Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Robots are good (Score 1) 229

A basic income works because it's basic. The reward has to be significant to provide for work. Some people believe this means a giant beating stick constantly hitting you (no work, no food, you die in the streets); it seems a big enough gap between "survival" and "luxury" would do it.

If you work on the idea of maximizing return for effort, then all you need is a middle-class level sufficiently beyond a basic income level. Because of how income works--if almost everyone is rich, that's essentially your "middle class", as the per-capita income is substantially-close to their income--you just need to keep your basic income relatively-low to make that happen. For example: my Universal Social Security proposes what amounts to a bit over 45% minimum wage full-time (it works, largely by creating new market incentives--low incomes are unstable today), and a full-time minimum-wage job thus triples your income. Even taking a half-time (20hr) minimum-wage job under that scheme would give you 109% more money and no absolute needs on which to spend, meaning you're free to spend more money than you ever had on whatever the hell you want. That's enormous.

As we increase our level of technology, wealth increases thusly. If the same labor force rate continues to work the same hours, then our wealth increases in the same way: halve the labor to produce (new technology), double the production, everyone's money represents the same amount of labor to buy, and half the money buys the same amount of stuff--we're twice as wealthy. It's impossible to prevent that from reaching the middle-class, as well (there's a narrative that it doesn't and hasn't; that narrative is a complete and obvious lie, but people happily use all the new toys they could never afford 20 years ago while living in larger houses and eating out more-frequently and claim they've only gotten poorer).

In such a situation, the same percentage taken as a universal social security ends up paying out twice the buying power. The gap between that and middle-class is still just as large; and the effect of getting a job is similar in scale, but scaled up appropriately--i.e. you still double your money working 20 hours, but you're doubling twice the buying power, so those 20 hours plus the basic income amount to four-times the earlier level of basic income.

On the other hand, we can ditch the material wealth and buy time. If we double our level of technology but cut our working time by half, then the same labor force works 20-hour weeks (two 10-hour days?). We're not really able to buy more stuff, and so the poor living on Universal Social Security aren't any richer; yet if those poor get a 20-hour job, they're working full-time, and thusly end up with 3x the buying power instead of only 2x.

You can scale between these, of course: double the labor productivity and work 4/5 as much. 4 days per week, 32-hour work week. Everyone is 1.6 times as wealthy, and only works 80% as many hours. The basic standard of living of the unemployed individual on the basic income is increased to 1.6 times; the impact of getting a job is increased in scale by the reduction of working hours (i.e. 25%).

As technology increases, we'll largely still work. Will we work the same amount? In 1900, the normal working hours were 10-16 hours per day, 6 days per week. 96-hour work weeks faced the 8-8-8 campaign for the 40-hour work week. The Fair Labor Standards Act is kind of a new thing, and didn't universally define full-time as 40 hours until near the mid-1900s. I think we could see 28-32 hours as a full-time day in the near-mid future; as you can see above, we have to sacrifice some material wealth if we're going to not produce in that time. We get to make that decision when we increase the amount of material wealth we can produce by a great enough margin to come out no-poorer even if we cut some chunk off the end--that chunk being proportional to the reduction in working hours.

It's not as hard as you'd think, either. There's so much part-time work that redefining full-time as 32 hours (4 days) would have a much smaller effect than 20% of our wealth. Most retail and fast food service are part-time jobs under 30 hours. We could trade off as little as 2/3 of the impact, directly; and office hours are frequently-unproductive (downtime is required for productivity), so cutting 8 hours out of the work week at the office doesn't necessarily mean you get 8 hours less done.

It will never be possible to give a middle-class luxury income to everyone (because anyone with a job on top of that will be bumped up massively, and thus be "the middle class" and have an enormous income); it's not necessarily desirable (because minimizing the impact of taking employment will eventually make any employment not worth the compensation to the individual); and it's not really necessary (because a self-adjusting basic income--such as a Universal Social Security--increases the basic standard-of-living in line with per-capita production and, thus, with level-of-wealth as driven by level-of-technology).

