Scarcity is the scourge of freedom

Posted on Sep 3, 2022

I came across this superb paper: Aronowitz, Stanley. “The Last Good Job in America.” Social Text, no. 51 (1997): 93–108. – quoting:

…among others, Robert Spiegelman, Herbert Marcuse, and Murray Bookchin have argued, scarcity is the scourge of freedom and, from the perspective of the rulers, must be artificially repro- duced to maintain the system of domination. Hence, working hours are longer, supervision-call it surveillance-more intense, accidents and injuries more frequent, and wages and salaries lower. Marx’s belief that the more the worker produces the more he or she is diminished, enriching only the owners, seems more relevant today than it did in 1844 when he first wrote this…

I entered the field of AI with the hope of abolishing all forms of labour. We are really far away from achieving this, to the point where I think we do not even know what we are searching for. In the process, however, we have got data science as the expression of AI in the commercial/applied sphere. Quite a bit of what has been achieved has the possibility of making our lives less boring (e.g see all the amazing work in img2text, e.g. results are truly impressive, possibly leading to a whole new gaming experience, though it is still early days and it’s not trivial at all getting good quality images).