As Cory Doctrow says, “Human beings are the gut flora of immortal, transhuman corporations”.
Life as gut flora is not very glamorous, but need not be too bad. We are beneficial, and that gives us some measure of security—our hosts like to keep us around to stave off IBS. But when we add nothing of value to their fitness, of our hosts, the corporations, are no-longer incentivized to support us. We become unnecessary and start dying in droves.
“Here’s the thing: from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren’t precarious, we’re unnecessary. The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery has gone to the top. And what’s worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that. The new bright sparks, cheerfully referred to as “Young Gods” believe themselves to be the honest winners in a new invent-or-die economy, and are busily planning to escape into space or acquire superpowers, and instead of worrying about this, the talking heads on TV tell you its all a good thing- don’t worry, the recession’s over and everything’s better now, and technology is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!”
“If there’s no economic plan for the Unnecessariat, there’s certainly an abundance for plans to extract value from them. No-one has the option to just make their own way and be left alone at it. It used to be that people were uninsured and if they got seriously sick they’d declare bankruptcy and lose the farm, but now they have a (mandatory) $1k/month plan with a $5k deductible: they’ll still declare bankruptcy and lose the farm if they get sick, but in the meantime they pay a shit-ton to the shareholders of United Healthcare, or Aetna, or whoever.”
This is how it will end. #FermiParadox