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Why Automation is Different This Time - "there is no sector of the economy left for workers to switch to" by goatsgreetings in Futurology

[–]Calamari_Tsunami 5085 points5086 points  (0 children)

Automation wouldn't be an issue, but a boon, if we could find a purpose for the countless human hands. If the government would play it right, then even education could become cheaper. Having electronic appliances doing work that produces something a hundred times more useful than the bit of power it took to do the work, it sounds like the key to winning as a species. If half of what humans currently do is done by machines, and if the folks in charge could give meaningful work to the people who were replaced by machines, that could be the start of a new age. But I don't feel like we'll ever benefit from automation as much as we could, simply because those in charge don't know how to use it in the grand scheme of things, in order to benefit humanity. I feel like the government would rather put restrictions on how much can be automated than actually use this to its fullest, educating people and giving people work that machines can't do. It'll always be "the machines took our fast food jobs, looks like we need to create more fast food jobs for the humans"

Universal Basic Income is ready to go mainstream this 2018 by Crs2Per in Futurology

[–]RonaldCherrycoke 8 points9 points  (0 children)

By "big capital" I mean powerful corporate interests that are willing to hurt or exploit people for the sake of profit. You can really take your pick; everybody has their favorite. Conservatives I know hate Monsanto and "Big Pharma." Vegans I know talk about the environmental scourge of factory farming. Luddites I know talk about children's compulsive relationship with smartphones and tablets and the constant stream of advertising pouring out of them. And so on.

An example I'd give would be Nestle's practices in Africa in the 1970s. They gave free baby formula to mothers with newborns. When the mothers began to give the Nestle formula to their babies rather than breastfeed, their bodies stopped producing milk. Sort of like one imagines a drug dealer doing business, Nestle's free offer ended, and now the mothers couldn't afford the formula to feed their babies, and they were no longer lactating. I believe the estimate is around 1.5 million deaths as result, but I'd encourage you to look it up for yourself, that figure is hearsay.

On the subject of "protection": When Nestle's messed up way of doing business came to light, there were big boycotts. Some changes were made. But not enough. There were not, for instance, any reparations paid, any ways of remedying the problem. Nestle simply, we are told, stopped doing this (at least mostly).

Your putting the word "protected" in quotes suggests that maybe you hear in my use of it a little bit of victimhood or entitlement. In that case, we may quite disagree about the role the state should play. (That's okay.) But I would put it to you that the only body that can conceivably prevent this kind of business practice and see to it that, where it has happened, reparations are made is the state. The free market can't really fix the problem, and I don't believe it's my job as a consumer to monitor corporations' business practices. When I vote, I do so as a citizen, not as a consumer.

To use one last example, when I walk into a nice coffeeshop and seen all those pictures on the walls of coffee farmers smiling and the words "FAIR TRADE" all over the place, I find myself becoming angry that this is how this coffee shop is branding itself. "We don't exploit people; look how great we are." Doesn't it seem obscene that being non-exploitative is a selling point? Business shouldn't be allowed to do anything else. But the free market doesn't do anything about it; only the state can.

(Which is not to say the state does. This is obviously the big reason for getting money out of politics. Politicians beholden to big corporate donors serve their interests rather than ours. Not in a conspiratorial way, necessarily. Just as a matter of course.)

So when I hear about basic income, I always feel a little suspicious. If the state has already been de facto subordinated to corporate interests, it feels like basic income would be a de jure subordination. I'll never forget seeing George W. Bush on TV on 9/11 (or 9/12, probably) telling people to go out and shop, not to let the attacks hurt the economy. Who exactly was that supposed to help? I'm not convinced it was me.

Big corporations are breaking things. They (with our help, of course) ruining the environment; they've more or less eliminated the prospect of a permanent job so that the majority of millenials' labor is precarious; everywhere we turn a blind eye to their actions we find sick, dying, exploited people. And we're to believe that they're our only hope, that we have to keep the money flowing in their direction so the economy doesn't suffer and we can hold on to the security we are steadily losing anyway. And basic income seems like a method of addressing the problem by making everyone pay—everyone, that is, except corporations.

EDIT: adding a TL;DR as follows:

wah wah wah corporations

EDIT: Wow, my first gold! Thank you. There may be an irony there but let’s not think too much about it!

