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(16,246 posts)
1. Stephen Hawking on automation
Fri Dec 9, 2016, 10:58 AM
Dec 2016

Automation will, "in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world," Hawking wrote. "The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive."

He frames this economic anxiety as a reason for the rise in right-wing, populist politics in the West: "We are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent."



(16,246 posts)
2. Hawking last year - It's capitalism we should fear, not robots
Fri Dec 9, 2016, 11:00 AM
Dec 2016

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.


(16,423 posts)
5. I suggest the sci-fi-novel "Lord of All Things" by Andreas Eschbach
Fri Dec 9, 2016, 11:17 AM
Dec 2016

A guy has developed a super-technology that will allow anybody to live a life of luxury. Everybody would be equal and no human would ever have to worry about food and shelter again, because they would be for free.


But first he needs investors that help him turn his technology into a mass-produced product. And as one of the billionaire-investors asked: Why would he help kick off a technology that would make money meaningless?



(16,423 posts)
3. The jobs are not coming back. Automatization will not create new jobs.
Fri Dec 9, 2016, 11:04 AM
Dec 2016

In the future, there will be 3 kinds of jobs for humans:
- jobs where a human is cheaper than a robot of similar skill
- jobs where the customer insists on human sales-people and service-providers
- jobs where art is part of the product/service

New tools create new jobs. A robot is not a tool: A robot is a slave-worker.

Response to DetlefK (Reply #3)



(2,542 posts)
4. I feel incredibly sad for people whose life's goal is to spend 30 yrs assembling junk.
Fri Dec 9, 2016, 11:14 AM
Dec 2016

Like, shit, does that even qualify as a goal?



(9,527 posts)
8. I go to work to pay for the things I enjoy
Fri Dec 9, 2016, 02:21 PM
Dec 2016

I've dug holes in the ground, I've does technical work on computers. Both were just jobs. As long as I don't get up hating going to work, it doesn't really matter to me what I do for all job.



(3,251 posts)
6. Automation has very little to do with the reason the US is in economic decline.
Fri Dec 9, 2016, 11:19 AM
Dec 2016

That is a neoliberal meme that has been used in recent years to continue to push for ruinous trade deals by claiming they aren't the cause of the destruction of living standards but rather computers are and "technology" cannot be fought, and it is just false.

I have been around a long time, and I KNOW the "automation" explanation is complete nonsense.

I strongly suggest people read the following books by Donald Barlett and James Steele, the first book published in 1992, right at the time Reaganomics--which is SOLELY responsible for the economic mess--took hold in this country:

America: What Went Wrong 1992

America: Who REALLY Pays the Taxes 1994

America: Who Stole the Dream 1996

The Betrayal of the American Dream 2013, which is a summary of the other three books.

These books are highly relevant today as history of what actually occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, as neoliberal economic policies started taking hold in the form of Reaganomics.

The true cause of our economic decline is D.C. policies which were deliberately designed to destroy living standards in this country. This is a fact, and we need to stop denying it.


(5,457 posts)
9. The real problem is smart automation
Fri Dec 9, 2016, 03:00 PM
Dec 2016

The kind that underlies self-driving cars. It's going to send shudders throughout the world's economy as people get replaced everywhere. A big problem is coming when people are not as intelligent as machines. The effects in a few years will be profound.

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