Working Futures: The Nature Of Work Is Changing - Let's Help Get It Right

from the working-futures dept

For the past few years, there have been plenty of discussions about "the future of work," but they tend to fall into one of two camps. You have the pessimists, who insist that the coming changes wrought by automation and artificial intelligence will lead to fewer and fewer jobs, as all of the jobs of today are automated out of existence. Then, there are the optimists who point to basically every single past similar prediction of doom and gloom due to innovation, which have always turned out to be incorrect. People in this camp point out that technology is more likely to augment than replace human-based work, and vaguely insist that "the jobs will come." Whether you fall into one of those two camps -- or somewhere in between or somewhere else entirely -- one thing I'd hope most people can agree on is that the future of work will be... different.

Separately, we're also living in an age where it is increasingly clear that those in and around the technology industry must take more responsibility in thinking through the possible consequences of the innovations they're bringing to life, and exploring ways to minimize the harmful results (and hopefully maximizing the beneficial ones).

That brings us to the project we're announcing today, Working Futures, which is an attempt to explore what the future of work might really look like in the next ten to fifteen years. We're doing this project in partnership with two organizations that we've worked with multiples times in the past: Scout.ai and R Street.

Working Futures: A Scenario-Planning Game Exploring The Future Of Work

The key point of this project: rather than just worry about the bad stuff or hand-wave around the idea of good stuff magically appearing, we want to really dig in -- figure out what new jobs may actually appear, look into what benefits may accrue as well as what harms may be dished out -- and see if there are ways to minimize the negative consequences, while pushing the world towards the beneficial consequences.

To do that, we're kicking off a variation on the classic concept of scenario planning, bringing together a wide variety of individuals with different backgrounds, perspectives and ideas to run through a fun and creative exercise to imagine the future, while staying based in reality. We're adding in some fun game-like mechanisms to push people to think about where the future might head. We're also updating the output side of traditional scenario planning by involving science fiction authors, who obviously have a long history of thinking up the future, and who will participate in this process and help to craft short stories out of the scenarios we build, making them entertaining, readable and perhaps a little less "wonky" than the output of more traditional scenario plans.

As the first step in this process, we're asking for input and thoughts on the kinds of "driving forces" that will have the most impact on the future of work in ten to fifteen years. If you go over to WorkingFutur.es right now, you can provide your input on which forces will be the most important and impactful, and help us in thinking through what the future might look like. In late April, we'll also be hosting an event in San Francisco, where we'll be using the results of this online process to help us begin to build the frameworks of multiple future scenarios to explore. Please check out the survey and give us your thoughts.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 9:53am

    The future inevitability of artificially intelligent robots replacing humans is not as alarming to me as the present so called "gig" economy.

    Being on call 24/7 while not being paid for it, in addition to being categorized as an independent contractor will not be an improvement for the majority. It will make a few rich, while creating more poverty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 10:09am

    No Liberty

    There will become a point were technology is so accessible that people will be able to make anything they want good or bad, which means that cannot be allowed.

    Someone is going to own you and what you are allowed to do. And yes, out of fear you are totally going to ask them to!

    There is already a war happening for 3d printing, and with the current IP landscape AI and the future of working are absolutely going to be victims.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 10:59am

      Re: No Liberty

      " people will be able to make anything they want "

      Doubt it


      "Someone is going to own you and what you are allowed to do."

      Too late


      War on 3d printing ... hmmm girl's gotta get paid huh.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 3 Apr 2018 @ 12:36pm

      Re: No Liberty

      There is already a war happening for 3d printing

      That revolution seems to have stalled.

      You can't even print a usable tea cup. (Hot tea will melt one type of plastic, and the other is toxic. Both are porous because of how they're printed and will leak.)

      Being able to print a simple electric tea kettle - with wiring and heating element in addition to the plastic bits - no electronics - isn't even on the horizon.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        anon, 4 Apr 2018 @ 10:08am

        Re: Re: No Liberty

        interesting focus, your making me peckish for a biscuit(^^).

        they are printing in glass, and metal now which should dodge some of the imperfections of plastic. not sure of the resolution for crockery. stanford apparently has some students printing video game controllers complete with wires. cost is definitely an issue and who know how long til production of an electronics printer, but it seems to be on its way.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 10:35am

        Re: Re: No Liberty

        This is false. You can 3D print metal.