GM will make an autonomous car without steering wheel or pedals by 2019 by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]CMGPetro -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

That's reassuring. Given GM's phenomenal track record with ground breaking automobiles in the last 40 years, I'm sure this will be a smashing success.

America's fast-food chains are contemplating replacing minimum wage workers with robots — and it could lead to a crisis by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]Tecumsehs_Revenge 81 points82 points  (0 children)

...And they will still charge you more and offer you less.

Retail and restaurant industries will be looking down the barrel of -50% jobs in less than a years time. After that it will hyper escalate?

Also fun stuff to Google fu, is that automation can lead to increased pricing to consumers, as boards still need to see a plus sign each quarter.

Job epidemic incoming? No problem/s taxing the humans but not the robots that take the jobs?

The wall is a misdirection...

Fast-food CEO says 'it just makes sense' to consider replacing cashiers with machines as minimum wages rise by gone_his_own_way in Futurology

[–]botbotbobot 8487 points8488 points x2 (0 children)

We're catapulting into a post-labor model but our economy hasn't figured out what to do when a person's sole value isn't as a measure of units of labor.

The entire fucking point of human progress has been to get more done with less. Ideally we'd see this for what it is: the creation of more leisure time. But the economy has no fucking clue what to do when it doesn't "need" you anymore.

Well, we have fuckloads of people that we don't need doing labor. "Creating jobs" is a bullshit aphorism to pacify morons. But the current economic model is still propping up the billionaires and so they will keep it going until the world burns down.

Fuck, this shit gets me heated.

Edit: fuck me I'm getting a lot of replies. I really want to discuss this more with a lot of you, but I just got off a 12 hour shift laboring (haha get it) to help keep people from dying. I'm gonna try to catch up some tomorrow.

Fast-food CEO says 'it just makes sense' to consider replacing cashiers with machines as minimum wages rise by gone_his_own_way in Futurology

[–]AmaiRose 15.1k points15.1k points  (0 children)

Protecting cashier jobs is like protecting coal jobs. They were a super viable minimum wage job. They're not going to be. Instead of trying to stop the change, we should be leaning in and planning for it. They are not the most stimulating or rewarding jobs, and the things people do get out of it exist in other more trained spheres. We need to be training the people doing these jobs for jobs that will still be needed, where they can be valued rather than keeping than for something where they are mostly equivalent to, but more expensive than a machine.

Warren Buffett on the US economy: ‘The tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down. It surged upward’ - “Americans will benefit from far more and better 'stuff' in the future. The challenge will be to have this bounty deliver a better life to the disrupted as well as to the disrupters“ by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]Itspr0m37h3u5 571 points572 points  (0 children)

Warren buffet blocked private sales of solar panels in Nevada. If you want your own solar panels in Nevada he made it impossible. He pushed solar companies out of the state. I do not like this man.

California Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Ban Gas Powered Cars By 2040 by Wagamaga in Futurology

[–]THEGREENHELIUM -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Grew up in SoCal. They will just give the lower earners and illegal aliens free cars.

After beating cable lobby, Colorado city moves ahead with muni broadband - Fort Collins plans universal broadband, net neutrality, and gigabit speeds. by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]redrumpc 23 points24 points  (0 children)

So, I'm one of the campaign leads quoted in this story who has worked to get muni broadband in Fort Collins, CO for almost two years.

After we beat Comcast & Friends on Nov. 7, 2017 (who spent almost $1 million against us) we're excited to see our story making national waves!

Hope you all are able to have these conversations in your communities, too - I promise it can be done.


More than 25 percent of Earth will experience serious drought and desertification by the year 2050 if global warming is not curbed, according to a new study by the journal Nature Climate Change. by Plymouth03 in Futurology

[–]Autarch_Kade -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I see your previous comment is no longer there.

Can't imagine why! Glad to hear you did "a fair amount of reading" and now you know best how to handle climate change.

Edit: after exchanging PMs with this guy, it's clear he has an incredible bias against climate change. First he links to a conservative opinion piece, then he links to part of a book on climate change and misunderstands what it's saying to the point he thought it was making predictions that didn't come true, rather than listing risk factors in different parts of the world.

