Author Topic: Chinese factory replaces 90% of workers with robots. Production rises by 250%  (Read 1330 times)

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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Mass sterilization of the poor could solve unemployment in a single generation.

They're the ones actually doing the work.  Mass sterilization of the aristocracy would be much more productive. 
Every soup ladled to the hungry, every blanket draped over the cold signifies, in the final sense, a theft from my gigantic paycheck.

Offline teethering

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How about we just don't throw around "mass sterilization" as a rhetorical flourish?  I think that would be a better way to go.

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Mass sterilization of the poor could solve unemployment in a single generation.

Technically true, i guess, at least as much as the the same statement with any other comparatively sized demographic as the subject.

Is this a means for which you would advocate, or otherwise find value in?
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Online superdave

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just wait till the robots join a union, and everyone hires human scabs.

Offline Jeremy's Sea

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just wait till the robots join a union, and everyone hires human scabs.
Except the punishment for crossing the line will be vivisection or instant vaporization.  >:D
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Offline teethering

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Mass sterilization of the poor could solve unemployment in a single generation.

Technically true, i guess, at least as much as the the same statement with any other comparatively sized demographic as the subject.

Is this a means for which you would advocate, or otherwise find value in?

No, I don't think it's actually even technically true.  The economy doesn't work in a linear fashion, when you destroy an enormous portion of your future resources, you don't magically get a better functioning economy.  Think aging baby boomers and the net drain their retirement has on the economy because of the demographic bump, but a lot bigger and for absurdly monstrous and poorly thought through reasons.

The best way to treat Andrew's random edgelord remarks is to throw them in the same garbage heap as ProgrammingGodJordan's delusions.  They're of similar value in terms of their relationship with reality of how things actually work.

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Mass sterilization of the poor could solve unemployment in a single generation.

Technically true, i guess, at least as much as the the same statement with any other comparatively sized demographic as the subject.


No, I don't think it's actually even technically true.  The economy doesn't work in a linear fashion, when you destroy an enormous portion of your future resources, you don't magically get a better functioning economy.  Think aging baby boomers and the net drain their retirement has on the economy because of the demographic bump, but a lot bigger and for absurdly monstrous and poorly thought through reasons.
[/quote]

Sure, I think you'd get the same sort of "fix" for unemployment if you murdered all the baby boomers, too--murdering (or sterilizing) different demographics will affect unemployment (and the economy in general) in different ways. Not really sure how or why this is relevant, which is why I'm trying to talk to Andrew to find out more.

Quote
The best way to treat Andrew's random edgelord remarks is to throw them in the same garbage heap as ProgrammingGodJordan's delusions.  They're of similar value in terms of their relationship with reality of how things actually work.

And I think the best way is to engage folks without making assumptions based on personal attitude toward the poster. I'm having fun picking apart PGJ's words, not PGJ. But here, Andrew hasn't yet presented any ideas to pick apart... so I'd like to know more.

To each their own!
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Offline stands2reason

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Is overpopulation a problem, or is class a problem? Is it feasible to retrain our way into a proper intellectual economy?

Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Is overpopulation a problem, or is class a problem? Is it feasible to retrain our way into a proper intellectual economy?
Obviously overpopulation, the Georgia Guidestones say the optimal population is 500,000,000, and who would go through the trouble to carve a lie into great stones out in a field? Must be true.
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Offline Harry Black

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Is overpopulation a problem, or is class a problem? Is it feasible to retrain our way into a proper intellectual economy?
I think both are problems.
Im also not sure a properly functioning intellectual economy is compatible with large populations.
I dont think there is enough ways to give enough value to the creative output of enough people.
Wouldnt most peoples work just be worthless?


Offline stands2reason

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Wouldnt most peoples work just be worthless?

Are we feeling misanthropic today?

Offline teethering

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Vast majority of people, including the poor, are employed.  Even in countries where their labour is worth very little money because of lack of infrastructure, training and capital investement the economy still finds use for their labour at some price point.  This will continue to be the case, I would argue, forever (unless we go extinct).

The fact that the economy finds value in even the least productive labour is illustrative in the complete fucking bonkers picture of how shit works that we're dealing with here.  The world's economy isn't broken down into trained professionals who are awesome and everyone else is useless.  The way things work is that there's stuff that needs to be done, and vast majority of stuff that needs to be done is local, or to put it another way, you need a guy in the same town/neighbourhood to come over and do it because you're busy doing some other shit that's a better use of your time.  THIS IS VAST MAJORITY OF THE FUCKING ECONOMY EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

Now sure, when you look at the GDP most of the wealth is generated by highly trained professionals so we tend to worry about how do we move those people at the bottom of productivity into the bracket where their labour would be more useful.  It's a valid concern.  What is not valid is to make the leap from the fact that there's a relative disparaty in productivity to the blidningly idiotic conclusion that the poor people are of no economic use.  By virtue of being a human being with a brain and a pair of hands they can participate at some price point in an enormous amount of economic activity to free up people who are more productive because a) they have better infrastructure around them b) they have better access to capital c) they're better trained or d) they're more naturally gifted.