        There are medical devices that are 3D printed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    hij (profile), 3 Apr 2018 @ 11:05am

    Do they have an option for worker's revolution?

    > forms.zohopublic.com’s server IP address could not be found.

    I think they need to invest in a better workforce so they can register their domain names correctly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 11:19am

    Quit yer belly achin’

    We’ll always have jobs, here in the matrix. All this doom and gloom talk is just meant to stress us out. And a stressed brain is tastier...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 11:37am

    Another Step 2!

    LMAO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 11:50am

    Pessimists?

    You have the pessimists, who insist that the coming changes wrought by automation and artificial intelligence will lead to fewer and fewer jobs, as all of the jobs of today are automated out of existence.

    That sounds a lot like optimism. It's 40+ hours a week more free time, plus however much time was spent commuting, and of course the stresses of work would go away.

    So, while the linked page has no actual information (the "learn more" link goes nowhere), I hope you question the assumption that less work is a bad thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 3 Apr 2018 @ 12:43pm

      Re: Pessimists?

      That. I don't think we will be in that scenario anytime during the next 15 years but automation will slowly chip away more and more jobs. I do think we'll be under much more pressure to discuss universal income or similar ideas to help with the 'automation victims'.

      Overall I don't see automation as a problem. The problem is how Govts will deal with the inevitable unemployment. So far the status quo says don't touch on obscenely high profits while taxing the workforce. This will clearly backfire in the future.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 5:31pm

        Re: Re: Pessimists?

        So far the status quo says don't touch on obscenely high profits while taxing the workforce. This will clearly backfire in the future.

        Also consider the conflicting requirements and feedback effects of the soverign wealth funds—and giant pension funds, central banks (quantitative easing) etc.—that are becoming more popular. They're investing in private companies in a major way; if they take measures which reduce investment returns (eg. raising taxes), they may hurt their own ability to pay their retirees.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Apr 2018 @ 6:10am

        Re: Re: Pessimists?

        I do think we'll be under much more pressure to discuss universal income or similar ideas to help with the 'automation victims'.

        I've had that fight a few times. Basically, where will this money come from? The owners and operators of the automation tech? The IPR and real estate rent-seekers? Because if you're right they and the money manipulators will be the only ones with the dosh to dish out and they're not known NOW for wanting to share it with the rest of us, so how the hell would we get it off them?

        Then you've got to give everyone (as soon as you've worked out who "everyone" is) the same amount of money in order to be seen to be fair. This either is or isn't enough to live on depending on the underlying philosophy (are you expecting people to supplement their income via work?).

        As I've pointed out any number of times (calculators are wonderful things) only the rich will benefit — the bulk of the burden will fall upon the already-shrinking middle-income earners like myself even if you use a flat tax to pay for it because any tax rate makes allowances up to a certain income level. Therefore the tax burden would take a greater proportion of total personal wealth from lower income earners than higher income earners, the top tier of which would merely receive pocket money, their main wealth safely stashed away in offshore accounts and legal dodges.

        So... how the hell would we pay for it? I ain't had an answer yet beyond blue-skying on one side and accusations of hating the poor and homeless, etc., on the other.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 5 Apr 2018 @ 6:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Pessimists?

          I've had that fight a few times. Basically, where will this money come from? The owners and operators of the automation tech? The IPR and real estate rent-seekers? Because if you're right they and the money manipulators will be the only ones with the dosh to dish out and they're not known NOW for wanting to share it with the rest of us, so how the hell would we get it off them?

          The explanations I've seen is that by getting rid of other forms of social safety nets, and concentrating all of it on a basic income, supporters believe it pays for itself. First, all the money goes into this one program, and second, you need much less bureaucracy to handle the program. I don't necessarily believe that's true, but it's not a completely insane thought.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Apr 2018 @ 7:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pessimists?

            **The explanations I've seen is that by getting rid of other forms of social safety nets, and concentrating all of it on a basic income, supporters believe it pays for itself. First, all the money goes into this one program, and second, you need much less bureaucracy to handle the program. I don't necessarily believe that's true, but it's not a completely insane thought.**

            Thank you for responding, Mike. However, I'm skeptical because instead of giving money to people who need it, we're taking away support programs to give the money to people who don't need UBI as well as people who do.

