Physically, our lives are getting easier. We used to gather our own food, create our own warmth, and build our own shelter. Agriculture came along and we let other people make our food. Someone was really good at building huts, so we got them to build ours, doing something else in return for them.
These days, we don’t even have to cook our own meals, or wash our car, or take care of our kids during the day if we don’t want to.
Human nature is to want comfort. To make things easier for ourselves.
Not only that, getting other people to do certain things allows us to concentrate on what we’re good at. Or what we enjoy.
We are constantly giving over responsibility for certain areas of our lives. With AI and automation, this will only increase.
For example, we expect more and more from our local council, and from our central government. We complain when there are no shelters over our playgrounds. We don’t pick up litter in our neighbourhood, we expect the council to do that. We want them to mow our grass verge…and on it goes.
Our catch cry is “something should be done”. In the old days it was us doing it. Now it’s centralised.
If we want to live around other people, there are some things we just won’t be able to do anymore. And some things we won’t need to do. If we want complete autonomy, cities are not the place for us.
Getting someone (or something) else to do something for us is absolutely fine. But how much are we willing to let go?
I’m happy to delegate responsibility for my house. I’d much rather do something else than clean weatherboards and mow lawns. If paying a little bit to get my car washed means I can play soccer with my kids, out comes my wallet. I have no desire to grow my own vegetables (although I think it’s important to know how). When it comes down to it, I’ll be happy to have an autonomous vehicle drive me around.
There are plenty of things I’m willing to delegate, and some not so much.
Giving my kids to someone to take care of for 8 hours a day without any input? Not so much. Allowing someone else to dictate which specific hours I’ll work? Also no. Allowing the main TV stations to tell me what news is important? Not on your life.
Which responsibilities are you willing to give away, and which will you keep?
If you don’t choose, they’ll be chosen for you.