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(Peoria Journal Star)   Workers vs. smart machines: THEY TOOK ER JERBS   (pjstar.com) divider line 305
    More: Sad, AWs, information need, big data, machines, technological change, MIT  
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10226 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jan 2013 at 4:01 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-28 05:16:06 PM

Eddie Adams from Torrance: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Well, we could educate our citizens better so they could compete for jobs in the new information based economy, but that's socialism.... so, no.


You know, the day isn't far off that a radiologist can be replaced with image analysis software, and lots of legal things could be automated.... So there are going to be repercussions all the way up the food chain.
 
2013-01-28 05:16:50 PM

HighOnCraic: The upshot of the story is, that day I called my parents, my father was fired. He was technologically unemployed. My father had worked for the same firm for twelve years. They fired him. They replaced him with a tiny gadget, this big, that does everything my father does, only it does it much better. The depressing thing is, my mother ran out and bought one.


OK, I lol'ed. :-)
 
2013-01-28 05:18:24 PM

Internet Meme Rogers: kindms: The only thing holding back automation in tons of industries is that its still cheaper to pay someone $8 an hour to do it.

I work for a company that sells automation, and at the bottom of each sales proposal we have a line that says "This machine works for $X an hour." It's nearly always less than you'd have to pay a person to do the same job, and not as well as the machine will do it.

Getting a kick out of TFA and this thread, since my job is taking away other people's jobs.


I do that as well. It bothers me at times.
 
2013-01-28 05:21:01 PM

Kaiku: Is it so hard to envision a future where working for a living is no longer the norm and everyone is afforded a basic standard of living via a guaranteed minimum income?


This is pretty much how I see it turning out. Some people will always remain in employment because they will either be in charge of companies or maintaining the machines. And the rest will be on welfare. It would create a very obvious class divide because the jobless probably would have little to no disposable income so they'd be limited to hobbies and pursuits that cost no money.

It would be interesting to see how this kind of situation would also affect the arts and entertainment industries. What if there were no longer thousands upon thousands who could pay to see a concert or a sports event? Perhaps these would even become free, with priority 'first class' seating for the minority who could afford to pay. It could lead to some very interesting changes in our society.
 
2013-01-28 05:21:48 PM

nmemkha: When there is no enough work to go around the haves will have to support the have-nots or they latter will brain them and feast on the gooey results.


when there is not enough work to go around, the have-nots will continue to look up at the haves and do everything in their power to become 'haves'. poor people don't hate on brand names, they're the most likely to lust after them because they can't usually have them. see also: libtard teeth-gnashing at broke-ass midwestern cracker republicans.

the poor adored Evita. that's reality. as long as the rich make Evita like gestures, the poor will swallow the nastiness such gestures gild.

revolutions are led not by the poor, but by the top of the food chain (which isn't always the rich, but will be someone affluent and looked up to) who feel an obligation to help the poor rise. right?
 
2013-01-28 05:22:55 PM

jst3p: BarkingUnicorn: Eddie Adams from Torrance: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Well, we could educate our citizens better so they could compete for jobs in the new information based economy, but that's socialism.... so, no.

People are not machines that can be programmed for any task.

My children are 8 and 11. The experiment is ongoing but I should have results to report in 10 years.


Sooner than that, I wager.  You're just about at the end of the Golden Years when kids will do whatever you want.  Puberty changes everything.
 
2013-01-28 05:23:01 PM

meat0918: Internet Meme Rogers: kindms: The only thing holding back automation in tons of industries is that its still cheaper to pay someone $8 an hour to do it.

I work for a company that sells automation, and at the bottom of each sales proposal we have a line that says "This machine works for $X an hour." It's nearly always less than you'd have to pay a person to do the same job, and not as well as the machine will do it.

Getting a kick out of TFA and this thread, since my job is taking away other people's jobs.

I do that as well. It bothers me at times.


Fortunately, I don't lose sleep over it. And amusingly, my degree is in Comparative English Literature but now I talk servo drives and g code all day.

There are still people who do things by hand. They're called artisans.
 
