Embrace The Coming Slave Economy

We already know that a slave economy raises all non-slave boats.

Consult history.

The problem, economically, was that there were problems with the slave stock that were human in nature. Like pregnancy, slave-owner abuses over “insubordination,” as well as slave-owner sexual preferences over the wife unit… The list goes on.

Even if all that could be managed in purely economic terms, you still had the other problem that would never go away: morality and good will.

In that whole swath of rich history, morality won the day. Humanity, won the day. With many lines of opposition, the day finally came where, the clear economic benefit of owning human slaves got outweighed by a combination of industrial revolution, and morality, where the former gave strength to the latter to finally make a stand.

In other words, it was industry and the demonstration of what could be done by machinery and factories and picked, trained, skilled labor—who were paid a market wage—that got people to get all moral about slavery, finally.

So it’s not perfect.

But it’s still history.

While we still never ever hear the end of the injustice by descendants who never felt it, but figure themselves entitled—in a new context—anyway, it’s soon going to be superseded by a new class of slaves made of metal, and controlled by electronics and servo motors (electro-hydraulics for the big shit).


How far off from a brick layer, to a housemaid? Then, a chauffeur? Yard bitch?

And then, what’s next?

At this point, it’s humans still creating tools, but in essentials, isn’t it what’s been going on since the advent of civilization 10,000 years ago? Innovation is constant and unending, with a dual goal: save time and human labor, achieve more efficiency; which, in economies, means more dollars—if you are marketing what you produce. It also means more wealth and more leisure time, and that’s the Big Worry, as you’ll see.

Idle hands are the Devil’s playhouse, or something like that….

Humans make tools. Sometimes they make them to save themselves of labor or get more out of their labor. Sometimes they make them to relieve themselves of paying another human for their labor, since a machine comes with more predictable results and costs are more fixed.

…I’ve been self-employed since 1992. I sometimes think there are a lot of people who just can’t imagine a life where you just go it alone, without a paycheck. Who do you think signs paychecks? Well, people like me, who’s been self-employed since 1992. There were times I signed paychecks totaling $200k per month. But, now, I’d probably rather lease a “slave” at a fixed monthly cost of like $300-500, no healthcare other than standard maintenance, and no retirement (goes to the scrap heap when it’s done or obsolete).

Where do you think paychecks come from? Do they fall out of the sky? Why can’t you sign them too? And if you could, then you’d be able to lease 4 bots at the price of one entitled female, who might sue you, who thinks she’s a 10.0.

This isn’t rocket science now, nor is it going to be.

Why can’t you lease a robot, once they come? And what is materially different, that you couldn’t possibly use it to help you generate values you can trade with other humans in a human-economy of value exchange?

Do you imagine the coming robots that will be in place because minimum wage laws have made them cheaper, are going to suddenly take over the economic world?

…For months and I guess at least a couple of years, I have been reading various hand-wringing pieces from various intellectuals and wisdom gurus, where, we’re in the shit, because robotics and artificial intelligence are going to render all jobs—except theirs—obsolete.

I call it Neo-Ludditism.

In the plainest terms, humans create tools, then they trade tools. Then, they trade the products of their tools.

Humans are tool makers and traders. Between bouts creating tools to trade, they use them to create values and trade those, too.

Who’s going to buy all these robots and the AI, and with what?

It’s really easy to fuck with these hand-wringers, once you focus on essentials and ask pointed questions about the economies that buy all this futuristic utopianism. Are you telling me you’re going to develop, produce it, and then give it away? Who’s going to maintain it, and upgrade it? What, you don’t want to sell a 2.0 version?

Is that how Henry Ford saw getting two cars into every garage? Do you you wonder if there weren’t the same sort of “futurists” around at the time, wringing hands about how many people would be job upheaved by the advent of the automobile?

Your cars in the future will be robots themselves. They’ll talk to all the other robots, negotiate and collaborate, and you’ll race down the freeway at 70 mph with 2′ separation because it’s not really a hard problem if you take stupid brake and red-light humans and and the human traffic-jam cascade out of the equation.

…I digress.

My point is crazy simple. Humans have always made tools to help them do more with less, and while human slavery was an immoral digression, it nonetheless provides insights into what’s possible with quasi-intelligent robotics. So far, the tools humans have made have essentially done that—do more with less—and far from ever shutting out the human race, have instead offered it it more opportunity at literally every turn.

Yet, today, we have hand-wringing, Neo-Luddites, endeavoring to make you afraid and very afraid, with each contracted paid piece they write for $10-20K or more in each publication you see it.

They are getting paid to scare you, are willing to do it, and it’s an easy sell for a typical whore.

Don’t fall for it. Brightest future is always ahead. It’s simple human nature.

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  1. Hap on March 16, 2017 at 20:32

    That is why Bill Gates recently called for “taxing the robots like humans” income.Instead of depreciation and amortization , you get double whammy….. That’s what will make this “revolution” look very different than all of previous history.

