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MaryJanes2ndLastDance

Automation taking over jobs

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Nothing new sad to say but alarming nonetheless. Short sighted too but then, when one's only concern is the profit margin that's not surprising. Thoughts?

https://gizmodo.com/this-was-the-year-the-robot-takeover-of-service-jobs-be-1831233632

 

Photo: Mike Stewart (AP)

Out of the three major sectors of the economy—agriculture, manufacturing, and service—two are already largely automated. Farm labor, which about half the American workforce used to do, now comprises around 2 percent of American jobs. And we all know the rust belt song and dance, beat out to outsourcing and mechanization. Which is largely why some 80 percent of all American jobs are service jobs. And this year, quietly but in the open, the robots and their investors came for them, too.

There’s a case to be made that 2018 is the year automation took its biggest lunge forward toward our largest pool of human labor: Amazon opened five cashier-less stores; three in Seattle, one in Chicago, and one in San Francisco. Self-ordering kiosks invaded fast food and franchise restaurants in a big way. Smaller robot-centric outfits like the long-awaited auto-burger joint Creator opened, too, and so did a number of others.

In Las Vegas, our service job mecca, hotels’ and casinos’ widespread plans for automation in everything from bartending to waitstaff to hotel work led one of the city’s most powerful hospitality unions to the brink of a 50,000-person strike last summer before a successful negotiation was reached.

“Almost everywhere, you already have tablets, where you can pay with your credit cards right at the table,” Geoconda Arguello Kline, a longtime hotel guest attendant and now the secretary-treasurer of Culinary Workers Union Local 226. “You can have salad maker machines, ice cream machines, delivery machines—machines that deliver water, or whatever you order to the room, this machine can go to the rooms and deliver it—bartender machines, and so on.”

None of the events described above put any serious dent into the national job numbers—in fact, statistically, employment figures mostly only rose—but combined, they act as a set of markers on a trendline we can no longer ignore. We face the prospect of major upheaval in the last dependable pool of jobs we’ve got. For proof, look no further than the transcript from the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference, where some of the industry’s most influential actors gather in Las Vegas each year.


“We are at the place where the most repetitive tasks can be performed by a robot,” said Fred LeFranc, the founder and CEO of Results Thru Strategy, which advises hospitality firms. “And they don’t call in sick, they don’t talk back.”

This year, the mounting victories in the nationwide $15-an-hour wage campaign provided an oft-referenced talking point for industry executives and analysts. They pointed to the incoming cost of paying employees a living wage as a motivation to automate everything from salad-dressing to dishwashing.

“For a long time we didn’t have automatic dishwashers,” Wendy’s CFO Gunther Plosch said. “Why not? At $7 an hour it wasn’t a big deal, but now at $15 it makes more sense.”

Most parts of the service economy are susceptible to automation. But it’s fast food, where the bulk of the jobs are low-skilled and highly repetitious, that may be most vulnerable. “Fast food will be really susceptible,” Martin Ford, author of Rise of the Robots and Architects of Intelligence, told me in an interview. “There’s going to be a competitive dynamic—once one company does it, they’ll all do it.”

“And within five years, they’ll be able to do it pretty dramatically.”

To wit: Self-ordering kiosks in restaurants have been popping up in restaurants in Europe and Asia, but 2018 is probably the year they truly started proliferating stateside. McDonald’s has been putting a thousand self-ordering kiosks per quarter in its stores since the summer, and plans on doing so until at least 2020. Fast food employs around 3.7 million people, and 89 percent are “front-line” workers like cashiers and cooks—the jobs that have already started to be replaced.

“In this market, employees will leave if they have one bad day,” Patrick Sugrue, the CEO of Saladworks, a 95-store chain, told the Wall Street Journal. “If that happens, having this technology in place makes it easier to deal with.

While we’re talking cashiers, it’s worth noting that Amazon plans to open 3,000 more cashier-less grocery stores. It’s not just in fast food where we can expect that job to disappear.


If cashiers stand to be automated away in coming years, so do cooks. Franchise Times reports, for instance, that Chick-fil-A’s CFO Brent Ragsdale is “looking at a little more automation on top of the company’s semi-automated grills.”

“We’re looking at some robotics in the back of the restaurant and take out some of the jobs that aren’t as preferable,” Ragsdale said at RFDC. “We always squeezed lemons in the back of house, but I’m not sure if we get credit for that, so we’re talking about going to a juicing facility—that would save one million man hours in the back of house.”

Elsewhere this year, Flippy, an automated hamburger-cooking robot, was introduced in the Caliburger chain (which also, it bears noting, uses facial recognition to scan users faces—Pay With Your Face—if they want) and soon expanded to Dodger Stadium. “I think that in the next six months, we will deploy robots to customers in ways that will shock people,” John Miller, the CEO of Cali Group, which owns Caliburger, said at the recent Restaurant Innovation Summit. Spyce, a restaurant with a kitchen (and ordering system) manned by robotic cooks, opened in Boston last Spring. Pazzi, a pizza-flipping robot, won millions in funding. Other, smaller improvements to the kitchen could, feasibly, reduce the human workforce dramatically.

Andy Puzder, the former CEO of Carl’s Jr and President Donald Trump’s first pick for Labor secretary—he withdrew his candidacy amidst domestic abuse allegations—told the WSJ that, “A self-cleaning oven isn’t going to replace people, but if you have several of those labor-saving tools, eventually you won’t need all those workers.” He too added that the tight labor market will spur more automation across the industry.

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Automation like the fleet of robots that took over luggage-moving duties at a Los Angeles Sheraton. Or the wine-serving robot bartender that was unveiled in a Prague restaurant. The list goes on—no wonder that the coming wave was felt first in Las Vegas. That, after all, is where hospitality companies undertook plans to automate all of the above, where restaurant executives gathered to detail their intentions to accelerate that automation—and where hospitality workers pushed back with an organized effort to win some protections against automation.


They won, for now. The Culinary Workers Union won a pathbreaking deal for service workers—one that includes language that specifically insulates them from the impacts of automation.

“We were researching a lot about how technology comes in other countries,” Kline told me. “We look at countries that are very advanced, with technologies like Japan, where you have robotic servers bringing food to the table that cost $900—and we see how it’s going to be implemented. So many restaurants will have that technology—so if you’re implementing the bartender machine, how will the workers get affected? This is going to happen here. It may be faster than we think. We see it moving little by little now, but... what we want is to protect the jobs.”

Just last month, in November of 2018, the union finally ratified the new 5-year contract for its 25,000 workers. It stipulates, among other things, that the union must be notified 180 days before a new technology will be adopted (“And who’s going to be affected by the technology,” Kline says), that companies must provide a retraining option for employees who risk redundancy from those technologies, as well as better severance, 6 months pay, if they choose to let the robot take their job. And those automated out of work get priority in rehiring.

