Yesterday I wrote Supernatural Forces Rule the World but this morning I am not happy with it. It needs to be brought up-to-date. The world I am referring to is, of course, the human world, and to see what is ruling this, we have to look at what people are doing there. And what they think is ruling them.
What they are doing is clear enough – but what they are thinking is not.
We can assume they have not changed much, and still believe that world is ruled by divine forces – of some kind or another. The question being “What kind are they now? What kind if supernatural force is now ruling their lives?”
Not long ago the proper question would have been “Who are your gods?” And you would get a long list of them. This was simplified with the arrival of Christianity and Islam – who only believed in one God. But with the arrival of the Modern World and Industrialization, things changed. It became clear that other forces were at work, as embodied by the Machine.
And a new Reality came into light – Objective Reality, as contrasted with Subjective Reality. This gave the Industrial Economy great power, because it could plan things – because it had a stable reality to work in. One that was not subject to the whims of supernatural beings.
The Industrial Economy took off. With the rest of the world looking on – not comprehending what was going on. This pattern would be repeated again – a new reality arises, but most people cannot understand it.
In the case of Industrialization, understanding was not necessary – people just went to work! And then bought new goodies with their wages. This resulted in economic growth – which they believed would go on forever. This was a religion anyone could believe in! Without understanding it in the least.
Eventually, in the middle of the 20th Century – this economy ended. To the shock of everyone in it. They were running around desperately, looking for someone with a magic wand to bring it back. But there were no magic wands.
I was caught by this transition, back in the Seventies – and, like many others, became part of the Computer Industry. This was our magic wand – and it was going to save us!
Except it didn’t. We ended up in a perfect mess instead. One world had ended – but its replacement was not working yet. Its believers keep saying it will – once a few wrinkles get ironed out. Some very substantial wrinkles, to be sure.
But they are not saying (at least not very loudly) – that the Computer Economy will employ far fewer people.
What will happen to everyone else?