What put a frown on your face today?

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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 5 July 2017, 05:31

Sullivan wrote:Stupid Article Written for Fortune by Some Shill

Everything about this piece annoys me, even the style. I don't buy the idea, which he tries floating, that technology creates more jobs over the long run than it displaces. If it didn't cut down on labor costs, why would so many companies be bothering with mechanization and automation? They wouldn't be.

If the trend's "turbocharging" living standards, as he claims, it's certainly not doing so for those of the low-skilled workers being replaced by machines.

And the gall he has trying to say Amazon's possible elimination of cashiers at Whole Foods is a good thing, because such positions are "inhuman" and akin to the factory jobs of the Industrial Age that we've also, thankfully, killed off. Such jobs aren't glamorous, but I'm sure the unionized assembly line worker of 1950, able to support his family on his wages alone, would've chosen his lot over that of the present-day cashier making $9 an hour without benefits, who, in turn, is happier having that vital income than being unemployed.

The author's not even straightforward about what actually worries him. He tries expressing concern about the potential of technology disrupting "deeply human jobs" that involve emotional commitments and relationships between people. He then explains that the kinds of careers he considers "deeply human" include lawyers, doctors, and financial advisers, and you're left with the realization that he only cares about automation to the extent that in the near future it may start impacting the upper-middle-class pricks he considers friends and peers.

Pfft, liberal! That's class warfare! Get him, Derek. Backhand him with the invisible hand of the market. :angry:

I'm joking, I'm right there with you.

On a side note, I recommend watching Sam Harris TEDTalk on AI which is related, although I get that your point is instead about the shameless attitudes toward the downtrodden.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Derek » 5 July 2017, 12:46

Well, on the one hand, that guy does seem like a petty hypocrite who doesn't know what point he's trying to make. On the invisible hand, people have always bemoaned the introduction of new technology that has gone on to improve everyone's lives. The process of eliminating jobs while improving the market is called creative destruction, and it's a necessary condition of evolving into a more complex economy. I would take it a step further than the author because I don't see how it's supposedly a bad thing that one day artificial intelligence might be able to handle accounting and law. There's nothing preventing us from helping people who are displaced by this advancement, but I don't see how anyone is entitled to earn a living by performing a service for which there is no longer a demand.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 5 July 2017, 12:53

Derek wrote:Well, on the one hand, that guy does seem like a petty hypocrite who doesn't know what point he's trying to make. On the invisible hand, people have always bemoaned the introduction of new technology that has gone on to improve everyone's lives. The process of eliminating jobs while improving the market is called creative destruction, and it's a necessary condition of evolving into a more complex economy. I would take it a step further than the author because I don't see how it's supposedly a bad thing that one day artificial intelligence might be able to handle accounting and law. There's nothing preventing us from helping people who are displaced by this advancement, but I don't see how anyone is entitled to earn a living by performing a service for which there is no longer a demand.

Well, Sam's talk on AI was to some extent about the end of human intellectual work. It's also about the worry of seeing wealth inequality and unemployment that we've never seen before. This coupled with the idea that no one owes anyone anything and no one is entitled to subsistence, this should worry most people (including you, professor moneypants).
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Derek » 5 July 2017, 14:13

Whether people are entitled to subsistence is an emotional argument, on which I have no strong opinion. My point was that jobs are not worth preserving in of themselves. As long as the market is permitted to adjust, I'm not worried about unemployment or wealth inequality.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 5 July 2017, 19:01

Derek wrote:Whether people are entitled to subsistence is an emotional argument, on which I have no strong opinion. My point was that jobs are not worth preserving in of themselves. As long as the market is permitted to adjust, I'm not worried about unemployment or wealth inequality.

In what way do you envision the market adjusting under Sam's predictions such that unemployment and wealth inequality are not of concern?
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Derek » 5 July 2017, 22:15

poolerboy0077 wrote:
Derek wrote:Whether people are entitled to subsistence is an emotional argument, on which I have no strong opinion. My point was that jobs are not worth preserving in of themselves. As long as the market is permitted to adjust, I'm not worried about unemployment or wealth inequality.

