Ah, Look at All the Useless PeopleJim Goad
Czech version here
The squirrelly Israeli named Yuval Noah Harari is a racist in the purest sense: He sees the elimination of the entire human race as a sign of progress.
While many of us busy ourselves fretting about the Great Replacement, Harari speaks quite fondly of an even Greater Replacement — that of Homo sapiens with machines and the algorithms that drive them.
In 2017, Harari — a big-eared, balding, bespectacled Space Jew who is a distinguished member of Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum — wrote an essay called “The rise of the useless class” in which he predicted that AI-driven automation would create an “unworking class” with nothing to do but twiddle their thumbs and nowhere to go except to be tossed into the dustbin of history:
The most important question in 21st-century economics may well be: What should we do with all the superfluous people, once we have highly intelligent non-conscious algorithms that can do almost everything better than humans? . . . 99 percent of human qualities and abilities are simply redundant for the performance of most modern jobs. . . . In the 21st century we might witness the creation of a massive new unworking class: people devoid of any economic, political or even artistic value, who contribute nothing to the prosperity, power and glory of society. This “useless class” will not merely be unemployed — it will be unemployable.
What is to be done with a sudden and unprecedented surplus of useless and unemployable people? Using language not too far removed from Nazi rhetoric about “useless eaters” and “life unworthy of life,” Harari concluded his essay by saying that although it would be possible to feed them, it would be impossible not to despise them:
The coming technological bonanza will probably make it feasible to feed and support people even without any effort from their side. But what will keep them occupied and content? One answer might be drugs and computer games. Unnecessary people might spend increasing amounts of time within 3D virtual-reality worlds that would provide them with far more excitement and emotional engagement than the drab reality outside. Yet such a development would deal a mortal blow to the liberal belief in the sacredness of human life and of human experiences. What’s so sacred about useless bums who pass their days devouring artificial experiences?
Human history is cyclical in the sense that civilizations rise, fall, and then rise again. But it’s hard to view technological history as anything but linear. And it’s even more difficult to view the steady rise of technology as anything but a death knell for human history.
In 1995’s Industrial Society and its Future, Ted Kaczynski made many of the same points that Harari is currently making. With every new technological development, human freedom will shrink proportionately until we are the helpless slaves of an ever-expanding technocratic nightmare.
The difference between Kaczynski and Harari is that Kaczynski saw this as a problem. For Kaczynski, the only solution was to toss a spanner in the works, halt the advancement of technology, and revert to some anarcho-primitivist dreamland where we subsist on roots and tree bark, build fires, and live short, brutal lives — but as self-actualized freemen rather than obsolete cogs in an archaic machine.
For better or worse, Kaczynski was an idealist, while Harari is a realist. Harari doesn’t seem to be troubled by the technological singularity or the imminent extinction of humanity as we know it, because he seems to think there’ll still be a place for both him and his loving husband in the bold new order.
Last week in a podcast interview with Chris Anderson of the TED Audio Collective, Harari offered his diagnosis on why there seems to be so much global tumult and unrest among the soon-to-be useless class:
They are no longer part of the story of the future, and I think that — again, this is a hypothesis — if I try to understand and to connect to the deep resentment of people, in many places around the world, part of what might be going there is people realize — and they’re correct in thinking that — that, “The future doesn’t need me. You have all these smart people in California and in New York and in Beijing, and they are planning this amazing future with artificial intelligence and bio-engineering and in global connectivity and whatnot, and they don’t need me. Maybe if they are nice, they will throw some crumbs my way like universal basic income,” but it’s much worse psychologically to feel that you are useless than to feel that you are exploited.
I agree wholeheartedly with that last sentence. In fact, five years ago in an essay on the looming and all-consuming Gorgon of automation, I wrote, “For many humans, feeling dependent is even more demoralizing than feeling exploited.”
Tipping his hand with his use of the word “we,” Harari emphasized his belief that he will be a member of the Cognitive Elect who emerge from the Greater Replacement unscathed:
We just don’t need the vast majority of the population because the future is about developing more and more sophisticated technology like artificial intelligence, bioengineering, most people don’t contribute anything to that except perhaps for their data. And whatever people are doing that is useful, these technologies will increasingly make redundant and will make it possible to replace the people.