2013-01-28 05:23:01 PM

Kaiku: Is it so hard to envision a future where working for a living is no longer the norm and everyone is afforded a basic standard of living via a guaranteed minimum income?


Personally, I'm waiting for my replicator & personal holodeck* to be invented...

* if something like that is ever made, it would probably be the last invention of mankind...
 
2013-01-28 05:23:10 PM

FishyFred: infrastructure


And right back to square one we go.
Because, say you mean "road crew".
Well, one of these:
www.freefoto.com
Does the work of a hundred of these
www.pmba.org.uk
Without half the biatching about pay, benefits, or working conditions...
 
2013-01-28 05:24:49 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Eddie Adams from Torrance: Well, we could educate our citizens better so they could compete for jobs in the new information based economy, but that's socialism.... so, no.

Actually the socialist answer would be to kill all the smart people (those they have the training and the money) and put untrained uneducated people in those places. That way in a few years everyone is in the field working the crops with their bare hands. It would be perfect. All of us equal and no one better than the other.


25.media.tumblr.com

What a Stealth HipPolPotamus may look like...
 
2013-01-28 05:26:46 PM

super_grass: there4igraham: It's really simple. If your job involves sitting or standing in one place doing the same thing over and over again you're going to be replaced by a machine. If your only interaction with the product of your employer is visual then you're going to be replaced by a machine. If you don't understand why said machines are going to replace you then you're dumber than said machine. If you think somebody should take care of you after a machine replaces you then you deserve to be fuel for that machine.

You either evolve or face extinction.

Machines are the sum products of all the advancements and engineering and science by the brightest minds in human history. To assume that the average Joe can beat that and earn a living is cruel and laughable.

Technological advancement is a means to improve the lives of humans. If it no longer serves that purpose, it should be culled.


The cruel part is assuming the average Joe should need to keep up with advancements. This idea that your life is worth no value if you do not work is quickly becoming anachronistic. When technology makes it possible for an entire civilization to live without having to labor, the correct reaction isn't to go "omg, I have no labor to perform anymore!" but rather "hey, look how much time I have now for porn art".

Welfare isn't a bad word. People aren't defined by their job. If there's enough wealth (and I'm not saying there is currently, but at some point of technological advancement, there will be) around such that x percent of the population really doesn't need to do squat except have babies to keep the human race going, then why is there this insistence to have an economic model that *solely* values people by employment?
 
2013-01-28 05:27:53 PM

pheed: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Eddie Adams from Torrance: Well, we could educate our citizens better so they could compete for jobs in the new information based economy, but that's socialism.... so, no.

Actually the socialist answer would be to kill all the smart people (those they have the training and the money) and put untrained uneducated people in those places. That way in a few years everyone is in the field working the crops with their bare hands. It would be perfect. All of us equal and no one better than the other.

[25.media.tumblr.com image 300x367]

What a Stealth HipPolPotamus may look like...


static.guim.co.uk

"Tell them you were a Taxi driver."
 
2013-01-28 05:27:56 PM

ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.


It will take a Star Trek type of society to deal with the societal shift's end result. Eventually, human work to survive will be unnecessary. Of course this requires a societal shift away from our typical capitalist understanding of life. If we can feed, house, and educate everyone, there is no need to toil daily. Life would become a pursuit of knowledge. Yet greed is essential to our system as it is now, so the end result is obvious, but how we'll get there isn't. Very Rodenberryan. This isn't even taking a probable Kurzweil type of singularity into account.
 
2013-01-28 05:28:25 PM

ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem?


A) Breed less
or
B) Find a new frontier to grow into. Earth is not lacking for people
or
C) Extinction level event (war, plague, natural disaster)
or
D) I have no farking clue
or
E) Lower taxes (that apparently solves everything)
 
2013-01-28 05:29:06 PM

vudukungfu: jaybeezey: This is why developing a genuine skill set is important. Unfortunately, no one developed a machine that can replace middle managament yet.

