A Moving Farewell from Stephen Hawking (short)

Last March, one of our most amazing scientists died after miraculously battling the crippling and lethal Lou Gehrig’s disease for most of his life. Through sheer force of will, it seems, Hawking managed to survive for many decades a horrible disease that normally kills in a few years, and he still managed to maintain an illustrious position in science while being helplessly tied to a wheelchair and hardly able to move. Whenever I think “mind over body” I think of Stephen Hawking. He is mostly known for his famous work in theoretical physics, and to some degree for his atheism (so much for the health miracles alleged to result from prayers and religious faith), but he was also quite aware of humanity’s socio-economic problems, and before he died left us with a moving statement, a swan song so to speak:

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

I agree with him that machines won’t bring about the economic robot apocalypse. Greedy humans will, if we don’t stop them. Economic inequality will continue to skyrocket as more and more jobs become automated and the rich owners of the robots and software systems refuse to share their fast-growing wealth. Remember: the “owners” neither invent nor build the robots and pieces of software that drive us out of our jobs without any compensation. We do. And who keeps the system running that shafts us? We do.

Time for us to rethink what we do.

By the way, I just managed to squeeze in some time to visit The Revolution Continues. So much new good stuff has accumulated since my last visit, it’d take too long to list it all. You may want to pay a visit yourself. 😉


Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month of “spare time” to research and write news updates and analyses and work on my book. Please widely share links to these articles, so this work is not for naught. You can also help in other ways (including much needed financial support). Only together can we change this messed-up world. Let’s do it! 🙂



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