On Quitting Our Day Jobs -- Gracefully. The Microeconomics of the Millennium
For those of us who still have day jobs, consider that being unemployed may not be everything it is cracked up to be. A little patience is in order.
There may be a natural desire to short-circuit the Millennium, but no one ever said that a Millennium was a thousand years; it may just seem like it. Of some practical concern is the stock market. If all the folks with day jobs decided to celebrate the Millennium, those of us clipping coupons might look a little foolish, and we wouldn’t want that to happen. Also the CIA might take a dim view. How are we going to keep the boys and girls down on the farm?
DARPA’s Internet was a brilliant stroke. Working for a dot com is not quite like your father’s day job and it can do wonders for the coupon clippers, just ask them. The problem is the encore. Biotechnology will take up some of that slack. Cosmetology will take on a whole new meaning.
The virtual reality industry certainly has prospects. The new epithet will be ‘get a virtual life.’ The silicon gang already has designs on the New Heaven and New Earth. The Eschaton will just be the endless Rave. Let us not be too hasty to disabuse this enthusiasm. How are we going to mediate between telephony and telepathy? What is the difference between the soul and a quantum cable modem? How do you explain to the day traders that the best things in life are free? Who ever said that the Millennium would be a walk in the park?
The simple way out of these dilemmas is to posit a meta/physical separation between the high and low techies. I have been sorely tempted by the easy split, but I think that the cosmos has something more dialectical, or should we say ‘metaxological’ (Wm. Desmond), in mind for us. In practice there is likely to be a proliferation of blurred boundaries. Our day jobs and our night jobs will commingle, as our credit lines expandeth.
The future remains open to the imagination. This best of all worlds is sometimes best left just slightly unfinished and a bit rough around the edges, dontcha think?
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