I do tech support. I used to do upholstery, and I was a baker and a chef, and a fielder in a textile mill, and also been a lot of other things. If you want to live, get a hobby. If you want to survive, learn to adapt.

If you banked your soul on being one thing only and can't do that now, well, the world needs ditchdiggers, too.


You guys are talking microeconomics when the problem is macroeconomics.
 
2013-01-28 05:31:20 PM
The sound of one hand clapping:It would create a very obvious class divide because the jobless probably would have little to no disposable income so they'd be limited to hobbies and pursuits that cost no money.

I think some disposable income would be a necessary and desirable part of a basic standard of living. People need entertainment, especially people who no longer have work to expend their energy. Otherwise they will become bored and destructive.
 
2013-01-28 05:32:23 PM

jst3p: xynix: I spanked my son until it hurt my hand more than his ass which was at about age 9 1/2. Now I just threaten to take away his iPhone (which he earned by the way) and he does what I ask. He has a 4.0 GPA and if that slips at all he loses the phone. It's really not that hard to discipline a child these days it's just a different technique. Grounding a kid has become mobile or electronics based.

My kids fear having their memory card deleted far more than any spanking.


Your kids haven't learned about Carbonite yet?
 
2013-01-28 05:32:26 PM

vudukungfu: the world needs ditchdiggers, too.


No it doesnt.
 
2013-01-28 05:32:40 PM

Ronin_S: I always think of Patton Oswalt's sketch on grocery store robots whenever I hear about this classic modern conundrum.

Also:
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 600x200]

I'm doing water treatment and environmental science. We use lots of technology to test water, soil and air, but you still need humans to go out and collect the samples, run the SCADA chemical dispensing systems and write up the reports.

You have to look for jobs that are impossible for computers to do. Anything involving creativity, reasoning, interpreting of data, or going to remote sites with no infrastructure will need people. The legal system, scientific, education, health care and beauty industries have jobs that machines could never do. Manufacturing, natural resource extraction, anything involving tracking and filing inventory and data, forget it.


Anything can be replaced by a machine. Just because the tech isn't here now, doesn't mean that it won't be here tomorrow. Humans are replaceable. Sometimes, as already mentioned above, it's not immediate, it's gradual......... but humans are still replaceable.

Everything you listed either is replaceable by a machine now, has many components which are replaced by machines now, or can replace humans in the near future.
 
2013-01-28 05:33:05 PM

Cyno01: vudukungfu: the world needs ditchdiggers, too.

No it doesnt.


upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-01-28 05:35:30 PM

OnlyM3: It is the "Right" that ridicules the leftist continually lowering standards.


You mean like, lowering standards by trying to undermine the integrity of science education by inserting 'intelligent design' into class? Let the students "decide" what the truth is, right? because reality is willing to conform to our preferences...

Oh, and no child left behind, which lowers education to the lowest common denominator, totally something the left did, right?

The "Right" generally thinks education is about job training and economic growth, while the "Left" understands that democracy cannot function without a well educated citizenry able to see through the charlatanry endemic to any society, especially in politics and business.
 
2013-01-28 05:38:22 PM

wildcardjack: filling the indents with hot goo.


Go on...
 
2013-01-28 05:40:30 PM
Can't believe nobody's brought up creative markets. Art, music, literature, even the actual aesthetic design of things such as websites, boxes, marketing literature, etc. In theory, machines might be able to do some of it someday, but it won't mean anything. These are forms of human expression. A large part of what makes them great is the connection with another person. Of course, these are exactly the things everybody is, mindbogglingly, trying to remove all funding for in schools.
 
2013-01-28 05:40:33 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: What's really going to be fun is when the "safe" jobs start to be lost to automation: engineers, IT admins, programmers, etc...

That's when the real butthurt will begin.


I use scripting to do the work of several programmers in my job. Seriously, I write programs that write programs. When you are dealing with simulations, there are so many interconnections that need to be spot on, you can't trust it to even the guy who wrote it to keep the t's dotted and i's crossed.

In a bigger company, we would have a cast of thousands working from a spec, constantly throwing changes over the wall and praying they work in production.

