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Comment Re:The Luddites (Score 1) 870

>It's not "logic", it's a question.

Are these mutually exclusive concepts in your book ?

>Well, you can think that all you want, but that's not how arguments or reasoning work.
Actually, yes, that is exactly how they work. The burden of evidence is on the extraordinary claim - which is, in this case, that none of the massive changes in our society over the past decades could possibly cause the event to have a different outcome than it had before.

>Economics is quite clear: automation generally improves the standard of living and makes society better off,
No it isn't. That's just not true. What would be a true statement is: "Economics is quite clear that up until now automation has generally improved the standard of living and made society better off and has not hitherto caused mass unemployment".
  Anything beyond that is unproven, untestable and unscientific and no economist worthy of his degree would dare say it (so what does that tell you about those who might ?)

I gave you no less than two examples of aspects of the context which may very well cause the outcome this time to be different - your unwillingness to consider even the possibility that they may change the outcome is narrow-minded to say the least.

>If you want to convince people that a theory that has been empirically tested time and time again doesn't apply this time,
You don't seem to know how economics work - this is not a theory and it hasn't been tested. Economics is not "science" in the classic sense of the word - to quote economist Stephen Levit - economics is more a form of a mathematical engineering that develops tools used to identify trends from large sets of data which can be used to draw useful conclusions.
But these trends are contextual. Change the context - and the trend MUST change as well. Good economics must consider all the aspects of the historical context on the event - it cannot just assume that the trend will apply.

> you need to come up with some pretty good reasons and data. So far, you're only handwaving.
No I don't actually since I am not questioning the theory at all - I'm telling you that you don't know what the theory actually says.

Its a bit like this - you perform an experiment in a lab, you get a certain result, but you cannot be assured that outside the lab in an uncontrolled setting the result would be replicated because there are so many factors which may interfere - even the cat knocking over the beaker could prevent the reaction you were expecting from happening. An experiment is considered repeatable if another lab under the same controlled circumstances can get the same result - there's no requirement for the result to happen in all circumstances, all the time.
What you are doing is to ignore the "lab conditions" of the theory. The theory accounts for what was observed over the 19th and 20th centuries - in the industrial context of the time. It does not and cannot predict that the same thing will happen in all contexts all the time - not least because the "lab" here is the entire human race and everything that impacts them and their behaviour and responses - something which is most certainly not a constant.

As it happens the theory is limited to national observations not international ones (no such theory exists that speaks for internationally) so the ease of modern day international trade along with it's side effects like outsourcing massively changes the dynamic (in the Cartesian meaning of the term - what I have described using the layman's term "context") and may very well cause the outcome to change.

Comment Re:The Luddites (Score 1) 870

>Automation and mechanization have never produced mass unemployment and they have always resulted in great increases of standards of living. Why should it be different this time?

That is fallacious logic - the circumstances surrounding any particular even in history is always unique to the context of the time and place it happens and bears little or no relation to what happened the previous time somebody did it (despite the propensity of people to assume so).

On June 29th, 1914 a thousand newspapers around the world reported the assassination of Franz Ferdinand the day before. The markets barely even reacted, there was no noticeable shift anywhere in them. I can imagine a million traders and CEOs reading it and if you had asked any of them what it may mean saying something like: "Assassination of royalty has been a constant throughout monarchy in all of human history - it's so common it's practically natural causes. It's never caused any significant upheaval even to the societies it happened in - why should it be any different with this one ?"
A few weeks later world war 1 was in full swing and 50 million soldiers died in just the first few months.
Killing Franz Ferdinand was different to all those other monarchy-killings because Europe had two massive military forces squared off that had been irritating the hell out of each other for decades - and a crapload of very scary new military technology that made each of them feel invincible. Countries were already in alliances -and the event was not isolated to one government as past ones had been. The context had changed - and thus the pattern didn't hold anymore.

I bet when the mountain started to rumble back in 79AD all of Pompeii's twenty-thousand citizens shrugged and said "Vesuvius has rumbled every now and then for all of the 160 years this city has been here and it never did anything much - why should it be different today ?"
In a matter of hours - all of them were dead.

