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Thread: In a world without work, being busy will be a status symbol

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    In a world without work, being busy will be a status symbol

    Interesting, thoughts?

    The conventional view of economists has been that work is what poor people do. The richer we got, individually and as a society, the more we would revel in taking time off. Two new studies on work and leisure have turned that conventional economic wisdom on its head. Most devastating was research released on Friday by Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton and Princeton economist Anne Case that shows "deaths of despair" are soaring amongst unemployed white men in the United States.

    Titled Mortality and Morbidity in the 21st Century, the research shows that while most middle-aged people around the world are living longer, the death rate for white men without a high school education is sky-rocketing. While unemployment figures fall, especially in the United States but also in Canada, critics have repeatedly pointed out that those stats disguise a large contingent of what economists call "discouraged workers," who have given up and stopped looking for a job. Others fall into a category sometimes called "underemployed." They have enough hours to take them off the unemployment rolls but not enough to keep them busy. "We have people without jobs, and we have jobs without people," said Craig Alexander, chief economist of the Conference Board of Canada, in advance of last week's federal budget.

    With Vonnegutian irony, the job of one character in the novel is to create machinery to do other people's jobs. He invents a machine to do his own job and is promptly sent to join the masses of marginally employed citizens in overstaffed make-work gangs filling potholes. Vonnegut's message, of course, is being freed from work may not be all it's cracked up to be. One solution to the arrival of the robots is to take the economic surplus created by machines and distribute it amongst the unemployed as a basic income. But that may not be enough. As automation begins to take away our jobs, it is the feeling of usefulness, of being socially valued, that is in short supply. It may turn conventional economics on its head, but once your basic needs are fulfilled, when it comes to status and feeling good about yourself, maybe work really is its own reward.

    In a world without work, being busy will be the new status symbol: Don Pittis - Business - CBC News

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    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    I will look for that research later but I can already tell it's a very biased point of view.

    This fear has occurred during every industrial uptick we have ever had and it's always unfounded.

    A technological leap will erase many jobs but it also ends up creating whole new industries also. The time between is on average about 20 years or shorter.

    Everything from communication to transportation to the use of the computer has decimated certain industries but created even larger ones in their place. Electricity put a huge percentage of populations out of a job but ultimately created far more. Yes it sucke if you as a worker get caught in one of these in esteem times but that's just bad luck.

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    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    I will look for that research later but I can already tell it's a very biased point of view.

    This fear has occurred during every industrial uptick we have ever had and it's always unfounded.

    A technological leap will erase many jobs but it also ends up creating whole new industries also. The time between is on average about 20 years or shorter.

    Everything from communication to transportation to the use of the computer has decimated certain industries but created even larger ones in their place. Electricity put a huge percentage of populations out of a job but ultimately created far more. Yes it sucke if you as a worker get caught in one of these in esteem times but that's just bad luck.
    I think you make a common mistake of comparing past industries in the pre-information age with today. The power of machines, silicon, software, robots and the cloud cannot be compared to previous industries or inventions. Once you write a program to do X for industry Y, that same program can easily be used to do something in industry Z. As these systems mature and improve, they leave massive wakes in their path that do not produce new equivalent jobs. In 1920, Ford made a new assembly plant that put people to work on the line, in construction, in the power systems, transportation, etc. Today, a company like Amazon can build a data center that employs virtually no one but a few engineers, some security personnel and it displaces thousands. I am sorry but looking ahead through the lens of pre-information age eyes is a mistake.

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    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Interesting, thoughts?

    The conventional view of economists has been that work is what poor people do. The richer we got, individually and as a society, the more we would revel in taking time off. Two new studies on work and leisure have turned that conventional economic wisdom on its head. Most devastating was research released on Friday by Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton and Princeton economist Anne Case that shows "deaths of despair" are soaring amongst unemployed white men in the United States.

    Titled Mortality and Morbidity in the 21st Century, the research shows that while most middle-aged people around the world are living longer, the death rate for white men without a high school education is sky-rocketing. While unemployment figures fall, especially in the United States but also in Canada, critics have repeatedly pointed out that those stats disguise a large contingent of what economists call "discouraged workers," who have given up and stopped looking for a job. Others fall into a category sometimes called "underemployed." They have enough hours to take them off the unemployment rolls but not enough to keep them busy. "We have people without jobs, and we have jobs without people," said Craig Alexander, chief economist of the Conference Board of Canada, in advance of last week's federal budget.

    With Vonnegutian irony, the job of one character in the novel is to create machinery to do other people's jobs. He invents a machine to do his own job and is promptly sent to join the masses of marginally employed citizens in overstaffed make-work gangs filling potholes. Vonnegut's message, of course, is being freed from work may not be all it's cracked up to be. One solution to the arrival of the robots is to take the economic surplus created by machines and distribute it amongst the unemployed as a basic income. But that may not be enough. As automation begins to take away our jobs, it is the feeling of usefulness, of being socially valued, that is in short supply. It may turn conventional economics on its head, but once your basic needs are fulfilled, when it comes to status and feeling good about yourself, maybe work really is its own reward.

    In a world without work, being busy will be the new status symbol: Don Pittis - Business - CBC News
    The truth in what you say is obvious to anyone in the information industry. What we are facing is a future where automation will replace jobs and making those systems will be other automation driven machines.

