Jack Saturday

Monday, October 27, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1210-1212

I am wondering if anyone has researched just how many MD's and other practitioners have suffered unjustly at the hands of the establishment, and how many people realize the degree of risk that has been incurred by such breakaway doctors, and how much courage they have displayed and are displaying now. I served time in federal prison from 1995 to 1998 for having conducted a marijuana business. While incarcerated, I met an astonishing number of MD's who were fellow prisoners. I am guessing as many as a dozen. Of course I had to take them at their word in hearing their stories, but apparently the majority of them had offended the establishment by being too successful in their use of unconventional therapies. And that was their only "crime"!
[emphasis JS]

Imagine getting a job washing dishes, in a windowless room fogged by the steam of a 200-degree dishwasher. You are required to show up for your eight-hour shift every day, whether or not you are sick, and your supervisor won’t take any action if you injure yourself on the job or have to work overtime. Your compensation for this grueling, dehumanizing work? $2 a day.

If this sounds like some hellish turn-of-the-century sweatshop, it is close. But this is today's reality for hundreds of thousands of American prisoners, who work backbreaking full-time jobs for shockingly low pay. Half of the 1.6 million Americans currently serving time do this kind of “institutional maintenance,” and the median wage they receive is between 20 and 31 cents an hour. Some states, like Texas and Georgia, offer no compensation at all.
AlterNet / By Allegra Kirkland
October 20, 2014

The Lettuce Bot is a tractor-towed device that images a row of plants as it rolls past and compares the visual data against a million-point database of other pictures of lettuce (which must have been super exciting to compile) using a custom designed computer-vision algorithm. It's reportedly 98 percent accurate, and if it spots a weed or a lettuce plant in need of thinning (lettuce will remain dwarfed if planted too close together), the Lettuce Bot gives it a shot of concentrated fertilizer, killing the offending plant while improving the growth prospects of the rest. Incredibly, even though it dawdles through the fields at just 1.2 mph, the Lettuce Bot can still thin a field as accurately and as quickly as 20 field hands.

And the Lettuce Bot is only the start. Farmers across the country are finding it harder and more expensive to find enough human workers and are starting to look to robots to augment the labor force. In response, both private and public ventures have started pouring money into agrimech (agricultural mechanization) technology. As such, research is advancing quickly. Robots are being outfitted with suites of EO sensors, nimble manipulator arms, GPS-guidance, and more processing power than the robots in Runaway
Andrew Tarantola
[emphasis JS]

Monday, October 20, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1207-1209

[M]ore than 90 percent of female restaurant workers experienced sexual harassment, with more than half reporting incidents on a weekly basis. 
“I was a restaurant worker over 30 years ago and here’s the tragic story,” Ms. Ensler said at the rally, “absolutely nothing has changed. We cannot end sexual violence against women unless we understand the role of economic violence, which is perpetuated by a sub-minimum wage for tipped and overwhelmingly female workers.” 
New York Times
OCT. 17, 2014

A hell of a lot of printshop owners suck and are assholes. It is difficult and high pressure work but these clowns make it worse. They think you live in order to work instead of working in order to live. What! you will not work overtime every workday of the week so you don't get home before nine o'clock every week night. Out with you! Next victim please.
comment section
I Should Have Never Followed My Dreams
By David Sobel
Salon via AlterNet

Unhappy economies, it turns out, are all unhappy in the same way. A recent report on job markets globally showed that too few jobs are being created worldwide, and even fewer good jobs are.
Report on G-20 Labor Markets Finds Too Few Jobs Worldwide
New York Times
SEPT. 19, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1204-1206

When Alan Greenspan was  testifying before Congress in 1997 on the marvels of the economy he was running, he said straight out that one of the bases for its economic success was imposing what he called “greater worker insecurity.” If workers are more insecure, that’s very “healthy” for the society, because if workers are insecure they won’t ask for wages, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that’s optimal for corporations’ economic health.

