Art Is the Ultimate Occupation

As the advent of advanced technology makes labor unnecessary for advanced intelligences, one aspect of human life that will gain increased rather than decreased importance is art.

By "art" I don't mean specifically the creation of paintings, drawing, plays, symphonies, dances, novels and so forth -- these are great, but they're just particular examples.

I mean the creation and sharing of new patterns purely for the sake of having these patterns appreciated by one's own mind and others' minds.

Once the need for humans and other advanced intelligences to labor for sustenance is eliminated, what will be left for minds to do is precisely to create and appreciate art.

"Art" may involve building baby universes or new AI systems or 9-dimensional meta-multiversal movies ... or scientific data-sets or theories or mathematical theorems ... or perfecting one's own array of mind-states ... or drawing pictures of trees on paper ... all of the above and many more!
(Let infinity flowers bloom...!)

The point is not the particular medium but rather the motivation. For example: Now people do science in part because they get paid for it, in part out of a desire to help in the process of creating new technologies to make peoples' lives better, and in part out of a desire to understand and create beautiful knowledge. Once scarcity and suffering are largely palliated, only the last motive -- which is essentially artistic -- will remain.

The artists shall inherit the Cosmos.


  1. What an "artistic" piece that was, bravo sir.

    It is true that most of our desires are shrouded in the need to generate income. To this day my parents don't approve of my endless pursuit of knowledge as a hobby which I incorporate into my own personal artistic outflow.

    Maybe deep down inside I live in post singularity world.

    (No mom I will not join star fleet I'm going to be an artist.)

  2. Good post!

    I agree, once scarcity ends we will realign our motivations. Today we have to make money so that we can rise above others. Not everyone can have what they want, so impersonal work is the lay of the land.

    It is because of this fact that people either compromise their true desires for life or never even think deeply about them in the first place. This was a necessary evil that brought us up to the pre-singularity point we currently find ourselves occupying.

    As scarcity dies down I believe there will be a shift in what drives us to do our work. Right now money and the ability to have what we want brings us to work (except for those who are passionate in what they do), but I think it will become more of a "feeling-oriented" monetary system in the future.

    If there is no scarcity then all people can be equal, materially. Humans like to separate themselves from the pack and the only way to do that will be to offer something great to all. I have heard this idea other places and it has been termed a "gift economy."