All told, it’s a sensible step towards engaging the automation problem at large—it offers time to assess impacts, retrain workers, or cushion the blow if mechanization is imminent. One automation researcher I spoke with this year, Carnegie Mellon’s Tom Mitchell, the E. Fredkin University Professor in the School of Computer Science, says his most recent research shows automation is less likely to wipe away jobs outright than to rearrange the “bundles of work” they entail; the different tasks we currently associate with a particular job. 180 days, or 6 months, in other words, might help workers and employers work together to better rebundle those service jobs.

“We know nobody’s going to stop automation,” Kline says, “but how can this be an opportunity for the members, so they can make choices too—maybe I’m close to retiring, and I want severance and healthcare. And retraining part is so important—if you having a salad-making robot, someone has to prepare the salad, maintain the machine.” That’s a job, or part of one.

It’s sensible policy, and they’re decent protections. And they’re absolutely necessary. Corporate employers will of course use “tight labor markets” as an opportunity to find more ways to automate work, to install those machines that don’t talk back that will continue to run when the markets untighten. If history is any guide, they’ll use the threat of automation to try to keep wages lower and to keep workers in a precarious state. The service robot job apocalypse may be coming, in other words—when and if the kiosks and face-scanners and robot bartenders and busboys are ready en masse, there’s little doubt they’ll be deployed to replace their fleshy forebears.

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Oh I love long posts.

Seriously, though, automation sure raise some problems, existentially. But the real problem our society is the fast shrinking base of who controls all profit and wealth. And the question to what extent there are such things as common good and common interest. Most people today live as if there are not. The ego consumer is who drives the development, who is spent as catalysator/driver by said small fraction controlling capital. And power. This is no conspiracy theory, it's the fundamental, if more or less unforseen way our current economic system works right now. We all have gotten it materialistically better in the western world. No doubt. But the price is the 1 one percentile getting it a thousand times better, the big monopoly company's (created by a free market, ironic, I know) power taking the place of actual democracy. Not to mention how much worse things have gotten for third world people, creating our stuff on slave like markets, and for our planets chances to survive the insult and everybody fleeing or starving in the wake of a raging climate. It's all great fun! As we spend four times our earth's resources just on Christmas related materialism, and in doing so surely undermining our own democratic say and the absurd wealth and power for the chosen few, I guess all I can say is....

Merry Christmas!

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21 hours ago, Shelter said:

Seriously, though, automation sure raise some problems, existentially.

Experientially as well. This isn't even getting into the concept of artificial intelligence which I think we have no business mucking around with. This is about to veer away from my original post, so I'll just say, people losing jobs to machines concerns me greatly and I feel for those who could possibly lose income because some in a corporation want to make even more money and don't give a damn about the people effected by automation of certain fields.

21 hours ago, Shelter said:

The ego consumer is who drives the development, who is spent as catalysator/driver by said small fraction controlling capital.

I think the "ego consumer" is the one being driven and then being used. One shouldn't underestimate the power of advertising on people; just one look online at people fighting over merchandise on Black Friday shows a consequence. Do these people have free will? Yes. Are they responsible for their actions. I believe so. But why are they there in the first place; in my opinion, largely victims of a system of coercion.

21 hours ago, Shelter said:

We all have gotten it materialistically better in the western world.

Yes, no doubt.

21 hours ago, Shelter said:

But the price is the 1 one percentile getting it a thousand times better, the big monopoly company's (created by a free market, ironic, I know) power taking the place of actual democracy.

This is probably the heart of the issue. From what I've experienced and seen of human behavior, without some level of competition (even if it's only against one's self) and some motivating force and goal of self-improvement, people myself included can stagnate. If there's no competition and only government run facilities, industries, businesses, you run the risk of mediocre workers who won't care enough to work harder and rise up if there's nowhere to go and a potential lack of innovation, improvement and incentive. Basically, a short version of the failure of communism or some would say socialism.  Does this mean there's no alternative to capitalism? No. But how it would work, how to have genuinely kinder society, I don't know.

I should add that not everyone needs that outside motivating force some are internally driven. I just think there's the risk of a lot of people just ceasing to care and the overall quality of whatever industry it is dropping because of that.

I think we need social welfare programs because even if fifty percent abuse the system or hell, the majority, there are still those who legitimately need the help and I think that's part of a civilized society. You don't punish those in need because some are corrupt. 

One could say, well...why does this rich CEO need two mansions? A reasonable question. But...what if he worked incredibly hard his whole life and now with his massive income wishes to spend it as he will. Does anyone have the right to tell him how to spend his money? And what if he didn't? What if he inherited everything? Again, is it anyone else's right to start mucking with him? And if so, where does it end? Doesn't that risk opening the door to more legislation, more bureacratic power which is or can be as corrupt as any corporation?

If governments have too much power, individuals lose theirs, if corporations have too much the individual financially suffers. What to do? How to resolve this?

I really don't know. While I can say, "hey, why the hell do you own 40 different vintage cars? Do you really need that many?" they can say, "why do you own so many cds?" It seems a ludicrous comparison but it's not...both involve someone else, someone in authority interfering with another's life and free will choices.

On top of it, people in government can be corrupt and those who aren't, perhaps those who would understake such a moral filing system could have the power go to their heads.

It's a friggin' mess.

You need not just honest people in power but compassionate ones as well. How do you achieve that? How do you even risk codifying it without it somehow leading to even worse states? Look at the U.S.S.R. No one who lived through that promotes communism or socialism. Look at the terrible lines they endured just to buy things we take for granted in the western world. Picture every service, store or whatever being run equivalent to state BMV (Burea of Motor Vehicles). No one, last I heard, enjoys going in there. 

 

21 hours ago, Shelter said:

Not to mention how much worse things have gotten for third world people, creating our stuff on slave like markets,

It's truly horrible. Yet here I sit working on stuff that was probably made in the third world, or my clothing was etc. you get the point.

Again, I agree with your criticisms, but don't know how to solve them. I guess do the best as an individual to be a moral, compassionate person while not being taken advantage of by those less scruplious. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I guess do the best as an individual to be a moral, compassionate person while not being taken advantage of by those less scruplious. 

Exactly. Yet to really do that, or to even do it in a half#ssed manner, is something most people fail miserably at. My point exactly.

I am certainly no advocate for any breed of communism. No need to even go there. I do, however fear that the concept of freedom have become vastly perverted. To enrich yourself is and should be fine, as is and should be your right to live as you please, collect cars (as per your example) or whatever you can freely and soundly afford.

