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Source: (consider it) Thread: Secrets of Silicon Valley.
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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This is a BBC program in two parts, the first of which was shown last Sunday. It is not for the faint-hearted.

But towards the end, there was one interview where the idea of universal income was discussed, as a necessity for the future, where only a small portion of people will work for their money, the rest will need a social security network to support them.

So our social security system will need to have high taxes for the wealthy, to pay for the basic provision of income, health and everything else for the rest. Which seems to be the complete opposite of the approach taken by the US and the UK at the moment.

They keep saying that "the politics will have to catch up", but the truth is, the politicials seem very reluctant to catch up, when it doesn't benefit them.

So are we heading for a technological apocalypse?

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Blog
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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18499 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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Won't the market eat itself first, if the large majority are unemployed and therefore unable to consume?

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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Mark makes a good point. Big changes mean big adjustments. It might all go to the poo, but I hope only in novels and movies.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

Posts: 1013 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
Mark makes a good point. Big changes mean big adjustments. It might all go to the poo, but I hope only in novels and movies.

Both of these statement assume the market is smart, instead of just greedy.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16603 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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I hope the programme makes it down here.

I too hold no belief the market will reform before we've gone a long way down the road. And few politicians would stick their neck out.

We currently have our mining council complaining about troublesome unions and skyrocketing wages, when the evidence shows they are more productive and their wages are growing slower than most other industries. Industry will always want to drive wages and conditions down, even as people revolt against neo-liberalism.

I think once the automation replacement really kicks into gear and white collar employees become redundant, to misquote Bette Davis, fasten your seatbelts ...
it's going to be a bumpy road.

A living wage sounds great...but are the wealthy going to want to contribute to "layabouts"? People already complain about "dole-bludgers". What happens when more of us need help? Will having children be seen as unwise if you do not work? What other social norms may change...

Posts: 7372 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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quote:
Both of these statement assume the market is smart, instead of just greedy.

I don't understand your point. I assume the market is greedy, not smart. But if no-one can buy anything, the market will collapse, and there will be no point in expensive tooling-up for massive automatic production of cheap gizmos.

I don't think we can look so far ahead because large disruptions - amongst which climate change, the end of cheap oil and gas, increasing necessity to source raw materials from recycling due to depleted primary resources - might be expected to change the way the world economy works. We have been moving for quite a while towards one huge super-efficient factory supplying the worlds needs in product x. But if we need to make those new 'x's out of old ones spread thinly all over the world, and as moving the dead ones to the factory for recycling and new ones back to the shops becomes more and more expensive, we may need distributed manufacture again, and the economies of super-automated production may change.

And of course - as we proles become poorer, we become a more attractive labour resource.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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chris stiles
Shipmate
# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:

And of course - as we proles become poorer, we become a more attractive labour resource.

Maybe. That all depends on how which professions end up being automated away, doesn't it?

At which point the benefits of growth could end up going disproportionately to those who own the automatons.

Posts: 3725 | From: Berkshire | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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I just meant there is a point at which we proles are so cheap to employ, and so desperate to eat, that we undercut the investment needed for automated production.

I wasn't setting that up as a good thing.

Standing slightly further from the brink - falls in the pound make UK manufacturing more competitive internationally, and imports more expensive. Though if the domestic market is dead through lack of disposable income, that doesn't help UK industry. And if we have to import our energy and raw materials at any price, we may need to return to a really low wage economy to avoid all sitting around feeling hungry.

Hmm. That wasn't as upbeat as I had hoped.

[ 08. August 2017, 14:34: Message edited by: mark_in_manchester ]

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

Posts: 1511 | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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I get the point that you need consumers to drive the market. I presume that those planning the future for us know this too. This is probably why they are so interested in manipulating the social markets to ensure that they are the benefactors.

My biggest worry is that the revolution that is coming (and I think it is coming in some way or other) will result in millions of deaths, and that is how the poorer people will be removed from the market. What scares me most is that there are some in power who are quite happy for this to happen.

