Jack Saturday

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Robots will steal your job, but that's OK

Federico Pistono

Monday, February 25, 2013

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 946-948

According to Stress in America, a study commissioned by the American Psychological Association, Millennials are the most stressed demographic. And it's reasonable to assume that higher levels of stress put the Millennials at higher risk for all sorts of destructive downstream consequences, from diabetes and obesity to anxiety and depression. Not surprisingly, work is one of the biggest causes of stress. The job numbers are grim, and even those lucky Millennials that land a decent job often face a workplace rife with destructive definitions of success. So here's hoping that as they advance through the ranks of the workplace, Millennials will do themselves -- and the generation after them (Generation Z?) -- a favor by redefining success.
Arianna Huffington
Millennials Come of Age as America's Most Stressed Generation

(emphasis JS)

“I have never and will never consider a factory job — what’s the point of sitting there hour after hour, doing repetitive work?” he asked. Millions of recent college graduates in China like Mr. Wang are asking the same question.
...among people in their early 20s, those with a college degree were four times as likely to be unemployed as those with only an elementary school education
An aversion to factory labor is common in China today....
Chinese Graduates Say No Thanks to Factory Jobs

New York Times
Published: January 24, 2013
(emphasis JS)

the decline of work isn’t actually some wild Marxist scenario. It’s a basic reality of 21st-century American life, one that predates the financial crash and promises to continue apace even as normal economic growth returns. This decline isn’t unemployment in the usual sense, where people look for work and can’t find it. It’s a kind of post-employment, in which people drop out of the work force and find ways to live, more or less permanently, without a steady job. So instead of spreading from the top down, leisure time — wanted or unwanted — is expanding from the bottom up.
Of course, nobody is hailing this trend as the sign of civilizational progress. Instead, the decline in blue-collar work is often portrayed in near-apocalyptic terms — on the left as the economy’s failure to supply good-paying jobs, and on the right as a depressing sign that government dependency is killing the American work ethic.

But it’s worth linking today’s trends to the older dream of a post-work utopia, because there are ways in which the decline in work-force participation is actually being made possible by material progress.
while pundits who tap on keyboards for a living like to extol the inherent dignity of labor, we aren’t the ones stocking shelves at Walmart or hunting wearily, week after week, for a job that probably pays less than our last one did. One could make the case that the right to not have a boss is actually the hardest won of modern freedoms: should it really trouble us if more people in a rich society end up exercising it?
A World Without Work

New York Times
Published: February 23, 2013

(emphasis JS)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 943-945


Incomes Flat in Recovery, but Not for the 1%
New data show uneven benefits from the economic recovery
of 2010-11, with a big rise for the highest earners and little change for others.
(emphasis JS)
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s official ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said Wednesday.
As of last year, more than 800 women had been wounded in the two wars and more than 130 had died.
Women have long chafed under the combat restrictions and have increasingly pressured the Pentagon to catch up with the reality on the battlefield.
The decision clearly fits into the broad and ambitious liberal agenda, especially around matters of equal opportunity, that President Obama laid out this week in his Inaugural Address…

...meant to ensure that women as well as men “are given the opportunity to succeed
Pentagon Is Set to Lift Combat Ban for Women
New York Times
(emphasis JS)

Last year, nearly 3,200 rapes and sexual assaults were officially reported, but the Pentagon admits that represents just 15 per cent of all incidents.

A military survey revealed that one in five women in the US forces has been sexually assaulted, but most do not report it. Nearly half said that they "did not want to cause trouble in their unit".

A former army nurse told a member of the US Congress that during her tours in Iraq and Afghanistan she was more afraid of being attacked by her fellow soldiers than she was of the enemy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wise Old Man

Monday, February 11, 2013

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 940-942

I love radio. Listen most of the day. Then HD radio came on line so I bought an HD radio and stopped listening to my regular radio. Don't need to buy regular radios any more.

Then I discovered Internet radio. I can listen to any station from anywhere in the world. Put the HD radio in the closet. Don't need to buy HD radios any more.

Then I discovered an app for my iPad that lets me use it as an Internet radio. Put the Internet radio in the closet. Don't need to buy Internet radios any more.