That is, I'm talking a real, universal freedom, without ideological abolition of competion or kafkaesqe, opressive control mechanisms, or any of that.* But any freedom that enslave others, vastly limit other people's freedoms and/or ruin the planet for all future, is various degrees of rape, and really no freedom at all, as I understand the definition.

Not to sound too down, but I think, today we are all entertained into mindless robots, with less and less intellectual property and sense of history and any "real" value. We are made rich enough to contribute to the very few people (companies) claiming 99% of wealth, taking over the planet and doing with it as they please. In the meantime, as you started by pointing out, actual robots are taking over our jobs, robbing us even of our sense of purpose.

And, speaking of robots, I still think the issue is less about who build what, who works 8 hours a day, who works 16 and who doesn't work at all, in a traditional sense. It's about how we distribute freedom and resources. And dignity. Let's not forget.

Make no mistake, to me any solution is very progressive and very much about freedom. While you bring up various governmental control aspects that you don't like, since you're a freedom guy (and rightfully so). I see no future in China's harsh opression, through social media, as I don't see no future in the softer version silicon valley social media oppression that control us all while making us feel very free, very hungry... and yet... strangely detached.. apathetic.. Ah, sweet algorithms of hate and fear and sugar... 

Just saying. We should all start with ourselves. That is always were to start. And where to keep going. Good luck trying to figure it out.

 

----

*Another can of worms, but isn't really the free market monopoly's of our tech giants, the ones who pioneers the control, registration and oppression in our era. Just cause they don't do it in the name of, or controlled by some hollywood style dictator, most people think it's just freedom as usual. Which eventually will turn out to be our doom. Consider your wonderful free rights next time you log on to Facebook.

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58 minutes ago, Shelter said:

That is, I'm talking a real, universal freedom, without ideological abolition of competion or kafkaesqe, opressive control mechanisms, or any of that.

I agree.

58 minutes ago, Shelter said:

Not to sound too down, but I think, today we are all entertained into mindless robots, with less and less intellectual property and sense of history and any "real" value.

I could be wrong but I think more people are aware of these issues and problems and care about them to one degree or another. Certainly our entertainment options are at an all time high, and it's frightening to see a baby playing with an ipad instead of toys or just interacting with the real world...hmm...mindless robots. Jeez, I hope not. I believe the human soul at heart resists this and there remains no healthy substitute for good old human interaction as well as being in the real world, tactile over virtual. But I get your point, oh yeah.

1 hour ago, Shelter said:

I see no future in China's harsh opression, through social media, as I don't see no future in the softer version silicon valley social media oppression that control us all while making us feel very free, very hungry.

  Ahh, for people interested in this, a very disturbing...heck, truly horrific system. Maybe I'll post a link/article in its own topic.

1 hour ago, Shelter said:

Ah, sweet algorithms of hate and fear and sugar... 

Very good turn of phrase!

1 hour ago, Shelter said:

but isn't really the free market monopoly's of our tech giants, the ones who pioneers the control, registration and oppression in our era. Just cause they don't do it in the name of, or controlled by some hollywood style dictator, most people think it's just freedom as usual.

Overall, I think generally speaking people are good overall and it's a minority of psychopaths/sociopaths/narcissists who seek to ruin it all for everyone. So many times strangers have helped someone in need for no reward or even accolades. There's hope.

cheers

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Well, I don't say that people are not aware. Nor do I suggest that they are not generally good at heart. 

I say that no matter how aware people might be, rarely have so few done so little to accomplish real change, to put their actions where their supposed care and worries are. We are too comfy.

I also say that no matter how good we are at heart, the "hate and fear and sugar" are built into our society's pattern. (In the algorithms, literally!) We don't actively produce it for the most part, we are the product. Further - we allow for a downward, spiral of apathy, we accept it, slowly lowering the bar for the new normal. It's not evil. It's just passive. And maybe that's what a really comfy lifestyle does to your psyche. It numbs you, makes you involuntarily reckless. And that may be said to be the real problem. 

I'm sorry for hijacking your thread, man. Sorry for getting into the... eh... Christmas spirit! Ho Ho Ho!

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56 minutes ago, Shelter said:

"hate and fear and sugar" are built into our society's pattern. (In the algorithms, literally!) We don't actively produce it for the most part, we are the product. Further - we allow for a downward, spiral of apathy, we accept it, slowly lowering the bar for the new normal. It's not evil. It's just passive. And maybe that's what a really comfy lifestyle does to your psyche. It numbs you, makes you involuntarily reckless. And that may be said to be the real problem. 

As much as I'd like to counter most of this, what you say makes sense. However, I don't know about it being built (or baked if you'd like) into the society as perhaps more corrupting agents that have co-opted what society, human civilization was meant to be or could be. But that's veering off into yet another mammoth topic, perhaps for another time.

 It could just be as simple as the problem of human greed, the urge to be a sloth versus achieving something and the cumulative effects over time from the very rich to the very poor. Again, I don't know.

For whatever reason, passivity, stagnation and such are problems that potentially effect everyone. I figure it's part of this human experience and something we're meant to overcome.

1 hour ago, Shelter said:

I'm sorry for hijacking your thread, man.

Hijacking? This topic's so dead in the water you actually helped paddle it to shore.

cheers

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Is this thread 200+ years too late? The Industrial Revolution was a double-edged sword, but you can't hold back progress. You just have to find ways to make it work FOR and WITH humanity and the environment, rather than against them.

 

(I admit I didn't read this entire thread.)

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On December 24, 2018 at 1:16 PM, Nel said:

Is this thread 200+ years too late? The Industrial Revolution was a double-edged sword, but you can't hold back progress. You just have to find ways to make it work FOR and WITH humanity and the environment, rather than against them.

   Well...I realize that about progress, but it's not as if it just happens independent of human decision making, or more precisely, certain humans make these decisions and people either live with or without them. But I think this level of technology is potentially one of the biggest leaps, perhaps unprecedented within human societies and the possible danger of giant new welfare class is a worthy concern.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 7:16 PM, Nel said:

Is this thread 200+ years too late? The Industrial Revolution was a double-edged sword, but you can't hold back progress. You just have to find ways to make it work FOR and WITH humanity and the environment, rather than against them.

 

(I admit I didn't read this entire thread.)

Progress in itself is a double-edged sword, as was the Enlightenment. There are whole volumes in the Social Sciences dedicated to that matter.

I, too, think that there is potential in new technology to work for us and the environment. Problem is there's strong resistance from the stakeholders of "traditional" technologies. In Germany, where I live, those are especially the automobile industry (plus its attached industry branches), the farmers and the energy firms.

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I suppose what's key is not technology, it's people.

