Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

bendy

Robots Taking Over Etc.

Recommended Posts

A fairly interesting watch I though. Some points the video considered was the cost implications of a robotic revolution but not the cost implications of out of work humans (I'm sure depopulation would quicly lead to an uprising causing a pretty abrupt end to any robotic 'enlightenment')

Appears to also ignore the ability of humans to create 'jobs' without any value whatsoever, like MP's. Humans are great at beaureacratic nonsense.

Doesn't also cover that some of the elite section of society have nothing better to do than abuse the lower orders (see other OT threads, one around 200 pages I think!) Can't see them getting the same kick from a robot.

Once upon a time I thought stuff like this could lead to a '3-day-week', now as see it as more than likely being a 7 (zero hours) one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A fairly interesting watch I though. Some points the video considered was the cost implications of a robotic revolution but not the cost implications of out of work humans (I'm sure depopulation would quicly lead to an uprising causing a pretty abrupt end to any robotic 'enlightenment')

The cost implications of out of work humans should be zero if what they were producing is still being produced and is useful. This is true even if new meaningful work doesn't appear (the number of ultimately pointless jobs around now suggests that it doesn't usually any more). It's up to society to change the economic system to deal with that rather than get ground down due to a pigheaded insistance on sticking with a flawed system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, for me there's some evidence that the economic transition to an automated workplace is already happening. Already it is possible to spend a life on welfare - and actually you'll have better living conditions than some of the richest people on earth in 1900 with access to incredible technological wonders, health care etc. Couple that with part time working (and tax credits), zero hours contracts, so called self employment, retired etc - and there's probably a sizeable minority already there.

The trick is helping the no/low work people create meaningful lives with sufficient access to the abundance out there - without causing a stampede to it before the economy/technology has caught up to allow us all to make the change.

I think it'll be rocky and painful from hereon - but there's everything to play for if we can overcome our puritan work ethic etc. A second renaissance, for example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The trick is helping the no/low work people create meaningful lives with sufficient access to the abundance out there - without causing a stampede to it before the economy/technology has caught up to allow us all to make the change.

By working? Automation doesn't always do away with the jobs that people don't want to do. Unless there's a labour shortage is there anything really gained by automating jobs that people are happy doing? Our economic system says "yes" but that's a sign that it's rather too divorced from reality.

A degree of automation might take out the dangerous or dull parts, and reduce the number of hours that need working but just because it could do the rest why does it have to? We let these changes dictate what we do instead letting them provide us with options to decide what we do. It's a terrible tragedy and it turns my stomach whenever I see people trumpeting it as great.

Paging wonderpup, paging wonderpup........

Does he ever enter Off Topic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By working? Automation doesn't always do away with the jobs that people don't want to do. Unless there's a labour shortage is there anything really gained by automating jobs that people are happy doing? Our economic system says "yes" but that's a sign that it's rather too divorced from reality.

A degree of automation might take out the dangerous or dull parts, and reduce the number of hours that need working but just because it could do the rest why does it have to? We let these changes dictate what we do instead letting them provide us with options to decide what we do. It's a terrible tragedy and it turns my stomach whenever I see people trumpeting it as great.

Does he ever enter Off Topic?

Lots of people have liked all kinds of jobs in history - but many of them still disappeared. Personally, I look around and I see a lot of people doing jobs because they have to, not because they want to. Equally, I see others doing what were jobs as hobbies because they enjoy them e.g. driving steam trains at the weekend.

I guess my thinking is that a post-compulsory work economy frees people up to pursue other non-work life goals; like spending more time with our friends and families, hobbies, arts, music, artisan stuff etc. As I said, our current societal expectations are that work = meaning, but it doesn't have be that way.

That choice is a good thing, isn't it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paging wonderpup, paging wonderpup........

:D

I just can't help myself.

horses dont vote.

humans replaced horses with cars not the other way around.

Capitalism is not a democracy- but the more subtle point is that the 'work ethic' meme is so deeply embedded that even if automation does start to eat jobs in a serious way the great unwashed will not be able to process that reality until it's far too late.

So there will be no uprising against the machines in the near future because the plebs will still be obsessed with 'benefit scroungers' even as their new robot overlords are taking over the factory/office/taxi driving service.

When the first self driving taxi is found smashed to bits by irate former cabbies then we will know that the luddites have returned- but even then onlookers will be cat calling and telling them to get a f*cking job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a very wealthy elite will own, and thus direct the operations of, robots.

Whilst the rest of us might benefit in theory from having robots to do our bidding, we will not be able to afford them, as we will not be able to work to buy them and do not have enough capital in the first place.

We, as serfs, will no longer be of use to those who control the world's resources; instead we will be seen as 'useless eaters' and a drain on resources. We will become dispensible.

If we get uppity there will of course be killer robots to deal with us.

This scenario can only be avoided if there is a more equitable distiribution of the world's wealth in the first place. As it is, only the wealthy are getting wealthier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fred's latest column "Economics compacted" nails the problem.

http://fredoneverything.net/Fredbraith.shtml

Much worse is in the offing. Here is the second crucial problem of modern economics: Where to put unnecessary people?

The Theory of Increasing Uselessness

A search continues, long quietly underway but now intensified, for ways to keep off the work force people for whom there is no work, or no real work. These are not necessarily lazy, shiftless, or parasitic. They just don’t have anything to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who buys the products made in robot factories? At first, it will be people who retain their jobs - but as robots increasingly climb in the workplace (away from relatively simple manual tasks) - what then?

Are we heading towards some sort of 'Star Trek' economy where money has been dropped as a construct? I think I missed the Star Trek episode where they explained how that worked......

Interesting times, for sure.

