The world is becoming a hopeless, dangerous place for people who do not have high-end skills.
Anything and everything that can be automated, we can assume, in the next 30-50 years, will be automated.
That leaves vast numbers of people of out the workforce, unable to acquire high-end, non-automatable skills. They simply do not have the intellectual capacity for learning, for example, how to build robots. Or, how to do highly sophisticated research in particle physics.
So what would happen to these people?
Their anger, their frustration will destabilize the world. With Trump, Brexit, the possibility of Frexit, and such calamities, we’ve already started seeing this dynamic unfold.
This may be a tremendously politically incorrect area to broach, but IF the population could be genetically engineered to have inherently high intellectual capacity, the trauma could, perhaps, be managed.
The field of genetic engineering is advancing. In the next 30 years, it will make significant headway.
What should policy dictate on the subject? Should governments legalize genetic engineering? Controversial topics. Important topics.
How expensive would it be to perform genetic engineering? If it were legal, but very expensive, then, once again, the poor and the disenfranchised will lose out. The rich will get their offsprings engineered to be super smart and super capable. The birth lottery and the genetic lottery would then add to further stratification of society.
Privilege will continue to be concentrated at the tip of the pyramid.
But if the entire population can afford to be genetically engineered such that the intellectual capacity is dramatically enhanced, that would be an interesting step in evolution.
At any rate, developments in the field of genetic engineering are something we need to watch carefully.
Of course, we also have to parlay this technology onto the whole economic model collapse as Capitalism starts to dwindle.
An even more complex question emerges with that juxtaposition: what if smart people ALSO cannot make a living?
Are we now talking Universal Basic Income supporting a population of genetically engineered ultra-smart people working on interesting things – scientific research, creative and artistic pursuits?
Well, join me in this thought experiment and tell us what you think society would look like …
Photo credit: Christian Haugen/Flickr.com.
This segment is a part in the series : The Future