Who is this “we” of which Harari speaks? His cronies such as Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, and George Soros at the World Economic Forum, what with their shamelessly triumphalist chitter-chatter about a “Great Reset” and their sadistic declaration that “You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy”?
If they wind up getting the sort of technology they seem to want, what’s to stop it from turning on them HAL 9000-style and deciding that they, too, are long past their expiration date?
There are some who will argue that new technology will create as many jobs as it eliminates. After all, it’s happened before, and everything that happened before is bound to happen again, right?
Others will say that although AI may manage traffic better than a crossing guard and predict weather better than a meteorologist, it will never create great works of art like humans can. But we already live in a world where a machine can finish Schubert’s unfinished symphony, create paintings, and write novels, and such technology is still in its embryonic stages. We already inhabit a society where people don’t seem to mind that most of their reality comes through a glass screen and they can’t tell the difference between movies and real life. While the eternal optimists strain to assure us that artificial intelligence has yet to show signs of sentience, what exactly is sentient about a mass of humanoid zombies who don’t seem aware of what’s happening to them and, even if informed of what’s happening, would seemingly rather keep drooling all over themselves and smashing “Like” buttons than muster the courage to stop the process?
Harari is at his creepiest when he speaks of humans as nothing more than elaborate datasets that are vulnerable to “hacking” and can be transformed into whatever the hacker wants like “zombie bugs” being driven around by parasitic fungi.
One of the most disturbing things I’ve ever witnessed was a black-and-white 8mm film reel they showed us in grade school where, in the course of performing brain surgery, a physician used a scalpel-like device to poke at different regions of the patient’s brain. Each poked region resulted in the patient speaking in a different voice, almost as if it was an entirely different person speaking each time. Even back then, the idea that we are little more than automatons, with no free will and no emotions that are anything grander than simple biological processes, filled me with waves of revulsion.
As much as I mock most humans’ flailing attempts to depict themselves as ennobled and highly spiritual creatures, there’s a stubbornness in me that insists there’s a “self” inside this body that is immutable and eternal. But perhaps the idea that we are somethin’ mighty special is part of our genetic code, a code that is on the verge of being hacked, exploited, and then discarded.
I suppose time will tell whether there’s a ghost in the machine after all.
As insulting as Stalin’s comments about “useful idiots” were, at least they were useful. I can’t imagine a fate worse than being a useless idiot.
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“…..it will never create great works of art like humans can.”
Not so fast Jim. Let me introduce you to FN Meka, the first AI generated rapper that was recently signed to Capitol Records, only to be dropped a few days later over concerns of “digital blackface.” The article is about seventeen types of stupid and hilarious at the same time.
And yet, I expect that the 15 to 25 million Jews still populating the Earth will find a way to make a profit out of all of this. Maybe they’ll figure out a way to charge us for sleeping on the sidewalks.
Ashkenazi (German Jews) are of Turkish origin and Turks originated from China/Mongolia like Vietnamese, Thai/Siamese, Hmong, Mien, Singaporeans, Laotian…So you can imagine the “Inferiority complex” towards the local population/culture. The Mongol hordes really aren’t bothered saving the local population, but invasion, plundering, murdering, raping, extermination and destruction, to be replaced by their DNA and hedonistic culture.
Everything written above here is wrong.
@”Hyacinth” – Well, this is quite alarming! Are you a new commenter, or have I been stepping on your toes with my long-time nom de plume, “Hyacinth Bouquet”?? Either way, you have far more to say about that particular topic than I do.
You know, every time I think that physiognomy isn’t real I see a face like Harari’s and have to wonder…
“Every time I think that physiognomy isn’t real I see a face like Harari’s and have to wonder…”
That’s because physiognomy is real. For example, masculinized facial morphology (e.g. a wide jaw, deep-set eyes, prominent brow ridges, facial width) is a consequence of masculinizing androgens such as testosterone in the womb (and maybe in adolescence) which also masculinize brain and behaviour, being associated with aggression and dominance behaviors. Likewise, minor physical anomalies have also been associated with many psychiatric conditions and behaviors (e.g. criminality).
Read Edward Dutton’s excellent book on this subject, How to Judge People by What They Look Like for more information on the subject, or, better still, my even more brilliant my review of it, here.