It's really sad to see how overriding belief can be in a person, that they have to scour the internet for anything that even remotely resembles their narrative.

But he is a great example of why some dude with google is no substitute for qualified people who work in the field. He's basically an anti-vaxxer for climate change. He's putting his "fair amount of reading" above years of study and experience, reviewed by others with the same qualifications.

Big money is backing out of fossil fuel industry, moving into greener alternatives - “follow the dollar to see where the future of energy is headed, globally.” by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]toughonstains632 22 points23 points  (0 children)

I'm anti renewable energy because I understand the constraints of it. Here's some questions to consider:

Q: If carbon dioxide emissions were the largest complaint with fossil fuels, why not switch to nuclear?

A: Nuclear waste, and risk of meltdowns is the common response. But it is reliable energy -unlike renewables- the waste of all nuclear plants in the US, since inception, can be stored in an area the size of a football field. Reactor designs can be improved to farther safeguard against meltdowns. In Chernobyl, less people have died from that disaster than have died handling chemicals manufacturing solar panels. Even though Chernobyl is still quarantined from the disaster, you are exposed to more radiation on a commercial flight than the background radiation at Chernobyl. You would also wouldn't need to change power infrastructure everywhere to make renewables work.

Q: Well then why are scientists saying we should switch to renewables?

A: The same reason fuel companies are investing in renewables. They are aware of the fear associated with nuclear, but they're also aware of all of the investment dollars and public interest in renewables. They are prone to receive more investment grants researching the possibilities of renewable energy. It's difficult to do that with nuclear, since the science and engineering have largely been done.

Q: So you're saying its money driven? Sounds like conspiracy theory to me.

A: Isn't it though? It's all about making people pat themselves on the back to make them feel like they're making a difference. That's new investment money. If people were truly dedicated to the environment and greenhouse gas emissions, everyone would go vegan (cows produce more of the greenhouse effect than all the cars in the world combined). But people aren't willing to go that far. They'd rather their lifestyles don't change, and feel better by just throwing money at the problem. The fact that you're reading this, means my statement applies to you.

Q: Why do you care? The research will have long term benefits though right?

A: Sure, but it's a false narrative. It also is disingenuous. The technology doesn't exist right now to replace reliable sources of power. Mining for materials for the batteries required to sustain a renewable grid, would make the tar sands operations look like a joke. To integrate and replace our power systems now would be devastating to the planet, in terms of the mining, the changes to the infrastructure required to support the increase in demand on the power grid (electric vehicles) and the amount of waste from batteries would all far eclipse the amount of waste water from nuclear. Batteries need to be revolutionized before we should make bold claims and targets for renewables. I also dislike the lack of versatility of electric cars. In the event of a natural disaster, it would take solar panels the size of a city block to power one car at the current rates we get at home.

Q: So you're completely against it? You must be anti environment.

A: No. It's just a wrong direction at the current time. Investment in the technology is critical, but there are solutions that exist right now (nuclear). I don't like to see people being exploited. Why should the middle class take another hit with increased energy costs for an unrefined technology? That money could be better spent on research (if they feel so inclined), instead of forcing them to be guinea pigs while the technology is hammered out. Less disposable income to the middle class is less money they can spend on education to find the real solution to the problem. Especially when the benefits to the environment are debatable.

Q: You must be a Trump supporter. There's no way what you're saying is right, when everyone else is saying otherwise.

A: Nope, can't stand the guy. I'm exercising my own research on the topic as an electrical engineering student (hey, I stand to get more work from a change to renewables) and someone who has worked in the oil sands. I'm not going to side with the majority when my practical understanding of the issue doesn't have the benefits that are advertised.

Q: You realize nobody is going to read this, and those that do are going to downvote it right?

A: Yep. I have ADHD. I waste a lot of time explaining things to deaf ears. I realize there's no way I can change an idea people have that is integrated into their belief system. I just hope I've encouraged them to do more research themselves, be a little bit skeptical, and realize that there are others out there willing to exploit them even in things that appear to be a good cause.

In wake of net neutrality decision, should cities build internet networks? Many cities seeking to offer cheap service to the community, despite telecom industry pushback by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]Cyno01 214 points215 points  (0 children)

Would anyone argue that indoor plumbing with drinkable water is a luxury? How about electricity and a telephone?


