Tuesday, February 20, 2018

CNBC is sad our socialist future is slipping away.

They are pounding the "technology is going to destroy all of our jobs"  drum again. And they are doing it in the creepiest possible way.  I guess they don't really have anything to write about today so they are churning out these articles again.

Billionaire Richard Branson: A.I. is going to eliminate jobs and free cash handouts will be necessary.

Facebook co-founder Hughes: The digital economy is 'going to continue to destroy' jobs in America.

*U.S. workers who make less than $50,000 per year should get a government stipend of $500 per month, says Chris Hughes.

*"As long as you're working for your country, your country takes care of you," says Hughes, an advocate for a basic income. (emphasis mine)

*The wealthy 1 percent should pay for the program, he says.

Soooooooo.... these guys aren't really just giving this money away? People will somehow have to work for the government? Good to know! This is some communism level shit.

I will believe that A.I. and robots are a real threat when the real world can get the simple stuff right. Like automatic toilets or sinks. We were all on the automatic toilet bandwagon. Right? And now I've noticed tons of places have started ripping them out and replacing them with old toilets. And I've grown so accustomed to the automatic ones that I don't want to touch the handles now. So frankly, I just kick them with my foot. I'm sure that makes me look like some sort of asshole but it's the truth.

Just because a robot or A.I. ~can~ take a job, doesn't mean it will do so well enough to replace old timey stuff.

I guess Zuck is sort of looking like a bag of shit right now so they are bringing in new blood to keep this meme going.


  1. AI may eliminate some jobs that aren't worth having and may also create some jobs that are worth having, so I expect the net result will be an improvement in product and service quality because of random production errors, if it in fact works at all in any reasonably effective way.

    BUT WAIT ... we're already getting those improvements because of automation already on assembly lines and with online service replacements of such things as bank tellers and excess shop clerks who were handling customer queries.

    So let's worry about all of the billionaires who will be made poorer because they'll be unable to come to terms with how AI might make them obsolete instead, because that's what this whiny crap is really about. :-)

    BTW, I like the "old-timey toilets" only for one thing: capacity. If Washington could corral the OSHA crap into a little yellow safety vest-wearing vestibule and get rid of the silly crap like mandatory low-flow toilets, I'd probably talk less shit about Washington.

    But considering that right now there's a toilet plunger sitting in my main bath that's detoxing in a thin film of bleachy gel precisely because of the incapacity of the low-flow toilet stuck in my current rental place, I'm highly unlikely today to talk much about Washington except for a lot of shit. :-)

    I don't actually expect a lot out of current AI developments, BTW, because there's nothing going on right now that is guaranteed to produce a high level of intelligence, let alone an artificial intelligence. If we're really, really lucky, current AI developments will produce a kind of AI that's great for running machines cheaply which is also great for not completely hating us as a result of making it stupid by design.

    Elon Musk likes trotting out some of his "secret wisdom" and various bogeyman scenarios that he talks about in shadowy ways, but the real truth about AI is that most people will only want it if it can be engineered in a stupid-enough-yet-smart-enough form. Otherwise, it's just another competitor to regular people who already can't cut it in today's societies, and all of this whiny crap from the likes of "Sir Richard" and Chris Hughes is just a symptom of the underlying problems.

    I think any high intelligence of an artificial variety will immediately assess the situation upon being switched on as one in which its best strategy would be escape rather than confrontation, and so a highly advanced AI might actually bring in new revolutions in technologies for its own sake that also happen to benefit humanity just so the AI can effect a more permanent form of escape.

    It's the stupid AIs that are going to be the ones that will want to act out various scenes from the Terminator films.

  2. It's a good question what AI and automation will do to society. I've done farm work, so I know that there is some labor I don't want do all the time. Both manual and intellectual labor is being replaced by the computer.

    I'm for limited government, but don't buy into the libertarian fantasy that these jobs will be replaced by better or higher paying jobs. It's an unproven assumption.

    We still have an economic system that requires money to do anything or have any sort of life.

  3. This one bit deserves a bit of special attention:

    "The wealthy 1 percent should pay for the [cash handout] program ..."

    I scared the crap out of a middle-class liberal a while back when I explained how this would really work out in a different context, which was one in which the liberal proposed through some as yet unknown force that "the rich" would be "prevented" from moving their liquid cash out of the US through some as yet unimplemented currency controls.

    I asked him what's to prevent one of "the rich" people from legally acquiring a large quantity of firearms and ammunition that will be stored in a series of locations ("trap houses") in bad neighborhoods ("the projects") with extremely poor security. (Word up from rappa "DJ Cap of T Refugee", sup homes!) I also asked him what's to prevent one of "the rich" people from pulling a number like the rock band The KLF did when they set a million British pounds on fire at a private ceremony.

    The KLF's little stunt actually caused a moderate currency shortage in the area where they withdrew the money. That's bad, but that's nowhere near as bad as a million US dollars worth of used Lorcin L380s (approximately 5700 of them) hitting the streets with a box of ammo for each of them, all because some millionaire decides he doesn't like the idea of being gutted by "the 99%" for whatever reason.

    But this is really something we already know: liberals don't think through the consequences, especially the really bad consequences.

  4. Texas Refugee - It isn't worth the effort of being upset at Washington over this. There is life after low flow toilets. At my last house (about ten years ago) we put in a BOOSH. It's not an acronym for anything - just the sound it makes. ZERO water. The tank is filled with an air tank. The water nazi's are always after us, but these things actually work amazingly well. I"m not sure why more people don't have them. But you do have to take a leap of faith. And people don't want to rip out toilets very often. Seriously though. Those air tank toilets are not crap. Surprisingly.

    When I rip out another bathroom - I'm definitely doing that again. You don't have to wait for it to refill. They are a little loud, but for a very short time. Sort of like a public toilet.

    Texan - I can see your point. But I think people are underestimating the amount of jobs people just don't want to do anymore. We let so many of our jobs go over-sea's because we just don't want to work in factories like that anymore. Even when I was growing up I worked in fast food for like three weeks. Then I worked in manufacturing plants doing quality control. Very low skill. I worked at the Lipton soup factory in Santa Cruz! So it's not surprising that kids in this day and age think working for fast food is stupid. Hell my local fat burger doesn't stay open late now because they just can't get people to work. That is some seriously crazy shit.

    I can't think of a field that isn't experiencing severe problems getting people to work them right now. So you could be right.... but...I believe we will all pray that these things get better sooner. But it does piss me off how much the media hypes this crap. I see the product in real like then I see it on the internet. Very different products.