Amazon rolls out robots that pack orders and replace jobs

May 2019
431
432
A Van Down by the River...
#51
It does... but it facilitates greed as well.

Should they pay you a few cents for bagging your own groceries, or offer reduced prices for reduced overhead?

"Six of one, half dozen of the other?"

Besides... grocery stores are going the way of "retail." (extinct.)

But I agree in many ways with your post, I liked it like it was, where I walk into a store and pick out the item, pay cash and walk out with it in hand!

I am starting to beat that "system" though, I'm growing produce in my own living room, no "overhead" or "marketing" or briskly edited TV ads...

Thx :)
Maybe it's only this Walmart but they never bagged groceries, which is okay by me. The art of mindful bagging died a decade ago, so I bag my items once I reach the rig.
So I already adapted to that reduction in service which used to be built into the cost of the goods. Now I check out my own dang groceries which I noted in real time weren't less than (and some more) at a "full-service" store less than a block away.

I admire your green thumb and resourcefulness. I wish I had the knack. But even if I did, I can't grow dog food, or chicken, or BEER so I think I'm stuck having to buy groceries, which is okay. I just don't want to have to stock the shelves next time in order to have the right to pay for crap.
If I sound snippy it's not directed at you. I guess this Walmart catastrophe(!!!) really irked me. I didn't even realize how much!
 
Likes: Thx1138
May 2019
431
432
A Van Down by the River...
#52
To what you were quoting; university enrolment is down, because, unless a person has the intention of going into STEM fields, there simply isn't the value. Why pay 50k for a degree to obtain the same skills you can get with a YouTube tutorial and some practice?

To your point; as a matter of profits, they feel that it is just a bonus to profits.

The entire mentality will have to shift. Or it will be an economy of mass production that makes products that can only be afforded by a tiny fragment...

You do raise an interesting point, if someone has an accident in line, to file for workers comp as you were acting as an employee. That would fuck their system.

On the flip side, I do expect a segment will start looking for more authenticity and human touch might make a comeback.
Most any American doesn't fault a business running efficiently and at a profit. It's when you're locked into a relationship (say Walmart is your only choice) and they pinch every penny on the consumers' (or employee's) back to make a quarterly report look good for a select minority to benefit from who aren't even near the community. (blah blah blah... If that doesn't make any sense then you're reading that correctly.)

Actually if one has an accident anywhere in Walmart they hit the lottery via lawsuit, tho having to heft heavy items in and out of a cart could definitely sweeten the deal...

As to your point on "the personal touch" I couldn't agree more. Commerce shouldn't be so cold and distant. When I was searching for a manned aisle I literally could not find one staffer anywhere. It was a trip. It's like telling the customer: "shop here, don't shop here... Whatever." People will miss people when they're gone.
 
Oct 2014
30,444
5,319
C-A-N-A-D-A-Eh
#53
"The entire mentality will have to shift. Or it will be an economy of mass production that makes products that can only be afforded by a tiny fragment..."

No... not at all...

On what do these companies depend on for their profits... you and I.

They cannot make "products" without someone with the means to buy them... Henry Ford proved this out.

So, they can only keep us so broke before it eats into them too...

"Disposable income," that's what makes the economy turn, if too few have it, then those companies go directly out of business.

No... those thinking "it will all crash down by morning now" must join the ranks of people who have been saying that for more than 150 years... :)

Thx :)
The thing is, the main reason there hasn't been a major correction to this point is because of various forms of price manipulations. I also wasn't meaning shift mentality to communism.

See, it's actually closer to the point where the wealthy class would be able to sustain itself merely on its corporate investments, the pool of wealth at the top renders the middle class essentially a rounding error.

It would be lengthy to elaborate properly, my point was more in the line that once robots are paid for, the only cost is maintenance, there will be an increasing number of jobs that can be replaced by automation, costs will have to reflect that, so that as the economy adapts to that reality that the entities that are primarily robotic aren't simply economic leaches benefitting only their board of owners and the handful of people that couldn't be replaced.
 
