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Things to do

June 3, 2024

What will humans do when machines and computers take all our jobs? I have suggestions and also a solution for voter indifference.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

So what are we going to do when artificial intelligence and machines take over all our jobs?

Let’s assume the machines decide to let us live and that the tiny percentage of humans who think they “own” the machines but really are their pawns let us enjoy the fruits of machine labor.

How will we occupy our days?

I thought about this the other day after spotting a news release touting the release of a new crypto token tied to fantasy sports gaming.

Said the release: “GameOn expects to leverage $GAME to provide unified experiences and rewards across its ecosystem of fantasy sports products.”

Yes, crypto and sports — the perfect combination for those of us intent on not contributing to society.

It does make sense if none of us needs to be productive. The problem, though, for post-work society is that not everyone is going to enjoy fantasy sports and financial scams. Some of us might even be bad at them.

Take heart. There are other things that humans can do. I have suggestions:

Crime. I’m not talking about violence or The Purge. I’m assuming robot cops would put a stop to that sort of thing.

But wouldn’t you enjoy a nice looting spree if there were no consequences and no real harm done? It could be like a scavenger hunt.

Fantasy role-playing. No, not like Dungeons and Dragons. More like Days of Our Lives and General Hospital.

Think of it as YouTube on steroids. Everyone can be an actor and post their lives online for the rest of us to enjoy (or despise).

If you don’t want to share, make the game local. Gather everyone on your block, assign roles, and roll multi-sided dice.

Creative religion. Just because there already are a lot of gods to choose from doesn’t mean we can’t have more. Think of the fun you’ll have coming up with rituals.

Arguing. It may be what humanity does best. No machine is going to take that away from us.

Not feeling guilty about not reading that pile of stuff you meant to get to. We won’t need to know anything anyway.

A potential current hobby. Last November, a company called KalshiEX, LLC filed a suit in federal court in D.C. against the Commodity Futures Trading Commission challenging an agency order barring the offer of “event contracts” that pay off depending on the results of elections.

The Commission apparently thought the contracts amounted to gaming and could threaten election integrity. The plaintiff disagreed, saying the bets were merely hedges against bad results.

“Beyond their economic hedging benefits, political event contracts serve the interests of the public by harnessing the unparalleled power of free markets to produce high-quality, dynamic predictive data,” the suit said.

Kind of like how the odds at the track sometimes pick winners. Who knew that wasn’t gaming?

Anyhow, this is supposedly coming up for argument in court soon and that fact prompted an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times last week in which the authors listed all the bad things about election gambling.

These included incentives for bad people to try to manipulate results with deep fakes and misinformation, addiction to gambling, and manipulation of markets.

Maybe so but there’s something familiar about those problems …

Oh yeah, we already have all those problems. How much worse can they get?

They can’t so why not take advantage of the upside of election gambling. If you’ve got money riding on an election — or anything else — you become very interested in it.

Millions of disengaged non-voters will suddenly become very engaged voters.

This could save democracy.

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