I just update my spec, and the scripts put together all of the C and Tcl code that would be needed to implement the simulation, the user interface to the simulation, and the validation tools to import and export data to other models. For bonus points, I can even automate the process of generating regression tests.
 
2013-01-28 05:41:47 PM

HighOnCraic: The upshot of the story is, that day I called my parents, my father was fired. He was technologically unemployed. My father had worked for the same firm for twelve years. They fired him. They replaced him with a tiny gadget, this big, that does everything my father does, only it does it much better. The depressing thing is, my mother ran out and bought one.


I didn't know Hitachi used to run bordellos.
 
2013-01-28 05:45:44 PM

olddeegee: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

It will take a Star Trek type of society to deal with the societal shift's end result. Eventually, human work to survive will be unnecessary. Of course this requires a societal shift away from our typical capitalist understanding of life. If we can feed, house, and educate everyone, there is no need to toil daily. Life would become a pursuit of knowledge. Yet greed is essential to our system as it is now, so the end result is obvious, but how we'll get there isn't. Very Rodenberryan. This isn't even taking a probable Kurzweil type of singularity into account.


Knowledge of what? what is there to learn? And what would you do with that knowledge once you got it? That's not human nature. The pursuit is not of knowledge, but of pleasure. What do the idle rich do all day, compete for noble prizes? nah, man. They compete for pleasures. To be idle and rich is not to be Tony Stark, it's to be an Eldar. or a Kuwaiti.

As for what does one do with knowledge once one has it.................... doesn't Israel have an entire welfare class of scholars who do nothing all day but read the Torah and make babies? And yet, what do they do with all that studying?

Mankind is not about knowledge. Mankind is about pleasure. Sometimes the two intersect. But at the end of the day, pleasure will always win.
 
2013-01-28 05:46:14 PM

rustypouch: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Reduce the standard work week, say to 30 or 35 hours, but keep the annual compensation the same.

More people working, more money circulating through the economy, and more free time to spend it.


this... isn't a bad idea.

The issue that I see is that if we do that, you would be essentially paying two people for the same job; doubling labor costs in very short order. Unless there was some incentive for businesses to "throw away" money like that I really don't see it happening.

/honestly though, what is the point of capitalism? What is the point of collecting so much money that you would never be able to spend it all in your lifetime?
 
2013-01-28 05:48:43 PM

pheed: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Eddie Adams from Torrance: Well, we could educate our citizens better so they could compete for jobs in the new information based economy, but that's socialism.... so, no.

Actually the socialist answer would be to kill all the smart people (those they have the training and the money) and put untrained uneducated people in those places. That way in a few years everyone is in the field working the crops with their bare hands. It would be perfect. All of us equal and no one better than the other.

[25.media.tumblr.com image 300x367]

What a Stealth HipPolPotamus may look like...


bowlqlx.sasktelwebhosting.com
 
2013-01-28 05:48:55 PM

Reverend Monkeypants: Ya know what?
fark this guy.
Making 67 grand a year for reading farking numbers?
I don't care how farking long you've been doing it.
It's as bad as the $40 an hour assholes who attach bumpers to cars in Detroit...
The $50 an hour construction site flag wavers.
fark all y'all.


Yes. Let your masters teach you to rage about overpaid number readers. THEY'RE the ones keeping you down, you temporarily embarrassed millionaire.
 
2013-01-28 05:50:16 PM

The sound of one hand clapping: jaybeezey: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

This is why developing a genuine skill set is important. Unfortunately, no one developed a machine that can replace middle managament yet.

Even developing a skill set doesn't solve the problem completely. Say there's a factory that employs 200 people. They then bring in 10 machines that can do all the work. So the employees learn how to fix the machines. But it's not going to take all 200 to maintain 10 machines. Maybe 5 guys at the most. That's 195 people out of work. And learning another skill wont really help either because most skilled jobs already have plenty of competition.

Once machines start taking away all the unskilled labor there will just not be enough skilled jobs for everyone.


