"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." - Lord Acton
"Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and we must reject those who spread fear." - B4L update of FDR
"The Ministry of Truth can turn on a dime, and the fury of the ignorant masses can be redirected at will." - B4L
"Marxists become Fascists the minute they become rich, yet they retain the Marxist rhetoric." - B4L
"Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
"Thing is, the world is full of a**holes." - ACPTulsa
Basically, we might be be nearing completion of a "robotic" system that's universal and utility oriented:
Here's a version that I'm working on (a geometric "mock-up"):
This presentation is insightful on the issue:
A few things I've written related to this subject/issue:
This guy's ideas are a bit dated or obsolete, but he makes some good points (not just models or drawings):
Consider the advantage of automation that can cover all tasks, such as building homes, structures, growing crops, cooking food (unless you enjoy cooking), etc. We may just be able to greatly reduce or maybe even end poverty, corruption, crime, need for prisons, need for people to travel to & from work every day (thus less pollution), and people will be free to do what they want.
Ron Paul: "For those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do."
Maybe a better question to ask would be: is high unemployment itself necessarily a problem, when it comes to the welfare of the unemployed individuals and society? I think that the answer depends on whether or not people will be able to have food, shelter, transportation, clothes, money - in other words, the things people want and need (i.e., "stuff"), without income; and as a libertarian, I would also add to that question: without forcing someone else to work or taking part of someone else's money to give such individuals "stuff." I think that the answer is that unemployment is a problem only when the result is lack of access to "stuff" by individuals - the reason that people smashed machines when it came to the industrial revolution. I suppose people are not so inclined to smash assembly lines and automation these days because of welfare and some improvements in the quality of life for society; this goes to show that it's not unemployment in itself that's a problem, it's the adverse effect that it has on individuals (who lose their jobs) & their families thus lose access to "stuff." If they didn't lose access to "stuff" and it was because of automation, then I'd say that individuals would want to embrace it rather than have a desire to destroy it.
Last edited by Neil Desmond; 10-20-2012 at 09:16 AM. Reason: revision
I'm always amazed at how badly humans are in general at being 'futurists', as they project scenarios theoretically into the future, often into the vacuum of a LA-LA Land that will never exist, without considering the actual events and steps that got us to the present, and how labor factors in as crucial and indispensable along the way.
Technology and automation has done nothing but MULTIPLY, not diminish, the need and opportunities for unskilled labor. Every single step of the way.
If you made a list of all the unskilled labor jobs available in 1900, and compared that with the unskilled labor positions available in the worst times since, leading up to and including 2012, it becomes apparent that the list of the future is orders of magnitude greater, in both quantity and variety. They don't resemble each other at all, and that is ALL due to technology and automation. There were no telephone operator or electronic assembler jobs in 1900, because telephone tech was in its infancy, and there were no electronic devices to speak of.
What technology and automation does NOT do is guarantee security for any one type of unskilled labor. Wagoners and farriers wanting to remain employed by a transportation industry really did have to re-channel and retrain and adapt themselves to planes, trains and automobiles. When that happens, the unskilled labor cheese also gets relocated. Those who do the heavier lifting and carry water for the more skilled must also likewise adapt. That's not because their services in general are rendered obsolete; only that part of an entire industry that once required them has evolved, morphed and changed into something else.
ALL AUTOMATION comes from, and is dependent at myriad points, on labor. And always will be. There is no such thing as an automated system that did not arise from labor, and that does not require labor, including unskilled labor. The majority of equipment operators at any semiconductor wafer fabrication plant are UNSKILLED. And no matter how much automation is implemented, the question is NEVER whether or not unskilled labor will be required, but only how it can be most efficiently allocated, and not wasted.
Automation only refines labor and makes it more efficient and productive; it does not do away with it. And there is no such thing as dispensing with the need for labor, including unskilled labor. Ever. Automated systems require energy and maintenance. Tools are essential, and regardless how refined, how automated even these tools may be, they all require labor, including unskilled labor, to even exist.
Another point: Complex machines and systems have myriad components that come from different sources. Think of the number of parts and the amount it takes just to make a computer from all its constituent raw materials. There is NO SUCH THING as automated computer design and manufacture, just as there is NO SUCH THING as a disconnect from the positively staggering amount of unskilled labor required in the thousands upon thousands of processes required along the way.
On the other hand, there are opportunity vacuums going unfilled by the millions for specifically skilled labor.
What the article fails to mention is that problem existed BEFORE the recession. And I lay that one at the doorstep of government involvement in education. They fucked up education the same way they fucked up the health care industry, with all the unintended consequences of protectionist 'accreditation' scams, and government guaranteed student loans and guaranteed funding to education that violated free market principles, and bid it all up so that it is ALL artificially expensive -- even to the point of giving rise to diploma mills and a black market for educational counterfeits.[SOURCE]
“Companies all over are having a difficult time recruiting the kind of people they’re looking for,” said Robert Funk, chairman and chief executive of Express Employment Professionals, a national staffing firm based in Oklahoma City that helped some 335,000 people land jobs last year. “We currently have 18,000 open job orders we can’t fill.”
How can so many jobs remain unfilled with unemployment so high? One explanation is that many would-be workers lack the necessary skills to fill those positions. “There is higher demand for skilled jobs and less demand for unskilled positions than we’ve seen coming out of past recessions,” Mr. Funk said.
So yes, retraining is vital for millions upon millions, but once again, just as with health care, pointy-headed morons are trying to figure out ways to PAY for something that is artificially overvalued from government meddling, and should never have been cost-prohibitive to anyone in the first place, rather than remove all the meddling influences so that the free market can take over and allocated funds with orders of magnitude more efficiency.