In what way do you envision the market adjusting under Sam's predictions such that unemployment and wealth inequality are not of concern?

His analysis isn't exactly comprehensive. He seems to assume that advanced AI technology, whenever it's deployed, will grant the greatest economic benefit to its owners. But technology on that scale is developed incrementally, across many different platforms - and it's mostly just code. I don't imagine it will be a monopoly scenario. More likely, it will be integrated into everyone's lives even as it continues to develop. It's too marketable to do otherwise.

This could, of course, exacerbate inequality and unemployment, because jobs will become obsolete from the bottom up. But that's the way things have worked since the industrial revolution. People are displaced, jobs are destroyed, the standard of living rises, and the market adapts. It's only because of this advancement that people can today earn a living by walking dogs or ensuring workplace diversity - they benefit from a growing, economy-wide capital structure. In the future, when the demand for labor reaches ever lower lows, most countries will probably have a universal income, and whatever work people do will be increasingly specialized.

Also, I don't agree with the way he dismisses the notion that we shouldn't worry about concerns that are still far off the future. There are any number of Malthusian traps that failed to manifest because people eventually set their minds to overcoming them.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Justin » 6 July 2017, 00:53

On the subject, Kurzgesagt recently did a pretty awesome video relating to automation.

// Justin
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Brenden » 6 July 2017, 10:26

^ The Rest of Us did a follow-up to it giving a pretty good idea for a way to (pay for a way to) decouple subsistence and labour.

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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Severelius » 6 July 2017, 20:49

The impending task of spending the day with a guy and trying to act like a normal human being the entire time.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 8 July 2017, 14:40

Derek wrote:In the future, when the demand for labor reaches ever lower lows, most countries will probably have a universal income, and whatever work people do will be increasingly specialized.

Well, that doesn't assuage Sam's worry which is that all human intellectual work will be done by super AI, but I think this strays from John's annoyance about dismissive attitudes toward the poor.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Severelius » 8 July 2017, 17:20

Well, that's awkward: My parents, or at least one of them, know that I own lube...
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Prince_G_24 » 10 July 2017, 01:22

My laptop's decided to officially turn into a piece of shit and won't charge unless it's off/in sleep mode. The joys of having the summer off and no income to help remedy the problem :madred:
A life that lives without doing anything is the same as a slow death.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Sullivan » 11 July 2017, 01:35

Derek wrote:There's nothing preventing us from helping people who are displaced by this advancement

Heh, and do you think that help will come easily? without a struggle?

Derek wrote:People are displaced, jobs are destroyed, the standard of living rises,

Whose standard of living? A handful of men control as much wealth as something like half of humanity. The economic forces you place so much faith in seem very good at benefitting a small group of people, while many millions continue to suffer abject poverty, malnutrition, disease.

Derek wrote:There are any number of Malthusian traps that failed to manifest because people eventually set their minds to overcoming them.

I hope you're right, but that seems awfully Panglossian.

poolerboy0077 wrote:
Derek wrote:In the future, when the demand for labor reaches ever lower lows, most countries will probably have a universal income, and whatever work people do will be increasingly specialized.

Well, that doesn't assuage Sam's worry which is that all human intellectual work will be done by super AI, but I think this strays from John's annoyance about dismissive attitudes toward the poor.

Yes, you're right. The author is some Harvard MBA fuckwit saying that job insecurity is a boon to the plebs—bullshit made all the more exasperating by how common such business-school newspeak is among our economic elite.