I hear the poors even have refrigerators these days...

In wake of net neutrality decision, should cities build internet networks? Many cities seeking to offer cheap service to the community, despite telecom industry pushback by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]Splattheuniverse 1098 points1099 points  (0 children)

So, our government thinks network access is a luxury, not a necessity. This is their basic tenet. Well, it was the case about 15 to 20 years ago, but is not anymore. Would anyone argue that indoor plumbing with drinkable water is a luxury? How about electricity and a telephone? These things were once considered so. But as society changes and grows, what is and is not a luxury changes. Eg, I cannot simply go down to an unpolluted creek and draw water. Those hardly exist any more and those that do are in owned or protected areas thus, for me to function, I need treated water. The best way, it was found, was to do it on a city-wide scale and provide it to everyone. The anti-net neutrality people would rather charge you for cases of bottled water that they are in control of - which is what this is about. With bottled water you are at the whim of he who distributes it. You never could have enough to feel free to use it, except for the most important needs. Public internet coupled with strong privacy protections would be a boon for America. We just need to get these "Economic Royalists" out of power.

Particularly in the summer, a four-day work week could mean that employees could be with their families or enjoy outdoor activities without having to take a Friday or a Monday off—and, at the same time, be more focused the rest of the week, despite the nice weather. by wheeler1432 in Futurology

[–]clearblueocean 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My office does something like this and honestly it works really well and everyone loves it. It's definitely a benefit people are really happy to hear about. The way it works is you get either Friday or Monday off every other week. You pick the day off you want at the beginning of a quarter and can't change that day until the next quarter. So one week you work 40 hours in 5 days and the following week you work 35 hours in 4 days and have the fifth off. We still earn our full 2 week salary. The program has cut down on a lot of missed work, people normally schedule things that need to be done during the week on that day off.

Elon Musk's South Australian battery responded in just 140 milliseconds after a coal-fired power plant failed by lughnasadh∞ transit umbra, lux permanet ☥ in Futurology

[–]lughnasadh∞ transit umbra, lux permanet ☥[S] 3735 points3736 points  (0 children)

As impressive as this is, I really want to see Elon Musk's efforts in Puerto Rico succeed

They are much more applicable to developing world applications. What he's demonstrating there, really seems a model for how renewables can be used in the poorest countries.

I realize Puerto Rico is in an emergency situation right now, and isn't what you would call the "developing world", as poorer parts of Asia/India & Africa are. That said, providing a way for the developing word to access wealth/energy & development, while by-passing fossil fuels - seems to me the best way we can combat climate change.

The best thing we could do for the planet, is provide a path for the developing world to access energy & development, without fossil fuels - ever little step like this helps.

It's great to see renewables in action, as the best solution possible compared to all possible solutions, becoming a reality.

New lab-bred super corals could help avert global reef wipeout by irish91 in Futurology

[–]Beetin 2450 points2451 points  (0 children)

"Super resistant coral is spreading faster than shoreline workers can remove it, a new joint research team from the US and Australia say. By 2030, "most shipping lanes will be heavily disrupted due to the almost concrete strength coral that is starting to block ports and access ways around the world."

They ironically expect that increased travel times navigating these new reefs may actually increase the rate of global warming, as large oceanic shipping is one of the holdout causes of green house gas emissions with the increased use of reusable power for power grids and cars.

While originally meant to slow down or stop the bleaching events caused by global warming, the new super temperature resistant coral has quickly spread from the great barrier reef to nearly all parts of the world, out competing local varieties. Scientists have seen a drop of almost 40% in coral diversity, as the invasive species grows into existing reefs. "This Coralgate has raised concerns about why anyone thought introducing a new invasive species into the largest ecosystem on earth was a good idea" reads the study, which took place during the summer of last year.

The lead scientist who worked on creating this coral responded to these concerns yesterday: "Who knew balancing oceanic ecosystems could be this hard". He says his team is already hard at work creating a new "coral destroyer" bug that the super coral should be susceptible to. His team plans on releasing a small test amount into the great barrier reef late next year.