At the time, everyone regarded Greenspan’s comment as very reasonable, judging by the lack of reaction and the great acclaim he enjoyed.
Chomsky: Thinking Like Corporations is Harming American Universities
via AlterNet

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its global growth forecasts for 2014 and 2015 and warned that the world economy may never return to the pace of expansion seen before the financial crisis.
IMF says economic growth may never return to pre-crisis levels
Larry Elliott in Washington
The Guardian, Tuesday 7 October 2014

In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future.

He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, who says that we are moving from a history of scarcity to an era of abundance. Then he noted that the technologies that make such abundance possible are allowing production of far more output using far fewer people.

On all this, Summers is right. Within two decades, we will have almost unlimited energy, food, and clean water; advances in medicine will allow us to live longer and healthier lives; robots will drive our cars, manufacture our goods, and do our chores.

There won’t be much work for human beings. 
By Vivek Wadhwa
The Washington Post

Monday, October 06, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1201-1203

When my children were very young I worked on a loud, testosterone-infused trading floor. It was a deafening and frenetic environment where shouting was normal, activity fraught and language harsh. Every evening I came home to small boys already showered and in their pajamas. My oldest would recall every detail of his day in nursery school for me as my middle son shouted or sang while manically jumping on his tiny trampoline.

I sat slumped on a couch, my attention span shot and my patience worn thin. I sought quiet as an antidote to my day. Since performance at my job caused me a great deal of anxiety, I brought this home with me as well. For me, and speaking only for myself, this was a toxic combination.
Would a Different Job Make You a Different Parent?
New York Times
OCTOBER 1, 2014

We must as free men and women avoid then suggesting no one would choose to work at all if we weren’t forced to work for others. If we look back at the writings of the 19th century, we will find there as well, this notion that slaves had no work ethic and needed to be forced to work lest they suffer from the ills of not working. This doctrine that forced labor saves us from ourselves needs to be relegated to history’s appropriate dustbin.

We need only look around us at all the work being done for free, to see that people do choose to work even when not forced to work. Just look at open collaboration accomplishments like Wikipedia and Creative Commons. Look at open source achievements like GNU/Linux and its derivative Android. Look at all of the volunteers in our local communities (every month nearly 2 million volunteers dedicate more than 8.4 million hours of their time to hunger relief alone), or even within our own homes at the unpaid parental labor that raised us. Unpaid labor is everywhere.
Perhaps you are now thinking this all makes sense, but where will the money come from? It will simply come from the share of productivity gains made possible by technology that should already be shared.
Wage labor should be based entirely on free choice, but free choice should be fully free. To realistically achieve this freedom of choice, we must achieve the ability of people to have the voluntary choice of not working. If people can’t say “No”, they are effectively wage slaves with no real choice. As part of enabling this actual choice, we should also all have the freedom to be replaced without fear by cheaper and better technological alternatives. Actually creating these choices will require nothing less than a sufficiently high level of income separate from wage and salary incomes. Without this, we will continue to push against machines, and continue to look for our very survival toward jobs instead of our freedom from them.
Machine Labor Day
[emphasis JS]

What if we made Heaven on Earth our world-wide, species-wide goal?

This idea may sound ridiculous right now. Perhaps impossible. I also realize that it sounds super-idealistic in the current political climate. That's because our thinking is so backwards at the moment; our current societies so poorly designed. However, robots and automation could easily make Heaven on Earth possible in the near future (as described in Manna and Robotic Freedom). In fact, if we simply design our society to take advantage of robots, spreading their productivity benefits out to everyone rather than allowing the concentration of wealth, Heaven on Earth for everyone is easily within our grasp in the not-too-distant future. Along the way we can start to provide a Basic Income to everyone as well as incrementally shortening the work week.
Why and How Should We Build
a Basic Income for Every Citizen?
by Marshall Brain
September 15, 2014