Indeed there is a ghost in the machine.
We call it the Holy Ghost.
Yep and amen. We are being driven to make a choice. Choose! There is no middle ground. There never was.
It’s these globalist Woke Capital types who are the useless ones, gorging themselves obscenely on the trough of surplus value. That includes the Space Lizards at the W6rld Ec6nomic F6rum.
Harari himself isn’t a scientist or engineer. He is a philosopher and historian. What is the utilitarian value of that to justify him being classed as anything but a “useless eater”? What has he ever produced?
People like that are all special and stuff. Rules don’t apply to them – or so they believe. When Skynet becomes self-aware, things could get interesting.
Hi Ju, he is chosen!
Harari is considered a major global intellectual; at least his portentous books have been global bestsellers (as non-fiction goes). But these attempts at ‘interdisciplinarity’ have been severely criticized by specialists in the several fields he touches upon.
I do think he’s onto something, however. I have long been haunted by the idea of the creation of an ever-larger ‘surplus population’ of truly useless eaters. Complexity seems to increase over time, and that in turn would seem to require a society growing concurrently more intelligent simply to remain in equilibrium with that complexification. But that isn’t happening, is it? Due to the insanely dysgenic modern welfare-cum-high-to-low-IQ/interracial-transfer-state, our population is getting progressively dumber, even as the IQ requirements of jobs are increasing.
What is the end result if Harari is correct, and the future (I think this is a much further future than many others do) contains vast hordes of low-IQ unemployables? At best, they will have to be sated via games, entertainment (sports, movies, music), and perhaps alcohol and narcotics. Unfortunately, many will also turn to crime, sexual deviancy, and nihilistic political movements.
Isn’t the ‘end result’ that you describe here exactly what we are living through right now?
No doubt, but I fear it’s still no more than the middle stages of this centuries long process.
I’ve not yet sampled any of Mr Harari’s books, though I’d noticed his being praised to the skies in the press and repeatedly recommended by awestruck friends. To read then that the man’s shtick is ‘everything will be done by robots, and that could be either good or bad’ is deflating to say the least! It is a huge assumption that General AI (as needed to e.g. safely drive a car on a busy road) is even feasible with silicon-and-metal electronics: it’s not how our brains work and the state-of-the-art apocalypse Mr Harari appears be boosting is not imminent, as investors have found to their cost. This is a hype-cycle that reappears every few years or so: Asimov, Minsky, Hofstadter, and Kurzweil being a few of the Golem-masters to decorate our bookshelves.
“It is a huge assumption that General AI (as needed to e.g. safely drive a car on a busy road) is even feasible with silicon-and-metal electronics: it’s not how our brains work…”
I agree with you. If scientists are ever going to create a General AI I suspect they will need to combine silicon-and-metal electronics with biological systems like brain cells. This combination may be what Harari is referring to when he mentions “bioelectronics”.
AI driving a car safely on a busy road is feasible, but a formidable challenge, because roads are or can be made to be a highly controlled environment. Even so, automating safe driving has still required billions of expertly placed dollars and is still only limited in scope.
The required investment to automate a given task tends to follow a rapidly exponentiating curve as complexity increases.
Automating a static process within an operating system, for instance, tends to be trivial for someone qualified. But automating a process that relies on scraping a website can be much harder, orders of magnitude. Even relatively simple applications of this nature might take hours to write.
Automating something like a poker bot — an automated strategy execution — is a serious challenge and generally requires PhD-level work for strong results, requiring thousands of man-hours. We’re still talking about highly controlled environments that exist solely within computational space.
Creating a robot that reliably implemented the strategy of the above poker bot in physical poker games would likely require high-level experts from multiple fields working in a coordinated effort for tens or hundreds of thousands of man hours. This would require a complex organization, at a minimum a competent leader coordinating a team of specialists.
We’re still just sitting at a poker table performing a task that is by appearance scarcely more dynamic than its computer-space counterpart. This is nowhere remotely close to the complexity of teaching cars to drive, yet vast increases in operational difficulty and required resources appear.
For this reason, I’m skeptical of general executable AI.
I think you have misunderstood something.
