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Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 354

In a real dev ops environment those things are all worked out in the dev environment and encoded in a module

You're living in fantasy land if you think things are going to work that cleanly. Yes, a module based approach is a good idea and will help to standardize and automate the environment in a way that increases productivity. No, it's not magic and the normal problems of complex environments aren't going to just go away in a puff of code. That's ok though, layer on as much extra complexity as you want, it just means I'll end up getting paid more to untangle the mess.

Comment Re:economic illiteracy (Score 1) 954

You used the term "work pool", not me. It's not a term from economics, so I had to guess at what you mean.

It wasn't my choice, a previous poster used it and I just rolled with it. Basically the "work pool" would be the sum of all jobs we'd like people to do if there were human labor available and no automation existed that could do it better. It's a superset that includes the jobs currently in the economy as well as ones that aren't but could be. Humanity has traditionally had a labor shortage that prevented us from filling all of the jobs in the work pool. For example, many manufacturing jobs were in the pool, making more shovels for example, but farming took precedence until enough labor was automated out of that sector to make it worthwhile. There are other ways to explain this phenomenon of course.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 354

If you think that building new server instances is the main function of sysadmins then you have a very strange view of the job. I agree that the new configuration tools will make a job that VMs & scripting had made easy even easier. It looks like you're mostly engaged in a game of "rename the job" in order to show it going away. *shrug* Yes, over the next 10-20 years I expect the overall number of sysadmins to decline and the required skill levels to rise, but the job isn't going anywhere.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 2) 354

The sysadmin of the future is a few automated scripts managed by developers and a few call center guys clicking buttons in a browser that trigger scripts worked out by those developers.

That's extremely unlikely without significant AI. Sysadmin work is rarely rote and thus difficult to automate. There are some portions that can be enhanced using new tools and that will likely lead to productivity increases and reduced total need for sysadmins, but that's no where near what you're talking about. Scripting is not a new thing.

Comment Re:economic illiteracy (Score 1) 954

Yes, because minimum wage laws and other laws have increasingly priced people out of the market. That's not due to automation; automation is just the response.

That is indeed something that happens when the minimum wage is increased due to some jobs not being economic at the new minimum price. That's not what I was talking about though, technology has eliminated huge numbers of jobs. For example, you'll find virtually zero positions for humans to act as grain reapers now, yet at one time that was a huge use of labor. That shrinks the overall work pool. At the time, it didn't matter so much because the work pool was still vastly larger than the labor pool, so after a very painful period of readjustment those workers mostly moved on to other positions. (largely in manufacturing)

Comment Re:Alternative headline: (Score 1) 954

Yes, that's a very good point, although calling lower skilled labor "worthless" is going a bit too far.

Well, that labor will get a zero bid when tendered on the labor market due to automation being a perfect (and cheaper) substitute. I wasn't attempting to make a value judgement about their worth as a person.

Comment Re:economic illiteracy (Score 1) 954

Over the past couple of centuries, automation has never shrunk the available work pool. Why would it start doing that now?

False, the available work pool has shrunk enormously, it's just that despite shrinkage it's always still been larger than the labor pool. We appear to be approaching a situation where that may no longer be the case.

Comment Re:Alternative headline: (Score 1) 954

It increases the marginal productivity of higher value labor, which is a slightly more nuanced version of what you're saying. Labor with a value lower than that of the automation is now worthless. Over time the value of the automation keeps rising while the value of human labor has some pretty hard limits. In the past this problem was solved by the lower value labor moving to other sectors of the economy that weren't yet automated. The problem is, they're running out of sectors to move to. The resource sector is highly automated, the manufacturing sector is getting that way and now it's encroaching on the service sector. The remaining portions of the economy after you subtract those three are pretty small, it's hard to see how they're going to expand enough to absorb all of those extra people.

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