back to article I, for one, welcome our robotic communist jobless future

Various of the concerned intelligensia seem to be worried at present that the computers and the robots are going to come and take all our jobs. None of us will have anything to do, we'll starve and the capitalists who own the robots will end up with everything. Often, the solution offered is that we should therefore tax …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Re: If you live in a lake, it takes longer to walk to the well

The flaw in the birthrate dropping appears when you throw religion into the mix...

Unfortunately the fact is, no matter whether there is a god or not, the religions are ran by cronies who want followers and power... Catholics, why do they say no to condoms? because if they approve contraception their followers stop growing in number...

And if you really want to bring in god to the mix, he/she/it (what DO you politely call an omnipotent being?) must have one hell of a sick twisted sense of humour or is really really dedicated to a hands off role when it comes to earthlings!

3
1
Silver badge

Re: If you live in a lake, it takes longer to walk to the well

@Flocke Kroes the population will grow until some resource becomes scarce

That's been a widespread assumption since Malthus, but it's not what happens in the real world. Rates of human reproduction are on the whole lower in well-provisioned societies and higher in societies suffering scarcity.

From the perspective of evolutionary genetics, this makes sense. When fewer offspring survive to breed, an organism has to produce more of them to ensure the survival of its genes.

2
0

Re: If you live in a lake, it takes longer to walk to the well

True for fruits maybe, where randomness is build into the growing, however, when you look at grain, Combines and tractors... This is already pretty much done by GPS enabled machines, with the human more of a safety mechanism, Give it 5yrs, and machines will harvest all of our grain, Leaving the farmers to focus on apples.

0
0
Gold badge
Happy

Re: If you live in a lake, it takes longer to walk to the well

" There is no part of (say) fruit picking that I can see could not be automated, from recognising ripe fruit, manipulating it without damaging it through to packing it - we don't employ rocket scientists to pick the fruit, just minimum wage labourers who follow certain rules."

I'll offer a data point, see what you think.

A while back an engineering company one an award for a robot end effector (hand) that can pick up a ripe cherry and lower it onto the top of an individual cake.

Obviously this is in a factory environment but the future is sometimes closer than we think.

0
1

Re: If you live in a lake, it takes longer to walk to the well

"The flaw in the birthrate dropping appears when you throw religion into the mix..."

Nope Also accounted for. The flaw in your argument is that you apply religion to a place with a high birth rate, and see what you want to. The theory of low birth rates linking with better standards of living is as close to water tight as can reasonably expected for a societal generalisation.

Affluence and education also counteract the worst excesses of religion. So double win. When you know where your next meal is coming from, you get the time to ask why?

Religion is not compatible with why.

Ireland is a very catholic country. Why is it not standing room only? Before I left, over 20 years ago, contraception was only available with a note from the priest. Yet the norm was not to have dozens of kids. Hasn't been for generations.

Only the few fools who took family planning advice from an officially celibate bloke in a frock have excessive amounts of kids.But even they figure out what causes it eventually.

0
2

Re: I see a flaw.

.. the ability to use that energy to fulfill the other needs (synthesizers and replicators--the ability to convert energy into different forms of matter).

That's where the problem arises. In a capitalist/ free market economy, everything is driven by cost. Without dirt cheap/free energy, although we have the capability to produce all the fresh water we need through desalination, it's far cheaper to go to war to nick someone else's. It's the reliance on a system based on profit that is going to be the biggest hurdle for us.

I don't have a solution, just saying.

0
1
Gold badge
Meh

@Pete 2 Re: If you live in a lake, it takes longer to walk to the well

"The other side of rising living standards is that more and more people live in cities. "

I think you'll find that improving tax funded support systems mean people feel less pressure to have upteen kids because they will a)Suffer 50% infant mortality by the time they are 5 and b)Parents want someplace to have a chair they can spend their declining years drooling in.

For counter examples you might like to look at countries that have wealth, populous cities but fairly poor welfare provisions. I'd suggest India, China and Pakistan to begin with.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Actually, if my life were 100% leisure like this article suggests, I'd be bored out of my brain.

As much as I despise certain aspects of it, employment does mean I get to exercise the grey matter in ways I otherwise wouldn't do.

4
0
Trollface

If you can't think of ways of engaging the grey matter without a day job, then you're probably not in that much need of the exercise anyway.