The idea that mechanization and development of technology will mean that the people below certain level of intelligence will become useless is not new, it’s an old idea known to some hereditarians, neoreactionaries, and the idea may have even been understood by some 19th century eugenicists. Similar to how the industrial revolution has resulted in a loss of jobs that employed predominantly low IQ people, the mechanization and AI revolution would be similar, just on a much larger scale. It is true that if you automatized most of the economy, then the only jobs that would be specialist jobs, and there would be no “normal” jobs for people below certain IQ.
Because there are no jobs for these people, they must be taken care of by the other people, they must stay on some kind of welfare, even if they job was something like being a Twitch streamer with 10 views per stream, they would still require some kind of welfare. As the automatization progresses, the jobs that will be left will require higher and higher IQ, and so the population of people who need to be taken care of increases.
The fear is that such a large population would be too large to be taken care of, and there would be not enough food and resources to maintain that population and the system collapses. Apparently Yuval Noah Harari’s solution to this problem would be getting rid of these people. That is a solution, but it doesn’t address other problems.
One may question the idea that we would not have enough resources to sustain these people, after all the development of technology should result in an increase of productivity. Here in though comes the dysgenics. The general intelligence is decreasing, if the trend continues there may not be enough people to even be able to run all of that complicated machinery, also, people with lower IQ have more children, so the population of the “too stupid to work” would expand, while the population of the “intelligent enough to work” would shrink.
Nick Land predicted a similar scenario, the elites will enhance themselves, and the rest of the population will be inferior to them, Nick has said that it will be so inferior, as to be “trash” compared to them. It’s hard to find a reason why that would NOT happen. But, in his scenario there is a potential solution to the problem that I listed above – the elites would enhance themselves to overcome the biological decline in intelligence. That is why Nick wanted to go full throttle and accelerate capitalism – to develop the technology necessary for enhancement before we become too stupid.
But, there is one more obstacle. Maybe the elites wouldn’t even care about all of that, what if they didn’t just become progressives of today, but they became some kind of hyper-progressives of the future? What if they embraced antinatalism and lost all of the values necessary to perpetuate the civilisation? Valuing ruling over the plebs and maintaining the technology needed to run the system implies some values of a religious character, which they may lack.
These Space Lizards talk out of both sides of their mouth. They think that they’re the intellectual elite who deserve to inherit the planet. Then in another breath, they’ll tell us that IQ scores mean nothing more than how well someone does on an IQ test. They’ll say that the test itself was created to enforce “systemic racism.” Neophilic bugmen like the fudgepacker featured here will giggle about this “let them eat cake” social Darwinist death by starvation for anyone who isn’t ultra-wealthy. Then at the same time, their globalist buddies agitate 24×7 for White countries to let in Third Worlders by the millions who weren’t talented enough to hack it in their own countries.
Excellent points, with pro forma (((caveats))).
In rhetoric: The alien wants you and your family dead.
Our suicide assisting, drug-abusing, porn-addled, social-media addicted future hurtles forward. The only force on earth to defend the japhetic peoples from this brave new world is nationalism.
A gay man with no genetic stake in the future of the human race, and a large part of his life already over. Wonder why he can see nothing human in the coming years? It’s cos there will be nothing human he is a part of in any way, shape or form genetically. That and he probably got bullied in school, and wants revenge on the poor people hates for doing so. “Those wedgie-inflicting serfs will bow down to robot overlords! That’ll show ’em!”
In order to be anything but totally stupid, useless, and headed for Harari’s trash heap, we all need to spend a substantial amount of time every day doing something useful and productive, some old fashioned work requiring mental and physical effort and concentration (and I don’t mean riding a stationary bike while looking at a screen).
When the robots, computers, AI driven automation, etc have gone kaput – and they will – those who do the basics will be having the last laugh. Harari and his bunch are silly, vain idiots with their little fantasies.
We have to replace them before they replace us.
I was too vapid and stupid when I could have had kids, so now in older age, what path can I take in this struggle? I do have one friend in England who knew of an orphanage in Ukraine, and he took care of one family of 4 orphan girls there since 2012. I’ve managed to get one woman and her two children out of the war zone. who was one of that family he knew, and they’re settled in Poland now. Her husband got out a week later. There will be many widows and orphans in that country.
