Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:So let me get this straight... (Score 1) 452

by fyngyrz (#48645865) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

So who had TV in 1960? Not the poor, I'll tell you that. A phone from the year 2000 is still one hell of a lot better than the phone I had in 1965.

Sure, at some point, what we have today moves out of our economic grasp. But you simply cannot sensibly deny that the standard of living, lifespan, and contentment of the lower levels (not the lowest... that's another problem entirely, a legal one) are continually rising.

Comment: Taxes, shmaxes (Score 1) 452

by fyngyrz (#48645853) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Money is a proxy for exchange of work. If the work is being done by automation that does not require exchange, money is not required.

o Mining: automated
o Agriculture: automated
o Livestock industry and/or artificial meats: automated
o Manufacturing: automated
o Ordering: Network based, zero cost
o Network maintenance: automated
o Transport: automated
o Delivery: automated
o Power: Solar and storage based, instead of local fuel-based

So what's left for you to do in this production context?

Consume. That's all. Outside of that, enjoy yourself. Hump a lot (robot partners or real ones.) Consume entertainment. Sleep. Exercise. Pursue hobbies. In a word, enjoy your leisure.

Also:

o Firefighting: automated
o Policing: automated
o Emergency response: automated
o Medical care: automated
o Scientific advance: automated
o Travel: automated

And of course:

o Repair of automation: automated

Only things of inherent scarcity would still have value; land, spectrum, that sort of thing. Those are going to be the initial "crunch points" in any transition we attempt to make. There will be others, such as extreme consumption (hand build vehicles like Lambos, huge domiciles, yachts, like that.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 452

by fyngyrz (#48645811) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Well said. Except for one thing. It's not the government who pays them. They're just like a banker, they're just handling the money as it passes by. (Poorly, but that's another post.) We pay them. So the burgers do indeed cost more, it's just that the cost is hidden by moving the payment to the tax collection step.

Comment: Corporations outvote you every time (Score 1) 452

by fyngyrz (#48645803) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Corporations don't vote.

You couldn't be more wrong. Corporations vote through extremely powerful multiplying proxies variously described as bribes, campaign contributions, assurance of later employment and so on, often via extremely powerful channels known as "lobbyists." These votes carry more weight by far than any collection of constituents. You can change the players, that is, vote congress in and out repeatedly, but this does not affect how corporations and the rich control the actual legislative outcomes in any significant way. It just changes who gets the bribes and so forth.

It's like your server changing at McDonald's. New guy or gal, they're now getting the the income the previous employee no longer receives, and they're still telling you "I'll see to it you get a great burger, sir!" but you're still getting the exact same burger. Every time.

Of course, this control isn't actually a voting process, instead they represent a much more direct and effective mechanism of control (direct meting out of money and power and opportunity), but the effect is that your vote and my vote isn't worth a plugged nickel in controlling what legislators do, or don't do. It's just like being outvoted, only much more consistent and effective. The only time your vote appears to matter is when you are voting for the same ideas the rich and the corporations are pushing.

There are very, very few legislators who retire poor. Funny thing, eh? Oligarchy: Look it up, read it, and weep.

Comment: Oh, no. You have this REALLY wrong. (Score 1) 452

by fyngyrz (#48645765) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Of course they're benefiting from government assistance. When employees cannot survive on low wages, the government makes up the difference, thereby providing business with the continuing ability to pay lower than adequate wages. No health care? Government. Not enough food? Government. Can't pay the rent? Rent assistance. Not enough for day care? Childcare assistance.

And guess who pays for all this? Not walmart or pizza hut or subway... no, we do.

It's a shell game: hiding the actual costs of producing and serving and supplying goods (eg pizza, walmart's merchandise) behind a curtain of indirect government support. If the pizza server and walmart employee earned an adequate wage, this would show up in the price of goods. They don't want that. So instead, your taxes go up, the politicians shrug, and the walmart family is one of the wealthiest in the country, more than a little bit based on those indirect compensation boosts they don't have to pay.

Comment: Re:When Robots Replace Workers? (Score 1) 452

by fyngyrz (#48645737) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

What you're missing is that they think eliminating the need for THEM to be a slave to somebody is a good thing, as long as YOU are a slave to them. Because that, in a nutshell, is the situation that wealth concentration creates.

I should be rich.