It's also worth noting that only one of the a), b), c) and d) reasons for why there's a disparity in productivity is essentially unfixable through more investment.  And the thing to note is that the disparity in productivity is mostly explained by the other reasons.

The right way to think about labour, and I probably have said some version of this a million times, is to consider human beings to be super-valuable intelligent agents that are potentially capable of an enormous variety of economically valuable activity, given the right circumstances.  Lots of economic inequeity is a consequence of circumstances and happenstance, rather than immutable genetic stuff.  This is why immigration is undeniably good, as it shifts labour from shitty infrastructure to good infrastructure thus making it more valuable.  This is why training people and educating them is valuable.  It all flows from the same basic undersanding of labour as a resouce.  It's not destiny to be poor, we don't have to have poverty, we have it because the policy choices we make are bad.

Offline Harry Black

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Wouldnt most peoples work just be worthless?

Are we feeling misanthropic today?
Thats a genuine question.
Teetherings very interesting and informed input aside, if most manual labour was taken care of-
How many customer service folks etc do we really need?  Some people will just never be therapists and whatnot. So a HUGE portion of the population is going to need to be supported. I really dont think we can find productive work for everyone,but I do think its worth having a huge pool of humans with opportunities made available to them and see where it does take us. Some of those idle hands will come up with game changing shit!
But most wont, and we cant know who is who until they are dead.
Look what having a mostly idle class in Egypt and Greece was able to achieve.
The bored and educated are our greatest resource in my opinion.

Offline teethering

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Wouldnt most peoples work just be worthless?

Are we feeling misanthropic today?
Thats a genuine question.
Teetherings very interesting and informed input aside, if most manual labour was taken care of-
How many customer service folks etc do we really need?  Some people will just never be therapists and whatnot. So a HUGE portion of the population is going to need to be supported. I really dont think we can find productive work for everyone,but I do think its worth having a huge pool of humans with opportunities made available to them and see where it does take us. Some of those idle hands will come up with game changing shit!
But most wont, and we cant know who is who until they are dead.
Look what having a mostly idle class in Egypt and Greece was able to achieve.
The bored and educated are our greatest resource in my opinion.

On the question of "some people will just never be therapists" I feel like we're suffering a bit from a lack of imagination.  Now sure, to a large extent my belief is based in faith in capitalism as a framework, but I have reasons.  We saw that the industrial revolution which through productivity destroyed lots of jobs ended up freeing up resources to do other things, things that we found valuable enough to pay money for.  Ok, we needs lots of doctors and not every factory worker will become a doctor obviously.  But lots can become a nurse.  Or a landscaper.  Or a dog groomer.  Or a maid.  These aren't the most inspiring jobs in the world, but the thing to realize is this, automation and robotics create wealth by improving productivity.  The jobs that are left are things that people would rather have a person do, because we want the human touch or where automating is very complicated but doing manually is very simple.  Those jobs can be shitty jobs now, because the relative value difference between dog grooming and working in a factory reflects the relative supply and demand in those labour markets.  But as people get wealthier because of automation you may find that more of them want to spend their disposable income on grooming their pets, increasing demand for dog groomers, making that a better paying job.

I caution against assuming that things extrapolate the way the short-term makes it look like they would.  The history of evolution of  economic activity basically tells us that predicting things beyond a few years is very very very difficult, but the fundamentals are that human labour is pretty amazingly versatile and productive, so it would be weird if we didn't find some way to utilize it.

Offline Harry Black

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I take your point. I was just extrapolating to a point whereby jobs deemed lower skill may not exist.
I do think there will always be work for people solving technically simple problems in creative ways.
I just also think we need to start creating a safety net for a condition where  mass unemployment may b a reality, even if its not likely to be the apocalyptic event one would think.

I do definitely take heart from the technological changes we have overcome in the past and we have a great batting average as a species, but I think that statistically our luck may run out at some point.
I dont think we will be there in our lifetimes.

As usual, Im an untrained individual spitballing so I have no interest in trying to debate you, thanks for pointing out the weaknesses in my post.
Im still not actively optimistic without a good welfare system, but I can accept that my gut feelings arent worth much.

 

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