Sep 2011
24,980
17,423
aMEEErica
#55
Maybe it's only this Walmart but they never bagged groceries, which is okay by me. The art of mindful bagging died a decade ago, so I bag my items once I reach the rig.
So I already adapted to that reduction in service which used to be built into the cost of the goods. Now I check out my own dang groceries which I noted in real time weren't less than (and some more) at a "full-service" store less than a block away.

I admire your green thumb and resourcefulness. I wish I had the knack. But even if I did, I can't grow dog food, or chicken, or BEER so I think I'm stuck having to buy groceries, which is okay. I just don't want to have to stock the shelves next time in order to have the right to pay for crap.
If I sound snippy it's not directed at you. I guess this Walmart catastrophe(!!!) really irked me. I didn't even realize how much!
Yes indeed, we cannot provide all our needs "self-sufficient," but it does offset other costs...

Because I grow my own tomatoes, I have more money to spend on say a high tech TV... :)

I hope, if nothing else DH, (btw, welcome to the forum :)) it makes people stop and think about their financial situation...

20 years ago I struggled to "make ends meet," nowadays, I have an abundance of disposable income, but haven't changed my habits, my business is and has been thriving, I have enough money sitting aside to start another business...

And am doing so, I used to work for someone else, making their worthless offspring rich, nowadays I buy land, and am doing very well with it, I guess I have a knack for this...

Thx :)
 
Likes: DairyHeiress
Oct 2014
30,444
5,319
C-A-N-A-D-A-Eh
#56
Most any American doesn't fault a business running efficiently and at a profit. It's when you're locked into a relationship (say Walmart is your only choice) and they pinch every penny on the consumers' (or employee's) back to make a quarterly report look good for a select minority to benefit from who aren't even near the community. (blah blah blah... If that doesn't make any sense then you're reading that correctly.)

Actually if one has an accident anywhere in Walmart they hit the lottery via lawsuit, tho having to heft heavy items in and out of a cart could definitely sweeten the deal...

As to your point on "the personal touch" I couldn't agree more. Commerce shouldn't be so cold and distant. When I was searching for a manned aisle I literally could not find one staffer anywhere. It was a trip. It's like telling the customer: "shop here, don't shop here... Whatever." People will miss people when they're gone.
My issue isn't with the profits element, let's say the bank of automated tellers costs the same as 2 cashiers for a year and replaces 6. They reduced their overhead by say 10%, to take that as just a 10% profit hike at the expense of the people, as an isolated instance is not great, but they can figure something out generally.

When it is a societal shift to automation, there's going to be a point where the barrier to entry into the high tech economy will be beyond the capacity of those with even an average iq.

That's going to lead to some tough societal decisions.
 
Likes: DairyHeiress
Sep 2011
24,980
17,423
aMEEErica
#57
The thing is, the main reason there hasn't been a major correction to this point is because of various forms of price manipulations. I also wasn't meaning shift mentality to communism.

See, it's actually closer to the point where the wealthy class would be able to sustain itself merely on its corporate investments, the pool of wealth at the top renders the middle class essentially a rounding error.

It would be lengthy to elaborate properly, my point was more in the line that once robots are paid for, the only cost is maintenance, there will be an increasing number of jobs that can be replaced by automation, costs will have to reflect that, so that as the economy adapts to that reality that the entities that are primarily robotic aren't simply economic leaches benefitting only their board of owners and the handful of people that couldn't be replaced.
Again, no...

The wealthy will never be able to "sustain themselves" of their own accord...

Are they going to start cleaning their own pool, start cutting their own grass, actually cooking their own meals?

If they did that, they wouldn't be "rich" anymore...

No, this is not their "way."

The upper-class will be the first ones to go back to the "old way" as soon as they figure out they will have to fend for themselves.

Being "rich" in many minds, is not "doing it yourself."

