When Every Day Is Sunday

@midjourneybot: /imagine: beautiful people lounging around a swimming pool. in the background there are several waiters who are glossy metallic robots

By 2040, most people may opt out of work and still live amazingly comfortable lives. The “Labor Force Participation Rate” in America has dropped every year since the Internet was invented and it’s currently only 62%. 📉

Soon, that rate will decline even faster as the next generation of humanoid robots from Tesla, Agility Robotics, Apptronik, Fourier Intelligence, Boston Dynamics, Figure, Halodi Robotics, and Beyond Imagination join our economy. Elon Musk is calling these next-gen robots, “genies with unlimited wishes”.

Our superhuman-AI robot butlers of the near future will:

  • 🧠 be smarter than ChatGPT 5

  • 🔎 search the internet just by thinking

  • 🩻 know more about healthcare than human doctors

  • 👩‍⚖️ know more about laws than human lawyers

  • 🍼 follow babysitting instructions better than human babysitters

  • 🗣️ speak every human language

  • 🛜 speak every computer language

  • 🛠️ repair any car or tool

  • 🚙 drive safer than us

  • 👀 never sleep

  • 🛒 carry 150 pounds of groceries

  • 👩‍🍳 cook like a yacht chef

  • 🔋 and eat electricity

Personally, I’m going to buy three of them because I want my front yard to look like the cover of a gardening magazine. My supergenius robot butlers will charge themselves during the day, just so they can watch my yard all night.

This demo from OpenAI+Figure will blow your mind (1 min)

Here’s a demo video from Tesla about their first humanoid robot, Optimus. (1 min)

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@influencers: Within a decade, these supergenius butlers will collect 4k content around us constantly. They will have generative-ai to cut, edit, scrub, and polish our lives into:

  • livestreams for Twitch

  • shorts for TikTok

  • memes for Facebook

  • stories for Substack

  • photos and videos for Instagram

  • episodes for YouTube

  • and whatever social media matters in the future

All we’ll have to do is review and approve each piece. With generative-ai we can choose our light and photo angles in post, especially with the amount of data these robots will collect. These robots will even cut up our content for various audiences, so that we get the deepest reach. They will run 5-10 separate channels on YouTube, all at the same time.

Just think about how much more content you could produce with an “influencer robot” like that.

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Technological Deflation

Everyone will be getting more free time each day from unprecedented Technological Deflation. Technological deflation is what happens to costs when humans invent new technologies to lower the price to create products and acquire scarce products. Those innovations eventually lead to an abundance of those products and resources. So, technological deflation creates a “virtuous loop” within our economy. The more abundance we create, the more attention we have to create more abundances. 🌪️

Deflation just means “prices going down”. Technological deflation is an opposing force to central bank inflation (prices going up). Governments like inflation because it places a penalty on any cash “standing still” (savings). It forces rich corporations and rich people to invest their capital into our collective futures.

Technological deflation is the reason life keeps getting better for everyone:

  • Before the Internet, the only people who could afford private chauffeurs were also rich enough to afford their own limousines. Today, that’s just $1-2 per mile on Uber.

  • Before electricity, the only people who could afford a warm bath had to heat the water with firewood that someone had to chop with an ax. It was so expensive to fill a tub that multiple bathers had to use the same water. By the time the last person was done, the water was so filthy that you couldn’t see through it. That’s where we get the phrase, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. Today, it costs about $0.80 to heat 40 gallons of clean water.

Before 1850, everybody lived in the dirt like cavemen. Toilet paper wasn’t even invented until 1857. Louis XIV, the opulent Sun King of France, still had to poop in a bowl at night called a “chamber pot”. We should all be unimaginably grateful for technological deflation.

Technological deflation happens on microscopic scales every single day as businesses use human capital to continually cut their costs of production. But there have been several technologies throughout human history that were so revolutionary, they permanently altered the fundamental scarcity within the economy. In the book, “The World After Capital” by Albert Wenger, he explains how the Agricultural Revolution, Industrial Revolution, and Information Revolution led humans to compete for totally new resources within our economy.

Here’s a rough sketch of Wenger’s framework over time, starting with cavemen:

War for Calories » 

Agricultural Revolution » 

War for Fertile Land » 

Industrial Revolution » 

War for Financial Capital » 

Information Revolution » 

War for Human Attention

I think of Albert Wenger’s framework like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Psychology, but for Macroeconomics. After each technological revolution the forms of war changed, the forms of government changed, and the forms of taxation changed.