With a small software app, and using an iPad or other smart phone as a hardware platform, several generations of radio receivers are rendered obsolete about as soon as their batteries wear out. All the people that made them are out of a job.

The people that make the iPads will soon lose their jobs too as robots will replace them in a few years. All that will be left will be the designers and software engineers. Manufactures will be mostly staffed with a few creative types, a few hardware and lots of software engineers.

This is scary but it is reality. I don't know what people are supposed to do.
Bruce Rozenblit
comment on
It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as I.Q.
New York Times
Published: January 29, 2013

Chetan Dube, a former mathematics professor at New York University. He reckons that artificial intelligence can take over most of the routine information-technology and business-process tasks currently performed by workers in offshore locations. “The last decade was about replacing labour with cheaper labour,” says Mr Dube. “The coming decade will be about replacing cheaper labour with autonomics.”
Rise of the software machines
The attractions of employing robots
 Jan 19th 2013
(emphasis JS)

First, machines will consolidate their gains in already-automated industries. After robots finish replacing assembly line workers, they will replace the workers in warehouses. Speedy bots able to lift 150 pounds all day long will retrieve boxes, sort them, and load them onto trucks. Fruit and vegetable picking will continue to be robotized until no humans pick outside of specialty farms. Pharmacies will feature a single pill-dispensing robot in the back while the pharmacists focus on patient consulting. Next, the more dexterous chores of cleaning in offices and schools will be taken over by late-night robots, starting with easy-to-do floors and windows and eventually getting to toilets. The highway legs of long-haul trucking routes will be driven by robots embedded in truck cabs.

It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, lawyer, architect, reporter, or even programmer: The robot takeover will be epic.

Let the robots take the jobs, and let them help us dream up new work that matters.
Better Than Human: Why Robots Will — And Must — Take Our Jobs
By Kevin Kelly

(emphasis JS)

Monday, February 04, 2013

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 937-939

From giant corporations to university libraries to start-up businesses, employers are using rapidly improving technology to do tasks that humans used to do.

That means millions of workers are caught in a competition they can’t win against machines that keep getting more powerful, cheaper and easier to use, the Washington Post reports.

To better understand the impact of technology on jobs, The Associated Press analyzed employment data from 20 countries; and interviewed economists, technology experts, robot manufacturers, software developers, CEOs and workers who are competing with smarter machines.
“Everything that humans can do a machine can do,” says Moshe Vardi, a computer scientist at Rice University in Houston. “Things are happening that look like science fiction.”
In the U.S., more than 1.1 million secretaries vanished from the job market between 2000 and 2010, their job security shattered by software that lets bosses field calls themselves and arrange their own meetings and trips. Over the same period, the number of telephone operators plunged by 64 percent, word processors and typists by 63 percent, travel agents by 46 percent and bookkeepers by 26 percent, according to Labor Department statistics.
Two-thirds of the 7.6 million middle-class jobs that vanished in Europe were the victims of technology...
Does technology also create jobs? Of course. But at nowhere near the rate that it’s killing them off — at least for the foreseeable future.
Washington Post
January 28, 2013
(emphasis JS)

Materially speaking, our planet and our human community is like a giant factory supplying all the material needs to all who live at once on it and in it. And the sooner we short circuit the road that is travelled by millions daily to satisfy the world's material needs, the sooner we will all have more leisure and means for recreation, whether social, intellectual, artistic, or physical. Obviously the less effort we give to the means of life, the more time and energy we have to enjoy the ends of life, according to our individual interpretation. So our scientists and technicians carry the banner of progress for the human race, as they lighten the means and increase our opportunity to enjoy the ends.
The Ellsworth Declaration, 1953
(thanks to Robert Arnold)

Eurostat estimated that 18.8 million people in the euro zone were unemployed in November, two million more than a year earlier.
Worryingly, youth unemployment in the euro zone continued to grow, with 5.8 million people under age 25 classified as jobless in November, up 420,000 from a year earlier.
Unemployment Rises to New High in Euro Zone
New York Times
Published: January 8, 2013

(emphasis JS)