Yeah, shame no one ever wants more stuff, so those 195 people freed up have nothing to do ever again (and the product now sells for probably 10% or less of it's previous price as competition will force prices down if so much less costs are involved in making it).

If the simplistic way most people in this thread look at the economy was even remotely related to reality then over 95% of people would be unemployed by now given the massive increases in productivity in the last 200 years or so.

The big problem that is created by automation and productivity improvements is how unstable it tends to make the economy - when so little of what we buy is absolute necessity it means it is easy for demand to collapse if people get jittery. This is one reason why a large government sector is a good thing - it inherently stabilizes the economy, reducing the shocks from the vagaries of the free market system.

Of course this goes out of the window when machines can think better than us across the board, but that is a long way off yet.
 
2013-01-28 05:51:14 PM

ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.


Self-correcting problem. We just need many fewer humans
 
2013-01-28 05:51:53 PM

xynix: I also don't understand why they don't have remote locks that turn the meter off or on. Why does a human have to walk up to the meter and make a change? I understand this with water or gas to an extent.. especially gas but even water could be remotely turned on and off. Waiting a week to get some dude to turn a valve so you can have running water is simply stupid.


Right up until a bug in some piece of software somewhere closes off the valve without reporting an error.

As a computer scientist, I'm comforted by the knowledge that things like water and heat require a human being to walk to a home and turn off a knob.
 
2013-01-28 05:54:09 PM

abhorrent1: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem?

soylent green


Beat me to it!  Seriously though.  If your job is not focused on putting other people out of work, you better watch out.  This is essentially what most IT jobs are about.  The other safe areas in my opinion are service jobs that involve fixing/building thing (for now) and entertainment. (Have to keep the unemployed occupied some how) Automation is not going to gid rid of all the other jobs,  but those jobs are going to be reduced in number so you had better be the best in your field if you want to stay employed.  No troll Just my opinion
 
2013-01-28 05:54:47 PM
The answer is to stop the fixation on busywork.

What do we pay people for? Why do we tie benefits to X billable hours per week? What kind of world would we live in if the basics were assumed and people simply worked for beer money?

The other answer is to slap a value added tax on every product. Make something for a penny, and sell it for $100 wholesale? Make the middleman pay the taxes on that. Suddenly, this game of making everything as cheap as possible and selling for as much as possible will cease to pay off. Or at least, if industry continues to pay the game society has a tax base to produce replacement jobs in the public sector.
 
2013-01-28 05:55:12 PM

Man On Pink Corner: nmemkha: When there is no enough work to go around the haves will have to support the have-nots or they latter will brain them and feast on the gooey results.

The have-nots probably should have thought about that before electing politicians who push gun control.


WE cops and soldiers are replaced with drones the "human usable" weapons industry will die anyway.
 
2013-01-28 05:55:22 PM

newton: I have met a lot of people at bars who work in automation. programming, etc.
Their argument is that they are helping the day come where no one has to work, so they are helping.
They argue that for every assembly job they robotize, there is no loss in jobs because programmers need to be hired.
They don't seem to notice that one programmer can take out thousands of jobs.

The argument that they are saving the world by making robots do everything-
I tell them I like the idea, but it does not seem to be something that we can achieve at this time in our society.

Who is feeding the factory workers you just laid off with your robots? Do they now get free food and shelter? Oh, no they do not.
So how does this robots save the humans from working thing actually work?

They always run out of good answers really fast.


The robots didn't lay off anyone, and neither did the programmers. This is basic economics. Companies try to maximize profits, go looking for robots, and engineering companies see a new market and deliver suitable robots to get paid.

Pick on our societal structure, not our professions.
 
2013-01-28 05:55:48 PM

nmemkha: Man On Pink Corner: nmemkha: When there is no enough work to go around the haves will have to support the have-nots or they latter will brain them and feast on the gooey results.

The have-nots probably should have thought about that before electing politicians who push gun control.

When cops and soldiers are replaced with drones the "human usable" weapons industry will die anyway.