            As for bureaucracy, here's my take on the subject: https://medium.com/@wendycockcroft/in-defence-of-bureaucracy-f54ddac203f1

            Any program will require a certain level of administration. Heck, the amount of admin required in my job means we're having to hire more staff all the time!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 3 Apr 2018 @ 12:49pm

      Re: Pessimists?

      That sounds a lot like optimism. It's 40+ hours a week more free time

      Back in the early '80s, one of my high school teachers was into predictions very much like what this article talks about.

      He told us that in the '90s, the five-day work week would be outlawed. More and more women were entering the workforce and automation was making less workers more productive. The five-day work week would HAVE TO go; otherwise society would have to accept high unemployment and no job security.

      The reality of course is that employers had no problem whatsoever with high unemployment and no job security. Career full time jobs have been replaced with contract and part-time jobs, people working multiple jobs just to get by.

      You'll get your "40+ hours a week more free time", but it won't come with food and shelter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 5:23pm

        Re: Re: Pessimists?

        Back in the early '80s, one of my high school teachers was into predictions very much like what this article talks about.

        Your teacher was way behind the curve: "How will we all keep busy when we only have to work 15 hours a week? That was the question that worried the economist John Maynard Keynes when he wrote his short essay 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren' in 1930. Over the next century, he predicted, the economy would become so productive that people would barely need to work at all."

        You'll get your "40+ hours a week more free time", but it won't come with food and shelter.

        I'll have that (with savings from a high-paying job), and other people won't. Concerns about such inequality—and the general lack of fairness in "punishing" people's unemployment, when there simply aren't enough jobs—are causing people to talk about things like basic income. It will be interesting to see where that goes. (Basic income would, for example, be a method of funding art that might suggest radical changes to the idea of copyrights.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 3 Apr 2018 @ 11:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Pessimists?

          As a kid I lived in Dauphin, Manitoba for a couple years while their Basic Income experiment was running in the '70s.

          I even hadn't heard of the program until a couple years ago when the internet discovered it, so I asked my mom about it. Our neighbor was in the program. Her husband was killed in a rollover car accident, leaving her to raise two kids alone.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 7:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pessimists?

            That was "mincome" (minimum income), not basic income. A true basic income wouldn't be reduced by employment income, except by normal tax rules. It certainly wasn't "universal" either, and lasted for only 4 years; one could hardly be expected to quit one's job with such an uncertain future.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 4 Apr 2018 @ 9:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pessimists?

              As I said, an experiment. Guaranteed annual income is indeed a form of basic income.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 9:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pessimists?

                As I said, an experiment.

                From which some results could be drawn, sure, but they stopped collecting data halfway through! A better experimental group might be lottery winners that took lifetime annuities, especially very young ones, or people with large trust funds. They know they'll never have to work. What happens if someone knows that right out of high school or university?

                Guaranteed annual income is indeed a form of basic income.

                By some definitions, but there's substantial disagreement about it. They are disjoint concepts by Wikipedia's definitions and by mine.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Wendy Cockcroft, 6 Apr 2018 @ 2:26am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pessimists?

                  It fell on its face due to costs spiralling out of control and poor record-keeping so no one really knew what was going on. I've blogged about it here.

                  While people certainly benefit from handouts (who doesn't?) there's no such thing as a one-size-fits all program. Anything we do to provide money for people who need it ought to be self-sustaining so someone can't just come along one day and pull the plug. Dividends from a community-owned wind or solar power-generating plant could fund such a scheme.

                  I wouldn't rule out a mincome scheme, I think it's a good idea. I'd just avoid centralising it where some ideologue might shut it down on principle and I'd recommend a plan for self-funding community schemes to enable communities to become as self-reliant as possible.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 12:45pm

    With the planet being turned into a single, giant slave market where only the rich, famous and powerful have privacy, freedom and freedom of speech, there isn't a hole in Hades of us being able to have any input, let alone have any notice taken!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 1:15pm

    What I'd personally like to see is a reality check on some of the most prevalent "future of work" predictions that economists love to make, especially regarding the idea that the economy will magically sort itself out and there will be no need for governments to intervene with regulation or planning certain steps out before serious issues arise.

