The Automated Society
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In a diagram from the book The Automated Society, Bloomfield defines the history of humanity beginning over two million years ago and ending over a hundred thousand years in the future. The diagram is base on biological punctuated equilibrium and a parallel cultural evolution. The predictions of the future follow what has happened in the past.
The diagram of history shows humanity having long periods of stability interrupted with short periods of transition. Humanity is currently experiencing one of those short periods of transition, from a stable agricultural period going through a transitional industrial society leading to a stable automated period. Productivity is the key to the transition; when it is impossible to increase productivity, humanity will have arrived at the automated society.
Before humanity enters the automated society, we will suffer from two near term trends. One trend is the relentlessly increasing number of human beings. The second is the relentlessly decreasing number of jobs. Jobs will be eliminated by substituting men with machines. An example of this is agriculture where once in the peasant society there were ninety percent of the people working as farmers. With the introduction of tractors, only three percent of Americans work on the farm.
Once the problems of the lack of jobs, increased pollution and fewer natural resources are solved and the food factory put in operation, there should be a reconciliation of man to automation. In the automated society, men will live in affluence along with a total control of population. The one place where man will have an unlimited future will be in space. Space can provide for an unlimited increase in population and potentially the introduction of new human biological species.
- Accelerating change
- Punctuated equilibrium
- Sociocultural Evolution
- Mankind in Transition
- Bloomfield, Masse, The Automated Society, Masefield Books, 1995.
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