/ftfm
 
2013-01-28 05:55:48 PM

maegen: Can't believe nobody's brought up creative markets. Art, music, literature, even the actual aesthetic design of things such as websites, boxes, marketing literature, etc. In theory, machines might be able to do some of it someday, but it won't mean anything. These are forms of human expression. A large part of what makes them great is the connection with another person. Of course, these are exactly the things everybody is, mindbogglingly, trying to remove all funding for in schools.


Didn't someone say, a long long time ago, that only a rich society could support a large 'art' class?

Anyway, the way to get those back into schools is to make them profitable for schools. How can schools make money with art and music classes?
 
2013-01-28 05:56:23 PM

maegen: In theory, machines might be able to do some of it someday, but it won't mean anything.


The entire point is dada was that it doesn't matter when humans do it, either.
 
2013-01-28 05:57:22 PM

ExperianScaresCthulhu: gameshowhost: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem?

Simple -- you retrain people for other work when their job is (being) eliminated. This is one of the reasons why a broad education base is so critical to an economy: People with a reasonable breadth of knowledge are far more "cross-industry mobile". Yes the training does cost taxpayer money, as does every investment in a nation, but it brings a nice ROI. Everyone pays everyone benefits.

/at least that's what to do if we want to maintain a vibrant economy

Socialism.


yeah (._.) i know
 
2013-01-28 06:01:54 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Eddie Adams from Torrance: Well, we could educate our citizens better so they could compete for jobs in the new information based economy, but that's socialism.... so, no.

Actually the socialist answer would be to kill all the smart people (those they have the training and the money) and put untrained uneducated people in those places. That way in a few years everyone is in the field working the crops with their bare hands. It would be perfect. All of us equal and no one better than the other.


The Chairman approves
 
2013-01-28 06:03:01 PM

xynix: Why does a human have to walk up to the meter and make a change? I understand this with water or gas to an extent.. especially gas but even water could be remotely turned on and off. Waiting a week to get some dude to turn a valve so you can have running water is simply stupid.


That will create new jobs. The automatic remote mechanical shut-off valve manufacturer/salesman/installer/electrician/repairman.
 
2013-01-28 06:08:20 PM

maegen: Can't believe nobody's brought up creative markets. Art, music, literature, even the actual aesthetic design of things such as websites, boxes, marketing literature, etc. In theory, machines might be able to do some of it someday, but it won't mean anything. These are forms of human expression. A large part of what makes them great is the connection with another person. Of course, these are exactly the things everybody is, mindbogglingly, trying to remove all funding for in schools.


Indeed. The very thing that most makes us human - our creativity - is what society values least. The robot apocalypse isn't coming, it is here. WE are the robots.
 
2013-01-28 06:10:27 PM

Cyno01: Give it a few years for the RFID tag to replace the UPC and stores wont even HAVE checkouts anymore, youll just bag up your shiat at the front of the store and walk out, everything in your cart automatically being totaled up and charged to your card. Sure you still need stockboys and a few people on the floor, but thats hundreds of thousands of entry level no skill cashiering jobs that will just be GONE.


Because its not like that wont open the market for tens of thousands of people to install, maintain, sell, repair, and distribute the RFID equipment - many of them high paying and a store that installs the system might then find itself in a position to lower its prices as compared to competitors. AS they are now spending less money on groceries, they have more money to spend in other areas of the economy which will in the aggregate create jobs.

The same arguments were made in nu-industrial england when the made-nails-and-screws-by-hand lobby was outraged that machines were going to take their jerbs away.


newton: I have met a lot of people at bars who work in automation. programming, etc.
Their argument is that they are helping the day come where no one has to work, so they are helping.
They argue that for every assembly job they robotize, there is no loss in jobs because programmers need to be hired.
They don't seem to notice that one programmer can take out thousands of jobs.

The argument that they are saving the world by making robots do everything-
I tell them I like the idea, but it does not seem to be something that we can achieve at this time in our society.

Who is feeding the factory workers you just laid off with your robots? Do they now get free food and shelter? Oh, no they do not.
So how does this robots save the humans from working thing actually work?