Comment Re:Like what? (Score 5, Insightful) 229

Technology has always replaced what humans can do. You can hammer a block of hot iron into a knife; or you can have a drop forge do it 1,000 times each hour. It takes about a week to hammer out a proper knife by hand; that means, at minimum wage of $8.25/hr, that knife can cost no less than $330--and that doesn't even include the materials cost for the metal, the tools, the fuel, forge maintenance, and so forth. Much-better knives cost as much as $90 today (I got a Kai Shun Premier VG-10 bladed knife with hand-hammered finish for $99), and high-quality blades (e.g. the Kai Wasabi Black series) can deliver a good-quality, carbon-steel chef's knife for under $30 (you'll have to finish sharpening the blade yourself; they come pretty dull compared to a Kai Shun Premier).

In many cases, you'll vastly-exceed the performance of a hand-made good with a high-tech industrial process. In most cases, you can sacrifice a small amount of performance to use a much-lower-labor process, making a good that's e.g. 90% as durable, much-more featureful (this tends to stack multiple times, so eventually it's literally tens or hundreds of times as featureful), and 10% as expensive. In some cases, you don't--industrial mills are better than hand-milling wooden planks, and engineered wood is even better. Even hand-made glass can't stack up to precisely-controlled industrial processes using high-grade glass feed stocks and precisely-controlled temperatures--fewer defective pieces, less cracking under temperature transitions.

You'll also see this pattern in some old companies failing out, e.g. power tools made in China using modern engineering tuned to modern manufacture processes for massive cost savings versus an old manufacturer going out of business because their tools also moved to Chinese manufacture but were then adjusted to manufacture more-cheaply instead of fully-reengineered. The tool designed the ground up cost $100 and lasts 6-8 months under professional use; the tool ported to cheap manufacture still costs $180 and lasts 8-10 months under professional use; and the original, made-in-USA tool cost $300 and lasted 8-10 months under professional use. You're going to save vast amounts of money getting the new Chinese one, which is why DIYers have DeWalt or Porter Cable tools, while professionals have cheap Ryobi tools even though they'll tell you a Porter Cable drill is a much better-made drill.

We've gone from watchmakers tapping on brass wheels all day to machines pumping out watch parts, and up to machines assembling large mechanisms. We still hand-assemble watches from the major mechanisms, and new machines will do that more-efficiently than humans.

That's technology. That's what it is. That's what it does. It activates an automated sprinkler so some guy doesn't have to walk all over a 3,000-acre farm with a bucket and a watering can.

Comment Re:Thought the CBC tests were discredited (Score 1) 292

Not really. Human thought is directed by emotions as much as anything. Your personality and your basic behavior, preferences, decisions, the lot are all ruled by how strong various memories are. Your event memories wind together an emotional preference for certain outcomes, aversion to others, and indifference to most of the shit that happens; correlating things together has an impact, too, such that making a desirable outcome occur alongside a particular behavior causes you to engage in that behavior more-frequently. Greed is only another factor: you've learned that having things (and money) reduces adverse conditions and increases desirable conditions.

Using what people have learned by interacting with other people, by the common contexts of language, and by selecting words and phrases in patterns which emphasize some facets and de-emphasize others lets you change how people think. Largely, people think for themselves on a basis of information collected over a lifetime, and have sets of facts which are thusly distorted. They start gathering these facts before they have a frame of reference to analyze them.

That's why you get stupid shit like people believing readily-debunked myths such as that minimum wage increases cause additional spending and job creation or primarily takes money from the rich. No matter the argument, these things are learned-axioms that are used to quickly determine the argument is invalid--unless you carefully manipulate their emotional response to program in new facts that don't get vomited straight back out, but that cause their existing ideals to fail hard. It makes them uncomfortable pushing back, so they just accept this new information until someone makes a better argument.