    But with y'all working with the free-market fetishists over at R Street, I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2018 @ 1:53pm

      Re:

      Yup, you got that right ... I'm busy (as we type) working with the free-market fetishists over on R street. They told me to invest in Kramerica Industries because they have a new and wonderful technology. I was lucky to be on-site to witness their first test of a method to stop big oil tankers from leaking into the oceans. There was a slight problem but it all worked out. They are also working on other interesting items like;
      - Ketchup & Mustard in the same bottle
      - A restaurant that only serves PB&J’S
      - A periscope for your car
      - cologne that smells like the beach
      - a coffee table book about coffee tables

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 3 Apr 2018 @ 5:36pm

    What Could Happen Instead of Self-Driving Cars.

    From 1950 to 1980, the number of automobiles per capita approximately doubled. The country went from a system in which male breadwinners had cars, for the serious business of getting to work, but not everyone did; to a system in which just about everyone who could drive had a car. High-school students suddenly had cars, and began driving to school. The growth of McDonald's restaurants dates from this period., as does that of shopping malls. Fast-ffood displaced "diners," suburban malls displaced downtown department stores, and and "gig-box" stores displaced local shopping streets. I think telecommunications and the internet will spend the next few years in a similar consolidation-phase. There wont be much in the way of virtual reality, or anything like that. What will be happening, mostly is that backwards sectors will be catching up.

    Remember this: very few consumer-facing technologies are really indispensable.If you can't do it one way, you can do it another way. I don't think that self-driving cars are going to work, not unless they have self-driving roads to go with them. I can't quite see how the self-driving reads are going to be built-- it would require sums of money undreamed of by Tesla. However, I don't see why Google-type buses should not be an acceptable substitute. A Google bus is simply an adult school-bus with WiFi and fold-down tray-tables added. A bus doesn't have to be as big as a standard city bus. It can hold ten or twenty passengers, and still recover most of the economies of scale in the human driver. The basic principle of a school bus is that one end of the line is a concentration point, where everyone is going. At the other end of the line, with good planning, it is possible to offer door-to-door service, or nearly so. The usual organizing principle is that the school-bus belongs to the school, and, correspondingly that a Google-bus belongs to the employer, but you can do it the other was around. The bus can belong to a residential neighborhood. I know of student apartment complexes, a mile or two off campus, which have their own shuttle-buses, going to the university campus. The system works, on the whole, and can benefit from Uber-type information, the bus driver knowing who he has to pick up, and where, rather than operating according to a fixed schedule. You can used electronics to make a better bus. For example, you can install automatic rear-wheel steering, which enables a bus to negotiate tight corners more gracefully.

    The traditional limiting factor on public and semi-private transportation was that people liked to drive. They did not have laptops, and they did not have tablet computers. The automobile was their prime symbol of modernity. This factor is no longer operative. An automobile is becoming more like a dishwasher, assessed in essentially pragmatic terms.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      mhajicek (profile), 3 Apr 2018 @ 9:13pm

      Re: What Could Happen Instead of Self-Driving Cars.

      Disagree on limiting factor. I go to and from work at fairly random times without much notice, and few others start or end near the same place. My other errands are even more random.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 5:48am

    R Street - I just cant

    I think libertarian think tanks no longer have any credibility. If you dig into them they are always largely funded by some big moneyed private interests that think "job creators" shouldn't have to pay taxes (and so don't want the government providing services).

    Since this includes a libertarian think tank I will assume its aim is to largely develop arguments that can be used to prevent the government from providing any support to displaced workers or their families through this transition, after all we can't have the government throwing off the "free market" by picking "winners and losers" . . . etc etc etc

    Count me out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Apr 2018 @ 10:18am

      Re: R Street - I just cant

      You can make any assumptions you want. It doesn't mean they'll be right, and it may just make you look foolish. For this project we're working with people all over the political spectrum, including those who have libertarian viewpoints, but also those who believe that we need a much larger welfare state to handle the transition.

      The idea is to actually discuss stuff and not, you know, just jump into stupid stereotypes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 1:07pm

        Re: Re: R Street - I just cant

        "...figure out what new jobs may actually appear, look into what benefits may accrue as well as what harms may be dished out -- and see if there are ways to minimize the negative consequences, while pushing the world towards the beneficial consequences."

        Finding beneficial consequences at this point requires a whole lot of hand waving, maybe this post should be sticky top if you really want to generate ideas and debate. Maybe we could develop a plan to move forward rather than falling into a world that is worse than the very optimistic genre that is cyberpunk.. an infinite number of monkeys and all that..

