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Charlie Stross: Generation Z

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I've been spending a little time lately asking myself questions about the near future. And in particular—this is especially relevant if you're planning on writing a near-future SF novel set maybe 15-30 years hence—what it's going to be like as an experience for, well, not for my generation (I'll be 65-80 if I live that long: of declining relevance) but for the next generation on. And I suspect it'll be pretty shitty.

See Charlie's Diary - Generation Z

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Im pretty negative about the future too, but look at all the films (solent green, logans run, mad max etc etc) and in the 70s sci-fi and the general view with spiralling crime and oil shocks was grim too.

Im positive about science (thorium, technology etc etc) but see artificial shortages caused by banksters and their politician enablers.

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The joke is that we have 21st century technology and an economics establishment still arguing the toss about the rights and wrongs of what people like Adam Smith wrote in 1776. :lol:

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Thanks for sharing the blog.

I agree with much of what the writer is saying. The future has somewhat been stolen. So how do the new generations take it back?

It's a very thought provoking piece.

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And service jobs are rapidly being automated, as witness the spread of self-service checkouts and ATMs and lights-out warehouses.

I've already looked at this. The future wealth will go to the robot owners, as well as the bankers and politicians. This has been going on for hundreds, if not thousands of years, not just since the 1990s.

Act now, future proof yourself. Put some money into assets and paper assets of businesses that supply, and run those machines. Going out and doing "a job" is dead, there are too many other people competing globally, and even graduate jobs are being automated. You can't stop the tide.

Not a stock tip but think about Google, NCR Corporation (every time you use a ATM machine and Self service checkout - what logo is on it?), and robotics companies.

We won't listen to the wise words of Henry Ford (pay your workers properly), because companies are greedy generally. Not until we destroy ourselves in a race to the bottom, will there be change. However there will be beneficiaries along the way.

Are the Royals worried about automation and technology advances over the last 100 years? No because they own the land, and no technology can 3D print land - although you can 3D print homes to your hearts content.

There is a familiar theme on HPC that we hark back to. Hard assets, Automation, and Usury. These things are not going away anytime soon.

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The joke is that we have 21st century technology and an economics establishment still arguing the toss about the rights and wrongs of what people like Adam Smith wrote in 1776. :lol:

Spot on. A modern semi-automated economy being run by 19th century economic dogma (which never worked back then and gave rise to Marx, Keynes etc).

Threats of a return to the Work house can't be far away.

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I've already looked at this. The future wealth will go to the robot owners, as well as the bankers and politicians. This has been going on for hundreds, if not thousands of years, not just since the 1990s.

Wealth will go to the robot owners, who'll put bankers and politicians out of business. And everyone will potentially be a robot owner.

Are the Royals worried about automation and technology advances over the last 100 years? No because they own the land, and no technology can 3D print land - although you can 3D print homes to your hearts content.

Land will be one of the least valuable commodities in the future, when we can build new habitats in space with whatever view and climate you want and trillions of times larger than Earth.

The sooner people realize the industrial era is over and it ain't coming back, the sooner we can get on with building the future rather than fighting silly battles over the ideologies of the past.

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Schools are already with the establishment on this by introducing Ipads in schools in lessons and abandoning cursive writing lessons. Excellent, remove the ability to write! Soon we will have a new generation of perfect obedient consumers who can click "buy" or "like" on corporate Apps. However the next generation need to become media content creators - not debt slaves for retailers and banks. The old guard aren't going to give up the land and property without a fight.

Some of the cheapest ways out for the next generation is the internet and creating your own assets.

The Wealth Levels

Richest

Level 1 Creating your own asset (e.g a factory)

Level 2 Buying and selling that asset (e.g importer, wholesaler)

Level 3 Third party buying and selling the asset (e.g. shop keeper)

Level 4 Employee (e.g shop worker)

Poorest

---

Youtube has made many young millionaires.

If you go to socialblade.com and look at the top Youtubers, you will see the kind of incomes these people pull. All you need is some original talent, computer skills, and some time.

Try looking up at these Youtubers using social blade;

pewdiepie

fine bros

ksiolajidebt

yogscast lewis and simon

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I think he has correctly worked out the solution to our problems....

So there's the problem in a nutshell. What should we be doing about it? And what is it feasible for us to do? (For example: I'd love to see a UK government deflate the housing market by around 80% and renationalize a bunch of infrastructure that should never have been sold off in the first place, but I recognize that it would be political suicide for any party that tried it).

But as he says, not going to happen.

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I thought this bit was telling:

When I came out of university and post-graduate training in the late 80s, a housing bubble was inflating rapidly. I bought my first home, a one bedroom apartment in a modern development, with parking and a box room and an airy living room, for a little under £28,000. It seemed like a lot of money at the time

Thanks for the link, btw.

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I'm optimistic about the future. I suspect the next half a century will be tricky though.

The early signs are there of us both moving towards a post-compulsory work society while retaining a reasonable standard of living for those no longer working. The transition is likely to be extremely tough though.

