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« Two strategic questions | Main | What is the meaning of life? »

May 03, 2008


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George, I think this is your best post yet(in the brief time I've been visiting this place), and I'm not just saying that because it so appeals to my eschatological sensibilities. :)

This makes the money-pegged-to-energy concept, previously rather abstract, more clear because it's displayed in concrete examples - its relation to compensation for specific jobs.

I still wonder, though, about supply-demand in this wage system. On the one hand, while I can see how a skilled farmer (at least the "engineers" of farming, whatever one calls them) could be highly compensated, and I can see (and certainly hope) that a game programmer would have to dig for grubs, I'm not sure about teachers having much more value. This is because, at least in my experience, teachers are simply not very high-quality people (I shudder to think of the "education" majors I knew in college), and in this future, harsher world, with so many more people seeking fewer non-manual jobs, I should think the competition for each teaching slot would be ferocious, while the skill level needed is simply not very high.

Of course, I'm still thinking in terms of the rotten educational system we now have. Maybe you were picturing something radically different. (On that subject, I started reading your essay on education you linked to some time ago. I didn't get through much of it yet but have it bookmarked. It starts out promisingly, though.)

George Mobus

Thanks Russ.

I do indeed foresee a very different kind of education in the future. I would hope that education starts to mean preparing people to live in a steady-state economy, where their work consists of helping capture more of the raw energy inputs to make them available to society or building tools to increase efficiency, etc.

Not all work will be directly about energy. I still think we need the arts, literature, music and all of those pleasures that rejuvenate our inner selves. In an ideal world the energy workers will create a sufficient excess to support a balanced life for everyone instead of more playthings for the ever increasing population.

But that is yet another story!


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