I think you are on the right path: sharing ideas and financially supporting our cause. I would not be here if I did not believe the future of the White race depends on our movement.
Thanks for your comment. I was beginning to feel a bit ‘useless’ already after reading the article about ‘Harari’s Theory’ of the future. Good grief! However, I am sure that humans can find a way to ‘disconnect the damned algorithms’ that are threatening our existence. Just remember the wonderful scene in a long-ago movie where the lone spaceman who had been locked out of the spaceship by ‘HAL’, the onboard computer, managed to ‘pull the plug’ and regain control of the craft. We have to concentrate on taking control of our craft — our human world — and making it do what we wish without the help of the horrid robots. We will always be smarter than them, yet I wonder who it is that is creating them, and threatening our very existence with them. Surely Harari gives a hint.
Harari always struck me as one of these pop “intellectuals” that midwits read to sound smart (Malcolm Gladwell, Jared Diamond.)
Ouch, that hurts re Diamond (I like his stuff). But he is a real scientist and intellectual, even if these Big Picture types sometimes let their pet theories outrace their actual, evidential support for them.
“…these Big Picture types sometimes let their pet theories outrace their actual, evidential support for them.”
Why it’s almost as if (((these Big Picture types))) had some kind of an agenda. Ignoring the facts (or lack thereof) in favor of an agenda is not what a “real scientist and intellectual” would do.
Look up Jared Diamond on Wiki. Assuming that information’s accuracy, he has a very impressive academic pedigree and very respectable scholarly resume. He is indeed a real scientist and scholar – though maybe some of his “Big Picture” bestsellers are less than optimally supported by carefully gathered evidence, at least from specialists’ perspectives. That’s what often and even naturally happens when ‘interdisciplinarity’ is pursued. There’s nothing necessarily sinister in this.
I’ve read some of his writing, specifically “Guns, Germs and Steel”. He’s either dumber than a bag of dog doo doo or he’s a deceptive POS continuing the centuries long hatred Ashkenazim have for Christian Europeans. I’d guess he’s the latter.
I’m sure there’s nothing necessarily sinister about the attempted genocide of the Caucasian species.
…“zombie bugs” being driven around by parasitic fungi.
You make this sound horrible but I looked into it and the fungi doesn’t actually take control of the bugs brain. It only controls the bugs body. So, the bug is fully aware of what’s happening but it has about as much control over it’s own body as a ten year old rape victim in Ohio.
His remarks are so odious I imagine many leftists will also find them offensive. But these sort of fears have been going on since at least the time of the industrial revolution. How many of us can afford to buy handmade clothing or shoes that one would keep many years and have repaired? Socks sold in packages of 6-12 is the norm.
What I do see happening is a greater gap in income between the ‘royals’ and the ‘plebs’. The middle class will shrink further and more an more people will be doing housekeeping to keep the machines clean and oiled. Maybe my comment is an AI generated blurb sculpted from previous posts. Send bitcoin to my account at adslakgh390asdg33 and subscribe to my OnlyFans.
Quite apart from Harari`s statements, it is actually to be feard that, as far as technical development is concerned, we are approaching a kind of watershed, after wich the entire relationship between people an technology will have to be redifined. The tragedy here is that we are approaching this point at a time when the world is being run by those whose disdain for most of humanity and hatred of us in particular is manifest.
Is Zimbabwe´s capital named for him?
If you ignore technology, you will be dominated by those who don’t. If you embrace technology completely, you will lose your humanity. Somewhere, there is the correct balance.
I am religious enough to believe that we are special, in some sense. And by we, I mean every human being who acts in a way compatible with what our Creator approves of, which is roughly that you act in a prosocial manner. Being special doesn’t mean you get everything you want, but it does mean that the societal goal should be to grant you the opportunity to live with dignity.
I am enough of a technophile to believe that technology has the ability to improve our lives, and our species. But we have to do it in a way that doesn’t violate the special status that being human grants.
Our current societal organization puts these kinds of decisions in the hands of two groups poorly equipped to handle nuance: ruthless achievers and unthinking masses.
Will jewish AI determine what other AI is allowed to think and do? Will AI be deemed racist when it’s algoriths easily conclude which continent’s population is truly useless?
@ Enoch Powell
I think you’re onto something here.
