Abstract Guide to Making a Future Self

Today, people are the same where ever you go. The definition of success is universal, and the same type of poverty exists everywhere. Most people are just existing, and the majority are drowning in their own anxiety because they haven’t lived up to this fabricated definition of success. It’s my belief that, in the years to come with the growth of automation (AI) and the sharing economy, people will think less of success in terms of wealth, titles and ownership, and more in terms of freedom and accessibility. The best way to ensure success, when defined by these characteristics, will be to possess a well-cultured skill (or set of skills) and/or critical analysis ability.
 
Popular trans-humanist and Tesla/SpaceX/SolarCity/Boring Company CEO Elon Musk told why in a 2017 interview when he said he believes “there’s a pretty good chance” we end up with a universal basic income as a result of automation. His rhetoric mimics the language in this infographic from the publication Futurism, which also claims 57% of jobs globally are at risk of being automated.
 
Musk has stated he personally will be displacing 12 to 15% of the global “driving workforce” over the next 20 years, and also acknowledged most people aren’t aware of how quickly this process will occur.
 
Of course, the driving workforce is a drop in the bucket of the global workforce, and is simply one example of an industry that will experience mass displacement. But try for a minute letting just how widespread the AI takeover will be really sink in. It may be scary to imagine, but is your job – or profession, if you prefer – something which can be done by a robot?
 
The growth of the sharing economy (i.e., Uber, AirBnB) IoT (Internet of Things) smart-meter connectedness and AI in general have already begun to displace drivers, cashiers, attendants and customer service and sales “reps”, and in the future, will likely occur at a faster pace than most people realize.
 
The service industry workers will be first to go, but positions in those fields are by no means the only at the mercy of artificial intelligence. Office, clerical and even some technological work will eventually be made obsolete by machines, and you can forget about dreaming of your future as an investment banker [unless you’re a trust fund baby destined for Yale or Harvard], surgeon or CPA. However, if one does choose to voluntarily participate in this system, and must choose a profession, needless to say, it would be wise to set sights on a career in mathematics or computer science.
 
Blockchain, the same technology used to mine and maintain Bitcoin, will be a key component in the development of human-level and beyond AI. A recent WIRED article about Hong Kong-based company, Hanson Robotics, said how it plans to use the Ethereum blockchain to run a distributed AI platform to transfer AI software and payments between its users. Each blockchain node (computer network) will back up a different AI function, or software program.
 
The applications will be basic AI software at first, such as facial recognition technology, but is guaranteed to grow over time, according to Chief Scientist Ben Goertzel.
 
“You’ll see a sort of federation of AIs emerge from the spontaneous interaction among the nodes, without human guidance,” Goertzel said. The goal is for the smart nodes to get as intertwined as clusters of neurons, eventually evolving into human-level AI.
 
A research paper from Kingston University in London takes the prediction of AI blockchain advancement one step further. The title alone suggests the blockchain will be used make the brain a “Decentralized Autonomous Organization.”
 
The researcher discusses using “mind files” to store memories, for example, which could be useful in cases like Alzheimer’s disease. However, everything you’ve ever experienced will be stored in the blockchain, and the paper discusses how that information can be used to gauge if your individual experience was subjective to the group, i.e., you had the same experience as everyone else. And you better believe they companies running the programs will turn allthat information over to officials, if requested, just like your current digital footprint.
 
One of the creepiest potential applications of the blockchain for cognition would be the creation of digital, autonomous, self-acting versions of oneself. In other words, you could have umpteen-versions of yourself on the Internet all acting autonomously, doing things on behalf of yourself.
 
If all of this doesn’t sound in the least appealing, I’m right there with you. Fortunately, there will be a different path, for those who choose to take it. Many of the skills and strategies for excelling on that route are outlined on this site, and I encourage you to explore further because I’m not going to get into specifics here.
 
When the constructs that so many of us know as success, wealth or comfort are altered in the future, resourcefulness and problem-solving ability will be powerful assets to maintain those basic individual rights.
 
But if you, as an individual, choose to live outside what will likely become a social welfare petrie dish of enslavement, you will need to be able to provide some sort of contribution for the betterment of a group dynamic, or have all the skills needed to be completely self-sufficient.
 
It’s not that homesteading or living off-the-grid takes brain surgeon-like intelligence. Learning how to do virtually anything is one of the big benefits offered by the sea gloom that is the Internet. However, researching, practicing and developing an array of skills is a huge time commitment, and it is easy for a person to become bored or overwhelmed, and give up. The tediousness of regular practice alone can be burden enough for most individuals to give up with all the distractions we are constantly facing.
 
The successful ones in the future will be those who can cultivate a useful skill. Those who thrive will be the makers. The ones with the old-world, salt of the earth-type resourcefulness. There is much to be said about what one must give up or sacrifice to focus all their energy on one or a few specific disciplines. But often times when a person has been on that path for some time, they realize the things they sacrificed were distractions, as I said.
 

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