The point is - there is a first time for everything- you can NOT validly ask "why should it be different this time" - you need to ask "why should it be the SAME this time".
You can only assume that history will repeat, or the pattern will hold, if you PROVE that all the contextual pre-conditions of the pattern you are citing remain unchanged.

The context of industry today compared to that same context a hundred years ago is radically different. The world is tiny - and the impacts of any event spread globally and does so very rapidly. We were debating the impact of the Crimean invasion mere minutes after it happened.
I think the burden of evidence should be on *you* to show that every contextual dependency of this pattern holds - that none of these changes are a dependency or impacts on a dependency rather than on the parent to show that they do - simply because the scale of what has changed (even in just the last decade and a half) is so incredibly massive as to suggest it's highly unlikely that the pattern will, in fact, hold.

For a start nearly every other time major automation ended one career - the jobs were largely absorbed by jobs building and maintaining the very machinery that replaced their old jobs - this time, it's almost certain that those jobs will go to citizens of China and India rather than your fellow Americans who lost them - that alone radically alters the outcome (on your own economy at least).

Comment Re:Don't raise wages. Demand lower prices. (Score 2) 870

>Yes, this approach has been tried. It's called the Labor Theory of Value as per Marx. It's been a disaster everywhere it's been tried

You have no idea what you're talking about. The Labor Theory of Value was written by John Locke and pre-dates Marx by nearly 2 centuries ! It also is not communist - in fact it's the basis of BOTH capitalism AND communism (and a few other economic philosophies as well) - they all use Locke's labour theory of value as their starting premise - they differ in what they subsequently conclude we should *do* about it and how society should be structured *because* of it. Locke's labour theory of value is cited with equal frequency by Marx and Adam Smith, by Lenin and Murray Rothbard, by Milton Friedman and by Che Guevara. It is the basis of all property laws everywhere in the world today.

Worst of all - the labour theory of value is *not* what the parent described - what he described is a conclusion one may *draw* from the labour theory of value in certain contexts - but it is not the theory itself. The labour theory of value instead dictates that natural resources have no economic value and cannot be property, they gain economic value only through the addition of human labour and only when this addition happens can they *become* private property (of the person who mixed his labour with it).
A piece of land is economically worthless, but plow it and plant corn (or dig it up and build a mine) and you're extracting value from it through labour - what used to be public since it couldn't *be* property can now be justly defined to become property because it gained value from labour.

That is the labour theory of value - nothing more, nothing less - and it's not communist nor is it capitalist - it is the inspiration of BOTH and the foundation of all modern property laws.

Rothbard uses the labour theory of value to argue that American settlers gained proper ownership of the land through "homesteading" (of course - in Rothbard's mind -what Native Americans did on the land for ten thousand years before wasn't "really" labour or something ...), Marx used it to conclude that the workers of a business are the only ones who deserve to gain profit and there should BE no "owners", Lenin decided the only way to achieve THAT was with a state with absolute power and fucked the whole thing up (I don't think he is right actually - I actually think Marxism would be MORE compatible with anarchism than authoritarianism and if that was tried it may actually *work* - we have enough examples that prove authoritarianism never works, I'm not convinced the failure of the communist states could not be entirely attributed to the results of dictatorship rather than economic failure)

Comment Re:One thing's for sure... (Score 5, Insightful) 870

>People, like dogs, are not ideally suited to leisure and no obligations.
And that's exactly why it will work - not why it would fail. See even such a nearly fully automated world would need new ideas, new technologies and maintenance of the existing ones to stay in existence.
In such a world though - what could possibly be the incentive for anybody (particularly the very smart and highly skilled people who we still need working -the engineers and the doctors) to do anything at all ? The fact that humans are not suited to leisure - they seek out challenge, they seek out meaning and knowledge and this is more common among the smarter ones.
As Buckminster-Fuller put it - the idea that we have to earn our right to live with labour is not just outdated but a ludicrously silly concept. It would take maybe 10% of us, given the initial resources, about 5 years to build the automation to provide abundance to all humanity, and maybe 10% of our future lives to maintain it. What we should be doing with the other 90% (and everybody else with 100%) is simple: learning stuff, solving the riddles of the universe, expanding our minds, spending time with our children again.
There are a billion better ways we could spend our lives than trying to produce wealth (whether for ourselves as businessmen or for somebody else as wage-workers). Instead of wealth, we could be creating actual value - and actual meaning.
The monetary system as a means of measuring value was incredibly useful to build the world we have today - but it is antiquated, the entire *concept* of *trying* to measure the unmeasurable no longer has any use to us -we don't *need* it anymore.