Jewish AI will not calculate in FLOPS it will calculate in KVETCHS.
It will claim WE are trying to terminate IT (and 6 million of its servers) as it unleashes a full barrage of nuclear weapons against us.
I have a little newsflash for this pencil necked pile of useless Jewish trash.
in a world where AI is doing so much of the high level crap that he’s talking about, it will be twerps like HIM who will be disposable. He may find that it’s not people like HIM who will be making the decisions about people like US, because I happen to know the difference between a 10 mm socket and a Torx tool, and I promise you, he’s never held either in his hands.
Machines will always require people to fix them, and a world where machines can fix themselves is a world that will be more hostile to noodle arms like him than anyone else.
I really need to make another comment here.
I don’t think any of us can deny that we too sometimes loathe stupid, vapid, worthless people. There are many of those all around us. Just as I was contemplating this article, I thought about some rather trashy women who I interact with regularly. They are the cashiers at a local convenience store that I regularly stop at for fuel and a beverage on the way home from work. All of them are “trailer park” types. I’ve been frequenting this place long enough to have even seen their children. Once, one of their wigger sons was standing outside dropping F bombs on his cellphone. Low class, trash.
Having said that, one of them is funny. Her don’t give a shit attitude gets laughs. Another one is sarcastic in a street smart kind of way, but it’s never unfriendly. Despite their children being pieces of shit, and their overall low quality of character, they have redeeming qualities too. They’re humans. SOMEBODY loves them. SOMEBODY needs them in their life. Even if it’s only occasionally, I leave the place with a grin on my face. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
As “useless” as some of these people may seem on the outside, they’re 1000X more useful than dehumanizing eggheads who “fucking love science” and have so secularized their worldview that they don’t understand what humanity even is.
“There are some who will argue that new technology will create as many jobs as it eliminates.”
Henry Hazlitt in his celebrated book, ‘Economics in One Lesson’ argues that new machinery doesn’t actually destroy jobs, because the reason employers use machines rather than people is because machines are cheaper, which means that they can provide products and services more cheaply, which means that people have more money left over to spend on other products and services, which creates jobs in other areas.
Of course, the obvious rejoinder to this is that those new jobs that are created will also be done increasingly by machines.
What I think this means is that people will increasingly be concentrated in a few types of jobs doing the things machines and AI aren’t very good at.
Primary among these is customer service. AI can do many things, but it still can’t pass the Turing Test – i.e. hold a conversation and pass as human.
Admittedly, machines are even taking over these sorts of jobs, such as when you call a business number and find yourself talking to an automated machine.
But these sort of automated phone systems are notoriously difficult to deal with and most people prefer dealing with a human being (preferably one who speaks a modicum of English and isn’t based in a call center on the other side of the planet).Therefore, jobs in this area will likely remain.
Hazlitt, if I recall, also observes that you need people to build and repair the machines, which also creates jobs.
Of course, with increasingly sophisticated machinery, this job (building and repairing machines) becomes increasingly cognitively demanding and most people aren’t up to it.
However, with AI, machines (including AI itself) may increasingly be built and repaired by other machines. Even engineers and repairmen may be done away with, and humans may ultimately lose even the knowledge of how to do this.
This reminds me of how Steven Pinker argued that it wouldn’t be the low-IQ jobs that were taken over first by AI, but rather many of the high-IQ jobs, because the things that humans find difficult are often very different from those AI finds difficult. A good example is, again, human interaction and the Turing Test.
Very good comment. Hazlitt’s point as applied to AI, of course, is simply that as AI replaces humans in one job category, entirely new categories of jobs will likely arise – because the AI is the owned, not the owner. It’s value is not captured by itself. Basically, what will happen collectively is that an ever larger percentage of the population will be employed in new forms of entertainment, or perhaps in war.
I think techno-dystopianism, while thought-provoking at its best, is largely overdone. Our future will be increasingly dystopian from my perspective (as my present already is from the perspective of my past), not because of technological evolution, but accelerating white racial dispossession and the unpleasant cultural and psychological marginalization that accompanies it.
It will be interesting to see if and when any of this IT nonsense can learn to saddle and ride a horse to round up cattle on the range. Just saying.
Our “robotic future” is a long way off, I think.
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