You should do what I tell you to do, and I'll reward you miserably for it. Or not at all, if that can be managed.

Comment: Soylent Green (Score 1) 452

by fyngyrz (#48645727) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Ahhhg. Soylent Green was "bad movie all the way down."

Read Harry Harrison's "Make Room, Make Room" so you can (a) have a wonderful read and (b) see what a corrupted, idiotic mess Hollywood made out of a perfectly good story.

Soylent Green is the poster child for the message of a scene in The Majestic. Here's a great summary from the Intertubes:

The movie begins in a Hollywood story meeting in the early 1950’s. Before we see anything we hear a group of studio executives (hilarious vocal cameos by some of Hollywood’s top directors) eviscerating a script by casually throwing in every possible movie cliché. As they call out “How about a dog!” and “The kid should be crippled!” the screenwriter sits there, stunned into silence. Finally, he musters up a diplomatic, “That’s.amazing.”

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 452

by TheRaven64 (#48645719) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Most of the developing world just doesn't have this problem.

Actually that's not true. India and China did very well out of being a cheap place to manufacture things because of the low labour cost. Now, factories that are almost entirely automated are replacing those staffed by unskilled workers. This means that no one is building them in developing countries and creating jobs there. The only reason that companies like Foxconn have for picking places in Africa for manufacturing now is the the lack of environmental regulation: a few politicians get paid off, but the local economy doesn't benefit and the local environment gets polluted. The path Japan took, of cheaply copying things, being a cheap place to build factories, developing local skills, and then competing internationally with original products, doesn't exist anymore.

Comment: Re:It's hard to take this article seriously (Score 1) 452

by TheRaven64 (#48645709) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?
Exactly. Few workers would complain about automation if they owned a share in the company proportionate to their contribution to the profits. If a robot means that the company can produce more without their going to work then their income would go up and so would their leisure time. Instead, they become redundant in a shrinking job market and the owners get richer.

Comment: Re:Old (Score 1) 452

by fyngyrz (#48645703) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

We need to ask whether ownership of production will survive a radical change in economic fundamentals.

For things to be valuable, they have to be scarce. Things would no longer be scarce. This implies some kind of change in the economics that isn't accounted for by the idea of owning production.

Further, artificially restricting access to non-scarce items probably won't fly. They'll probably try it, but once these technologies are out of the box, they're almost certain to lose control of them.

Scarcity is "natural" only for things that have inherent hard limits. So property / elbow room, scenic vistas, spectrum, those sorts of things.

Just a few things have to arrive to disrupt the heck out of our present economic structure:

o non-destructive local energy sourcing and storage (from solar, primarily... plenty of that to go around.)
o adequate robotics to provide household maintenance
o custom and template-based production of objects on demand from generalized raw materials
o custom and template-based production of foodstuffs on demand from generalized raw materials

These, taken together, would utterly change the lives and lifestyles of human beings with access.

It'll be interesting to watch, anyway.

Comment: Re: Whether it was NK or not doesn't matter (Score 1) 203

N.K. basically has a "business model" of holding up a sign up saying "will not nuke Seoul for food". They send a few shells over every now and again to show it's not a bluff, and that even if it is called they can threaten to trash other cities after levelling Seoul.
That's the first thing to consider before posting something simplistic like the above.
It may be an utter basket case but it's not going away if we ignore it, it will get worse.

Comment: Re:False Falg? (Score 1) 203

And it even specifically says the talks were about Sony and other studios helping them with, what can only be described as, propaganda.

Most likely situation normal and ongoing instead of something new.
Remember that the WMD stuff came out of a PR company. The Kuwait hospital atrocity thing a decade earlier was a performance from an actress - very bizzare since they had real atrocities just as bad that could have been used instead of cooked up PR.

Comment: Sort of but not (Score 1) 203

Sort of but not.
I'd say it's civilian American criminals trying to shift the blame to N.K. instead of government employed ones.

Then there's the beatup because pretending that it's OMG! CyBeRwAr turned up to 11 means more funding and empire building for a few people in the FBI and similar who seem to be making noise without adult supervision.

So more the case of "patriotically" waving the flag falsely and rattling sabres than actual false flag.
The downside is such warmongering pricks don't seem to realise that their stupid fake war games may inspire the very thin skinned North Korea to fire shells at parts of South Korea and kill a few people. They have done that every now and again.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

Working...