Disclaimer: As we do not know just how science and society will evolve over the next few decades, much of this is entirely speculative.

Good day to everyone. Today I come to you as Toy Soldier #TS21243 to represent Dr. Steel's vision of a Utopian Playland.

“As children all we really wanted to do was play. and then school got in the way. The first thirteen years
of school is a "have to". We might rather be thinking about dinosaurs or unicorns, but we're told to concentrate on math and English. It's a daily exercise of memorization and regurgitation of seemingly inapplicable information. The only part of school many of us actually looked forward to was recess, which they conveniently removed once we started middle school.” (The Dr. Steel Manifesto)

Dr. Phineas Waldolf Steel is a musician/mad scientist located in Southern California. While he still is mostly underground, his Army of Toy Soldiers (a fan club/viral marketing group) has been working to spread his image throughout the world, mostly through the spreading of propaganda-style promotional materials. While Dr. Steel is known to most as the archetypal example of the steampunk genre of music (MTV: What Is Steampunk?), his primary goal is not to make money off his music, but to take over the world and transform it into a utopian playland. This is what I want to discuss today.

As a Toy Soldier, my job is to spread the word about Dr. Steel's vision for a utopian playland. Unfortunately, there is one question that I am almost invariably asked: "If everyone spends all day playing, then how does any work get done?". The short answer is an idea foreign to many who live in western, capitalist societies: Social Credit.

Social Credit is an idea originating from C. H. Douglas, a British engineer, and later expanded on by science fiction author Robert Heinlein in his first novel, "For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs". In "For Us, The Living", Heinlein describes a future society run primarily on the idea of social credit. For the people of this society, having a job is an entirely optional means of acquiring additional wealth. Many take up art and other creative professions, and many workers enjoy short working hours and high wages. Those who do not are still taken care of by the government, but to a lesser extent than those who do work.

To the capitalist mind, this seems like sci-fi nonsense at best, and communistic at worst. Indeed, for such a society to exist, the very idea that one must work to attain anything in life cannot exist. This idea is what forces people into 9-5 jobs, leaving precious little time for play. We are then taught that, to best enjoy this free time, we need to work harder and buy more, perpetuating a cycle of unhappiness. It is that mindset that has held back a system like the one Heinlein describes, when it is, in fact, a bigger possibility than many realize.

All it takes is a tour through a car manufacturing plant or a modern farm to see that robots are more than capable of doing much of our production. It is not too far-fetched to think that, in a brief period of time, these robots could take over almost all production. The main thing that prevents this, however, is the knowledge that this would put millions of farmers and laborers out of work, and unable to provide for their family's basic needs. A social credit system, then, makes perfect sense. If machines are capable of fulfilling most of our basic needs, then why should people need to work their souls away to get them? If an unskilled laborer is freed from the burden of having to work a 9-5 job, he is then given all the free time in the world to create as he sees fit.

Imagine this world, for a moment. You wake up in the morning, and no longer have to frantically shower, get dressed, run to Starbucks, and spend the day getting yelled at by some boss. Instead, you wake up, and do whatever you feel like from that point on. You eat food grown on robot-managed farms, and enjoy toys made from a combination of human imagination and robot labor. All the while, you are encouraged to use your own mind to its fullest potential - ideal, since that is humanity's greatest asset.

Now, there are some objections to this future. Many have grown up to read science fiction stories where robots rise us against their human creators and spark a war that may or may not result in humanity being plugged into a vast computer network and having their body heat harvested for energy. This worry is absolutely silly, as these machines would first need to be programmed to do so - something that humans will likely always have the final say over, even if machines are able to program themselves. Machines would be the sources of production and, for some, amusement. Nothing more.

Dr. Steel's goal is to make all of this a reality. While many shake their heads and dismiss the idea of a utopian playland as a nice fantasy, that notion is the only thing keeping it from becoming very real. I encourage everyone to look in to this man, and to look past his self-acknowledged insanity to see just what could be our wonderful future.

And remember:

Dr. Steel is your friend

Dr. Steel is your bestest friend...

in the whole WORLD!!