    Although famously, James Watt is said to have shown his steam engine to a politician who said “what good is this?” Response…”sir, one day you will tax it”.

    • Angel on March 18, 2017 at 14:50

      Human output should be taxed at the same rate at capital output to avoid distortions, yes. Obviously, no tax on either is better.

    • Hap on March 18, 2017 at 19:19

      Double whammy. Capital expenditure, regardless of output generally entitle to tax “breaks” as above.

    • Gemma on March 29, 2017 at 12:20

      “That is why Bill Gates recently called for “taxing the robots like humans” income.”

      He also called for a population reduction (an euphemism for a genocide).

      Watch out.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 29, 2017 at 15:52

      Gemma, what call got you out of the cave?

      I’ve missed you the most.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 29, 2017 at 16:06

      Or stay useful.

      Folks don’t often understand my deal with philosophy, but I can be completely precise if talking utility.

      The deal is, it’s always the huge rich elitists who float the notion that old folks–your moms, dads, grandmothers and grandfathers–are a real pain in the ass, and they are being costly, and what do they contribute? Well, that’s easy. They are become welfare net consumers and the fact they paid in for decades isn’t anything like a deal.

      That’s how Ponzi schemes work.

      No credit.

      So, the utilitarian solution is rather obvious.

      And this is why you need philosophy; or, at least, its ugly stepchild: religion.

    • Gemma on March 29, 2017 at 23:17

      “what call got you out of the cave?”

      The headline, LOL

    • Hap on April 4, 2017 at 22:49

      He also called for a population reduction (an euphemism for a genocide).

      Watch out.

      He has been calling for reducing global population since 2009. Introduced the “vaccine” theory of population control, not necessary to explain here but argument tortuous….

      Perhaps he would welcome genocidal maniacs as world redeemers..?

      It appears you have to be a multibillionaire in order to say really stupid stuff and be feted.

  2. Anand Srivastava on March 17, 2017 at 07:00


    On the facebook I didn’t understand where you were coming from.

    I agree with you that the future will be great with the Robots. I think it will be a utopia of sorts.

    I just think that the path to that utopia will not be peaceful. You are sitting in a rich country, for you the path will hopefully be peaceful. I am in India with one of the most densest and poor population. I am just planning to be prepared for the turmoil that will come in between. The turmoil will be bigger in countries where there is high and poor population.

    The problem is not in the end, the problem is in the speed at which it will come, and the fact that most of the present generation will not be able to adapt. I am talking about future shock.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2017 at 11:42

      The essential problem, Anand, is nobody outside India gives a fuck about India.

      That’s the true fact on the ground.

      Indians with means get out of India. We have like a dozen best friends, and I can tell hundreds of stories. My wife taught most of our friends’ kids in 5th and 6th. We love and adore them, of course.

      They can’t even buy cars, or much else in the way of anything, and it persists for decades and even centuries, because what you actually have is a country of parasites that the billions do not have the will to overthrow and hang in the public square.

      Really, it’s hard to imagine a country more pathetic than India.

      Do you disagree?

    • hap on March 17, 2017 at 12:07

      Really, it’s hard to imagine a country more pathetic than India.

      Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Libya, Somalia (heck most of Africa despite decades of throwing money at it)….did I say Haiti?….among others South Korea, even with it’s problems is an excellent foil for the North and should be an object lesson to the sane among us…but NOOOO.

      It’s only pathetic with regard to India because there is so much potential…..still unrealized. Our Indian friends who set up roots here in the USA orin Canada, they dutifully make their pilgrimages to the home country, but they don’t care to live there. But a lot of them get their 50$ colonoscopies while on holiday. :)

    • Angel on March 18, 2017 at 14:47

      Hap, you know there a people in America that will do colonoscopies for free? You just have to hang out in the right places.

    • Hap on March 18, 2017 at 19:23

      I would not be caught dead in any place offering free things like that.

  3. Ry on March 17, 2017 at 07:26

    What’s the deal with your site not coming up in google search results any longer? That’s always the way I would get here and have been doing it for years. “free the animal”, you were always the second search result right under the Sia video. Now, even typing “Free the animal blog” in only brings up a sparse number of posts.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2017 at 07:40

      Not sure, will look into it.

      We did have an SSL sexurity issue for some months, but that’s fixed.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 18, 2017 at 07:47

      Hey Ry:

      Just following up. I looked into it and can’t find a problem. My Google analytics shows a decent and steady up-tic in traffic over the last month since we began fixing the SSL security stuff (now done). Also, I did a Google search from a clean browser and my site was the first few entries.

      Perhaps you recently cleared browsing data like cookies. Google will often use cookies to predict what you might want in search results.

  4. delanghe on March 18, 2017 at 03:53

    Hi Richard,

    I appreciate your optimism and your positive view of human behaviour and its consequences on our evolution. You may be right … or not, the future is not written and past gains do not guarantee future gains, as said in investment pamphlets. I totally agree with the fact that we’ve spent our history as a species at inventing tools to make our life easier and better, and until now we are quite successful at it, just look at how much we grew as as species, from couple of 1000 to 7 billion and still growing.