I mean, we've come to the point where pretty soon we can indeed have machines work for us and save the planet. (Or at least help us heal it somehow, let it rest and prolong its demise, so to speak.) Problem is, though, people and nations being stuck in industrialism age logic and economic models. It's all very 1800s and 1900s still, for the most parts. Only philosophers have even begin to solve these things, but who listen to "thinkers"m these day? Really? Serious ideas on how to let money and machines work for the good of everyone, is still fairly undeveloped. And what's worse - frankly too many of us are being far too greedy, countries way too nationalistic and protectionist, to make any real sound and long time solution attempts, let alone develop and calibrate solutions that really may work. Too many other angles, both extremely diverse and short term interests, are in the way, clogging up the fantastic and positive vision of a fair and free future for all. So far, the new and historically unique control of information technology and disinformation and new low cost production systems, have just lead to a runaway craziness of mindless consumption and a very dangerous and exponential concentration of power and money.  We have created a situation where a real and actual death of democracy is a much more imminent than any fantastic visions of a healthy and fair future for all. But I would not blame the machines or the automation. I'd blame us. We all do our little part to keep pushing this particular vehicle closer to the cliff...

This does not mean it's too late, though. It may indeed not be too late to rethink our ways and ideas on how to organize and share the wealth and responsibilities for the benefit of all people all of our common good and preconditions for life on this planet. But I would suggest that chances look slim and that the leaders of most powerful countries are either doing too little or work in the opposite direction for any of us to see a better day. And.. no matter how good the machines are, and how suddenly we changed our dull minds for the better... this planet may not be able to hold the weight of 10, or 15 o billion people, but that, I know, is an entirely different discussion. It does serve to prove though that we really don't think big enough. We keep buying disposable plastic, we keep pumping oil, we keep happily to patronize brands and companies that do in fact burn our candles in both ends in the name of comforting us, and we keep electing crooked, ignorant and backwards leaders.

In short, we better get a grip. And soon.

Sure, none of us can solve this all alone, but if everybody just rearrange some 25% of their lives towards better decisions, I'm sure the impact globally would be positively HUGE, the tide perhaps turn and things start roll in a posivite spiral for a change. None of this is hippie talk, it's quite real. It's just too bad that people are either too lazy and comfy or too ignorant to realize what we owe it to ourselves and our fellow men to do, in terms of integrity, democracy, human rights, freedoms, environmental responsibilities, health... Technoology is right there, as a solution to so many of our problems. But it's also right there, as our doom, in the hands of the wealthy and healty percentile that will survive to control and enjoy the future. 

 

 Oops, got a little carried away there. But still, reading it over... it's the truth. We just have to stop being so short sighted, egotistical and quite frankly.. daft. Just saying, it's not "bad robot", no, it's all up to us. As has it always been. Right. Only, this is the first time in history when we have both the information level/quality and the tech-level needed to actually act and to do things right. Too bad we don't seem to care, we much rather keep this party going than starting a new better one.

 

 

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I'm really not too worried about automation, to be honest.

Under ideal circumstances, it'd move us into a post-scarcity economy where one wouldn't need to work a 40-hour weekly grind just to survive. This would free up more time and resources for activities that people actually enjoy.

Admittedly, I'm a bit cynical and don't actually believe this will be what happens, but I wouldn't take out the pitchforks just yet.

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22 hours ago, TwoGunslingers said:

Progress in itself is a double-edged sword, as was the Enlightenment

I agree. 

22 hours ago, TwoGunslingers said:

I, too, think that there is potential in new technology to work for us and the environment

Yes. And unfortunately potential to be used against people and the environment.

22 hours ago, TwoGunslingers said:

Problem is there's strong resistance from the stakeholders of "traditional" technologies. In Germany, where I live, those are especially the automobile industry (plus its attached industry branches), the farmers and the energy firms.

Good point to bring up, that is another angle on the situation but just to the side of the original post. Certainly one would think that in the 21st century we should be able to drive super-efficient electronic cars and be able to utilize solar energy to a much larger and cheaper and environmentally sound degre etc. That we haven't comes down to either we're not there yet technologically or as you noted, entrenched industries have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo except in other areas where technology has been used to keep people entertained and/or distracted and eager to waste money on minimally improved products because the newer versions are "shinier", fancier, marginally faster. Perhaps rotting away the more basic levels of human communication as well over time, people being more digitally socially connected while further isolated in real life.

 I keep meaning to read up on Tesla as he has been reported to have been way ahead of the curve.

cheers

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19 hours ago, Shelter said:

I suppose what's key is not technology, it's people.

People yes, I believe in free will and it is people designing new technologies and others embracing or grudgingly accepting or offering up dissidence, but this level of new tech is at least equal to factory workers losing out to machines if not even more of a historic change so since it could replace workers across a wide swath of different industries. 

19 hours ago, Shelter said:

Problem is, though, people and nations being stuck in industrialism age logic and economic models. It's all very 1800s and 1900s still, for the most parts.

But does this not come from the top down? People may be stuck but if some segments are kept too busy working, too exhausted for anything save some basic enjoyment out of life, how are they to have the time and energy to think about these issues, let alone offer up some healthy alternatives? 

If it comes down to people, does everyone share some moral culpability equally or is it divided by power, that is, those captains of industry, corrupted politicians, greedy stockholders etc. sharing the largest blame, those who influence the educational systems and decide who works and how many hours versus those simply doing their jobs?

19 hours ago, Shelter said:

y, countries way too nationalistic and protectionist, to make

The potential two-fold problem with globalism is the potential surrender of the individual traits that make each nation unique, as well as the corruption, well...potential corruption on an even grander scale, instead of tiny, well...not so tiny, instead of individual countries with their own corrupt leaders, you could end up with one megacountry under one mega-corrupt leadership with no potential for escape or resistance, what perhaps is another take on the monoculture concept. But...this is perhaps opening a whole new can of worms beyond the scope of this topic, let alone too much to expect a TPATH board to bare. I guess I think globalism, as perhaps as you intend (if I'm reading you right) and others believe, plans and trading and diplomatic structures with an eye toward universal equity could just be another deceptive front for yet further corruption and suffering.

I suppose it comes down to the idea of trying to ensure some level of moral and financial fairplay, some consideration beyond one's own territory yet this seems to return to your original point which is it comes down to people and while paying lip service to such ideals under a global standard, instead work towards the opposite end of some true and honest fraternity amongst mankind and instead just a larger payday for themselves and the eventual surrender of nations to Empire.

Of course, some would say this is already the case and secret conspiracies work towards these ends behind the scenes, but again, perhaps too much a weight for this forum to handle.

And if I've missed your point entirely, well...hey! Won't be the first nor last eh?