9
2

define a job

I currently have a job witch I do to buy things but if I had more free time I would "work" by writing books or painting pictures. if things where cheep I would not need to do much work to get a fondle slab or food but the price of created stuff (somthing robots are bad at) might not fall

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Stick to painting pictures

If you're going to "work" by writing books, you'll need to know in which context to use the word "witch", and how to spell cheap.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

> As much as I despise certain aspects of it, employment does mean I get to exercise the grey matter in ways I otherwise wouldn't do.

Contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, the leisure of the future will involve doing what we want, not doing nothing.

Instead of having to toil at EA games under the cosh, you will be free to write whatever software you desire, whatever takes your fancy. It feels a whole lot more enjoyable when you're doing something you want to rather than what you *have* to.

1
0

Title is now Optional. Huzzah!

... have a job witch I do ... if things where cheep ... somthing robots are bad at

I would "work" by writing books

Remind me not to buy any of your books.

;o)

1
0
Anonymous Coward

We work because we *have* to

And it's not because of how much it costs to put food in our mouths, it's because of the cost of having somewhere to live: something which requires almost zero ongoing input of labour (bar a small amount of maintenance), but which has a huge scarcity premium.

Many people are borrowing 5-10 years taxed salary up front, added to their life savings or their parents' life savings, just to give it to the person who owned the house before them. And renting is even more expensive, so the poor stay even poorer.

Maybe if none of us needs to work, we won't all want to live around London where all the jobs are. But I doubt that.

In practice, the advent of technology has meant people have felt more pressure to work. Instead of switching off at 5pm or going away for 2 weeks' holiday, they are staying in contact with the office all the time. Rather than increasing free time, each individual is expected to use the new tools to deliver more for less money. I don't see that changing either.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: We work because we *have* to

"And it's not because of how much it costs to put food in our mouths, it's because of the cost of having somewhere to live: something which requires almost zero ongoing input of labour (bar a small amount of maintenance), but which has a huge scarcity premium."

An interesting thought that, too. And there is a tradeoff to the rural/city equation. It's easier in cities to find what you need because everything's closer, but BECAUSE of that, space is at a premium, leading to what you describe (you can see it in any big city--New York is notorious for it). OTOH, rural space is perhaps underutilized in terms of human capacity--likely because being sustainable there is more complicated.

And since we are not in an age where vital resources like energy are ubiquitous, there's no cure-all solution as of yet.

0
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

A robot that can make other robots.

Here's the thing.

For this vision to come true it requires a completely robotic supply chain, and the problems of doing that with conventional technology were what lead KE Drexler to the idea of nanotechnology.

It also seems to sidestep the way capitalism has of finding new things for consumers to consume.

I'll not argue with a well trained economist, just as I would avoid dispute with a Jesuit, and for pretty much the same reasons.

2
1
Silver badge
Meh

Re: A robot that can make other robots.

@ JS19: >>I'll not argue with a well trained economist, just as I would avoid dispute with a Jesuit, and for pretty much the same reasons.

>>

What are your reasons ?? Both can be taken on the same way.

a) why aren't you rich

b) how do you know that ?

The only sure thing is that experts are going to be wrong when it counts mosts. We have been saved from disasters more by good engineers, canny business men (Tommy Sopwith for instance) and eccentrics than experts.

Who will be the next Barnes Wallis or Tesla ?

4
1

Re: A robot that can make other robots.

"I'll not argue with a well trained economist,"

Please note that I do not claim to be an economist. Informed on the subject, yes. But no advanced degree in the subject and I've never been employed as an economist.

0
0

Re: A robot that can make other robots.

"a) why aren't you rich"

great question to ask an economist :)

With respect to "richness", I find the best definition to be not a $/£/€ amount, but the amount of time it is possible to live at a desired lifestyle without needing to sell your time for money. If the answer is 'infinite' for your desired lifestyle, then you're rich. Or to put it another way, a rich person is someone who has 100% leisure time AND the means to fully enjoy that time

4
0
Thumb Down

Oh,ffs...

'But we don't have monopoly capitalism: we have capitalism combined with free markets.'

That, frankly, is bollocks. What we have is the "appearance" of a free market, nothing more. Shop around a bit (particularly in utilities) and the monopolies become obvious. Wherever one shops for rail travel, gas, electricity or water supply, telephone lines, mobile phone deals and, to a large extent, access to the internet, costs to the consumer are remarkably similar over the whole country - manipulated that way in the same way that oil cartels back in the States used to co-operate and manipulate the price of oil so they all got to maximise their profits at the expense of the customers. Exploitative scum, the lot of them.