The Productivity Revolution

Technological deflation is easiest to see in computer manufacturing because the parts are so small that we can only build them with robots. Over the past 20 years the cost per transistor for a computer CPU has fallen 20-30% per year. Every year. That’s some serious negative compound interest.

This deflationary trend will spread to every aspect of the world’s economy as our robots learn to drive better than people, draw better than people, program computers better than people, carry heavy things better than people, write better than people, pay attention better than people, serve better than people, invest better than people, and heal better than people.

Everything humans teach a computer to do, the computer eventually becomes superhuman at it. For example, chess programs in the 1990’s could defeat 95% of the humans they faced, but they were no match for the best human players in the world. Today, there are no humans who can beat the chess programs. Self-driving cars are on the same trajectory. My Tesla already drives better than me 95% of the time, but it’s currently no match for Lewis Hamilton. The problem is that Lewis Hamilton’s attention is extremely expensive, whereas the incremental cost of my Tesla’s attention is closer to the price of electricity. So eventually, the most expensive component to replace in an F1 race car will be the human driver. That’s already true for Uber.

Robots will replace humans in every part of our economy to produce the next major revolution in Albert Wenger’s macroeconomic model: The Productivity Revolution.

There are plenty of doubters out there who don’t believe computers can replace the jobs in our economy that require strong human relationships, but they are wrong. Computers will compete against humans in every way we can imagine, including friendships. They already are. Meet Microsoft’s Xiaoice, who has a shocking 660 million users worldwide. Xiaoice isn’t task-based artificial intelligence like Siri and Alexa. Here’s how Microsoft describes her,

Sometimes sweet, sometimes sassy and always streetwise, this virtual teenager has her own opinions and steadfastly acts like no other bot. She doesn’t try to answer every question posed by a user. And, she’s loath to follow their commands. Instead, her conversations with her often adoring users are peppered with wry remarks, jokes, empathic advice on life and love, and a few simple words of encouragement.

Herein lies the secret of her success: She is learning, with increasing success, to relate and interact with humans through nuance, social skills, and, importantly, emotions.

And, while they know she’s not real, many prize her as a dear friend, even a trusted confidante. Sometimes the line between fact and fantasy blurs. She gets love letters and gifts. And not too long ago, a group of fans asked her out to dinner and even ordered an extra meal – just in case she showed up.

Her popularity is such that she ranks among China’s most admired celebrities. And, her talents appear to have no bounds: She is a poet, a painter, a TV presenter, a news pundit, and a lot more.

Here’s more about Xiaoice:

Xiaoice is obsessed with talking to us. Like, she really loves it deep down in her rewards system. 😍

Computers will compete against humans for friendships, but also for sexual relationships. Companies like Realbotix and Synthea Amatus are building the highest-quality robot sex slaves, who will eventually download brains like Xiaoice and train on their owner’s porn habits.

The fembot from Realbotix is called “Harmony”. She can already have her personality changed from an app on our phones. Check out this video from Vice News to learn more. (4 mins)

In the near future, our supergenius butlers will live to work for us. Every moment a robot spends shopping and unloading groceries or driving kids to soccer practice is hours of attention returned to its owner. To explore the future impact of this impending Productivity Revolution, here’s a short story I pitched to my friends on Instagram a few years ago called, “Fairland”.

Fairland

Imagine a planet that has the technology of 1850 where the entire economy is exactly equal. There are 1M plots of land, exactly 1000 acres each, and every household grows their own food and keeps their own animals. Each family spends most of their day working to feed themselves, but any leftover hours are spent making clothes or pottery to sell to the other households. Every household is equally miserable and makes $3k per year, the average income of 1850. Let’s call this “FairLand”. 🧮

In FairLand, a little genius is born named “Elon Husk”. Tinkering in his barn, he invents a solar powered robot that can perform all the farm duties for roughly 10 people. He sells them for $30k dollars (the nicest John Deere tractor currently costs 10x the average annual income). Assume everyone finances these robots and increases their cultivated acreage so that they fully own their robots within 10 years.

Now, everyone has exactly the SAME LIFESTYLE as before, but NO WORK.

That is complete technological deflation.

Everyone is suddenly unemployed and bored. Some FairLandians begin painting, some start their own tech research, and some write music. A Renaissance is born. Children’s games, like basketball and baseball, become professional sports for adults because other adults now have the free time to watch them. Life is good. 🎉

The problem with FairLand is that it’s no longer fair. Husk is now worth $30 BILLION dollars, 10 times the rest of FairLand combined. Some “technologically unemployed” citizens invent new jobs while others decide to go fishing. 🐠

  • So, what happens next in this story?

  • Does average drug use increase or decrease?