Comment Re:Thought the CBC tests were discredited (Score 1) 292

It's not the only thing that matters. You can sell an enormous lie to people without ever stating a factual inaccuracy by changing the way they interpret the information. Manipulating people so that you can shout loudly that 2+2=4 and have them hear that as meaning that you're giving them 2 apples and 2 pears and they're getting 7 fruits is a common and powerful rhetoric.

Basically, the statement semantically reads: "the discovery of 50% Chicken DNA is meaningless in terms of how much chicken is in the food" and "DNA testing generally gives you a reliable measure of how much DNA is in the food."

The reader will generally hear: "the discovery of 50% chicken DNA doesn't mean it's EXACTLY 50% chicken" and "chicken DNA is a measurement of about how much chicken is in there".

Those are two different statements. What's said and what's heard are different; and the structure of the sentence is to ensure that most people--even highly-intelligent people like the Slashdot crowd--generally hear the second set of information.

Comment Re:Knowledgable (Score 1) 102

For someone who says others are unable to follow a conversation, you certainly show yourself to be unable to do so

I'm following the current discussion. Let me remind you that my post above was in response to your post:

He said the electrolytes have a small window for a stable voltage range. The most likely means that if you charge the electrolyte to (for instance) 3.4 volts it will be stable, but you can't charge it to more than 3.5 volts or less than 3.3 volts.

So my response on state-of-charge and the desirability of a stable voltage range is appropriate for the context of this discussion. Good try, but I have a bullshit-cutting katana.

But he was aked about the FAILURE mode of the batteries. And in answer to that he said there is a narrow WINDOW which will produce that stable voltage range. The WINDOW is refering to the CHARGE voltages that are required in order for the battery to produce that stable range on discharge.

Actually, the voltage at which you charge the battery only affects the rate at which it charges (and the amount of overcharge you can get when nearing/exceeding 100% capacity). Discharge voltage is controlled entirely by battery chemistry.

In other words: Everything you said there is factually-incorrect, technically-inaccurate, and wrong.

By reading ALL of his answers

I'm only interested in the response he gave to the question of why Lithium chemistry batteries suddenly lose capacity as a failure mode, which he answered by spouting a bunch of irrelevant and inaccurate bullshit. If you ask, "Why is the sky blue," and a guy starts talking about how the sky on Mars is red during the day and oceans reflect heat off the surface of the planet due to their mercury content, he's 1) spouting irrelevant bullshit; and 2) wrong. The content of the rest of his diatribe in a forum of further questioning is irrelevant to that inquisitive cycle.

he is saying that in order to keep the DESIRABLE stable voltage range

He suggested the stable voltage range is a problem caused by flammable electrolytes. You claimed that the stable voltage range is the charging range above, and have now changed the definition (fallacy of equivocation).

You're really not good at arguing with people who can think and comprehend, you know that?

Comment Re:Thought the CBC tests were discredited (Score 1) 292

The "usual" way is to measure actual protein content, which indicates a relative measure of proportional mass of biological material.

The way they used was to measure DNA content, which indicates content of in-tact DNA. DNA content of 1kg of uncooked, well-preserved, small-cell biological material will be higher than DNA content of 1kg of cooked, large-cell biological material.

Comment Re:Thought the CBC tests were discredited (Score 1) 292

The "But" conjunction is special. It suggests to the listener that the prior statement had no meaning, and thus that it can be safely ignored.

The structure of that statement is to say that 50% Chicken DNA doesn't mean 50% Chicken meat, but the testing is a good measure of proportion.

Take that statement without the first part: "DNA Experts have told Marketplace that the testing is a good indicator of animal and plant DNA in the product." Sounds like it's a reasonable measure, right? Another nice trick: the last statements made--end of a paragraph, end of a sentence, and so forth--carry the most weight.

Slashdot Top Deals

Elliptic paraboloids for sale.