Production and Addiction

As we continue to make more products for consumption, isn’t each an attempt to begin a human addiction?

[ 13/December/21 ]

Not necessarily, and often.

In so far as people make and sell goods that meet a genuine need of someone, then that is a great thing.

In so far as people use various devices and tricks to create a short term desire in a human neural network that causes them to buy something that they get little if any value out of; then that is a very unhelpful thing. Unfortunately the incentives of markets create far too much of the latter and not enough of the former.

As the capabilities of artificial intelligence and fully automated production grow, then so do the perverse sets of incentives in the current economic system. It is arguable that the system has reached the point of as well as meeting many of our essential needs, it is also generating existential level risk with these and other perverse incentive structures. We need fundamental reform, but that is not easy or simple in any dimension, because it is an extremely complex system, and is essential to our survival currently. So any reform cannot be simple, but has to be done acknowledging all the very real complexity present, and all the essential systems currently embodied with it.

So yes, the creation of addiction is often (but not always) the goal of profit seeking enterprises, and that is not healthy (at multiple levels it is actually dangerous). Becoming aware of that danger, and making appropriate, responsible personal choices, is part of becoming aware at higher levels of awareness.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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