9
3
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Oh,ffs...

agreed, the word you need is in economics 101 courses and almost invisible in modern free market cant. Its oligopoly.

9
2

Re: Oh,ffs...

We also have artificial scarcity enabled by intellectual property rights. There are many choices of smart phone, for example. Many humans are attracted to high status objects and Apple have done some genius marketing to make iPhone a high status, high price and highly desirable (by many) object. We could probably remove much scarcity already, some of what remains is artificial, created to keep prices high. (And no, mine isn't an iPhone).

3
0

Re: Oh,ffs...

" costs to the consumer are remarkably similar over the whole country"

There's a slight problem with this observation. Which is that the appearance of prices will be the same whether we've a monopoly, an oligopoly or a free market. All three will provide the same pattern of prices, remarkably similar for the same goods across the economy.

So we can't look at prices being the same and assume that we've got any one of the three.

We can however look at returns to capital to decide which of the three we've got. Monopoly and oligopoly should provide higher returns to capital than a free market would.

Current costs of capital for, say, a mobile phone airtime provider, are around 9%. The actual returns to capital they're making are around 7% (on average, across the various companies). That's a free market result, not an oligopoly or monopoly one.

BTW, "free market" as in being entirely and wholly free doesn't exist and never will. We're always talking about tendency to be freer or less free.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh,ffs...@Ketlan

"What we have is the "appearance" of a free market, nothing more. Shop around a bit (particularly in utilities) and the monopolies become obvious. "

You are Mad Ed Davey, and I claim my five pounds. Or you are a berk (or both).

Where there are monopoly assets (because the economics will not support duplicate infrastructures) you have government regulation of the monopoly. So that's the case of water, of electricity distribution networks, gas pipes, rail networks. These companies are very highly controlled by regulators like OFGEM, OFWAT and ORR. And that control isn't just price control, it's actually control of the investment levels, investment objectives, service levels, even the financing of the companies. I have spent many years working for regulated companies, and there's no free hand for managers or investors, no excess profits, not vast inefficiency, and no cartels. And the recent price increase in energy are not wholesale electricity market price rises (these have been stagnant, and nobody wants to invest in new plant), but because of global primary energy prices (the inputs), weakening exchange rates, and government impositions to pay for their stupid, useless renewable toys, and to create a duplicate welfare state through mandated company handouts to the officially poor.

Where there is the potential for competing assets, as in most telecoms, electricity generation & supply, or gas supply, then they have to pay the same for using the regulated monopoly assets, and there other costs will converge because being more expensive in a commodity market is not a sustainable position. They also use broadly similar technologies and suppliers, operate within the same environment and legal constraints, source money from the same capital markets, and offer the market similar levels of commodiity service. Everybody complains that they want better service from utilities, but when push comes to shove people won't pay for what they say they want, so there's little to choose between them.

This is actually a market that works. Now take mobile handsets, and there's a market that doesn't work. The costs of assembling a iPhone are near the same as those of a Nexus 4 or a Lumia 925. So why is the sim free price range from les than £200 to well over £400? Is that a market that works well for consumers? Lots of choice and a range of prices? Actually that's a market that doesn't work as well, because the use of brand and low tangibility differentiators keeps the market from operating as well, enabling Apple to make huge margins selling essentially the same phone as the other two mentioned.

2
2
Unhappy

Re: Oh,ffs...@Ketlan

Similar points made, but Tim was rather more polite than you. What a shame - some of the points you made were actually interesting but who can be bothered to debate with someone who calls them a berk (and we all know what THAT means) simply for having a different view.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: Oh,ffs...@Ketlan

"who calls them a berk (and we all know what THAT means) simply for having a different view"

Your righteous indignation and weak attempt to claim the high moral ground is rather undermined by the fact that you started off by using the expression "exploitative scum".

There's many hundreds of thousands of people working across the sectors you mention who will object to twerps like you using deliberately offensive & emotive language to parrot Daily Mirror presumptions that all these big companies operate cartels to manipulate markets and fleece consumers. Go look at the accounts of these companies, see how much they actually make. And ignoring the employees working to keep your lights on, your home warm, and your taps running, if I were a regulator I'd be saddened to see that you really don't understand what the regulators do for you, and how well the system generally works (excepting OFCOM, I'd admit).