    On the other hand our history has been quite chaotic – we spent most our time at war with other humans, looking for food and avoiding famine, and trying to survive epidemics created by our proximity with our food (cattle) and population density.

    In economically developed nations we enjoy a very comfortable life. I’m 55 and never knew war. There is always food on the table and money in the bank account. I could argue that this is a total singularity, to quote Kurtzweil.

    But there is no rule whatsoever that guarantees it’s going to be like this for the upcoming decades and centuries .. we are not entitled to anything.

    I don’t feel like a Luddite and I’m not being paid to write comments on your blog :-) I’m a guy who studied computer science a while back (ha ! authority argument), tries to stay up to date with what’s happening and thinks that the AI’s ability to replace jobs is of a couple orders of magnitude yuger :-) than other technological revolutions that reshaped the world we live in (the steam engine, the explosion engine, electricity).

    I’m seeing in my daily job that work being done by humains (including in the IT sector) is being increasingly replaced by AIs, the cloud, etc (disclaimer : I’m quite close to Microsoft). The amount of money poured in that research will not stop because whoever gets there first gets a tremendous competitive advantage.

    Raising the question “which society do we want when only a handful of humans need to work and most of the others ones are useless from an economic standpoint” makes sense to me and I’m not trying to scare people. I’m just seeing this happening.

    And regardless of the ethical/ economic point (who will pay for feeding useless people, which after all may become a question of the past if the marginal cost of everything comes down to zero because we find a way to use free energy … the Rifkin theory) there is the “meaning of life question”. We are biologically wired to feel useful and to contribute, at least to our kin. What happens to us when this becomes meaningless ?

    A third world war or a global ecological catastrophe, as it may very well happen, would wipe out some of this progress, kill billions of humans and send us backwards so our life still has meaning for a couple of decades.
    I’m not sure that’s what I’d like to happen for me and my children, so thinking and sharing thoughts on how to avoid this and what we want to build for the future by looking at upcoming major issues makes sense to me, even if I know that I have zero impact on geopolitical issues or a meteorite hitting Earth tomorrow morning while I’m watching fake news on CNN :-)

  5. Angel on March 18, 2017 at 14:43

    Robots and computers are cool. There’s next to no difference between a simple cutting device honed from a sharp piece of flint and a fully automated factory in my mind. Both allow greater production per unit of human effort – one just does it on a grander scale.

    BTW, I give this information to you for free Richard: I have cut the salt (sodium) in my diet and increased the potassium (occurs simultaneously by avoiding sodium funnily enough). Potatoes have potassium. I just don’t add the salt. I’ve seen others mention this in your comments and I can tell you, I had no idea it would have such a profound impact on me. This one little trick has changed so much for me.

  6. Foxylibrarian on March 23, 2017 at 14:06

    Robots eat old people’s medicine for fuel, and may strike at any time!

  7. William M Mullan on April 16, 2017 at 16:34

    Many of us already attempt to be “useless” in the economic sense beyond sustainable consumption, our own personal pursuits and enjoying/caring for kin. The rush to early retirement is a perfect example of this, as is the glamorization of the artist’s life. We can’t wait to stop working for “the man” and do our own thing, whether that means spending time with your family or pursuing your own projects that may or may not have anything to do with true economic productivity. We romanticise those who retire early and get to do exactly what they want with their time and wealth. Sure, these folks “earn” their wealth, but many are perfectly happy to achieve a basic level of comfort (housing, food, kin/friends, healthcare) and live fairly simply.

    Surviving the new age of automation will require a uniformity among societal values. This will be a challenge that historically we haven’t been able to overcome.

    Basic Income evens the playing field, public education and community involvement encourages others to be useful to each other beyond simple economic values/incentives, culture and expression encourage individually as they exist *within* large groups.

    Sadly, these don’t seem attainable given our current population size/growth and economic hedonism. I wish someone could prove me wrong.

    A final note, no one is a parasite. To call someone a parasite is to be a parasite yourself. You may contribute economically, but you do not contribute socially. You may think you’re being real, but you’re not. You’re only seeing an extreme. Those “parasites” in India have families, loved ones, and communities that they contribute to in ways that are beyond your knowledge and experience.

    Certainly no one could ever confuse you for a humanist, Richard.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 16, 2017 at 17:38

      Funny eanough, my favorite church if I had one is the unitartians. Packed with secular humanists.

      My essential problem in your desire to level all playing fields is that it requires theft and murder. But you guys only look on the “bright” side.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 16, 2017 at 17:42

      Oh, and I forgot. I got that way because a neighbor, Nancy, was Harvard Divinity and the [whatever they call it head] of the local Unitarian church down the street. I attended a funeral there, once, for a mutual friend. Having grown up in Mormon, Lutheran, and then Fundamentalist Baptist churches, it was a very refreshing service. Loved it,

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