 

19 hours ago, Shelter said:

So far, the new and historically unique control of information technology and disinformation and new low cost production systems, have just lead to a runaway craziness of mindless consumption and a very dangerous and exponential concentration of power and money. 

  Yes. Perhaps the best element (aside from set list bitching and live music sharing) of this new technology we're using to type these very words, is the potential for new and uncensored ideas to emerge, let alone an entire class of alternate media in thought and deed, the chance for citizens to share their own recordings of events and offer up potentially different takes, unfiltered by gatekeepers. 

19 hours ago, Shelter said:

We have created a situation where a real and actual death of democracy is a much more imminent than any fantastic visions of a healthy and fair future for all. But I would not blame the machines or the automation. I'd blame us. We all do our little part to keep pushing this particular vehicle closer to the cliff...

Yes, in this it falls upon people regardless of their place on an economic spectrum, though again, I feel more of the guilt so to speak lands with those with huge amounts of wealth and power than some poor guy working sixty hours a week and barely getting enough rest and free time. A side problem is how much of a democracy is genuine. Why only two parties in the United States, well...two parties that actually draw the votes, why has not a single third party come close to their power in all this time. And is there any difference, beneath the surface conflicts between these two parties? But again, perhaps this is too much. I don't know.

19 hours ago, Shelter said:

This does not mean it's too late, though. It may indeed not be too late to rethink our ways and ideas on how to organize and share the wealth and responsibilities for the benefit of all people all of our common good and preconditions for life on this planet.

I don't think it's too late, despite any potential conspiracies, human selfishness, bread and circuses...despite all that I don't think it's too late at all for humans to find healthier, saner and kinder ways of co-existing on this planet. It probably all starts, aside from a miracle from God, from Divine Intervention, on the individual level of self-improvement.

19 hours ago, Shelter said:

And.. no matter how good the machines are, and how suddenly we changed our dull minds for the better... this planet may not be able to hold the weight of 10, or 15 o billion people, but that, I know, is an entirely different discussion.

"..entirely different discussion..." ha ha! Hasn't stopped me, don't let it stop you. B)

 I agree though, as one who has introduced conspiracies, punctured globalism and some optimism, perhaps it is for another topic. As for the planet, I don't know, I think Earth is far more resilient than people think. Sometimes my mind boggles at the scope of our world, the vast spaces still out there, the mystery of the depths of the ocean, the wonder of creation. Perhaps the world could handle 15 billion if we figured out a better way to live, to share, but then, so much horror has been done under those ideals, not just by those who believed in ideals but those others whose actions were inhumane and  used such slogans to wield power with no thought other than gaining more power and using others for their own fascist, dictatorial aims.

19 hours ago, Shelter said:

Sure, none of us can solve this all alone, but if everybody just rearrange some 25% of their lives towards better decisions, I'm sure the impact globally would be positively HUGE, the tide perhaps turn and things start roll in a posivite spiral for a change.

Yes, this sounds good.

19 hours ago, Shelter said:

Oops, got a little carried away there.

I don't care if it's set list discussions, re-tracking albums or sartorial choices of the band, isn't the point of a place like this to get carried away? This ain't twitter, there's ideally no character limit for polite discussion here, right?

cheers

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11 hours ago, nobodyinparticular said:

Under ideal circumstances, it'd move us into a post-scarcity economy where one wouldn't need to work a 40-hour weekly grind just to survive. This would free up more time and resources for activities that people actually enjoy.

Admittedly, I'm a bit cynical and don't actually believe this will be what happens, but I wouldn't take out the pitchforks just yet.

 It seems that's always been the promise of these leaps of technology, that at some point people were to be freed up but that never seems to work. Implicit as well is the idea that people will have to work less while still maintaing their standard of living. Instead it seems some lose jobs and others somehow end up working on vacation with technology that enables such an unfair practice.

I've heard some hoping for UBI (I think) Universal Basic Income but how does that work exactly? And doesn't that run into the same problems where the removal of competition or potential to earn more results in a downgrading of services and institutions? Or if it just means, everyone is guaranteed enough to sruvive, well, maybe more than just survive but after that it's on you to work for more...where does the UBI come from? Taxes? More taxes? With corporations finding loopholes wouldn't this fall on the middle and upper-middle class the hardest. And wouldn't it be strange to pay tax to basically pay yourself an UBI? And wouldn't here be mass resentment for the people who earn an UBI but don't work at all? I realize I don't know enough about this and am basically throwing possibilities out there, but they seem in line with human behavior. 

Isn't this why or simliar to how some communal groups fail, with some people doing more work and those who do more eventually growing resentufl of those who do less? 

Didn't McDonald's workers petition for higher minimum wage and yet, the companies response was to push for automation as much as possible to have less workers to pay, bringing this back to the original post? Jobs lost to automation and how do we handle it as a society? 

cheers

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

since it could replace workers across a wide swath of different industries. 

Does it matter? In the 1900s way of thinking its surely a horrible outlook. But what if there is better things to do than work? If not needed, and with healthcare, education and minimum standard all taken care of, "work" will have to be heavily redefined to stay relevant. A truck load of a post in it's own right, like so many of these aspects really.

1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

But does this not come from the top down? People may be stuck but if some segments are kept too busy working, too exhausted for anything save some basic enjoyment out of life, how are they to have the time and energy to think about these issues, let alone offer up some healthy alternatives?  

If it comes down to people, does everyone share some moral culpability equally or is it divided by power, that is, those captains of industry, corrupted politicians, greedy stockholders etc. sharing the largest blame, those who influence the educational systems and decide who works and how many hours versus those simply doing their jobs?

Right. Good point. I didn't really want to go into the philosophical fine print. But yeah, it is certainly true that "producers" and "consumers" may be weighted slightly different, from a responsibility angle. Due to level of executive power? Due to political power? Buying power perhaps? Well...

For one thing, it's not always easy to classify the "us" and "them" these days, or even who is who. With today's technology, what used to be "consumers" are today also themselves "products", producers turn customers, information being among the main power currency. (And it's not only who has accurate information, but also who gets in on it - unlike physical products, it can be shared without losing value, but in some ways even gaining value instead - and who get's to be disinformed or simply ignored and left with the gift card for Walmart?) That is, to balance guilt is both difficult and perhaps even pointless.