So I wasn't calling you a berk for having a different view, I was calling you a berk for not being able to recognise that prices converge when the markets work, and diverge when they work less well, and for your rabid, poorly expressed and inaccurate accusations.

2
2
Bronze badge

It's nice to think we'll get a tipping point where machines can do everything and usurp us all, but as the past few decades have shown, such robots are short coming.

Instead, it's going to be a matter of degrees - train drivers are already being replaced, next the drivers as google car (or whoever) replaces taxis, truckers and bus drivers. Pilot's after now drones are proving reliable (plus, imagine the sales pitch, who can hijack a plane with no stick?).

Machine's will start to replace most manual labour jobs given time, anything production line has mostly switched to bots already, I could foresee more people going when their role becomes cost efficient.

But Doctor's, going to be a while before they're redundant and I can't imagine many volunteering in the new work free utopia, or at least I wouldn't feel comfortable being operated on by someone who's biggest qualification is they're stupid enough to work when they could be exercising their minds with bigger issues as the world's now their oyster.

Hell, even what I do, the lofty title of Data Account Manager for a Market Research firm (basically, move numbers around and try not to lose any) can be vastly automated, as I've already started writing my own scripts, but there's still an area of critical thinking involved where judgement calls have to be made and until you've got an AI that can do that (ie, a long way off) I'm still going to be a slave to the wage.

So we're going to end up in a world with fewer and fewer jobs due to increasing automation but still be a long way from a work free utopia, at which point I believe we all go to hell as the proletariat do what they do best and think with their fists against those deemed valued enough to be employed and it all gets burned to the ground.

The upshot with that though is at least we can all go back to work.

1
0

I'm curious ...

Why, "pilot's," "doctor's," and, "machine's," and not, "taxi's," "trucker's," and/or, "driver's" ?

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm curious ...

'Why, "pilot's," "doctor's," and, "machine's," and not, "taxi's," "trucker's," and/or, "driver's" ?'

Obviously the poster is a greengrocer.

7
0

Doctors? Where?

Here in the States, while there are still doctors, much of the day-to-day work they used to do is done by Physician's Assistants (PAs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). Meanwhile, the practice is swamped with (what used to be) paperwork, though now it's all digital...

A nurse said, "Nurses cure. Doctors diagnose."

1
0
Anonymous Coward

> It's nice to think we'll get a tipping point where machines can do everything and usurp us all, but as the past few decades have shown, such robots are short coming.

This is quite a thoughful comment. My view is that the tipping point will be resisted not by the technology or its capability to give us leisure, but that change is required simultaneously across the board politically to move us to a leisure economy.

Here's an example that we all recognise: Technology now allows anyone who wants it a copy of a musical recording. No longer do we have to have physical media, no-one is required to duplicate the recording, we can do it ourselves. However, we have a system based on there being scarcity so our laws change to maintain that scarcity. Or scarcity-based economy is actively trying to subvert the progress of technology to perpetuate itself.

But musicians and producers and internet service providers etc all need to live and we have a scarcity-based system. So we will see a gradual introduction of technology to assist and simplify various aspects of life and our scarcity-based system will continually try to resist and subvert it.

The tipping point might be subtle, but we would need an enormous and possibly unsurmountable sea change to complete the tipping itself. Those kinds of things require bloody revolution and I won't see it in my time.

1
1

Just close the loop entirely

Have robot consumers too, then we don't need any people.

This crap is dreamed up by people who really have no clue as to how primitive robots really are. Today's robots can't out think birds, let alone mammals. It's going to be a long time before they get to anywhere near humans.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Just close the loop entirely

Do not insult the birds. We can do the tool use thing too.

3
0

Re: Just close the loop entirely

We don't want them to think! We just want them to make our stuff.

If they could think they wouldn't want to do our boring monotonous jobs for free so that we could have spare time.

Has the Matrix, Terminator, Battlestar Gallactica et al. tought you nothing?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Just close the loop entirely

"This crap is dreamed up by people who really have no clue as to how primitive robots really are. Today's robots can't out think birds, let alone mammals. It's going to be a long time before they get to anywhere near humans"

You'd have a point if the jobs most people do actually used their intelligence and involved creativity. However, most manual, and even semi skilled jobs are repetitive, and are easily automated, but hitherto not at a cost that people can pay.