What's the ultimate alternative? Either that or it all explodes and we end up back in the dark ages (probably the more likely outcome). The current economic system is badly broken, unable to deal with the reality of not needing anywhere near the whole workforce to provide for everyone comfortably. It's stuttering along with a whole bunch of non-jobs and wasteful resource burning.

I haven't the faintest idea of what a viable alternative is, but unfortunately neither does anyone else as far as I can tell. Those who should think about it would no doubt deny there's a problem rather than face the truth.

Lots of people have liked all kinds of jobs in history - but many of them still disappeared. Personally, I look around and I see a lot of people doing jobs because they have to, not because they want to. Equally, I see others doing what were jobs as hobbies because they enjoy them e.g. driving steam trains at the weekend.

Makes you wonder just what has actually been gained by getting rid of real jobs of driving steam trains then. That's not the greatest example since there are obvious issues with the fuel, but sticking with railways Network Rail's big vandalism plan to eliminate every remaining signal box and control the whole thing with a few guys on computers in an office seems like exactly this sort of thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the ultimate alternative? Either that or it all explodes and we end up back in the dark ages (probably the more likely outcome). The current economic system is badly broken, unable to deal with the reality of not needing anywhere near the whole workforce to provide for everyone comfortably. It's stuttering along with a whole bunch of non-jobs and wasteful resource burning.

I haven't the faintest idea of what a viable alternative is, but unfortunately neither does anyone else as far as I can tell. Those who should think about it would no doubt deny there's a problem rather than face the truth.

Makes you wonder just what has actually been gained by getting rid of real jobs of driving steam trains then. That's not the greatest example since there are obvious issues with the fuel, but sticking with railways Network Rail's big vandalism plan to eliminate every remaining signal box and control the whole thing with a few guys on computers in an office seems like exactly this sort of thing.

Actually, there is a guy who has thought about this:

http://www.thelightsinthetunnel.com/

The trouble is, how to convince the powers that be. As I said I think there's evidence to suggest its already happening in this country - but when you get 25% of the workforce being labelled idle welfare scroungers due to lack of work and who are existing rather than living, I think the trouble will start. Especially if they are young, and we have a culture where "I shop, therefore I am" is the predominant meme. It's a massive waste of human potential. And as you say, creating a bunch of non-jobs which everybody hates isn't the solution either.

Also the future is very uneven globally. The bottom billion or two are still living in conditions which disappeared in Victorian times in this country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eight

Lots of people have liked all kinds of jobs in history - but many of them still disappeared. Personally, I look around and I see a lot of people doing jobs because they have to, not because they want to. Equally, I see others doing what were jobs as hobbies because they enjoy them e.g. driving steam trains at the weekend.

My Dad "served his time" as a fitter on steam locomotives. He is really bemused by the retired chartered accountants etc. who mostly make up the preservation societies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also the future is very uneven globally. The bottom billion or two are still living in conditions which disappeared in Victorian times in this country.

That reminds me of another point that's often overlooked. We've not got rid of those jobs and working conditions, we've just outsourced them to other countries so we can pat ourselves on the back and say how much better life is. Sometimes it isn't, the bad is just out of sight.

My Dad "served his time" as a fitter on steam locomotives. He is really bemused by the retired chartered accountants etc. who mostly make up the preservation societies.

AFAIK there are quite a few ex-railwaymen in them too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a very wealthy elite will own, and thus direct the operations of, robots.

Whilst the rest of us might benefit in theory from having robots to do our bidding, we will not be able to afford them, as we will not be able to work to buy them and do not have enough capital in the first place.

We, as serfs, will no longer be of use to those who control the world's resources; instead we will be seen as 'useless eaters' and a drain on resources. We will become dispensible.

If we get uppity there will of course be killer robots to deal with us.

This scenario can only be avoided if there is a more equitable distiribution of the world's wealth in the first place. As it is, only the wealthy are getting wealthier.

You could build your own robot.

I've built a robot packing machine. So far it has just got quite badly jammed up with labels and hasn't become self-aware and started a nuclear war but, I keep a close eye on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That reminds me of another point that's often overlooked. We've not got rid of those jobs and working conditions, we've just outsourced them to other countries so we can pat ourselves on the back and say how much better life is. Sometimes it isn't, the bad is just out of sight.

Yes, agreed. I think outsourcing is often a stepping stone to automation though. Basically, you are saying lets get this specialised company to concentrate on getting this task done more efficiently for us than we can do ourselves. If costs start rising due to demand for improvements in the standard of living, then specialised company is going to start looking for ways to reduce costs and they probably have an in-depth understanding of where the opportunities to do so lie.

The Register has a good article about this in the IT field:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/11/over_50_out_of_work_watch_out_because_it_is_about_to_eat_itself/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eight

You could build your own robot.

I've built a robot packing machine. So far it has just got quite badly jammed up with labels and hasn't become self-aware and started a nuclear war but, I keep a close eye on it.

Place I used to work had an early "palletiser" robot about twenty years ago. Sometimes it would try to put boxes where one already was, and sometimes it would just drop them from a height, expecting there to be a stack already built when there wasn't. I swear it was almost human.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who buys the products made in robot factories? At first, it will be people who retain their jobs - but as robots increasingly climb in the workplace (away from relatively simple manual tasks) - what then?

Are we heading towards some sort of 'Star Trek' economy where money has been dropped as a construct? I think I missed the Star Trek episode where they explained how that worked......

Interesting times, for sure.

Jewellry and candles for stressed robots. The next big markets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That reminds me of another point that's often overlooked. We've not got rid of those jobs and working conditions, we've just outsourced them to other countries so we can pat ourselves on the back and say how much better life is. Sometimes it isn't, the bad is just out of sight.

And because of this, in a global context, half of the UK population are probably wealthy enough to be members of the world's '1%'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   203 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.