Without Net Neutrality, Is It Time To Build Your Own Internet? Here's what you need to know about mesh networking. by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]4white2wid0w 520 points521 points  (0 children)

This is some really cool stuff We need to have a meeting in colorado about this.. Comcast gots to go!!!

California Poised To Hit 50% Renewable Target A Full Decade Ahead Of Schedule by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]forrest38 55 points56 points  (0 children)

You are leaving out a big thing that a lot of people don't think about when the come to judging Regan, how he changed the American and Conservative psyche. Prior to Regan, the last 3 Elected Republican presidents were: Nixon, Eisenhower and Hoover in 1928. In the 1976 election, a majority of white Evangelicals voted for Jimmy Carter giving him the South. Prior to Regan, Republicans tended to be moderates. Nixon may have started the war on drugs (aka black people and hippies), but he appointed actually independent people to the Supreme Court as opposed to ideologues, he enforced civil rights legislation, he offered Ted Kennedy a deal on health care (and Kennedy admitted turning it down was the biggest mistake of his career), and started the EPA. He also actually believed that a conservative government was fiscally responsible and should maintain low levels of debt.

The problem was after the fall of Nixon, and the rise of Carter, Republicans needed a 'spiritual guide' and that was Regan. A lot of people forget that Regan was actually up against Bush Sr. in the 1980 primary. Bush Sr. was far more of Rockefeller Republican than Regan, he also had significant national experience (Director of the CIA) and was all around to just a smart man. The problem was, he wasn't the good Christian they need him to be, so he lost the primary, and that is what started the rise of the Reganite Republican.

Now Regan wasn't like Bush Sr. He was charismatic and held deep convictions. He didn't like experts telling him that he was incorrect, he created racist falsehoods like the myth of the welfare queen, and put in place "starve the beast strategies" to deliberately make the government stop working. He greatly expanded the war on drugs, and started selling America on financial deregulation. He would talk about fiscal responsibility on one hand, while the national debt ballooned on the other. He repudiated Carter for his mismanagement of the Iran Hostage crisis, and then turned around and sweet talked his way out of the Iran Contra scandal. He attempted to appoint a former KKK member to the Supreme Court(Sorry this was not true, Robert Bork was not see as an ally to civil rights, but he wasn't diametrically opposed either). He also was the first Republican President to really make religion a significant part of his Presidential identity, solidifying the conservatives grasp on evangelicals. Let's also not forget how he broke up the Air Controllers strike which was one of the most significant blows to Union rights in the 20th century.

Regan led the conservative party to anti intellectualism, anti environmentalism, to a deranged belief in the Free Market, to staunchly religious positions. He taught Republicans that it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you sound good saying it. He got lucky too that he was President when the Cold War was wrapping up. Yes, he played a part, but so did 50 years of American efforts which were overseen by many Presidents. Additionally, his Alzheimer diagnosis came very soon after he left office (though he most likely was suffering while in office), meaning he was off limits for criticism.

So while you are correct that we must look at Regan with nuance, you can't just spout policy points to determine how bad of a president he was, you need to look at how he changed Conservatism, and how the election of Regan directly led to George Bush jr and Donald Trump. Regan was awful, and eventually history will remember him for it.

*Edit: lol I can't believe I went on that rant, but misspelled Reagan

Elon Musk Calls Transit Expert 'An Idiot' and Says Public Transport 'Sucks' by [deleted] in Futurology

[–]Frptwenty 2895 points2896 points  (0 children)

The best arguments always contain the words 'idiot' and 'sucks'.

The FCC officially votes to kill net neutrality. by AdamCannon in Futurology

[–]Minnesota_Winter 500 points501 points  (0 children)

Pai's constituents are Trump and Verizon. That's it.

Edit: I feel Gold affected this comment more than the content.

Haemophilia A patients given single infusion of virus containing genetic instructions for factor VIII. Of 13 patients, all are off haemophilia medication a year on and 11 are producing near-normal levels of factor VIII. Analysis of first nine patients published in New England Journal of Medicine. by mveaMD-PhD-MBA in Futurology

[–]akn609 201 points202 points  (0 children)

I have hemophilia and am currently on this trial. I'm two months in and have stopped taking my medicine. It's amazing, my hemophilia was so bad and now it's just gone. My trials based in America and just started though.