Watch a car welding robot, doing what started out as a skilled task, became a semi-skilled task, then gravitated to essentiall manual status, and was finally automated. Could a machine that dexterous lay bricks? Could it clean a toilet? Could it make burgers? Could it change a hospital bed? Could it put up a streetlight? Of course ***ing it could, its just too expensive and a little bit specialised to do that at the moment.

White collar jobs are at similar risk, albeit without the physical robotic needs. If you set up your processes and systems right, then you don't need the armies of accountants that most big companies employ. If you make good use of digital assets then you can get rid of (most) of your call centres because you have fewer billing or payment errors, account set up and closure can be automated. Administrative roles vanish if the systems work properly. And when I undertake (as I currently am) a process analysis of a white collar function, I find people doing the same things year after year - repetitive tasks, duplicate tasks, checking other people's work, correcting the same old errors.

Even for a highly skilled role like an air transport pilot, the reality is that computers fly the aircraft most of the time - they can take off, route and land. The pilot sits there as a fall back for the systems (in the case of AF447, not a very good one, and flying on some basic fallback rules would have been better).

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Just close the loop entirely

> If you set up your processes and systems right, then you don't need the armies of accountants that most big companies employ.

Interestingly, if you have no scarcity, then what would we need money for?

What about Fairness? Well, what does that mean if everyone can have whatever they might reasonably want?

So, no accountants, no tax, a very large part of government is just gone. They're not needed.

A comment above was very revealing about how gradually this process is ongoing. I live in Vancouver and we have the Skytrain rapid transit. There is no driver or conductor. There is a control centre and staff wandering about making sure people are alright. But this would be unthinkable just a few years ago. Now, we don't think about it at all.

0
0

Re: Just close the loop entirely

> I live in Vancouver and we have the Skytrain rapid transit. There is no driver or conductor. There is a control centre and staff wandering about making sure people are alright.

And the staff have to take over the controls and actually drive the things whenever there's anything more than a light dusting of snow.

They want to do the same to buses and make them driverless (Translink + Google now there's a scary combination).

0
0

Re: Just close the loop entirely

A great deal of the car welding robot's apparent dextrousness is down to the process being simplified for it. When a skilled human welder was used, he would have to get his welding rod from stores, adapt his welding technique to the quality and thickness of the materials availible etc. Changing a hospital bed sounds easy, but it might not be in a particular room. It may be in a corridor, it may have a patient in it, or a doctor catching a quick nap, it may be damaged, or it may be being used to transport other equipment as a makeshift cart etc. Good luck outperforming the human, welding robot.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Just close the loop entirely

> And the staff have to take over the controls and actually drive the things whenever there's anything more than a light dusting of snow.

You do realise that the track beds are heated don't you?

I've been using Skytrain every day for the past 6 years, and I've seen a train manually driven exactly once and that was because the train had broken down.

When we have a problem with the system people whinge and whine about how unreliable it is. How quickly they forget how awful buses can get when the flu does the rounds and wipes out the drivers. Contrary to popular belief, people breakdown a lot more frequently than most of our well-designed machines.

0
0
Silver badge

Free time! And then what?

Okaaay, let's wind this scenario forward.

FF to the time when we have all we need in terms of physical stuff. Hungry? press a button and a robotic shopping cart will deliver the hot pizza of your choice. Thirsty? Same cart will bring you whatever carbonated beverage you desire. Repeat from age #1 to age #99, daily. Every day. For your whole life. For ever. All the friggin' time. Just press the button. That's it. All you do is press the button.

Next to "the button" is another button labelled "Kill me now". You can press that one any time you please, too. Maybe that one would just about help us avoid a Malthusian disaster.

The basic problem is human nature. To start with, we only value what we earn. Whether it's the satisfaction of standing back and thinking "I made that", Whether it's the knowledge that you're a "provider" and other people respect and depend on you. Whether it's saving up to go and see that band you like.

We also earn a status from being in work, whether it's productive work or merely IT (which, truth be told hasn't really improved the quality of life much at all. It certainly hasn't done a simgle dam' thing to get the country, or the world, out of its current recession). Meet a stranger and one of the first questions they will ask you is "what do you do?" Hands up anyone who hasn't embellished their answer, even just a little bit.

So, work is necessary. Not just to get us the stuff and the mental state that we value. It also sets our standing in society. Even if work became unnecessary in orer to get us the pizza de choix, we would still wish to fill our time, just to give ourselves something to talk about at all those soirees that our excessive free time would require we attend just to fill the empty void before bed.

Plus work allows us to get away from our children (and them from us).

