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I wonder if Europe, Japan, and Canada are showing a similar proportional decline in mobility. I ask because I think one variable impacting this is the declining need for human labor - both physical and mental, stemming from ever increasing productivity gains through technology. It impacts all nations. For an extreme example, consider the vast numbers of 3rd world subsistence farmers who lost their land over the second half of the 20th century to be replaced by machine farming. Those people and their descendants aren't just poorer today, they're essentially excess humans (a very chilling concept) crammed into unimaginable squalor in 3rd world slums with little do do. They exist purely at the whims of the middle and upper classes, and in the most extreme cases, live exclusively off the waste energy of said classes (their garbage). Assuming a continual march of technology (certainly questionable but very possible) the same thing will eventually happen in the first world. In the US it's starting with the rural poor, who were being thrown under the bus in recent posts on the energy crisis.

Does anyone here know of any good research on this subject? It seems to me to be a remaking of human culture that is going largely unnoticed as most intellectuals devote their energy to the axis of nation state politics. Most intellectuals don't have a firm grasp on technology as it is.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Apr 27th, 2006 at 11:15:14 PM EST

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