Fill Your Boots: my column on how technology could let us work like artisans and live like kings

Originally published at:


Another interesting column, Cory. It’s nice to see some optimistic takes on the future because I myself have such a difficult time imagining things turning out okay.


Nicely written, Cory.

I love the enthusiasm, the positive energy of techno-cornucopianism.

I don’t like the way pieces like this one rely so heavily on demonization of a “green left” which (as far as I can tell) does not even exist.

If we accept that technological capability will increase endlessly and infinitely, and that new sources of energy will always be available at ever-decreasing cost, and that these new energy sources will not in and of themselves destroy the environment that makes human happiness possible (all of which I am willing to accept, at least for the sake of intellectual exploration) the barriers to achieving a eudaimonic, post-scarcity civilization are embedded in current human cultural norms that environmentalists do not endorse and certainly are not responsible for.

Events like “Brexit” and the disempowering of humanist politicians like Denis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders aren’t caused by a nefarious, obstructionist “green left” - they are caused by our culture of divisiveness that permits exploitation of the many by the few, the socialization of risk and privatization of profit, externalization of costs by corporate malefactors, and all the other very real political and economic demons of our time.

The constant barrage of othering propaganda that has become the mainstream of our culture is the factor most likely to prevent the “bright green” dream. And the only problem I see with this otherwise insightful column is that it wholeheartedly engages in exactly that sort of othering; it offers up and endorses a division of futurism into warring factions of shiny cyborg techno-cornucopianists and hair-shirted downwardly mobile hippies. It divides where unity is not just desirable but necessary.

I don’t have any problem with the second half of that.

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