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Comment: Re: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More (Score 1) 181

by khallow (#49163337) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Or we could figure out a better way to distribute resources. Capitalism works great when there's plenty of work to do. Not so well when there isnt.

Or we could find a way to make plenty of work. A huge part of the problem is the many obstacles thrown in the way of creating new businesses and employing people. I'll take complaints about unemployment seriously, when someone treats it like a serious issue.

Comment: Re: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More (Score 1) 181

by khallow (#49163279) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Or to put it another way, "past performance is not indicative of future results."

There's a big reason this doesn't apply. In the financial world, having a really good year means a higher likelihood of having a poor year next. There's no well above average investment that can stay that way. And that's really the only reason for the caution. After all, nobody will dump money into a losing investment on the hopes that it will continue to lose money.

When we get to technology development, past performance is indicative of future results. The strategies for developing new technology remain more or less the same, the same economics that don't zero out the value of human labor remain in play, and we still have increasing productivity of human labor as a consequence of technology development.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 181

by khallow (#49163189) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots
Another thing to consider here is Jevons paradox which is:

In economics, the Jevons paradox [...] is the proposition that as technology progresses, the increase in efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.

One side effect of increasing automation is that human labor becomes more productive. The above model would then predict that "consumption" of human labor should increase. That actually happens on a global scale despite the relative tribulations of the developed world.

I think the combination of comparative advantage and Jevons paradox explains why the current myths of automation-induced unemployment are so consistently wrong.

Comment: Re:The phrase you're looking for (Score 0) 181

by khallow (#49163139) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots
I don't care what you call it. Sure, it's a race and the developed world is losing it. One of the symptoms is a growing unemployment rate. Another is offshoring. We can keep blathering about how bad this competition is for us, but that doesn't make it go away.

I'd rather win this race than lose it. That probably means a modest decline in my standard of living. I'm comfortable with that since it will mean a better future.

Comment: Re:Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More R (Score 1) 181

by khallow (#49163019) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

What is interesting though is - robots cost the same price here as they do there. The only advantage Foxconn had was cheap humans...

An advantage which they still have. But they also have relaxed regulations and being in the largest industrial power of today with all the supply chain and infrastructure support that implies. I think a large part of the current economic problems with the developed world is that there is a profound ignorance of economics and what's actually going on in the world.

So not only are places like China great for job creation, they're also great places for the next wave of automation innovation.

Comment: Re:Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More R (Score 1, Informative) 181

by khallow (#49157501) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Right, but the conversation that's being had around this is what are we going to do with all these people that we don't need anymore.

Employ them. That's what China will do. The two or three "lost generations" is a developed world problem coming from an uncompetitive labor force.

Comment: Re:Better definition of planet (Score 1) 188

by khallow (#49157433) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

I agree that it's a *bit* rare to change terms that are already in wide use. But in this case they had to. Their hand was forced because of all the new KBOs that were found.

Because school kids would be forced to memorize a few hundred planets, if measures weren't taken. There was no reason to care that there were a lot of new planets. That's actual science. Now, our "scientific vocabulary" includes "dwarf planets" that aren't "planets". It's just dumb.

Comment: Re:Let it happen (Score 1) 339

by khallow (#49153655) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.
You know, it's not that hard to set up betting markets to pay out for this kind of stuff. For example, the US DARPA tried to create such a market, the Policy Analysis Market for a variety of foreign policy events, including climate change related stuff. They got shot down hard by a couple of political clowns because it was going to cause political assassinations or something.

Punishing people for having the wrong opinions seems all too common in this debate, but if you want sensible argument then throw some securities on a stock market which pay out one way, if climate change predictions come true and pays out a different way if those climate change predictions come out false. I think that will give you the best possible predictions for this sort of thing.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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