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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    I think you make a common mistake of comparing past industries in the pre-information age with today. The power of machines, silicon, software, robots and the cloud cannot be compared to previous industries or inventions. Once you write a program to do X for industry Y, that same program can easily be used to do something in industry Z. As these systems mature and improve, they leave massive wakes in their path that do not produce new equivalent jobs. In 1920, Ford made a new assembly plant that put people to work on the line, in construction, in the power systems, transportation, etc. Today, a company like Amazon can build a data center that employs virtually no one but a few engineers, some security personnel and it displaces thousands. I am sorry but looking ahead through the lens of pre-information age eyes is a mistake.
    Totally agree. We always hear the old argument that the car didn't displace the blacksmith, he just learned a new skill. But as you say, that was a material skill for another material skill. Now we are looking at material (human) skills being traded in for a machine, robot or computer. As my boss told us all once, "I would get rid of all of you for robots in a heartbeat if I could."

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    I expect it will be more fundamental. How many of the humans then living will attempt marriage, once sex robots are available?

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    Veteran Member Dr.Knuckles's Avatar
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    Ivread this thread at a bad time. Ive just come home from volunteering at my kids elementary school.

    In his class of 20 I can tell you right now which 15 kids will be productive adults, and which 2 will be in jail, and which 3 will be "jobless white men".

    Theyre the three caucasian boys that are obese, rude, mean, dumb, haven't slept, and are inexplicably carrying and using their electronic devices at school.

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    Junior Member Zephyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Interesting, thoughts?

    The conventional view of economists has been that work is what poor people do. The richer we got, individually and as a society, the more we would revel in taking time off. Two new studies on work and leisure have turned that conventional economic wisdom on its head. Most devastating was research released on Friday by Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton and Princeton economist Anne Case that shows "deaths of despair" are soaring amongst unemployed white men in the United States.

    Titled Mortality and Morbidity in the 21st Century, the research shows that while most middle-aged people around the world are living longer, the death rate for white men without a high school education is sky-rocketing. While unemployment figures fall, especially in the United States but also in Canada, critics have repeatedly pointed out that those stats disguise a large contingent of what economists call "discouraged workers," who have given up and stopped looking for a job. Others fall into a category sometimes called "underemployed." They have enough hours to take them off the unemployment rolls but not enough to keep them busy. "We have people without jobs, and we have jobs without people," said Craig Alexander, chief economist of the Conference Board of Canada, in advance of last week's federal budget.

    With Vonnegutian irony, the job of one character in the novel is to create machinery to do other people's jobs. He invents a machine to do his own job and is promptly sent to join the masses of marginally employed citizens in overstaffed make-work gangs filling potholes. Vonnegut's message, of course, is being freed from work may not be all it's cracked up to be. One solution to the arrival of the robots is to take the economic surplus created by machines and distribute it amongst the unemployed as a basic income. But that may not be enough. As automation begins to take away our jobs, it is the feeling of usefulness, of being socially valued, that is in short supply. It may turn conventional economics on its head, but once your basic needs are fulfilled, when it comes to status and feeling good about yourself, maybe work really is its own reward.

    In a world without work, being busy will be the new status symbol: Don Pittis - Business - CBC News

    That is an excellent post. Thank you for sharing that information. It is worth considering that the impact of automation on society is not all it's cranked up to be.
    Thanks from bajisima

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    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    I think you make a common mistake of comparing past industries in the pre-information age with today. The power of machines, silicon, software, robots and the cloud cannot be compared to previous industries or inventions. Once you write a program to do X for industry Y, that same program can easily be used to do something in industry Z. As these systems mature and improve, they leave massive wakes in their path that do not produce new equivalent jobs. In 1920, Ford made a new assembly plant that put people to work on the line, in construction, in the power systems, transportation, etc. Today, a company like Amazon can build a data center that employs virtually no one but a few engineers, some security personnel and it displaces thousands. I am sorry but looking ahead through the lens of pre-information age eyes is a mistake.
    I disagree.

    Every advance in technology has displaced far more people then it has put to work, in the short term.

    In the long term it has far surpassed the people who lost out because of it. The turnaround may be a decade or two but it always happens and the same will happen with this.

    When the train was invented it destroyed many, many livlihoods, same with electricity, the automobile, the airplane, standardizing time..........you need to consider the long term implications and the new areas that will be opened up from this technology.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    I disagree.

    Every advance in technology has displaced far more people then it has put to work, in the short term.

    In the long term it has far surpassed the people who lost out because of it. The turnaround may be a decade or two but it always happens and the same will happen with this.

    When the train was invented it destroyed many, many livlihoods, same with electricity, the automobile, the airplane, standardizing time..........you need to consider the long term implications and the new areas that will be opened up from this technology.
    All that happens is that once well paid skilled jobs are replaced by machines or online services pushing those who lost their jobs into areas of work that can only be done today by humans. The largest employer in America is a retail outfit. That job pays little. Little by little, high paying jobs that can be done by machines or software will be done by machines or software. It took one person to write the code that started Facebook. Facebook did not create millions of jobs. Let me give you another example. Today in the networking industry, companies that use cisco routers and switches to move bits employ engineers to manage those routers. Let us say that an ISP or carrier needs at least 4 IP network engineers to maintain the network, manage customer turnups, evaluate new products, etc. The entire industry up until recently was dependent upon cisco to run networks. Sure cisco has some competitors so let us include the small list that still exists in the field when we speak of routers generically. What is this industry focusing on right now? Destroying the hold cisco and others have on carriers by forcing the industry to move to software based system on generic boxes that can be bought cheaply. This effort is meant to reduce costs at the carrier which will then mean fewer sales of high margin systems from cisco which will then make cisco shed jobs along with the carriers themselves. Bit by bit, every sales pitch made by networking companies today focus on destroying jobs to save someone money. Where will these lost jobs go? Not to cisco. Cisco will write a piece of code that can be put on any device and downloaded from a data center and that code will erase the need for a specific single purpose box, a truck roll to install it, an engineer to configure it, a network manager to manage it and so on down the line. If you want to understand this area, look up SDN or software defined networks and specifically a group called "opencord".
    Thanks from bajisima

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