My annoyance, furthermore, stems from something I've observed firsthand, and that I believe hard data would back up: the calcification of the American upper classes. The degree of inequality in our society is all the more unacceptable to me, because the system of socioeconomic advancement we have seems to behave in a way that is—regardless of popular political rhetoric—quasi-nepotistic rather than meritocratic. I've worked for a corporate law firm for nearly a year now, and the young people I've met at places like UBS and Goldman Sachs are not there because of what they know, but whom. They are bratty, not especially bright scions of wealthy families from Boston's affluent western suburbs in the comfortable positions they currently occupy thanks more to the accidents of birth than anything else; yet, far from meditating on the swell hand Fortune has dealt them, they unreflectively view their luck, and the lush lifestyle attendant to it, as matters of course. My own situation is little different.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby Derek » 11 July 2017, 04:15

Sullivan wrote:Heh, and do you think that help will come easily? without a struggle?

Well, far be it from me to stand in the way of a little proletarian agitation.

Whose standard of living? A handful of men control as much wealth as something like half of humanity. The economic forces you place so much faith in seem very good at benefitting a small group of people, while many millions continue to suffer abject poverty, malnutrition, disease.

Hasn't poverty diminished dramatically in the West since industrialization took hold? Hasn't it diminished dramatically in other regions in the wake of economic reform? How do you reconcile the history of the past couple centuries with the view that market forces benefit no one but the robber barons?

Panglossian.

I had to look that up.

Yes, you're right. The author is some Harvard MBA fuckwit saying that job insecurity is a boon to the plebs—bullshit made all the more exasperating by how common such business-school newspeak is among our economic elite.

In the long run, it is—fuckwitticism notwithstanding. I say create all the job and unemployment insurance programs you want, but don't stand in the way of progress.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby lightnight » 13 July 2017, 19:35

I've lost two and a half kilos.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby René » 13 July 2017, 19:40

lightnight wrote:I've lost two and a half kilos.

I hate it when that happens. What timescale did you lose it over? And do you know what your calorie intake is like?
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby lightnight » 14 July 2017, 17:19

René wrote:
lightnight wrote:I've lost two and a half kilos.

I hate it when that happens. What timescale did you lose it over? And do you know what your calorie intake is like?


In October, I'd started going to a gym and doing some exercises I'd learned from youtube. I was 66.5 kg back then. I was trying to eat meals that were rich in carbs and protein (as I'd heard that that's what you should eat to gain weight). By mid May, I weighed 70 kg and had gained some muscle and could lift relatively decently.

Then came Ramadan and for almost all of June, I was basically starving for most part of the day and not going to the gym (the weird schedule was just not allowing it). For about half a month since then, I've been trying to eat but don't get hungry enough for some reason so I just eat more junk food to get more energy. Went to the gym for the first time since early June yesterday and weighed myself. I'm 67.5 now.

I wouldn't say I know what my calorie intake is like. I don't know the nutritional values of most of the food I eat (most of it is home cooked, or takeaway Pakistani food, and not something that has calories given on a chart on the packaging).
I know that for gaining weight, you need to have a caloric surplus and there's a formula that relates your body weight in pounds to grams of macronutrients taken per day, but if I weigh a cooked meal, how would I know what I'm getting?
I'd probably need to make my own food and weigh everything before cooking, right? I really don't have an interest in cooking these days (used to like it years ago).
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby rxxli » 15 July 2017, 10:19

Amazon. I just ordered some Vinyl records and Amazon offers a service where you can download mp3 versions of those records. But that service is only available to people in Austria, Switzerland and one or two more. WTF? Why? EU really needs to actually do something about this. And soon. Because I am tired of being treated like a citizen from a thirld world country.
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby René » 15 July 2017, 10:24

rxxli wrote:Amazon. I just ordered some Vinyl records and Amazon offers a service where you can download mp3 versions of those records. But that service is only available to people in Austria, Switzerland and one or two more. WTF? Why? EU really needs to actually do something about this. And soon. Because I am tired of being treated like a citizen from a thirld world country.

The EU really should.

Does using a VPN/proxy work?
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Re: What put a frown on your face today?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 15 July 2017, 11:28

Derek wrote:
Panglossian.

I had to look that up.

I did too. For a second I thought it was related to glossolalia.
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