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2018 @ 6:19am

        Re: Re: R Street - I just cant

        Bringing in the Klan to discuss how best to help Black people might seem like a very open minded, inclusive discussion kind of thing. However, in the end I think their agenda (or ideology) would prevent any useful, productive discussion.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 5 Apr 2018 @ 6:46am

          Re: Re: Re: R Street - I just cant

          You really should have just gone all the way and compared R Street (who employs Mike Godwin) to Hitler, rather than the Klan. That would cement just how stupid and ill-informed you sound.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 6 Apr 2018 @ 5:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: R Street - I just cant

            What Mike says.

            Glad you're looking at a range of opinions, Mike.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2018 @ 10:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: R Street - I just cant

            None of the points you bring up are nuanced when it comes to economics, they are all right-wing/american libertarian ideas. Like how the teamsters shouldn't fight automation lol Tone deaf 101.

            Don't worry mike aside from the insults I'll await for you to cite someone else's opinion, which you don't agree with outright but just want to "highlight" for the discourse.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 7:53am

    Luddites

    I should like to point out that the Luddites where protesting primarily about the automation of weaving and they where absolutely correct that it "...will lead to fewer and fewer jobs, as all of the jobs of today are automated out of existence." it led to huge reductions in both workforce and wages, disruption and in many cases destruction of communities as manufacturing was centralized and moved around, they were not some sort of crazy machine haters, they where angry because capital and automation was destroying their lives, in a very violent way, not evolution over time..Class War.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Phalen, 4 Apr 2018 @ 2:20pm

      Re: Luddites

      They were also concerned about, and ultimately correct about, their fear that the owners of the machines could basically employ slave labor and work them for ungodly hours, and replace them at will. Before then, when weaving was an apprenticed trade, workers had slightly more power because they couldn't be easily replaced by someone who only needed to know how to guide a machine, and they couldn't be worked into exhaustion because that would affect the quality of the merchandise they produced. They were primarily labor activists.

      The re-writing of the Luddite history is one of the more aggravating memes around here. It's almost as if these people in Silicon Valley, who just happen to own the machines, are intentionally missing the point.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re: Luddites

        And people still sing of him even now, even those dismissed as pop stars.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH9kha55VTc

        No more chant your old rhymes about old robin hood
        His feats I do little admire
        Ill sing the achievements of general ludd
        Now the hero of nottingham shire
        Those engines of mischief were sentenced to die
        By unanimous vote of the trade
        And ludd who cannot a position defy
        Was the grand executioner made
        Whether guarded by soldiers along the highway
        Or closely secured in a room
        He shivers them up by night and by day
        And nothing can soften their doom
        Shall the whole team of humble no longer oppressed
        And shall ludd sheath his conquering sword
        Be his grievance instantly met

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 8:53am

    Some.. well several thoughs.

    We should not kid ourselves, this isn't the industrial revolution where farmers and weavers where displaced to make jobs in steel and manufacturing, there are no labour intensive jobs to sub in. whatever you think about wage effects and social disruption the industrial revolution did create jobs in raw numbers, assembly lines where a more "efficient" way of organizing labour it actually required MORE people to achieve overall but fewer people per unit production, it was not automation.

    Automation requires not only fewer people per unit production but fewer people TOTAL, the labour force can be reduced while increasing production.

    These situations are not the same stop comparing them.

    A small team can write all of the software for a large group of robots
    A tiny staff can maintain those robots(see HUUGE data centers)

    That's it no other people necessary, you've gone from a staff of 1000's to maybe 2 or 3 dozen

    Remember back in the '90's when people said we should all go into services for Boomers? well that is where we are going to be for the foreseeable future.. LUXURY SERVICES.. and as the Boomers die off (mostly without leaving their kids a dime) the need for those services will decrease and decrease as the percentage of the population that can afford them decreases.

    This is not some sort of giant mysterious boggle, there are not going to be jobs for MOST of the population, except make work so government workers with family connections are safe, the military aannnd that's about it a scattering of what will likely be poor wage jobs in programming and motorcycle maintenance and a few things like Sommelier, Footman and Sex slave.

    So how do we avoid this?

    I think Beyond the fringe gave use the answer years ago.

    "...steal from the poor give to the rich.. stupid bitch, Denis Moore, Denis Moore."

    No wait I meant Robin Hood that's the British folk hero I meant.