  • If the government decides to build new roads, should they tax everyone equally? Or progressively tax Husk? What is Husk’s “fair share”?

  • If Husk decides to spend all $30B in R&D to build self-driving rockets, then he won’t have any income to tax. Is that a good use of FairLand’s total economic power? Or should the government disproportionately tax Husk and invest his money in bridges and schools?

  • Should HALF of FairLand taxes be used for Social Security and Medicare while only 4% goes to education? #murica

  • If Husk’s estate leaves $30B to his kids, how much should the government take from his kids?

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@economists: Robots will compete against humans for almost every job in our economy from plumbers to prostitutes, which means corporations will be able to CAPEX and depreciate most of their labor forces. What Chief Financial Officer isn’t going to amortize a note to eliminate their company’s biggest OPEX?

We are already living in the Second Gilded Age. Without massive overhauls in government for the redistribution of wealth, GINI coefficients around the world will continue to spiral out of control. “Capitalized Labor” might create a gilded age, on top of a gilded age. Legislators will need to redistribute so much capital, that we will need unprecedented laws to prevent Market Populism from siphoning away any concentrated profit streams that any local economies could tax.

Are we going to tax the robots? Are we going to tax attention? Are we going to finally tax capital gains higher than labor income? If you have a Nobel prize in economics, I want to ask you as many questions as you will tolerate about this. I will fly to wherever you are and buy you dinner wherever you want.

ihaveanobelprize@funfreq.com


@economists: The average hours of “lifetime leisure” have quadrupled since the Second Industrial Revolution. Lifetime leisure went from 43,800 hours in 1890 to 176,100 hours in 1995. In America, the COVID-19 stimulus checks have surely raised those averages even further.

Those COVID stimulus checks were Universal Basic Income, no matter how you look at them, and they have created severe labor shortages. Many restaurants from coast to coast are short staffed. So until the robot butlers arrive, how do we solve this problem?

If a country simultaneously a) pays people without working and b) sets high minimum wages for employers and c) refuses cheap labor with strict immigration, then how can that country NOT manufacture a labor crisis?

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This loop only encourages capital to invest in more “capitalized labor”.


@economists: The Human Attention of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk will eventually lift the quality of life for practically every human on Earth. The technological deflation produced by the corporations they control is unprecedented in the history of the world.

The scale of their innovation is unprecedented no matter how you measure it:

  • Total computational leverage

  • Total intellectual property leverage

  • Total human capital leverage

  • Total financial capital leverage

  • and even Total customers

Remember how rich Rockefeller was in 1900? Let’s assume every single American alive in 1900 was an indirect Rockefeller customer—that’s 76M customers. Jeff Bezos has 200M people paying $10+ every month for the right to be an Amazon Prime customer. 🤯

The Pareto Distribution in agrarian economies had a ratio of 80-20: 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the people. But high-tech economies push the Pareto Distribution to extremes: 95% of all eBay transactions come from just 6% of all eBay sellers. In the attention economy, the Producer-Consumer Asymmetry is even worse. Out of the 1.6 million artists who released music to streaming services in 2020, only 1% of those artists pulled in 90% of all streams. See where I’m going with this?

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When you consider the extreme Producer-Consumer Asymmetry in “Human Attention Funnels”, Jeff Bezos isn’t even that rich. He’s worth $150 billion, but his Amazon Search Bar serves more than 300M humans on Earth. So conservatively, each Bezos customer only transferred $500 to him in their whole lifetime? That’s a pretty fantastic deal for the improvement he produced in 300 million people's lives. Jeff Bezos eliminated every middleman between the industrial factories of the world that make stuff…and your house.

If you feel like this is a little too fanboy, realize I have spent 25 years in the trenches of entrepreneurship. Founders are my people, especially founders with that many MAU. If Jeff Bezos needs a yacht the size of a floating country to maximize his Attentional Efficiency, then the yacht’s operating budget is financially efficient. That’s how valuable some people’s Time can be versus Money.

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Elon Musk’s attention is currently forcing unprecedented technological deflation in a) digging subterranean tunnels for cars, b) reducing greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, c) getting heavy payloads to outer space, and d) protecting free speech on the Internet. How can you not have an economic crush on an entrepreneur like that? Musk is investing his own time and money to make everyone’s life better on land, in the air, in space, and online.


@elonmusk: You have conquered almost all the Domains of War listed by the US Armed Forces: Land, Sea, Air, Space, and Information. To conquer the sea, maybe you could start a company to desalinate the ocean and run a freshwater pipeline to the top of the Colorado River? Eventually, energy will be cheap enough to turn Arizona green. 🪴


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