For another thing, what I basically aimed at in my above post was e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e-s' personal responsibility for our own actions, and that means both professionally and privately. Sure a multinational corporate leader can be said to be more responsible for the ways of his huge mammoth company, but neither is he all alone in organizing and execute every single task in what's is surely an absurdly huge chain of commands and actions - he doesn't effectively run it himself - nor is all of us that patronize his company free of responsibility. If we didn't crave and buy a certain product, that certain chain spiral of greed, supply and demand wouldn't loop away. That said, to cynically create a corrupt or unhealthy demand, and eventually a full scale market to be exploited- hooked as it were - is arguably a circle in hell all on it's own. Again, I was talking the general outline here.. that if all keep to making sound decisions for themselves and their loved ones, much of the muck would go away. The idea is, again, that we could make perfect use of the tech development, if we can unlock this obsolete way of thinking and do business. We have to rethink it all. Losing a job is bad today, but what if we can create world where it doesn't matter, where wealth is enough to go all around. Because, as a matter of fact it is. People just don't get that. And that is not only because they are too busy working... This is not entirely a catch 22. Asking a CEO to remodel his organization or production line may come to little effect, but stop paying him to keep on going may eventually work. People tend to excuse their own action by talking about the inevitability of the market mechanisms. But they never stop to think that those mechanisms work the other way around too. No demand will ruin any crooked or shady enterprise. (Then again, people! Successful middle class people buy drugs, then they complain in horror that there are criminal gangs wreaking havoc in society... The plus and minus is not clear to people that often, let's just say.)

 

2 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

The potential two-fold problem with globalism is the potential surrender of the individual traits that make each nation unique, as well as the corruption, well...potential corruption on an even grander scale, instead of tiny, well...not so tiny, instead of individual countries with their own corrupt leaders, you could end up with one megacountry under one mega-corrupt leadership with no potential for escape or resistance, what perhaps is another take on the monoculture concept

So, you suggest that mulitculture in the end leads to monoculture? Much like a market free of responsibilities and built on freedom of choice, tend to end up in monopolies? This is all very interesting! Not an easy knot to untie, for sure. There seem to be something to this, for sure. I would suggest however, that it's important not to confuse the different spheres with each other, or to ponder globalism as one planet under one massive, streamlined and standardized rule. I think that is a logical mistake, as much as it would be the doom, the ultimate disaster practically. At least in the foreseeable future.

Isn't it more reasonable to separate the entities a bit, here, for starters.. One the one hand we should perhaps strive towards a multitude of cultures to coexist and be accepted, rather than to be wiped out one by one, the way the multicultural movement seem to work today. On the other hand, as for the "moral and financial fairplay" mentioned, I think that is really where the action should be. One planet-one country is not globalism, as I see it. It's not a way forward at this point. It's the equal rights within the frame of diversity that is the goal. Literally, real freedom for all. A system where that really works, "UBI" or not. Something most countries today can't even fix nationally, let alone the international community. The structure - at least in the west - is so based on the idea that the only thing that will and should accumulate capital rapidly, is capital itself, and all profit needs to be booked away, out of the public system asap. We all contribute input to this process, but the ones milking it, for the benefit of their private accounts in the Cayman Islands - from where the capital can both disappear and reappear at will, from where they really can make puppets dance and "disinformation troops" to be sent out on command from beyond the Baltics - turn fewer as I type. The national and international inability to secure the common good, that we in that sense is all hostages to our own lifestyle, controlled by few and shady forces, is what I meant with addressing new problems with old ways of thinking, being stuck. There is no conspiracy! There are just greed and there are countries/regimes/leaders trying to use the current world order, technological possibilities and duped masses (their own people or others) to expand their areas of control and riches. That's all it takes to make this strange dark brew.  

We need to address these things. To create fair and moral systems, first within our countries and then eventually between countries. "UBI" may be a minimum foundation perhaps, who knows, if put on a level that help people survive, then the competition is on for all the fluff we all want and need, or the freedom to make of our time what we want to. On top a basic UBI model, things could be fairly familiar, I suppose, only regulated so that rape of individuals, nations and nature cannot be allowed, or even applauded as sometimes have been the case in our current state of affairs. And this is not about socialism, mind you, the way it used to be defined at least. (Real actual socialism has never been tried on any nationwide scale, we must remember. But at this point I think both the theoretical origins of socialism and the practical misconceptions of it we all know and heard of, all have been outdated and made obsolete by now - We really have to think beyond all that.) Some sort of post-capitalism perhaps. We are in dire need to redefine what's Capital and who gets to play with it, on whos expense. Our freedom and rights are sacred entities, obviously. We just have to make sure that they apply to everyone equally. We need to strengthen the human right and environmental aspects of all transactions, so that my right to consume this or produce this, does not mean that someone else's right get squashed, destroyed or annihilated. This is not rocket science, it very common sense and very common manners. We just have to learn not to slap the people we don't see from across the globe or the other side of the parking lot, in the face. In a modern world we need to share information and goods, not fight over them, basically. Competition is good for development, mind you, but we just can't ignore the costs and effects no longer. Those things needs to be included in the equation. That is really all it takes and the bottom line. We simply have to stop thinking in terms of wealth as being limited, something granted to but a  few, when it's really just a matter of distribution and agreeable common grounds and minimum levels. With a fair system we surely can afford it, and moreover develop it further. Let's use and develop those machines! But let's remember, information is free and endless, the planet's material ressources are not. In both cases.. key word is.. r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y. 

 

3 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Yes. Perhaps the best element (aside from set list bitching and live music sharing) of this new technology we're using to type these very words, is the potential for new and uncensored ideas to emerge, let alone an entire class of alternate media in thought and deed, the chance for citizens to share their own recordings of events and offer up potentially different takes, unfiltered by gatekeepers. 

That! Again, information is free. It doesn't disappear, lose value or quality from being duplicated. It's very new and special to our medieval way of thinking. In fact it's a bit hard to understand. It's therefor very ironic that we have the best ever information available, we should be able to make the best and most well informed decisions in human history, but at the same time the possibilities to discredit facts, to use information for gain and to shake the foundation of peoples sense of security is endless. This is for all intents and purposes the brave new world and here we are, we have never done so little thinking of our own, in the face of so vast possibilities. We used to be clueless, but fairly free and secure. Now we are smart but have nowhere to go, cept for staying in the matrix. It's very ironic, don't you think. It's exactly as with those machines taking people's jobs - if we didn't allowed for this information to be used against us, if we actually used it ourselves to make a better and more fair world. It's all there. For now. More or less. Looking towards China and the self managed "security" departments of the social media giants, it's pretty obvious that we are facing another paradox pretty soon. For the first time information is truly endless, but it's about, little by little, to be locked up, controlled and explained away. We see so many signs that this is already happening and does in fact effect peoples decisions.

 

3 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I feel more of the guilt so to speak lands with those with huge amounts of wealth and power than some poor guy working sixty hours a week and barely getting enough rest and free time. A side problem is how much of a democracy is genuine. Why only two parties in the United States, well...two parties that actually draw the votes, why has not a single third party come close to their power in all this time. And is there any difference, beneath the surface conflicts between these two parties? But again, perhaps this is too much. I don't know.

