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Hi all. Been awhile since I posted.. here goes:

I have been recently been toying with an idea. Seems unlikely to happen but still might yeild knowledge if answered, so...

In a hypothetical future, imagine a machine that essentially produces any sort of material value you can imagine from nothing. Food, clothes, oxygen, houses, cars, roads, planes...

So the question - assuming that this could could be mass produced and given to everyone, it seems like it would make most jobs and industries obsolete. If that is true, should it still be given, or would it for some reason be better to not give it and keep industry alive?

Thank you for your time.. Thoughts?

Edited by 123Me
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123Me,

The scenario you pose runs afoul of the second law of thermodynamics. The natural organization of matter to functions and purposes, so far as we know, begins with the formation of living systems. Some of those, specifically us, then invent and use and enjoy machines and toys and so forth. All such living organizations of matter, whether from nature or by our engineering of life forms, and all our machines and so forth wear out. They stop functioning. Organized purposeful work is required to maintain them. That's all just part of the second law.

It's about as deep a law of matter and energy as we know, so if sufficiently extreme, the scenario becomes deeply irrelevant. But when not carried to such an extreme, it is highly pertinent to what has actually happened to humans over the last few centuries. And there we have the answer to your question. We don't have to speculate from intuitions. We know.

Humans will not only have to tend to machines, including machines tending machines, humans will want to get better and better at repairing themselves. They will want more and more better machines. Better means of transportation. Faster everything. We've seen they always want faster, and the slower, older means of cultivating a field or transporting goods or the mail fall away. They will want better and better sex robots invented, quite surely, and they will attain them. Always better-and-better serving machines to be invented. And in all this rapid progress we've seen, humans will work. Ever more productively, due to machines, but humans will work.

And I think that is good, indeed essential to the human race being what it is---happiness in our own skin.

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