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  1. #1
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    Skilled Work, Without the Worker

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/bu...ewanted=1&_r=1

    This comment, by 'anonymous' is perfect:

    Automation is on the rise and ever will be, because human workers are problematic. They are unpredictable and expensive. People who believe that human work is simply going to shift from the mechanical to the creative and intellectual are deluded. Yes, there will still be room for visionaries, but the average person will have no place in the production of goods and services. Work and survival will have to be decoupled. The alternative is mass starvation (and eventually, revolution).

  2. #2
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    Interesting how you guys squabble about the current crop of retards taking part in the dog and pony show 2012, when this is the real root of the economic issues for the US.

    The supply of labor is greater than the demand, and this will only get worse for the forseeable future. In the next few decades, computers and robots are going to significantly replace humans in driving, call centers, warehouses, manufacturing, ... I'm sure that all those burger flippers and truck drivers are all going to use their new found free time to become engineers to design and build more robots!

    Republicans think those left behind by the economy should starve and die (they won't, they'll come steal your stuff). Democrats are confused and ineffective. Lovely times ahead!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powow View Post
    Interesting how you guys squabble about the current crop of retards taking part in the dog and pony show 2012, when this is the real root of the economic issues for the US.

    The supply of labor is greater than the demand, and this will only get worse for the forseeable future. In the next few decades, computers and robots are going to significantly replace humans in driving, call centers, warehouses, manufacturing, ... I'm sure that all those burger flippers and truck drivers are all going to use their new found free time to become engineers to design and build more robots!

    Republicans think those left behind by the economy should starve and die (they won't, they'll come steal your stuff). Democrats are confused and ineffective. Lovely times ahead!
    I would have to think that Building robots, installing robots, maintaining robots, programming robots, Feeding the robots, building and maintaining the environment where robots work, All good paying jobs that a person could gain some satisfaction from doing.

    Just so long as we build the robots and install them here.

    FYI, I am in the contact center Tech biz.
    Good money, good work.
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  4. #4
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    Thank god for the financial services industry. There will always be plenty of demand for unskilled labor.

  5. #5
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    There was another thread in here a few months ago about the concept of decoupling work and survival. I think it's not a bad idea. I know it seems contrary to a lot of my beliefs, but providing a base line subsistence for all people may be the right way to go. So that everyone has basic education, sustenance, health care, and a place to sleep. Some people will inevitably be content to "do nothing" and will not strive to better their place in life. Others will be content with the basics while creating incredible art, expanding philosophically, etc..., and others will work their asses off to have more.

    As commented above the alternative will be mass starvation or revolution.

    Maybe companies employing robotic work forces should be taxed to pay for basic necessities for the unemployed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ass-to-mouth View Post
    Thank god for the financial services industry. There will always be plenty of demand for unskilled labor.

    Seriously, at least those without consciences and with major narcissistic tendencies will be able to manipulate the system and rob people on a grand scale to stay gainfully employed.

  7. #7
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    Whatevs. People were worried when the typewriter was invented and came to the masses, thinking it would put countless clerks and scribes out work as a typist could do the work of several clerks. It did. Hordes of secretaries then replaced the old clerks. Then, people were worried with the advent of the computer, saying it would put countless secretaries out of work, as a computers could replace many secretaries. It did. Now we have millions of computers, and not to mention an entire industry to support them.

    In the end, these are all things that massively improve our quality of life and the workplace. Seriously, who wishes they'd be still be writing entire volumes of records by hand, in perfect calligraphic style?

    Those who refuse to adapt, become and remain unemployed. It's the year 2012, and we should have all been well aware that more automation was to come. Time to get with the times. If you feel that YOUR job is on the line due to impending changes, then it's time to get some O'Reilly books and get to studying. Maybe dabble in some of MIT's free online courses. Instead of bitching about the robots taking our jerrrrrrbs, maybe you should get ready to be THEIR boss, so to speak.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
    Whatevs. People were worried when the typewriter was invented and came to the masses, thinking it would put countless clerks and scribes out work as a typist could do the work of several clerks. It did. Hordes of secretaries then replaced the old clerks. Then, people were worried with the advent of the computer, saying it would put countless secretaries out of work, as a computers could replace many secretaries. It did. Now we have millions of computers, and not to mention an entire industry to support them.

    In the end, these are all things that massively improve our quality of life and the workplace. Seriously, who wishes they'd be still be writing entire volumes of records by hand, in perfect calligraphic style?