Yes, I did address this to some extent in the above. You can't just ask people to spread their wealth around, for that matter. Tell the world's 10 richest dudes and dudettes to make the rest of the planet wealthy too, and see if that works. Not to mention what it would do to the economy... and there.. yet again.. that's why it's complex. It's in the structure, of course. The structure that needs to be modernized and optimized. But still.. we are the structure... with the sum of our actions and our affirmative non-actions even more so. It's economic and moral structures, hell yes.. Further, it's a mindset, a democratic kind of structure that may not, in the case of USA, then, suffer as much from having in essence a two party system, as you mention, as it does from having so few people registered to vote in the first place. Unless we, in the supposedly free, informed and developed western world can upheld our democracies with a respectable minimum of people paying a minimum of attention and taking at least minimum part in the process by casting their vote, are we then still democracies? Right.  

Structure smucture.. Let me rephrase all that: What the hell is the matter with people!?

 

4 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

It probably all starts, aside from a miracle from God, from Divine Intervention, on the individual level of self-improvement.

Exactly that. God almighty. There you have it! And sure, while waiting for him, trying to be a little less reprobate and downright wicked, may be a good idea!

Todays ponderings in open mind social sciences - the electric Kool-Aid acid political science test, if you will - now end. If I could have AI to write this post for me, I would. And.. wait.. what makes you think I didn't? It's not good enough? Oh, that. Perhaps I'm not expendable after all...

 

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2 hours ago, Shelter said:

Does it matter? In the 1900s way of thinking its surely a horrible outlook. But what if there is better things to do than work?

Yes, it could be a huge disaster for a lot of people. Of course, better things to do, for sure; it's getting like the star trek approach, some post-scarcity, peaceful civilization where everyone gets along. I'd like to think the people on Earth in that show still have individual cultures, religion, freedom I'm assuming that's implied. But anyway, haven't come anywhere near that for real.

2 hours ago, Shelter said:

With today's technology, what used to be "consumers" are today also themselves "products", producers turn customers, information being among the main power currency.

True

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

For another thing, what I basically aimed at in my above post was e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e-s' personal responsibility for our own actions,

I understood, like I said, I think it does come down to or at least begin on the personal individual level. 

 

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

If we didn't crave and buy a certain product, that certain chain spiral of greed, supply and demand wouldn't loop away

I agree but you can't overlook the impact of marketing on people, which again, comes from people but from those from a (relative to the average person) position of influence. The internet has perhaps balanced this a bit, while it opened new marketing opportunities it also opened new contrary opinions to marketing, status quo etc.

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

We have to rethink it all.

Yes but be careful that any new systems are subject to human corruption, and the dangers of ends/means justification or "justification". I'm sure some truly believed in the communist revolution and ended up dead, in a gulag etc. Just as an example. 

 

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

So, you suggest that mulitculture in the end leads to monoculture? Much like a market free of responsibilities and built on freedom of choice, tend to end up in monopolies? This is all very interesting!

It's a definite concern, yes. Be wary of any new popular buzzword, y'know, in my opinion.

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

One the one hand we should perhaps strive towards a multitude of cultures to coexist and be accepted, rather than to be wiped out one by one, the way the multicultural movement seem to work today.

  Yes with the proviso regarding human suffering, some cultures are barbaric, human rights violations etc. etc.

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

It's the equal rights within the frame of diversity that is the goal. Literally, real freedom for all.

I just think or wonder that a lot of his is contrary to innate human behaviors but that could lead to even more existential discussions and on and on, not bad per se but again, I feel like this place is flexible but doesn't mean it couldn't be broken. Or maybe I'm just full of myself, how many people are actually reading this ha ha! Which is fine, politics, stress, worry, financial concerns, this place is a good break from all of that. But then again, it's not like anyone's forcing people to read this. So...anyway. What am I going on about? 

At this point, I think diversity (not as you may think of it or express it) has become a dangerous buzzword that people think will solve everything or suddenly make everything fair, if you haven't check out Kurt Vonnegut's short story Harrison Bergeron. 

And it again falls contrary but we try as a civilized bunch to have laws to make things fair but guess what, the wealthier you are the laws don't apply, you have access to better legal protection and so on, what all this circles back to is the human dilemma and it becomes all too big which again, takes you back to what you can do on a personal level.

The problem with corporations, well, that should be obvious, but the problem with government is the bloat, too many laws, redtape as well as the corruption. Bad from both sides, which isn't to say every person is bad within those systems, but perhaps a few bad apples do indeed ruin the whole dang bunch.

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

but the ones milking it, for the benefit of their private accounts in the Cayman Islands - from where the capital can both disappear and reappear at will, from where they really can make puppets dance and "disinformation troops" to be sent out on command from beyond the Baltics - turn fewer as I type.

I'm skeptical of this.

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

The national and international inability to secure the common good, that we in that sense is all hostages to our own lifestyle, controlled by few and shady forces, is what I meant with addressing new problems with old ways of thinking, being stuck. There is no conspiracy! There are just greed and there are countries/regimes/leaders trying to use the current world order, technological possibilities and duped masses (their own people or others) to expand their areas of control and riches.

I don't know, the more I learn the more I think that besides mini-conspiracies of industry there could be larger conspiracies of ill intent or even one huge one but one has to be very careful in researching things like that without getting dragged under by all the information/misinformation out there.

Again, I think a person can have a good impact on people and their world just by their day to day decisions and therefore, regardless of conspiracies or Conspiracy personal power should never be underestimated!

 

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

But at this point I think both the theoretical origins of socialism and the practical misconceptions of it we all know and heard of, all have been outdated and made obsolete by now - We really have to think beyond all that.

Yeah, I think so too. The antitode to the greed of capitalism isn't socialism or not that you menionted it communism and some good, or improvements, technology what have you has emerged from capitalism. A trip to any local government office and you quickly appreciate when there is a healthy genuine competition, things dont' drop down to the lowest common denominator. But at that end you have the danger of monopolies. Perhaps this world is truly a moral/spiritual battleground, and that both ends of the spectrum are much the same, be it government run or from corporations.

5 hours ago, Shelter said:

. Competition is good for development, mind you, but we just can't ignore the costs and effects no longer. Those things needs to be included in the equation.

Yes.

cheers

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8 hours ago, Shelter said:

In fact it's a bit hard to understand. It's therefor very ironic that we have the best ever information available, we should be able to make the best and most well informed decisions in human history, but at the same time the possibilities to discredit facts, to use information for gain and to shake the foundation of peoples sense of security is endless.