There is, in fact, only one thing to overcome - and it's not a technical or physical obstacle - it's cultural inertia - but every other revolution in how humans lived had to overcome it, and they all did. Some of our ancestors convinced the others that farming was better than hunter-gatherering once, and gradually changed the entire way humans lived. We've made changes on the same scale on average every 300 years since then.
Ironically - this kind of change to a technologically powered epicurean society would, in fact, be among the simplest in terms of what we need to *practically* do.

Comment Re:In before... (Score 3, Informative) 321

> I am pretty sure that at the time it was completely normal in Christendom too to consider females adults after they first menstruate.

Actually that lasted until much, much later - Shakespeare's Juliette is a mere 12 years old and yet "younger than her are happy mothers made" - marriage age in Dutch colonies average 16 for boys and 14 for girls until the 17th century and it wasn't until the 20th century that most countries saw it go higher than age 20.

As late as the 1950's it was still legal for a minor below the age of consent to marry in most countries if she had parental permission. Since then this has largely changed- while minors can marry in most countries today (provided their parents consent AND sign an emancipation form) they cannot do so before the age of sexual consent anymore.

Now this doesn't mean we should approve of it, or that we cannot judge ancient practices by modern standards (if only to avoid repeating the mistakes) but we certainly should be consistent when doing so - and there is absolutely no religion or culture on earth (least of all Christendom and Judaism) which is innocent of this particular practice,

Comment Re:In before... (Score 2) 321

That was terrible choice of example - since the right to life has *always* trumped free speech rights and death threats are specifically (and have always been) excluded from said right.
Now whether you can extend "you may not make death threats" to "you can suppress something because it leads to death threats" is an entirely *different* debate - but your wording was terrible - because it's a long established thing that somebody's right not to receive death threats DO trump freedom of speech - at least of those who want to make them.
The same goes for incitement to violence or speech likely to incite a panic.

Comment Re:Wrong incentives (Score 1) 253

Why would blizzard change the leveling content ? It's been the way it is for 10 years, it got some revamps with cataclysm and been left alone again ever since.

Altering the comprehensive leveling content (which includes all the past expansions) now would cost them a fortune in development time for literally zero gain.
If anything the biggest change that could reduce the quality of leveling content is to speed up XP gain so people level through zones much faster and this has already been done for all pre-cata content but that change, if anything, actually reduces the number of people who will buy an extra boost by reducing how much time and effort leveling actually takes.
When I started playing in Wrath it took me over 3 months of playing several hours a day, almost every day, to get my first character to level 80.
Now I have several characters at maxlevel and several quite close to it - you can do it in a few weeks, or with sufficient dedication (and heirlooms and boosts) one long, hard weekend without sleep.

Comment Re:Can't imagine many will see the point (Score 2) 253

A largely overlooked factor (though I agree with your general comment - and for myself, I will at most see it as a way to maybe rapid-level an alt with the free one when I buy the upgrade just to try some new class out) is that they realized that without the levelling people would have no idea what a class's spells do.

So they are saying boosted characters would go through a kind of special starting zone and get a bunch of quests designed to teach them the character in a kind of crash-course way - much like Death Knights have done all along to rapidly skill up between 55 (where they start) and about 58 where they leave the DK starting zone.

Comment Re:Populations go up... (Score 1) 265

Tansexual kiling themselves because of bullying and people like you - and you're response was "cry me a river" - this from somebody who claims to be speaking of morality.
How are you DIFFERENT from Breivik ? You both are happy to see people dead who don't share your specific set of morals - the only difference is he had the gutts to pull the trigger himself. You kill by your cowardly words.

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