    Those who refuse to adapt, become and remain unemployed. It's the year 2012, and we should have all been well aware that more automation was to come. Time to get with the times. If you feel that YOUR job is on the line due to impending changes, then it's time to get some O'Reilly books and get to studying. Maybe dabble in some of MIT's free online courses. Instead of bitching about the robots taking our jerrrrrrbs, maybe you should get ready to be THEIR boss, so to speak.
    I AM in this industry. I'm not worried about myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by MTT
    I would have to think that Building robots, installing robots, maintaining robots, programming robots, Feeding the robots, building and maintaining the environment where robots work, All good paying jobs that a person could gain some satisfaction from doing.

    Just so long as we build the robots and install them here.

    FYI, I am in the contact center Tech biz.
    Good money, good work.
    If designing, building and maintaining the robots provided as many good jobs as they replaced, they wouldn't be economical and no one would use them.

    This idea that "there is always some other work to be done, therefore people must fend for themselves" is going to lead to economic revolution in the US. Just because it has (mostly) happened that way in the past is no guarantee that it will continue to happen. Look at the world as it is today! Record productivity, record profits, yet unemployment/underemployment is still extremely high. Why would this change? What motivation is there for business to hire people if they already have all the people they need to produce record profits and record productivity?

  9. #9
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    There has nearly always been a surplus of labor throughout history. The only real difference today is it takes a lot more knowledge and skills to shift that surplus to something useful, as noted by MTT and Austin.

    The current challenge is how to shift that work force to something productive.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTT View Post
    , Feeding the robots,
    I bet they eat

    People should learn endurance; they should learn to endure the discomforts of heat and cold, hunger and thirst; they should learn to be patient when receiving abuse and scorn; for it is the practice of endurance that quenches the fire of worldly passions which is burning up their bodies.
    --Buddha

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    There has nearly always been a surplus of labor throughout history
    pretty much - except for a brief flourishing in the past two centuries labor has always been cheap. The "make yourself useful" retards miss the big picture that in the future the "value added" sectors for humans will decrease - but humans still need to eat. You could replace half of the posters in polyass with bots.
    Lord King of the Beater-Kooks

  12. #12
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    I think at least a quarter already are, dickdripstain and Jer can't really exist.

    Even in the past two centuries, there was a surplus of labor, but many local shortages. Think Chinese and railroad, or Okies and fruit pickers.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    pretty much - except for a brief flourishing in the past 50 years in a handful of countries labor has always been cheap.
    Fixed it.

    Adam Davidson wrote an article in the Atlantic earlier this year along the same lines as the OP http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...merica/308844/ Cliff notes version: The future looks fairly bleak for the unskilled high school-educated class who not long ago could have made a decent living making widgets.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Fixed it.
    That would be incorrect - see labor rates in Australia & the US in the mid-19th century (why do you think everyone wanted to come?)

    Davidson's article is missing
    1) that automation has effectively priced out all humans, no matter where in the world these days for certain sectors
    2) the coming replacement of "skilled" "educated" labor with automation.
    Lord King of the Beater-Kooks

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    1) that automation has effectively priced out all humans, no matter where in the world these days for certain sectors
    Automation and high capital requirements are hitting poorer countries, like India, hard because it means rapid industrialization is not the same path to modernization and prosperity like it was in the 20th century. Even highly skilled services are a weak substitute for industrialization for most of the population. Richer countries are also slowing down due to aging populations and high debt loads which means fewer growth prospects for nearly everyone.

    Successful long-term development requires a two-pronged push. It requires an industrialization drive, accompanied by the steady accumulation of human capital and institutional capabilities to sustain services-driven growth once industrialization reaches its limits. Without the industrialization drive, economic takeoff becomes quite difficult. Without sustained investments in human capital and institution-building, growth is condemned to peter out.
    Last edited by Triage; 08-21-2012 at 08:39 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTT View Post
    I would have to think that Building robots, installing robots, maintaining robots, programming robots, Feeding the robots, building and maintaining the environment where robots work, All good paying jobs that a person could gain some satisfaction from doing.
    You think correctly.

    Just started the job 2 weeks ago.
    Largest construction project in the United States at the moment.
    Pay scale is a significant jump (2x) from hotel maintenance.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tBatt View Post
    You think correctly.

    Just started the job 2 weeks ago.
    Largest construction project in the United States at the moment.
    Pay scale is a significant jump (2x) from hotel maintenance.
    Again, the only reason usage of robots is growing is because they are displacing more 'good' jobs than they are creating. If that weren't true, robots wouldn't be economical to replace humans with in the first place.

    Just because you got one of the jobs the robot industry created doesn't mean you didn't also replace more than one person.

