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Scott Santens @scottsantens
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
The notion that art requires the existence of poverty is another myth that needs to die. Billionaires still get broken hearts. No matter how much work is automated, unrequited love will always exist. If you believe art needs suffering, loss isn't extinguished by money & machines.
Ariana Grande does not suffer lack of resources. She isn't living in poverty. But she just broke records with "thank u, next" after suffering emotional loss. Her song connected with people on an emotional level due to the mass shared experience of breakups that will always exist.
Starving artists are a good thing? Robots toiling for us will remove our desire to create? These are absurdly wrong-headed notions as wrong as defending plantation slavery in the 1800s as being good for the black soul due to inherent laziness and need for motivation by white men.
Roddenberry was a visionary. He understood Maslows hierarchy of needs and that with the elimination of poverty, humanity would seek our higher needs to improve ourselves, to seek out knowledge, to know each other, to explore the unknown, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
It proved challenging to imagine what the new sources of drama would be in a world freed of scarcity, but imagine he did as did writers of The Next Generation. Does anyone honestly think it realistic to assume that in the world of ST, there is less art, and what art exists sucks?
If you believe poverty is required for artistic creation to thrive, and that automation will lead directly to meaninglessness, then destroy your dishwasher. Destroy your washing machine. Reduce your income to the point you can't pay the rent or mortgage. Suffer for your own good.
The belief that suffering via lack of resources and lack of free time is good only seems to apply to others doesn't it? If you believe in it, it just doesn't apply to YOU does it? More cash is great for you. Weekends are great for you. But artists… money & robots will hurt THEM.
Dystopian fiction that takes place in a world where machines are doing more of our work for us, and access to resources and free time have both increased for everyone, is unimaginative. We need more Roddenberrys. We need more visualizing of humanity's untapped creative potential.
We need to eliminate all the effort that goes into just simply surviving so that all of us are free to focus on everything else. People don't tend to commit suicide because they're hungry. They do it when just surviving seems like all there is to life. But there is SO MUCH MORE!
Life isn't about meeting our most basic needs of food & housing. Life is about everything else. Life is about having the time & freedom to start asking the big questions and to seek answers to them — through our own efforts and through each other. We need abundance, not scarcity.
The automation of toil and the defeat of scarcity will be one of the single greatest achievements of humanity, that through millennia of passing down knowledge to each succeeding generation, we were finally able to switch gears from the need to survive, to the freedom to THRIVE.
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