Staying Alive, The Beatles, Basic Income, and Gamification

Paul from The Beatles said, “We got more freedom to be artists.” Paul means the freedom to live. Don’t we all want that?

This struck me hard while listening to a short sound clip where Paul said “..more freedom to be…” Now wait a minute. So at first, they had to make stuff that might appeal to others and would pay for. OK. What if they did that but then died or broke up before they got to make one of my favorite albums, the Magical Mystery Tour?

What a horrible loss that would have been! What if that is happening all the time and we don’t know it?

It’s about to get worse. As Sam Harris puts it here in How Rich is Too Rich?:

Future breakthroughs in technology (e.g. robotics, nanotech) could eliminate millions of jobs very quickly, creating a serious problem of unemployment.

So, we should be afraid for our very lives with automation continuing to expand. The game is changing and humans need to change with it soon or die. What to do?

Credit goes to Nir Eyal who pointed out to his followers on Twitter a concept called Basic Income.

I had not heard of Basic Income before. Searching Twitter for BasicIncome, I learned more. Of course, the “what-if”s started popping up. What if people game the system? What if, nothing gets done?

I completely understand the concerns. They may be right. They are worried about some fool doing nothing, but sitting on a hill and watching the world go by. Hey! That’s a fantastic Beatles’ song, The Fool On The Hill! Since Paul McCartney was writing about the Maharishi and thus meditation, a fool on the hill is a horrible example.

Refocusing back on to the legitimate concerns at hand, what if someone games the system. Wait a second! “Game the system.” Hmm. What if we work with this gaming idea instead of against it?

There’s a concept called Gamification. Gamification may be a good answer to alleviating concerns about people being lazy. As Yu-kai Chou calls it, Gamification is another word for “Human-Focused Design.”

Here is his popular TEDxLausanne talk:

Ironically, Yu-kai says “..everything’s still functioning better than before. No. I’m not talking about a society run by robots.” I invite you to watch the video. It’s only 17 minutes long.

So, answers will come if we look for them and look for them we must. If we experiment carefully, I think we can try things like Basic Income. In fact, we should be afraid not to. We should be afraid for our very lives with automation continuing to expand. The game is changing and humans need to change with it soon or die.

Let me emphasize. The game of life is changing. Humans need to change soon or else. Seriously.

This can be an enjoyable and exciting journey if we start immediately and listen to Gamification leaders such as Yu-kai Chou (Octalysis), Andrzej Marczewski (gamified.uk), Dutch Driver (Organization Development), and Nir Eyal (Behavior Designer), and others who have already done a ton of work for us. We just need to piece it all together and learn what works.

One thing I know for sure, I want the freedom to live. Due to my background driving me to actualize my potential, I will contribute as best as I can. How important is the freedom to live for you?

Once we feel we’ll survive, we can stretch ourselves and work on filling the world with compassion and maybe even love.

Imagine. What might humanity achieve if we weren’t so afraid?

 

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