  18. #18
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    I'm gonna run a XXX club for robots, that will never go out of style.
    ... jfost is really ignorant, he often just needs simple facts laid out for him...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfost View Post
    I'm gonna run a XXX club for robots, that will never go out of style.
    Start stocking up on dubstep.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powow View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/bu...ewanted=1&_r=1

    This comment, by 'anonymous' is perfect:
    I'm confused. isn't this a good thing? I thought we had a population problem. We need fewer people. Ask EVERY liberal, they'll tell you. What better way to achieve that than to starve a few billion people.

    Wait! Now you are saying science is the ENEMY!!!??? Yet EVERY liberal wants the federal government to spend gazillions on scientific advancement???!!!

    I always wondered why the same people who think we have too many people are the ones who demand gazillions in healthcare spending by the government so everyone can max out the potential life span of the human body.

    I'd think you Darwanists would believe in a little survival of the fittest.

    Funny, liberalism is constantly bit in the ass by the unintended consequences of their stupid Statist Utopian ideas.
    I've been to two state fairs and a goat fuck and never seen anything like this!!

  21. #21
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    PS.

    This is the argument you lefties have been using since the invention of the assembly line. It's bullshit you know.

    we have an emplyment problem because the free market no longer exists here.
    I've been to two state fairs and a goat fuck and never seen anything like this!!

  22. #22
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    Western European countries addressed this issue decades ago in several ways, e.g., laws requiring 5 or 6 weeks of vacation per year, shorter work weeks, double overtime pay, etc. Much of industrial Germany is on a 4-day work week. You've heard of Germany, right? That's the place that has socialized health care, strong unions, stringent product spec regulations, high minimum wage, strong social safety net, strong unemployment insurance, etc., and yet is kicking our ass.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTT View Post
    I would have to think that Building robots, installing robots, maintaining robots, programming robots, Feeding the robots, building and maintaining the environment where robots work, All good paying jobs that a person could gain some satisfaction from doing.

    Just so long as we build the robots and install them here.

    FYI, I am in the contact center Tech biz.
    Good money, good work.
    While I sort of agree, the people being replaced that were putting spindles into boxes and stuff, aren't the people who are going to be "Building robots, installing robots, maintaining robots, programming robots." Skilled laborers, while good at what they do, on a whole aren't programers or tech people.
    Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

  24. #24
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    Not just work, warfare too.

    MONEY, as Cicero observed more than two millennia ago, is the sinews of war.... That is still true today. But lately, from the American point of view, things have got ridiculous. Guided missiles, in particular, are ludicrously expensive.

    Clearly, something has to change. And changing it is. Precision weapons have already changed warfare radically, even though they have sometimes raised the price of battle. Low-cost guided missiles, often carried on small drones rather than expensive piloted aircraft, will change it further still. When such missiles cost a thousand dollars rather than a million, no target will be too cheap to engage.

  25. #25
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    This has the potential to be a really big problem, I would argue that part of the problem we are in right this second is related to this issue. Human workers are far too efficient, add in robots and computers and all that shit and I can see how companies really don't need to hire anyone.

    Solve this problem by creating a WIR like system. Money is valuable because humans use it right so the creators of money should be those that give money its value. That's humans not banks thus a WIR or free money system.

    Essential goods for survival, food, water and shelter could be exchanged in an alternative system, a complimentary system if you will to the dollar. A WIR style system is non-inflationary and does not require lots of available dollar currency so if the economy hits the shit and currency is in short supply it doesn't really matter for the distribution of basic resources.

    Essentially every human gets allotted 100 WIR a month to purchase basic resources, that money is simply printed out of nothing like all other money, each individual then regardless of other circumstances has their basic resources for the month. The money has value because all humans within the WIR system must use the WIR currency to purchase basic resources so the dollar ain't going to buy you an apple. The farmer in this example uses the WIR he collects to both purchase his own basic resources and exchange with the dollar to purchase non basic goods like say crack.

    I'm too stupid to have all the implications worked out but I think a free system could be the solution to automation and it guarantees all humans a basic existence.

    I think the problem potentially is that exchange with the dollar could maybe be difficult, so the farmer may not have the ability to always get dollars but I don't know if that would be true. Somebody smart on here can probably point out all the problems this would create.
    You're gonna stand there, owning a fireworks stand, and tell me you don't have no whistling bungholes, no spleen spliters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hoosker doos, hoosker donts, cherry bombs, nipsy daisers, with or without the scooter stick, or one single whistling kitty chaser?

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