The Future Of Humanity — An Obsolete Species?
From 'Technology Making It Worse' by P Atkinson (July 2010)

Mankind is a version of chimpanzee that learnt to dominate other species and its environment through its communal intelligence. The power our species developed was not just because of our brains but our social organisation. People did not just form groups, but group intelligence, which is an understanding superior to any individual effort. And this has allowed us to develop tools that supply ever increasing power. We have even managed to infuse intelligence, which is the source of humanity's power, into inanimate objects and have created artificial intelligence.

Now, circa 2010, the power of our tools is so great that they are superior in nearly every way to human toil. There are very few jobs that can still be done better by people than machines, and these are disappearing under the steady evolution of technology. This means that the human effort required to maintain our community is slowly being discarded as obsolete. The human dream of a life of luxurious idleness now seems a possibility because the toil necessary to support us can be provided by our machines.

What Do People Do If They Do Not Work
This dependence raises a difficult question, what do people do if they do not work? I was faced with the same problem in 1991 when I no longer could get paid employment and my wife became the bread-winner. Since then, even though I have never been paid for my efforts, I believe I have done my duty by devoting my time to understanding my community, hence my species, and publishing my discoveries. My efforts, though unrecognised, have allowed people to better understand their community, their species and themselves: I have added to human knowledge, which is a much more valuable result than merely spending my time helping to keep some commercial computer system working.

Reaction To Problems Depends Upon Character
When faced with personal obsolescence, I changed my habits to discover a solution: I stopped spending my time in the futile search for a job, but became an unpaid philosopher who published his ideas on the internet. Others have not been so flexible but have kept the same habits and suffered loss of wealth, identity and purpose. Faced with the same problem the community must also change its habits (traditions) to harness the power of a clever, powerful, technology or become impoverished.

The Future May Be Better For All
While our community is doomed by its senility, the existence of a powerful clever technology does not condemn future sensible communities but must offer the chance of an improved future for humanity.