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Free time! And then what?

Carrying on on this theme...

If you were to remove work and implement a living allowance you'd have to vastly improve the average level of education in society so that people can contribute in some positive way while enjoying their leisure time. You'd still have to give people opportunities to discover something they'd like doing in place of work.

Then you'd have the problem of deciding if one person contributes more to society than another person. Should someone who likes being a doctor receive the same living allowance as someone who likes making pizzas which are delivered at the press of a button and should someone who likes making pizzas receive the same living allowance as someone who likes spending the whole day down the pub?

If you decide to vary the living allowance, you're back where you started, that's called 'work'.

And if you don't improve the level of education or give people opportunities to discover something they'd like doing instead of work, society would end up like an episode of Shameless which is not viable in the long term.

By the way, religions like Calvinism, Protestantism and Lutheranism made people want to contribute (everyone had a bible in their home and were responsible for serving God in their own way as best they could) and in a way managed to help solve these questions that are coming up again now.

Catholicism, on the other hand, well that's more about convincing people to wait down the pub until an important man comes along and tells you what you've got to do.

2
0

Re: Free time! And then what?

"We also earn a status from being in work,"

True that we currently do. But there have been human societies where status was determined by how religious you were. how much land you owned, how good you were at chopping someone's head off, which vagina you popped out of.

That there will always be status games in a human society is clearly true. But there's no particular reason why status has to be determined by job.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Free time! And then what?

With one difference: In this 'society of plenty,' people would have the choice between making pizzas and spending the day down the pub. No more people enslaved to eight hours a day in a job they loathe just to pay the rent. Perhaps work would give a few extra privileges, but it need not be essential to survive as it is now. That opens up a lot more time for things people enjoy doing.

How many great artists have we not seen because their most productive years were instead spent stacking the shelves at Asda?

4
0
Silver badge

They'll always need people for the Army!

Somebody has to fight all the self-aware robots.....

(Also, I'd be careful about saying automation is going to result in an incredibly low cost of living. Automation and robotics have significantly reduced many jobs in industry and services. Think of the number of cashiers who have been replaced by scanning technology, as well as factory and utility workers that have been replaced by sensors and real-time controls. To date, none of this replacement of labor has resulted in a virtuous cycle where standards of living are even staying stable vs. inflation. Instead, real wage growth has been flat to negative in most of the developed world, and those who's jobs can be automated are moving to the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.)

0
0
JDC
Thumb Down

Hardly new idea

Perhaps the author ought to read a bit more SF, this is hardly a new idea - Iain M Banks' Culture closely resembles this type of economy, for example.

1
3

Re: Hardly new idea

You mean the Culture he directly referenced in the article?

Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought of as a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt. ;-)

(there are parallels, but there are issues that the Culture don't have to overcome that I recall - limited space for building of property, natural resources, etc)

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Hardly new idea

"Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought of as a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt. ;-)"

Trouble is, that adage falls apart when the presumption of idiocy is already beyond the point of doubt. At which point, you have nothing to lose anymore and might as well speak out on the chance of removing the possibly-erroneous assumption.

0
0
Happy

Re: Hardly new idea

And Charles 9 spoke, and thus the Youtube Commenter was born...

Steven R

0
0

Sounds like automated farming of humans

This article assumes that all humans will be content with leisure, consumption and procreation. It glosses over the fact that some people may want to have influence beyond their domestic spheres. The rules of the game will be carefully guarded by the capitalist robot wielding classes and woe betide any individual who wishes to challenge them. They'll come down on them like a ton of robots.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

I seem to be there already.

Not so much by automation but by rationalising my wants. I can live quite happily having everything I need and reasonably want on what social benefits pay where I am (and apparently what benefits pay isn't enough to live on, so there is always bleeding-heart-liberal pressure to raise them -- which suits me fine in case I one day choose to utilise them: I may not need the extra dollars, but I won't turn them down, at worst they would pad out my savings account for unexpected happenings).

Oh, I do work full time at present. Sometimes I detest my job (though I have to be careful to separate my feelings for my job out from my feelings for my existence in general - I suffer severe depressive illness, which medication mostly-but-not-quite manages). Other times I find my job smile-inducingly satisfying (I smiled compulsively all yesterday afternoon at work and all the way home on the bus due to something I was able to achieve for a customer in urgent need of assistance). At all times, my job is better than stewing at home on sickness benefit.

2
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017