Re: a job-free future
I have not read those books, although they're now on my reading list, but if your summary is accurate, I don't think it's realistic or desirable:
"citizens, upon graduation, would decide if they wish to have a life defined by Basic (revenue, support, health care, etc.. I guess), or if they want to actually work for their subsistance and attain a career worth something."
The first problem is that I'm unconvinced that we would eliminate work to the extent that this becomes realistic. Of course, technology eliminates certain types of work with some frequency, but it doesn't do so all at once. Meanwhile, more jobs are created to run the technology and by the increased ability to do the things that were once done manually. We've automated a lot of things in the past few decades, and yet the unemployment rate is still pretty low in many of the countries where jobs like manufacturing were lost. Does this mean that we have no problem because everyone just gets a different job? No, because nothing says that those jobs are as good or that getting them was easy. There are lots of problems in a situation like this, but the expectation that there will be more people than jobs we can think of having someone do has been incorrect most of the times it has been predicted in the past. I'm not convinced that AI, even if it improves significantly, will be the technology that substantially reduces the need for labor.
The second problem is independent. Let's assume that I'm wrong and I can look back on this comment a couple decades from now and laugh about how stupid my prediction was. I still think the proposal to choose between a career and support is a really bad option. It leads to a lot of resentment between groups, and whenever that happens, someone will try to exploit that resentment for political power, with the likely outcome that one of the groups will be harmed. I'm imagining the resentment in the scenario you summarized to be caused by people who work thinking that those who don't are lazy and useless, while those who don't work think those who say that are judgemental and outdated. At least if the support was provided to both groups, those who worked wouldn't have an excuse to say that, if they weren't doing something useful to society, they'd have more. I don't think that minor change would be enough. This depends a lot on exactly what jobs were left after that. If we could get it where only the most creative ones were left, then we're probably pretty good because there are enough people who like doing that kind of work to take it on voluntarily. I imagine that at least some of the jobs that take a while to automate will be unpleasant ones, which makes this much harder to solve to everyone's satisfaction.