Nothing and Happy

Nothing and Happy

Allow me to loop around two ideas in this post. They are not far one from the other, and circumventing imaginary points is not too energy intensive.

You'll own nothing and you'll be happy

originated in a 2016 essay by Danish MP Ida Auken and was included in the World Economic Forum video "8 predictions for the world in 2030".

The essay is available here on the wayback machine. It's short and worth a read.

Then, when clean energy became free, things started to move quickly. Transportation dropped dramatically in price.

The essay targets 2030, but here in 2022, with the latest developments, we're seeing that energy is not free. What is necessary to produce the systems to capture and store clean energy is not free either. Europe is rather heading towards seasons of austerity.

Are tabletop role-playing games adapted to this austerity? Sure they are. People gather and have adventures without much energy consumption. They travel and experience danger, casualties will happen but they won't clog the healthcare system. Vacations are too expensive, let's role-play an adventure! A better society is hard work, let's role-play it!

But back to the essay and its 2030 city:

When AI and robots took over so much of our work, we suddenly had time to eat well, sleep well and spend time with other people. The concept of rush hour makes no sense anymore, since the work that we do can be done at any time. I don't really know if I would call it work anymore. It is more like thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.

Finally, our schedules are open to finish this RPG campaign! There is still work to do. What if RPG playing is still a hobby? And you still have a work, and the AI is devious, it is getting you to LARP your job in your living room.

In our city we don't pay any rent, because someone else is using our free space whenever we do not need it. My living room is used for business meetings when I am not there.

(You'll probably answer that it's already the case: with remote working, your living room is already used for business meetings. Even more since the pandemic.)

What if work becomes fake? Probably the only remaining "real" jobs would be linked to the maintenance of the machines, there would still be edge cases where human ingenuity would be necessary and its application rewarded.

AI taking over "game mastering" to ensure a stable society?

Back to our non-AI "austeritarian" 2022, where tabletop role-playing games are an alternative entertainment. Above, I wrote about the frugality of such games, it could be seen as a virtue in an austere society. But what about the dangers of role-playing games? They can become subversion schools, they encourage people to get together and dream.

Netflix is probably far better at population control. "Panem et circenses" was not about participating in the arena, it was about being a satisfied consumer.

Lurking on Discord channels, I am awed at the streamed erudition of my peers. Granted, it seeds inspiration for our games, but what is the ratio ttrpg to video consumption? I entered into flix-bankruptcy, cherish the books I still have to read, and play games with friends across the table.