[FutureBuddha (54)] BUDDHANOMICS (PART IV)

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39237

    [FutureBuddha (54)] BUDDHANOMICS (PART IV)

    [If we moderate and redirect desires within the human gut and psyche] would the seeds of industry cease to flower and grow?

    I do not think so. Quite the contrary: Industry and the economy will continue churning to meet consumer demand, but what is being demanded will change. Capitalism would be preserved because consumers would continue to shop and order deliveries, money in hand. It is just that the targets of buyer demand would change with changed tastes.

    Because of adjustments in personal palates caused by the changes in us wrought by ingesting our ‘cheery cherries,’ ‘New England calm chowder,’ ‘compassion-compotes’ and ‘peaces of pizza,’ we will freely demand good things from shops and online vendors, government services and charities just as we now demand an endless supply of phone apps and fashion handbags, L-sized fries, refill sodas, celebrity shoes, manicured lawns and questionable goop as promoted on late night infomercials.

    All this will be delivered to both our psyches and shops just by a little cross-rewiring of the brain, whereby love and charity becomes like sex and sweet candy to our pleasure receptors, while excess, violence and others’ suffering turn our stomachs like a bad oyster.

    No, our lives need not be totally self-denying. The Buddha instructed that his monks make do with rags and a single bowl, but he never said that most people in society should do so in daily life. In fact, future techniques of automation, 3-D printing, newly invented materials, and better shepherding of resources will result in widespread, cheap, and environmentally friendly mass production of goods and substances now considered expensive or rare. Like alchemists who possess the formula for conjuring gold, or the replicator on a mythical starship pulling meals and clothing out of thin air, most of the population will soon have easy access to “printed” treasures. The resulting standards of living will be far beyond even today’s plentiful world in which most of us, today, easily access “stuff” that our great-grandparents would have considered fairy tales or madness, e.g., dinners ready in minutes at the push of a button, chairs in flying tubes crossing oceans, video chats with loved ones thousands of miles away, little boxes to bring movie stars and starships into our living rooms. Sadly, many people in this world, today, still lack even a pot to cook in due to being poor. Hopefully, we will print pots filled with nourishing food, and our way out of world poverty.

    I look forward to us all parading around in ecologically sound (yet very imaginative and artfully crafted) clothes that are comfortable yet produced cheaply, with designs stimulated by the stimulators tickling the creative instincts of our brains. This will be an age when our ‘parental mind’ neurons and “hope giving” hormones have been stirred to replace human sweat shops with sewing automation, while seeing too that their former, now redundant workers are not merely cast in the street. Once we know the fact of others having enough, we can have some more, like parents who, after the children have been safely fed, given a bath, and tucked safely in bed, can enjoy a little treat for themselves (in healthy moderation).

    But who is going to invent all this good stuff? That takes gifted scientists and engineers. Perhaps curiosity centers of the brain can be activated, combined with heightened concentration abilities and enhanced IQs. Even today, some young students are self-dosing (questionably) on various drugs that provide an edge for college entrance exams and grades, and thus one need not be a genius to anticipate a future market for smart pills. Curiosity about science, medicine, and the world in general might thus be stimulated, and heightened intellectual abilities developed to allow our budding future scientists to deal with real-world problems. Pedestrian entertainments and cheap distractions will seem dull and meaningless to such intelligent brains, compared to the wonders of physics, art, history and more. Given today’s wide-spread ignorance and fear of science, such science encouragements are sorely needed. Better science through science!

    As well, our ‘COOPeration Cola’ and ‘Do-Gooding-Pudding’ will help make sure that the science and technology that results is targeted for the greater good and peace. A scientist or business owner with a new invention would find it as difficult to use for public harm as a mother would find it hard to let her toddler play with bottles of poison. A general would feel about the use of force, or a defense contractor about the development of a new weapon, much as a medical doctor does today when needing to act while causing the least pain possible. Our robot rodent exterminators would be set to trap or kill by their reluctant programmers, but humanely, with knowledge that preventing rats is a necessary evil to prevent disease (or, perhaps, adjusting their desires as well, we will persuade or cause the little critters not to breed.)

    Politicians, dining on ‘public good potato chips,’ will have parental mind, thinking truly of the public good. Not only will they be more honest, but they will spend most of their time actually working on public policies to improve society and help people. That is what the voters will demand, and that is what their own hearts will demand. Oh, they may still disagree on what is “the public good,” and policy views will differ, but deciding among policies is what the legislature is for. Hopefully, gone will be the days of campaign hate-mongering and rabble rousing, appealing to peoples’ worst instincts just to get elected, secure power or make a buck.

    There will be bumps along the way:

    ... more on that next time ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 09-10-2023, 09:34 AM.