“As the second decade of the 21st Century started; profits were such that mass starvation, inevitable though it was, was not contemplated. Malthusian theories were dismissed as the works of cranks and depressives.”
Jack yawned. Behind him in the back row of the lecture hall a couple of students were having sex. He toggled the turbo on his brain up and down to see if this was sad: It gyrated between yes and no as he went round the dial from ‘No Cool’ at powersave up to 172 when it settled on the meaninglessness of questions to the top of the dial. He turned it down to a safe 115.
Jack liked history. He considered himself old fashioned, but youthful. He was eighteen, not being de-aged; probably unlike the geriatric granny behind who had been rebuilt into a pert nineteen year old. With the dial at 115 he was beginning to feel riled and more than slightly aroused. How dare they; he felt glad that freshers week was over.
“The economic inflection point approached at a steady velocity. The automation of production under CPU control was carried in waves; each wave expanding from the base levels of repetition and simplicity of production, reaching ever higher climes.”
They panted and he guessed she was on top, but that he was doing most of the work.
“Here are the charts of automated 3D rendering costs; here the cost of fully automated drive control plunging into repeatedly new depths.”
The vibrations from behind him increased: “Ahh,” she began squealing.
“So the requirement for labour fell relative to production as labour had to compete with high-tech systems. At first demand rose as prices fell, but the level of stimulated demand increasingly could not compensate for production that reduced its costs by 40% per year. Automation moved within three years from creating unemployment to driving wages below the cost of food.”
She came like a long drawn out seal call.
“Indeed, it was a disaster on an unseen and unprepared for scale.”
Jack did not need to fiddle with his dial to know he had a boner. His cheeks glowed with social embarrassment; it was so geriatric and he had not even watched.