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18499 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
So our social security system will need to have high taxes for the wealthy, to pay for the basic provision of income, health and everything else for the rest. Which seems to be the complete opposite of the approach taken by the US and the UK at the moment.

They keep saying that "the politics will have to catch up", but the truth is, the politicials seem very reluctant to catch up, when it doesn't benefit them.

So are we heading for a technological apocalypse?

There may be a political apocalypse brewing of which trump and Brexit are mere rumblings. But then the uber-rich have a long history of keeping the masses in check. That having been done in the face of grinding poverty unlike anything the majority of Westerners experience today.

As for a technological apocalypse, this will only happen if we get a sudden or dramatic systems failure whereby our total dependence on robotics, efficient transport, etc. is laid bare.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3038 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
OddJob
Shipmate
# 17591

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This sort of prediction about socio-political revolution tends to be made whenever major technological breakthrough brings efficiency improvements. Think back to the advent of North Sea Oil, robots in manufacturing, oh and early silicon chips in the 1970s.

Major manufacturing changes and employs fewer people, many of whom then find new niches from which to earn a living.

Posts: 97 | From: West Midlands | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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I worry that if consumer goodies go back to 1930s levels of exclusivity, Joe Public is unlikely to 'put on a happy face'. Lacking (eg) Japanese levels of discipline and social cohesion, we could well be looking at serious unrest.

Around here, cheap Chinese imports have knocked the bottom out of the trade in stolen goods and done wonders inner city crime levels. When this ends, it could be very ugly indeed, and this bothers me a lot more than doing without the consumer goodies themselves.

--------------------
"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

Posts: 1511 | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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I'm sorry for being so gloomy. Let's try that again.

ISTM that a challenge for all of us will be learning how to live with a lot less, whilst not letting envy, greed and all the rest of it make our lives a lot more seriously uncomfortable than the mere lack of consumer goodies.

Quite what capitalist owners of the automatic means of production will do if no-one can afford their products, I don't know. But then I already don't understand how the thousands and thousands of people in my city who used to work in manufacturing, make a living at the moment. It seems fishy if we all work in coffee shops and hotels selling coffee and room service to each other - but that's how it seems around here. And what's more we're more wealthy doing that today than folks were up to the 70s when they were creating visible value in the form of manufactured goods.

Not for the first time, I don't really get it.

--------------------
"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

Posts: 1511 | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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I'll share in your gloom, Mark.

I do wonder if I've been blessed to live at a time of great prosperity (for a white male); less than 100 years ago my life would've been rather shit in comparison to now. And go back another 100 and it is shittier still...however much I romanticise about a bucolic life rather than the urban jungle (says he who escaped to a 45,000 head city).

Easy to get used to what we now have, and we have a lot. Can't see people giving it up easily. But what will second- and third-generations make of it? Not sure.

Posts: 7372 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
As for a technological apocalypse, this will only happen if we get a sudden or dramatic systems failure whereby our total dependence on robotics, efficient transport, etc. is laid bare.

This isn't quite what I meant - although it does also apply, with less likelihood. What I meant was an apocalypse-situation caused by technology. We are starting to get this with the challenges to Google about their search results.

The challenge is, what if your job was compeltely taken over by machines - whatever your job is. So you were suddenly unskilled, and so was everyone else in your profession (or 90% at least). The programme was indicating that, whatever job you do, that is not impossible. What happens when this is repeated each year for another area?

That is technological apocalypse. And that could happen without blame and recrimination.

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18499 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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Voice of gloom here [Smile]

This is perhaps stating the obvious, but we have models of what happens, in the pit villages of the late 80s and 90s. When everyone's skills are suddenly obsolete and everyone's on the dole, all the shops close (my point about the market) and a serious drug problem gets going.

I suppose this new one is scarier (not just for for white collar non-miners) since how much of a 'rest of the country' will be there to fund schools, the NHS, and subsistence-level dole to enable us to buy food - is unclear.

--------------------
"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

Posts: 1511 | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged


 
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