    Eight families control more that 50% of all assets(worldwide) 7000 people control something over 70%

    The solution is obvious they need to have less and the rest of us need to have more, this is impossible in a capitalist system since they already have all the capital, so the only options are an enforced transfer by the state or it can be taken by force, or it's all soylent green and the running man from now until it all falls apart in a collapse of civilization that will be impossible to recover higher than the iron age from(we've already used all of the oil we don't need modern technology to extract).

    Stop stealing everything, Stop collaborating with Fascism, want free individuals increase the number of representatives to 1 for every 15000 federally, 1 for every 10000 state wide and one for every 5000 city wide(or something like that but at least an order of magnitude)

    Yes perhaps we can have a giant leap in arts, culture, citizen science, innovation but ONLY if the resources are there don't forget Mazlow many many people are still struggling with the bottom level of that pyramid and that is going to get worse not better.

    Show me an open internet, show me open access to ALL published research, show me open labs where citizen scientist can experiment, show me local workshops with woodworking, metal working, electronics benches and 3d printing capacity enough to accommodate all of the potential innovators and most importantly show me how people are going to survive between now and when all that stuff gets built since none of it exists now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 9:48am

      Re: Some.. well several thoughs.

      Stand and deliver

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 10:52am

      Re: Some.. well several thoughs.

      I don't understand why you think things are being stolen?

      They are not being stolen, shit happens. Just because someone is better at something than you are and are more successful, doesn't mean they are stealing from you.

      Sooner or later, a basic living income will come into being, because there will be very few jobs in the future.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 11:25am

        Re: Re: Some.. well several thoughs.

        Bahhhahhhaaaaaaa! merit is a delusion of privilege and the desperate if we really had a meritocracy we would have granular certifications for everything from math and underwater basket weaving to materials stress and cable length, not need a four year degree to take certs that never needed them until a few years ago or a Masters in (pick a random buzzword) to get anything that resembles a decent paying job, the is all precursor to a caste society where money is distributed by (sic.) roman senators that's going backwards like all things that are trumpeted as progress by Fascists (All western "democracies")

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2018 @ 2:36am

      Re: Some.. well several thoughs.

      Automation requires not only fewer people per unit production but fewer people TOTAL, the labour force can be reduced while increasing production.

      The balancing force to that is that all that production needs a market. It all fine and good being able to produce millions of items at the push of a button, but they are of no value if nobody can afford to buy them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2018 @ 10:20am

        Re: Re: Some.. well several thoughs.

        This is the part of the hysteria that I can't quite understand. Why would the rich buy robots that take people's jobs if there is no one who can buy the products that the robots are making?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 10:38am

    It is not true that innovation always ends up creating more jobs than it destroys.

    It used to be true, increase productivity tools increased the number of jobs in the past. That stopped happening back in the 90s.

    There are fewer jobs today than there were 10 years ago. That is a fact, even though there are more people living now. More people, less jobs, that is a bad combo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      The job "boom" of the late 90's such as it was, was due to a new and largely non-existent skill set(computer skills) combined with low population growth(Gen X is half or less as big as the boomers) it had nothing to do with increased productivity, and it was not a time of boom in any case unemployment was high throughout the '90's except in the last few years lasting until maybe 2002-3, it was a blip like Y2K

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 11:08am

        Re: Re:

        Not related to what I posted. When productivity went up in the past, the number of jobs (and pay) went up as well.

        That stopped happening in the 90s.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 11:08am

        Re: Re:

        Sorry again I wish there was an edit button sometimes.

        The automation of the late '80's was having a real effect, autoworkers and others where being replaced by robots, not completely but in large numbers and they didn't just zip off to go develop WinZip, computer jobs in the '90's did not substitute for working for GM, this is around the time we started to be told to expect to switch jobs 3 times in our lives, that seems like such a low number now, but you know progress..

        we are almost 2 generations into this stupid if corporations and the state cannot or will not act in the public good they need to be replaced or eliminated(see facebork and the NSA)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 11:10am

    Putting less labor into the necessities and the wants means more labor goes into people's dreams.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2018 @ 11:50am

    To do that, we're kicking off a variation on the classic concept

    Where would we be without this?!!! A world without RED DAWN that's where!

    WOLVERINES!!!!

    No seriously planning is very very important and we as a species do far to little of it if we want to survive at our current or better level of technology or maybe at all.

    Ha! an example of building on the shoulders of government research.. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.