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Thread: Technology causes high unemployment?

  1. #61

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    Imagine what kind of high unemployment can happen with this technology: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/12/tech/h...ter/index.html



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  3. #62

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    The problem I see is that scarcity is increasing faster than efficiency in today's world.

    If you have a 60MPG car but fuel costs $10PG, you're definitely worse off.

    So while it is true that in the end that efficiency gains are good for everyone, it doesn't mean that every generation is going to be better off than the next.

    Like when you sell your grandfathers farm to a real estate developer because the economy is kicking ass, only to find out 5 years later that your job accounting for some real estate developer is obsolete thanks to computer automation. Then after the money from the farm sell off runs out you lose your house and move into public housing and you have to shine shoes or some crap and your kids hate you because you can't renew their xbox live scrip and... um, yeah. Shit doesn't always work out is what I'm trying to say.
    if modern agriculture continues to follow the path it's on now, it's finished. The food-growing situation may seem to be in good shape today, but that's just an illusion based on the current availability of petroleum fuels. All the wheat, corn, and other crops that are produced on big American farms may be alive and growing, but they're not products of real nature or real agriculture. They're manufactured rather than grown. The earth isn't producing those things.. petroleum is! -Masanobu Fukuoka

  4. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by torchbearer View Post
    if robots produce everything, prices are zero.
    how could you charge for replicated pasta when anyone could get their own?
    Exactly.

    The role of an economy is not to produce jobs, it is to meet the wants and needs of the consumer. If the means of production are so cheap and so effortless that robots and replicators can satisfy all human needs, humans will be free to explore all of their wants, on their own time.

  5. #64
    Member Zippyjuan's Avatar
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    If robots are producing everything and people no longer needed, what are the "freed" people doing to earn income to spend on the goods? Lots of free time but no money?
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  6. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    If robots are producing everything and people no longer needed, what are the "freed" people doing to earn income to spend on the goods?
    The premise which leads to the idea, that people are freed if "robots" (automation, technology, etc.) produce everything, is that people will no longer need to do anything to earn an income to spend on goods and services anymore. I hope this helps. If not, please let me know and I will be happy to give it another try to explain this or clarify it for you. I also have connections to some individuals, who in turn have connections to thousands of other individuals, who can and have come up with many ways of explaining this concept - and I'm confident that they would be more than happy to also give a try at explaining this concept as well; so, please let me know if you would like to learn more from others who are exploring and studying this concept & I'll see what I can do. I myself am actually more interested in working on the technology itself than making videos or documentaries on the subject of a post scarcity society at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Lots of free time but no money?
    Yes, that's correct - lots of free time and no money needed, anymore. To clarify, "no money" doesn't mean that it will be banned; just that no one will be interested in using it anymore. You would be free to choose to live in Amish-like communes, or whatever, where people still trade and use money; no one would stop you from doing that or even care if you do, if that's what you wish to do with your life (just like the actual Amish are free to live their life the way they desire, in this country).

    The concept of a society with no trade or money is called a gift economy (see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_economy), it has existed without automation/robotics, and exists even today in some places. My understanding is that there are some sociological forces that have placed limitations on the feasibility of it, such as that they generally consist of about 150 people or less.
    Last edited by Neil Desmond; 10-23-2012 at 03:12 PM.

  7. #66

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    Note the words in bold (emphasis mine):

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    If robots are producing everything and people no longer needed, what are the "freed" people doing to earn income to spend on the goods? Lots of free time but no money?
    Consider this:

    Robots are producing everything (we'll pretend for now that people are not required for robot maintenance, and that robots are doing even that)
    Everything=goods
    Ergo, no need for income to spend on what the robots are, in theory, already creating

    Also, things that are created by robots are a form of 'income', whether or not they have value in exchange with other forms of income created by other robots (i.e., everybody has their own, of all types and kind). That would never be the case, as robots are always specialized (e.g., a wrench-making robot isn't going to double as a rutabaga-harvester). Thus, there would always be a division of labor among robots, even with the most efficient automation imaginable. So even if your robots are creating one type of thing, and my robots are creating another entirely, we can still trade our respective 'incomes' in exchange.

    In reality, there is no dispensing with the need for other humans, or even physical labor by humans, with or without enhancements and automation. And there are also many things that robots cannot do (to everyone's satisfaction, at least): They cannot write literature, produce movies, make original music, or architectural designs, or other forms of art that is pleasing to millions of different niches of humans. They can certainly serve as aids in all these things, but the human input is always required. Likewise, they can aid in scientific breakthroughs, but are limited in artificial imagination and cannot make them. The more we are freed, on the whole, by efficiency and automation, the more people's minds are freed to use their imaginations on an evolved hierarchy of human wants and needs.

  8. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Desmond View Post
    The concept of a society with no trade or money is called a gift economy (see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_economy), it has existed without automation/robotics, and exists even today in some places. My understanding is that there are some sociological forces that have placed limitations on the feasibility of it, such as that they generally consist of about 150 people or less.
    Here's what I was talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number

    Here's a video that I think nicely addresses how the potential problem of high unemployment as a result of technology might be dealt with:


  9. #68
    Member John F Kennedy III's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    ^I'm going to create a new theory to tackle this problem for people and I'm going to call it the Massage Therapy Theory.

    Wouldn't you like to get a really good massage once a week or more?

    What if you could give two 30 minute massages a week and live in a mansion, have a sports car and all the food you need? All for working 1 hour a week!! Would you take 20 or 40 hours of training to become a good massage therapist and be willing to live this lifestyle? I think most people who aren't already very wealthy would have no issue trading their 40 hour/week schedule for a 1 hour/week schedule, even if it means giving a couple of massages.

    Pretend that soon in the future we have all the technology in the world, but no technology yet has been able to replicate a massage from a real human. As all of the other jobs disappear, people who don't own the means of production and were once laborers move into the massage therapy field. They give massages to the people who own the means of production, who basically just sit back and do nothing and have everything they want because they own machines that produce things for people. They are willing to pay $5,000 for a massage because they all have millions and millions of dollars flowing in. A massage therapist can then make $10k/week by giving two massages, then they can go out and buy all of the things being produced by those who own the means of production. Now those people have the money again and they can spend it on more massages. The reason the basket of goods that the massage therapist can now buy has grown so much is because the basket of goods the producer has produced vs. the amount of effort they have had to put in has grown exponentially. They don't mind paying extra because they create so much with so little effort.

    Now you have a massage therapist who decides they want to give 8 massages a week for a few months, save up some money and buy their own means of production so they don't have to give massages anymore. Eventually more massage therapists begin to own their own means of production and they leave the field. Now there is a high demand for massages and few massage therapists left. Now a massage costs $10,000 and at some point some rich people decide they don't really need massages, they can take the next best alternative of a jacuzzi or massage chair. Yet others still want their massage at the higher price.

    The fact is, humans will always want services performed on them, people love being pampered, served, etc.. The people who pamper will get paid a lot if there is a lot of stuff being produced by the people who they are pampering.
    Great theory, IMO.
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  11. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by tttppp View Post
    Why does a job have to be provided for everyone? The whole point of America is we have the option to work for ourselves.
    we've been brainwashed into believing that we need a job to survive, rather than we only need a job to make money if we need money.

  12. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRB View Post
    we've been brainwashed into believing that we need a job to survive, rather than we only need a job to make money if we need money.
    So you don't need money? Must be nice. No rent, food, utilities. I used to live at home with the parents too.
    I am Zippy and I approve of this message. But you don't have to.

  13. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    So you don't need money? Must be nice. No rent, food, utilities. I used to live at home with the parents too.
    I'm not rich yet, but somebody must be.

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