make their immoral/amoral values the society's values so that they are the normal and good people.

Versus those of us who want to actually progress past the "I have more than you, so do what I say or else" stage of society that sociopaths believe is inherently just and right.

Basically, I guess I'm just saying that human nature isn't inherently bad, but almost totally taught, and that the better the society, the better the human nature, ad nauseam.

Our problem as a species is that every time we take a few steps forward, a few powerful sociopaths, like pirates, make us walk the plank backwards, knives to our throats.

driftglass said...

I have seen "Primer" and enjoyed it. Gave me hope that good, tightly plotted, intelligent films can be made for less than a bazillion dollars.