Also... those that believe once robots are installed, "that's it" will be sorely surprised to find that they often don't offset anywhere near what the expectation is for labor...

Sure... the thing runs "at the price of electricity" along with a well compensated tech to keep it rolling.

Often times guy, this stuff just doesn't work as smoothly as one planned, and then there's that "Murphy," waiting to take his cut!

Believe me, just as in the past, there will be many new "demands" put on the robot economy!

Just as people in the past didn't see any more use for the computer than checking local weather and filing recipe cards...


Thx :)
 
Last edited:
Oct 2014
30,444
5,319
C-A-N-A-D-A-Eh
#58
Simultaneously, with increased automation could further allow people more free time, more luxuries, and allow people to look into their own ventures.

So, I don't view automation as all bad.

Even AI has its limitations. The results can be pretty fantastic, but still fallible. They are also only suited to certain types of operations. They also carry the issue of being a black box, where it is very difficult to determine why an AI made a particular choice in a particular instance.

Although, I remember the one story where science was trying to determine how a (organism that can regrow lost limbs) limbs regrow. For 150 years this was a question of science with incredible amounts of data. So, they fed the data to an AI, after training the data, the AI resolved the problem in 20 minutes. It then took the scientists several weeks to validate.

What is more likely is that AI will become more and more work assistants than replacements. Consider the art tools, that can take crude sketches and create photorealistic art.

Or 3D modelling AI could take a base model and offer a group of similar variations, which would ultimately save the hours of time.
 
Oct 2014
30,444
5,319
C-A-N-A-D-A-Eh
#59
Again, no...

The wealthy will never be able to "sustain themselves" of their own accord...

Are they going to start cleaning their own pool, start cutting their own grass, actually cooking their own meals?

No, this is not their "way."

The upper-class will be the first ones to go back to the "old way" as soon as they figure out they will have to fend for themselves.

Being "rich" in many minds, is not "doing it yourself."

Also... those that believe once robots are installed, "that's it" will be sorely surprised to find that they often don't offset anywhere near what the expectation is for labor...

Sure... the thing runs "at the price of electricity" along with a well compensated tech to keep it rolling.

Often times guy, this stuff just doesn't work as smoothly as one planned, and then there's that "Murphy," waiting to take his cut!

Believe me, just as in the past, there will be many new "demands" put on the robot economy!

Just as people in the past didn't see any more use for the computer than checking local weather and filing recipe cards...


Thx :)
I mostly agree with you, but you are missing the point I'm trying to make.

More like, take a company like Ford. If they reduce their employment costs 90% through automation, to where the costs of the vehicle drops down to little more than the material, energy and maintenance of the equipment, if the costs don't reflect that, with only 10% of the people who will maintain that from the disposable income, that can create issues.

You're right that new jobs will be created too, but the person whose capacity of productive work is flipping burgers, they won't have the mental capacity to produce in a high tech mainly automated economy.
 
Likes: Thx1138
May 2019
431
432
A Van Down by the River...
#60
My issue isn't with the profits element, let's say the bank of automated tellers costs the same as 2 cashiers for a year and replaces 6. They reduced their overhead by say 10%, to take that as just a 10% profit hike at the expense of the people, as an isolated instance is not great, but they can figure something out generally.

When it is a societal shift to automation, there's going to be a point where the barrier to entry into the high tech economy will be beyond the capacity of those with even an average iq.

That's going to lead to some tough societal decisions.
You're opening statement taps into what I was trying to articulate. I think we're on the same page.

I think kids today have more of a baseline education in tech even w/out advanced degrees so they'll be okay. But yeah, at this rate of automation it won't just be 50y/o coal miners who will be screwed by this economy sooner than later.

Trump's on it tho. America will be Great any day now. We're almost tired of winning.
I dunno how that'll help you in Canada, but maybe once Don is done here he can sidle up there and work his magic.
Do you dig Trade Wars?
 

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