They always run out of good answers really fast.


such a shame that we dont carry shiat around on horseback now that we have cars, trucks and trains
Such a shame that we have modern machines that make parts that go into everyday items that make our lives better
Such a shame that we dont have to spend all day in a field with rudimentary hand tools now that we have tractors and plows

But I am sure you fabricated your computer by hand, with rare earth minerals dug up by your own hand-made tools, with power generated from a wheel in a nearby stream which delivers current via electricity produced from forging tons of copper ore into wire.
 
2013-01-28 06:13:19 PM
If there's 15% unemployment everyone should only work 4 out of the 5 days they otherwise would. Then there would be room for 20% more work. The demand vs supply gap of 5% of workers should drive up salaries as well.
 
2013-01-28 06:14:42 PM

Internet Meme Rogers: kindms: The only thing holding back automation in tons of industries is that its still cheaper to pay someone $8 an hour to do it.

I work for a company that sells automation, and at the bottom of each sales proposal we have a line that says "This machine works for $X an hour." It's nearly always less than you'd have to pay a person to do the same job, and not as well as the machine will do it.

Getting a kick out of TFA and this thread, since my job is taking away other people's jobs.


Good luck in hell.
 
2013-01-28 06:17:06 PM

TheAlmightyOS: rustypouch: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

Reduce the standard work week, say to 30 or 35 hours, but keep the annual compensation the same.

More people working, more money circulating through the economy, and more free time to spend it.

this... isn't a bad idea.

The issue that I see is that if we do that, you would be essentially paying two people for the same job; doubling labor costs in very short order. Unless there was some incentive for businesses to "throw away" money like that I really don't see it happening.

/honestly though, what is the point of capitalism? What is the point of collecting so much money that you would never be able to spend it all in your lifetime?


Mandatory time and a half for overtime originated in the New Deal, in part to encourage exactly this kind of work spreading.
 
2013-01-28 06:19:08 PM

ExperianScaresCthulhu: olddeegee: ajgeek: Does anyone smarter than me have a potential solution to this problem? Obviously we can't generate work for work's sake and not everyone can fix the machines that do work for us, but we're getting to a point where we are going to have an excess of human labor. This is both real and very serious. Idle hands and all that.

/and no, sending everyone to China won't help either.

It will take a Star Trek type of society to deal with the societal shift's end result. Eventually, human work to survive will be unnecessary. Of course this requires a societal shift away from our typical capitalist understanding of life. If we can feed, house, and educate everyone, there is no need to toil daily. Life would become a pursuit of knowledge. Yet greed is essential to our system as it is now, so the end result is obvious, but how we'll get there isn't. Very Rodenberryan. This isn't even taking a probable Kurzweil type of singularity into account.

Knowledge of what? what is there to learn? And what would you do with that knowledge once you got it? That's not human nature. The pursuit is not of knowledge, but of pleasure. What do the idle rich do all day, compete for noble prizes? nah, man. They compete for pleasures. To be idle and rich is not to be Tony Stark, it's to be an Eldar. or a Kuwaiti.

As for what does one do with knowledge once one has it.................... doesn't Israel have an entire welfare class of scholars who do nothing all day but read the Torah and make babies? And yet, what do they do with all that studying?

Mankind is not about knowledge. Mankind is about pleasure. Sometimes the two intersect. But at the end of the day, pleasure will always win.

So far. But we've never been presented with this massive of a societal change. It will happen. Besides, knowledge is pleasure. You don't sound like you have any artist in you. I'm a societal optimist. It will be hard and probably involve war, but the shift will happen.
 
2013-01-28 06:21:10 PM
I work in banking, and granted everything I do could be automated, but you wouldn't want it to. When the computer screws up, it's not just a minor problem, it's a HUGE problem, and I've seen it happen. You don't want to rely 100% on computers when money is involved.
 
2013-01-28 06:22:07 PM

amquelbettamin: If there's 15% unemployment everyone should only work 4 out of the 5 days they otherwise would. Then there would be room for 20% more work. The demand vs supply gap of 5% of workers should drive up salaries as well.


wat? Think that through again.
 
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