Tim, a question that’s been on my mind is why the past is so appealing but the future is not. I’m thinking about conservatism as a return to the past and progressives as a movement toward a better future.
It’s obvious that one reason is that nobody ever talks about a bright, wonderful future. Maybe they think they are, but the message they’re selling is actually frightening.
For example, let’s imagine that Uber achieves all of their goals. We won’t need our own cars, we won’t need truck drivers, cost of goods will go down, and once again venture capital will be validated by a 1000x performer.
The country will be massively wealthier and we’ll institute universal basic income as victory spoils for the entire country.
The people who built Uber will feel great about themselves. They went to work with a mission and achieved it. Kudos to them. They’ll wake up every morning with pride and go to work with excitement and purpose.
But, after universal basic income, what purpose will drag the adequately fed and housed masses out of their beds? None. Technology is going to rob people of purpose.
To take it to Maslow’s hierarchy. The story technology is spinning is to raise people from the base of the hierarchy and then lower people from the peak.
I pay attention and am optimistic. But it’s not even obvious to me that people’s lives will be happier and more fulfilled after we forcibly swap their jobs for government handouts.