"Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

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Theoden
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Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Theoden » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:56 am

Suppose all the origins lie in ideology of work ethic and work ethic culture. Calvinism, Max Weber's Iron Cage, the Protestant Ethic and the spirit of capitalism, etc.

With statistics pointing to less and less religiosity, do you think there will be more leisure time on the horizon?

Or will it all be usurped by foreign competition in the global economy?
Hawt Sommer

Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Hawt Sommer » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:42 am

Great discussion.

Well, The problem I have with Communism/ Socialism is you have people that are essentially slaves to a class of people that are nothing but parasites.

Kind of how Socialists feel about Capitalists. It's class warfare- each side pointing at the other and saying "You're using the working class!" the other side saying "you're sustaining the non-working with the money of the working class!"

Now... if we have robots doing all the hard work and essentially have a 24/7 slave crew and we ALL can feed off that... We breed and just have fun on Robot provided Welfare, then everyone wins, that's the kind of socialism I can tolerate... yep

We all get fat lazy and happy on the backs of mechno-slaves.

Well.. at least until there's some kind of people that start feeling sorry for the AI Toaster that makes breakfast for 200 slobs sitting in buckets of goo, or the AI gets smart like Terminator, or War Games. Then we are screwed.
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Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Glaucon » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:27 pm

Theoden wrote:With statistics pointing to less and less religiosity, do you think there will be more leisure time on the horizon?


Things like the 4-day work week were expected to be just a matter of time in the seventies. Now, almost no one talks about it anymore. Instead, we talk about raising the retirement age (or actually doing it, in most of Europe) and longer work-hours. And people having several jobs at once being a good thing. That is the way politics is pointing (at least in part because politicians are focused on gov. finance and there are those debts, highlighted during the recent credit crisis). And I'd say that the Calvinist work ethic (or however you call it) has persisted in many places even as the religious foundation fell away. The only context in which I have seen the idea of 'working less' resurface recently has been that of the recent discussion about technological advances and robots. This discussion.

So, in the short term, I don't really see this happening. The pressure from above will be: thou shalt work, work and work (even if there are only poorly paid jobs available to you). But then again, people still make individual choices. If a lot of people want to work part-time, for example, then the companies that cater to that wish rather than insisting on the corporate ideology might actually do quite well, relatively (because they might attract better employees for the same hourly wage, essentially). That could theoretically lead to a change in thinking. (Personally, I think that people that work less hours will usually be more productive per hour that they work, generally speaking (above a certain minimum, of course). I think that those that do work 80 per week are not nearly as productive as those hours would suggest. I think there is some research done that affirms this. Perhaps those fuckers on Wall Street and the City would not have fucked up so badly had they actually had a life. But I also think that corporate management tends to look unfavorably on those that don't work the hours they work (long ones) and that there is a kind of aura of macho 'heroism' to working very long hours.

Short answer: Nope. Not yet, anyway.

Or will it all be usurped by foreign competition in the global economy?


Technically, global competition doesn't have to affect this. In some European countries, work hours are less than they are in the USA (most, I think). Those hours tend to be more productive, as well. But even if they weren't, that doesn't have to mean that those European countries would not be competitive. Those employees would just be... less rich. Which is not nice for their governments (wanting revenue, maybe struggling with too much debt, or just wanting to 'do well' compared to other countries in general), but it might not be bad for the employees. Just because someone else wants to spend most of their life trying to get a leg up by working from the early morning till midnight doesn't mean everyone needs to be that insane, of course.

Overall, though, international competition won't make it any easier. And when it comes to 'collective action', as in, laws being changed to allow people to have more spare time (like, potentially, Victor's basic income idea, I guess), international competition is a serious problem, because of tax havens and fiscal competition in general. That should not really affect something like, say, a 4 day work week, however. But clearly, it does factor in. For example, there was strong pressure from financial markets (and the international financial press) on countries in trouble during the recent gov. debt crisis to take measures to force people to work more (raisin retirement ages, less holidays, and so forth). That pressure DID lead countries to change laws, equating to less leisure time (though, at the same time, they created a whole lot more leisure time for many people because cuts forced economies into a recession leading to a lot of unemployment, but that is not the sort of leisure time we are talking about, I guess). Banks in the EU held debt of those countries in trouble, so that made it important to other countries to apply such pressure as well (see Germany and Greece, a while back).

In general terms, globalization and economies being more intertwined makes it harder for individual countries to go against the grain, to do things differently. Just as most main-streets start to look more similar, in terms of what shops are in it, so national economic policy is also becoming more similar, overall.

Short answer: The usurping effect of the global economy will also work against people getting more leisure time.
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Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Victor. » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:47 pm

Glaucon wrote:
So, the obvious 'choice' would be for us to try to keep translating further technological growth into more material wealth. But it is fair to ask if that is really in the best interest of people. At some point, I'd imagine that having more leisure time becomes more valuable to people than having an even more shiny and 'better' car. And I am worried about whether 'demand' can really keep up, in general. And if it does, who will be doing the demanding?


Don't worry. Man will never run out of demands as long as he exists.

Even if we (most of us who were laid into the bountiful lap of industrial countries, living high on the hog) were to reach the point where work, life and our consumerism were harmonized in a way that overall demand would take such a big hit, there are plenty of white spots still on the global map who'd more than make up for it, once their desires are arise.

I don't feel that "perpetual" growth (not really perpetual, as it is finite, but none of us would probably live to see the point where every need is met for everyone) is not something that couldn't work for some 200 years more if we're hell bent on sticking to it. I am just saying, that on its altar society will keep sacrificing more and more and I, for myself, don't feel that's how it should be.

