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Entertainment, the future of mankind

15 October 2018

Many years ago, humans lived a subsistence life.

Virtually every hour of our waking day was spent almost totally devoted to the activities which were essential for life.

Hunting, gathering, building shelter, and later on sowing crops, harvesting, processing grain, meat, etc.

There was very little time available for non-productive activities back in those early days.

Then we learned to work smarter and gradually, thanks to technology, we found ourselves with more spare time.

At this point, new industries based around the concept of entertainment were born.

The earliest forms of these may have been the minstrel who sung for his supper, and thus did not need to grow or hunt his own food.

Over the years, this process of automation and the resulting growth in leisure time has accelerated, to the point that today, most Americans watch over five hours of TV per day.

That, is a *huge* chunk of one's day spent passively soaking up content.

It is probably no wonder therefore, that the entertainment industries are some of the biggest and wealthiest in the world -- especially if social media is factored in.

This leaves me wondering... how much time will we spend engaged in leisure activities each day in 100 years time?

Once AI and other automated systems have taken over a great many more of the jobs that currently require humans to perform them, what will we do with all this extra time we have on our hands -- other than seek out ways of being entertained?

More importantly, what effect will this have on our society and the evolution of man as a species?

The will to survive has always been the motivating force that has shaped our DNA. Those who were better able to deal with the threats to life (famine, predators, disease, etc) went on to spread their genes throughout the gene pool. The genes which made others less suited to their environment were gradually wiped out through attrition.

But what if we no longer have a "will to survive" because we've effectively created a world where food is plentiful, predators don't exist and we can successfully treat most diseases? What will happen to the process of evolutionary refinement?

Could a world where all we really need to do in order to survive is eat, drink and watch TV, spell the end of our evolutionary development?

Or will we simply develop bigger bums (so as to spread the load on the sofa more evenly), eyes that are better tuned to a 4K HDR image and hearing that maximises the effect of the latest Dolby or other multi-channel audio systems?

And, if you were able to invest $100 for the next 100 years, what industry would you be putting it into? -- because entertainment sounds like it's going to be a huge growth industry to me.

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