Imagine a world 100 years from now. I'm betting it will look something similar to Brave New World. Not in the literal sense but some aspects might look similar to our reality by then. The book is about a dystopian future where people are genetically predetermined in artificial wombs to be stuck in their social class for life. There is also mention of a drug called Soma, who's goal it is to keep the population happy and sedated.

I'm not some conspiracy person but I think there are important connections to be made to Brave New World. Soma as mentioned in the book is not actually some made-up drug. It's actually one of the oldest, known in the Rig Vedas (ancient Indian book, rumored 1500 BCE) also as Soma. In the Rig Vedas the drug is made up of a combination of poppy and cannabis, with some other small plants. I'm not very familiar with cannabis but a quick search says cannabis gives an increase in relaxation and increase in appetite. Cannabis legalization is a big political issue right now, could it be a different form of Soma?

But that isn't the main point. The main point is to think about the future and what innate human traits will last. Technology is going to replace thousands of jobs in the future. Computers can beat humans at chess and other man-made games. Most accounting-type roles will be replaced by automation. Manufacturing will continue to be replaced. Ultimately technology gives creators more leverage to obtain capital. Why would a founder want to deal with employees when he can control an army of robots instead?

So, I believe there will be a universal basic income and Soma-like drug to sedate the masses, otherwise there would be mass anxiety and loss of purpose. But it can be avoided if we focus on our innate traits. Specifically creativity and judgement.

Creativity cannot be replaced by robots. A robot may be able to throw paint on the wall or create something based off a Van Gogh but it will never create something truly original. I believe in a better future where everyone is able to pursue their creative interests, so that work feels like play instead of work. Creativity also includes teaching students or sales roles. Human touch cannot be replaced by robot touch.

The second factor is judgement. This comes back to technology and leverage. The future may be more about judgement in the sense of capital/resource deployment rather than the amount of time you work. If I am managing a million dollars worth of capital and I get can a 10% higher return than the next best guy, I will win and be paid out more. That is a benefit of good judgement. Judgement will be about interpreting data the computer spits out at you. Programs create reports, make dashboards, and output results but they cannot discern what is valuable from what is not. It is the humans job to take inputs and turn it into outputs. Robots are making it easier to obtain the inputs. They are also making the difference between inputs and outputs greater.

It used to be 1 hour of work (input) = 1 hour of pay. Now it is 1 hour of work (input) = 500 hours of pay, thanks to technology. Creativity is discovering new inputs. Judgement is taking inputs and finding the best output for them.