It's been possible for basically opt out of a regular day job for life for at least a couple of decades now. The trouble is that you are treated as a social pariah by the media, some people and Government policy and unless you are "lucky" enough to tick certain boxes or know how to work the system it'll be a existence rather than a life. Particularly as you have the constant stress of not knowing whether the rug will be pulled out from under you by some rule change etc.

For most of humanity's existence, that hasn't been possible.

But, a lot of entertainment, or distraction at least, is basically free nowadays. Similarly, it's unlikely you'll go hungry either. That's both bread and circuses taken care off - providing you can ignore the constant drum beat of more, newer, shinier. Further, we have been conditioned from early life by example and indoctrination that working hard something to be admired. Unstructured leisure time, particularly stuff which doesn't cost anything, has increasingly been devalued by marketers because they can't make any money from it.

The flip side is that increasingly people don't get a choice in which life they want to lead. The entry levels to work are being swept away and either automated, or there's massively increased competition for what's left. Working for the average person increasingly looks it doesn't pay as you still face a similar struggle as you would living on benefits. Housing costs, graduate debt and the costs of retiring comfortably are the big elephants in the room.

I think several things have to change, we have to:

  • Show future generations that a meaningful life can be in a post-compulsory work society. Maybe you'll be an artist, an artisan, or a YouTube star.
  • Collectively benefit from the advances in technology so life is more than a existence
  • Keep the rentiers in check so they don't grab all of the additional wealth for themselves.
  • Probably become a lot more cynical about marketing, or curb its unrealistic promises.

As I said, I think it'll be a difficult transition - even assuming it's the right one as personally I think there is a bit of a battle to create a post scarcity society that's sustainable for the planet. It could still easily go down the direction of the elite living amazing lives in enclaves while the rest of us scrabble in the dirt outside of them.

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Look, here is a young youtuber at 22 who has BOUGHT a large house. He has nearly 1m subscribers, and put in some good work to get there.

Get out there and CREATE content.

YOU HAVE TO DO, like Nike "Just Do it".

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Look, here is a young youtuber at 22 who has BOUGHT a large house. He has nearly 1m subscribers, and put in some good work to get there.

You might as well be telling people to become Premiership footballers. Obviously you can make a living if you make it to the top 0.1% in your field.

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Look, here is a young youtuber at 22 who has BOUGHT a large house.

When you say 'bought', you mean paid in cash with no debt? Or do you mean the bank owns it while he pays a massive mortgage for the next 30+ years?

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You might as well be telling people to become Premiership footballers. Obviously you can make a living if you make it to the top 0.1% in your field.

No, we all just need to find a million people to give us one pound each, and we'll all be millionaires. Easy, innit?

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When you say 'bought', you mean paid in cash with no debt? Or do you mean the bank owns it while he pays a massive mortgage for the next 30+ years?

Hopefully one person can generate enough creative content to keep 1m people entertained for 30 years, otherwise this financial model may struggle.

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I can't remember if I read it on here or something I picked up via twitter but it was a comment regarding our politicians.

Not only are they out of touch with normal people but they are utterly out of touch with young adults. Our leaders are younger than previous generations when they came to power and their children are a lot younger than senior politicos of the past.

They just don't get it.

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They just don't get it.

I'm sure they 'get it' fine. They just don't care, so long as they keep raking in the pork and get fat jobs from their mates after they're voted out.

This is why expecting politicians to fix a problem politicians created is just insane.

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I'm sure they 'get it' fine. They just don't care, so long as they keep raking in the pork and get fat jobs from their mates after they're voted out.

This is why expecting politicians to fix a problem politicians created is just insane.

I don't believe its *all* planned. A big pinch of it must be congenital nicebutdimness

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I don't believe its *all* planned. A big pinch of it must be congenital nicebutdimness

It doesn't have to be planned, it just has to make them rich. If you own BTL properties, you vote for policies that increase house prices. If you want a fat job with a bank after you leave, you do the things your banker friends want.

All it takes is to be a convincing liar who doesn't care one crap about the harm they do to others. A psychopath, in other words.

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When you say 'bought', you mean paid in cash with no debt? Or do you mean the bank owns it while he pays a massive mortgage for the next 30+ years?

If he has got a massive mortgage he'll be able to rent out rooms to his mates for the next 70-80 years.

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Spot on. A modern semi-automated economy being run by 19th century economic dogma (which never worked back then and gave rise to Marx, Keynes etc).

Threats of a return to the Work house can't be far away.

I kid you not the latest scheme they've dreamt up is 'Help To Work.' Mandatory, no pay work schemes 'in the community' for six months.

Obviously, volunteer groups and charities should rally be giving these politically driven schemes a wide birth. It is basically criminalising being unemployed, whilst they fiddle the figures. Quite a number of new charities and community interest companies likely to spring up to take advantage of free labour at no risk. I wonder how those on the schemes can afford to get to work.

With automation - and it will be more invasive - we should all be working less. No possible if all the costs of living - especially housing - is continually ramped up to benefit the few.

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