I'm no student of the Kabbalah but the vice of this place, of Earth is greed and inertia and the virtue discrimination (not the negative connotation) but being able to decide, to make choices. The internet seems like the perfect example right, I can go read some philosophy or history or go look at instagram models. No offense intended for any serious or even amateur people who study that, I could have just now completely garbled it up.  The Kabbalah not instagram models. 

Again, human dilemma. 

8 hours ago, Shelter said:

The structure that needs to be modernized and optimized. But still.. we are the structure... with the sum of our actions and our affirmative non-actions even more so. It's economic and moral structures, hell yes.. Further, it's a mindset, a democratic kind of structure that may not, in the case of USA, then, suffer as much from having in essence a two party system, as you mention, as it does from having so few people registered to vote in the first place

Assuming the votes are tallied honestly, the voters are honest citizens and not corpses or fake, that the people vying for office actually care about the country and its citizens and non-citizens and people in general and small birds and on and on. 

If my choices are all sucking on lobbysits teats well, what good does that do anyone save themselves and the teats...err...lobbyists and their backers.

8 hours ago, Shelter said:

Structure smucture.. Let me rephrase all that: What the hell is the matter with people!?

I guess we were working towards the same point though I don't really think there's anything wrong per se it's just something about being here, on Earth, that there is this struggle between basically doing the right thing or the wrong thing, between Good and Evil. 

Human dilemma, what's wrong with people...

I literally thank God for the good in my life and try to be a good person but often am selfish, lazy etc. 

Hey! The topic is automation not too-much-ain't-enough-but-is-for-personal-and-unasked-for-confession so...let's see.

I should've saved my "...good enough..." Mojo comment for right here. Just go back and read it here as a conclusion of sorts.

cheers

 

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12 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I've heard some hoping for UBI (I think) Universal Basic Income but how does that work exactly? And doesn't that run into the same problems where the removal of competition or potential to earn more results in a downgrading of services and institutions? Or if it just means, everyone is guaranteed enough to sruvive, well, maybe more than just survive but after that it's on you to work for more...where does the UBI come from? Taxes? More taxes? With corporations finding loopholes wouldn't this fall on the middle and upper-middle class the hardest. And wouldn't it be strange to pay tax to basically pay yourself an UBI? And wouldn't here be mass resentment for the people who earn an UBI but don't work at all? I realize I don't know enough about this and am basically throwing possibilities out there, but they seem in line with human behavior. 

Close up the loopholes, then. 

As well, if UBI is implemented, it could cut down a lot of bureaucracy. Instead of a hodgepodge of different systems (which more often than not allows people to slip between the cracks), just having one system would help immensely.

It'd never happen in the U.S. though. People already get up in arms about stuff like free school lunches.

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1 hour ago, nobodyinparticular said:

It'd never happen in the U.S. though. People already get up in arms about stuff like free school lunches.

In their defense, my understanding is some of the funding from schools (all?) comes from property taxes which some right there would say are unethical or that the state can take away a person's house fully owned by the owner for failing to pay these taxes is hugely unethical.

The nicer neighborhood, the higher the tax. So if someone worked hard their whole life and finally paid off their house, a few mistakes, sudden health issues, misfortune or what have you could put them in a position of being delinquent with these taxes.

Now granted, often times deals can be worked out, payment plans and such but again, in x number of months the next bill will arrive and there's the risk of someone losing their home to the state because they couldn't afford an additional tax hike. 

For some seniors who are on a fixed budget, things like a tax increase for something good, free lunches, could have a horrible domino effect in their lives.

Free lunches may add to that cost, that tax and so therefore they don't want to pay it and that's not getting into the quality of the lunches, they may be free but are they any good? Nutritious? if there's some corruption somewhere of someone absconding with some of the funds allocated for the lunches and so on.

Now some people could afford the additional amount and not want to because the don't give a shit. Others may want to but can't afford it. Others may want to and would gladly pay more. 

It's a tricky issue.

I think people are overall good and on an individual level if you explained to most how the free lunches would benefit poor children they'd agree to help but not at the risk of catastrophe for themselves. Especially when it's rare for a tax to drop down once it's raised or a new expense added.

I think some not all would view UBI welfare for the lazy and already people have problems with welfare. I think it's necessary even if more than half scam and I'm not saying more than half scam, I've no idea, I'm just saying that even if it skews with more than half abusing it, there are still people who genuinely need it and will rise up out of the system in time and improve their lot in life and no longer need government help and as a civilized society it's important we have it. 

But I also understand where people's resentment comes from regarding these issues, plans that sound good or ideals that are something to aspire to have to contend with human behavior.

1 hour ago, nobodyinparticular said:

if UBI is implemented, it could cut down a lot of bureaucracy. Instead of a hodgepodge of different systems (which more often than not allows people to slip between the cracks), just having one system would help immensely.

I don't think it would cut down on bureaucracy, it may just add to it and reallocate it a bit; if people see it coming down the road in these offices, they may quickly develop new positions to help manage UBI so they're not out of a job.

And what happens when companies raise prices and some things are priced out of UBI? Force the companies to not raise prices and risk them leaving? And again, who pays for UBI and how do you get around the natural resentment that would occur? 

If this person studied hard, went into medical school debt to become a doctor and works hard, how much are they expected to contribute and how would they not eventually get angry at people who may opt out of working right? Some who have little material needs or wants? Maybe they wouldn't care about paying into UBI but that doesn't match the people I've seen or interacted with in my experience.

I think most understand social safety nets or taking care of the elderly, people with disabilities and so on (I'm not getting into the quality of these programs, just that people, most people realize we need them) but to tell them that this person who has no interest in working but in just maintaining a tiny apartment and reading, playing music, thinking, etc. well...I think people would FLIP OUT.

Heck, maybe I'm getting UBI wrong from the beginning, I don't know.

I'm not saying UBI is impossible or even foolhardy, I just think there's a lot of nuance to account for and potential for disaster for any type of potential cure-all.

cheers

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If the social net is UBI in addition to a regular person's salary I see it as a new social net, but then the risk becomes employer's paying less than they would've since you have UBI and ending up in the same position you could've been in the first place. Again, I don't know.

How about them set lists? I thought it a shame TPATH never mixed 'em up. Like on Let Me Up...all mixed up except the set list, then it was The Same Old You.

cheers

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14 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I'm skeptical of this.

Good for you. Not sure if it helps, but perhaps I should stress that by "fever" I mean percentage, not actual numbers. And it will certainly stabilize eventually.. at less than 0.1% that hold 99,9 of resources. Guesstimate. We're in fact closing in on that already. But.. you believe what you want to believe.. I won't back down. As it were.

Other than that, I'm glad you brought Kurt into this. Ever the man to hold a mirror to our madness.

Also, way to take the discussion on UBI places, guys! Kudos. Very interesting! I hold my piece for a while.. much to ponder.

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