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chmeee

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  • Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:30am

    "Lost" jobs and shifting employment

    @Ninja You seem to be making the implicit assumption of everyone who sees not mass unemployment, but jobs "shifitng": That there will be somewhere for them to shift _to_.

    In an economy where essentially EVERY job is automatable, how exactly do you envision meatsuits competing with machines? I suggest you re-read @OldMugwump's comment above. And you aren't allowed to begin any sentence with "But people can..." or "But machines can't..." :-)

  • May 18th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    (untitled comment)

    I would be hesitant to slam Clinton.
    Budget deficits
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Budget_Deficit_1971_to_2001.png

    Corporate profits
    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?graph_id=45260

    NAFTA wasn't bad for business, it just isn't reaching workers
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/Productivity_and_Real_Median_Family_Inco me_Growth_1947-2009.png

  • May 18th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: The new Socrates

    Love your comment; it's one point I managed not to address in my lengthy rant (below). Decoupling imputed moral value from (current) economic necessity will surely be one of the hardest conceptual leaps to make. My niece is a talented violinist. That (and four bucks) will get you a latté at Starbucks.

  • May 18th, 2013 @ 7:50am

    (untitled comment)

    I found this article a rare disappointment. Geigner is completely missing the point: Enhanced productivity for EVERYTHING is not comparable to a few million spot welders making Honda Civics. It's about automating almost everything, right down to middle management. Even design is much less labor intensive already, but we'll just ignore those jobs as safe, since keeping such numbers won't affect mass unemployment one whit.

    Yes, there will always be 5-star accommodations with a "personal" (meat-sack) touch, but how many hand-made chairs, brooms, dishes, etc. etc. are sold every year, and what is the average purchasing power of their makers? What will India look like when every basket weaver is replaced by a machine that doesn't even need a hand-full of rice per day to work? How many such producers are really Village Craftspeople producing artisanal luxury, and how many 3rd world wage slaves making "...glass dishes with tiny bubbles and imperfections, proof that they were crafted by the honest, hard-working, indigenous peoples of...wherever." And what happens when the 'bots can do it with just a solar panel?

    Geigner is missing the boat; it's not about welding and painting, it's EVERY JOB on the line. It's essentially EVERY JOB at Foxconn. It's not an olive tree shaker or a GPS-led plow, its ALL of agriculture. Robots to pick tomatoes, strawberries, apples...everything. All the time. Robots to drive the trucks. Automated logistics. Top to bottom AI.

    It's not "but what about the machinists", it's "plausibly name a job that can't be automated away by an arbitrarily competent AI/robot, even if it doesn't have the ineffable spark of humanity." Now picture this in every sector, such that Capital will be effectively unfettered, free from the demands of Labor. Congrats Marxists: No more oppression, but at the cost of nearly all jobs.

    Clarke's Law needs a corollary: Any sufficiently advanced automated system WILL take you job unless you can do it more cost-effectively. "Cheaply" ignoring history is a lesser sin than failing to grasp the nearly all-encompassing reach of even good-enough, "weak" AI.

    From that point on, it will pretty much have to be redistributionist policies everywhere, all the time. "Citizen Income", here we come. Alternatives would certainly interest me, but I don't see any on the horizon.