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Comment: Re:High unemplyment and we suddenly need more robo (Score 1) 157

"any system that must work inefficiently to keep working is inherently broken"

It depends what you value. Many people pay a premium for handmade goods. Why pay $20 for a handmade clay pot when you can buy a mass produced one for $3? Perhaps you value the uniqueness of it? Perhaps you get warm and fuzzy feelings knowing that you're helping support someone who is doing what they enjoy, or at the very least, earning money without the need to own a million dollar factory?

Comment: Re:High unemplyment and we suddenly need more robo (Score 1) 157

I'm glad you brought up textiles. North Americans own a lot of clothing. The average person would probably be just as happy in life if they owned half the amount of clothing and had paid twice as much. Why not pay people a little more to do the work with dignity? Sure, use machines where quality benefits, or where a task is impossible without, or where something is so menial that it lacks dignity. But, I don't see anything wrong with a little bit of social welfare from companies in the form of jobs for fair wages (there are companies that do this by the way). Yet most clothing companies compete to see who can pay the absolute least amount to people who are already dirt poor. Why? Because we need to be able to buy a shirt at Walmart for $5 and because some millionaire still doesn't have enough money. It's messed up.

Comment: Re:Automation means more jobs (Score 0) 157

I'd take an assembly line job over no job. The displaced unskilled laborer and the engineer who programs the device are not the same person. But I will be sure to tell anyone laid off by a robot to reapply once they've gotten their engineering degree.

"People are the most flexible and useful asset companies have."

No. People are people.

And by the way, the article is about temporary task-specific robots that can be deployed quickly. This is squarely aimed against "flexible" labor.

That said, it's great that you've found a way to increase jobs using automation.

Comment: High unemplyment and we suddenly need more robots? (Score 4, Insightful) 157

Automation like this only benefits two groups, factory owners and the consumers of the product. Owners want more profit and consumers want cheaper goods. The big loser is the worker who is left without a job. Most workers are also consumers, so more automation is required to keep prices at their level given that they are shifted into lower paying "service" jobs. It's a vicious cycle that's been going on for a century and we now have unheard of disparity between rich and poor. I love the idea of robots doing our bidding and appreciate this tech, but the reality of it sucks.

I am not a Luddite, but we need to think about how tech affect society. I think most engineers would agree that there are certain technologies that are unethical to work in. To me, this is one of them.

Comment: Re:Female programmers (Score 1) 608

by Sir or Madman (#44680219) Attached to: Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

Yeah, and how do you know your kids will have kids and their kids, and so on? You don't.

You're espousing some kind of biological reductionism without even a basic understanding genetics: your children only inherit half of your genes. So, genius, a mere handful of generations from now, your genes are going to be thinned out to a mere blip just like everyone's. At 10,000 years from now, it's not going to matter if it was you or your cousin who had the kid.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder

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