Because of recent events in my social chart of a friend's father I caught a glimpse of insight into a psychosomatic ward. Talking with people there (5 of 6 people I talked to had a referral due to burn outs), it's pretty disgusting what some employers expect from their employees in order to chase after those Forbes 500 or regional offsprings of it or even of those working as civil servants who cave under austerity measures and the increased workload it brings them while money is tossed out in fists full for things like bank liabilities.

It's perverted and I do believe that the impulse for wanting more leisure time and the awareness that no amount of material wealth will make us happy if we're just chasing after the next better car, house, watch, you name it, is particularly strong in my generation and I am convinced the following ones will draw similar conclusions.

If I talk to people my age about it at work or at university or simply at a night out, I almost have the impression that I could still live long enough for renaissance humanism to celebrate come-back! ;) (pun avoided!)

And I do absolutely think it has to do with what Theoden mentioned - the decline of religious doctrines and people (though, much too few I fear) start thinking for themselves and what they really want out of their limited time here on Earth.
Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft, die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schafft. // Jealousy is a passion, seeking zealously what causes suffering. Franz Grillparzer
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Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Victor. » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:57 pm

Glaucon wrote:
Theoden wrote:With statistics pointing to less and less religiosity, do you think there will be more leisure time on the horizon?


Things like the 4-day work week were expected to be just a matter of time in the seventies. Now, almost no one talks about it anymore. Instead, we talk about raising the retirement age (or actually doing it, in most of Europe) and longer work-hours. And people having several jobs at once being a good thing. That is the way politics is pointing (at least in part because politicians are focused on gov. finance and there are those debts, highlighted during the recent credit crisis). And I'd say that the Calvinist work ethic (or however you call it) has persisted in many places even as the religious foundation fell away. The only context in which I have seen the idea of 'working less' resurface recently has been that of the recent discussion about technological advances and robots. This discussion.

So, in the short term, I don't really see this happening. The pressure from above will be: thou shalt work, work and work (even if there are only poorly paid jobs available to you). But then again, people still make individual choices. If a lot of people want to work part-time, for example, then the companies that cater to that wish rather than insisting on the corporate ideology might actually do quite well, relatively (because they might attract better employees for the same hourly wage, essentially). That could theoretically lead to a change in thinking. (Personally, I think that people that work less hours will usually be more productive per hour that they work, generally speaking (above a certain minimum, of course). I think that those that do work 80 per week are not nearly as productive as those hours would suggest. I think there is some research done that affirms this. Perhaps those fuckers on Wall Street and the City would not have fucked up so badly had they actually had a life. But I also think that corporate management tends to look unfavorably on those that don't work the hours they work (long ones) and that there is a kind of aura of macho 'heroism' to working very long hours.

Short answer: Nope. Not yet, anyway.

Or will it all be usurped by foreign competition in the global economy?


Technically, global competition doesn't have to affect this. In some European countries, work hours are less than they are in the USA (most, I think). Those hours tend to be more productive, as well. But even if they weren't, that doesn't have to mean that those European countries would not be competitive. Those employees would just be... less rich. Which is not nice for their governments (wanting revenue, maybe struggling with too much debt, or just wanting to 'do well' compared to other countries in general), but it might not be bad for the employees. Just because someone else wants to spend most of their life trying to get a leg up by working from the early morning till midnight doesn't mean everyone needs to be that insane, of course.

Overall, though, international competition won't make it any easier. And when it comes to 'collective action', as in, laws being changed to allow people to have more spare time (like, potentially, Victor's basic income idea, I guess), international competition is a serious problem, because of tax havens and fiscal competition in general. That should not really affect something like, say, a 4 day work week, however. But clearly, it does factor in. For example, there was strong pressure from financial markets (and the international financial press) on countries in trouble during the recent gov. debt crisis to take measures to force people to work more (raisin retirement ages, less holidays, and so forth). That pressure DID lead countries to change laws, equating to less leisure time (though, at the same time, they created a whole lot more leisure time for many people because cuts forced economies into a recession leading to a lot of unemployment, but that is not the sort of leisure time we are talking about, I guess). Banks in the EU held debt of those countries in trouble, so that made it important to other countries to apply such pressure as well (see Germany and Greece, a while back).

In general terms, globalization and economies being more intertwined makes it harder for individual countries to go against the grain, to do things differently. Just as most main-streets start to look more similar, in terms of what shops are in it, so national economic policy is also becoming more similar, overall.

Short answer: The usurping effect of the global economy will also work against people getting more leisure time.


I think you haven't really thought that one through there, to be honest.

Why do you think an hour of a German engineer's work time could be more productive than an hour of a Chinese one even if they were equally gifted with technical understanding and identically industrious?

Could be because almost throughout of the advancement of a global economy, there have been companies like Siemens who are leading the world-wide field when it comes to automatisation. ;)

If it weren't for those technological advantages (and the know-how that comes with it), you could have the best work ethic imaginable, you'd simply be crushed by the amount of unpaid and low-paid labour force some Far-East manufacturing states are having at their disposal.

PS.: Shorter working hours are avidly discussed (at least where I am from) with unemployment rates climbing throughout Europe when it comes to finding solutions for it.

Which is why I just can't wrap my head around the concept of delaying retirement ages. It would just make the problem worse - especially since a good chunk of people these days drops out of work in their mid-50s due to health issues or mental ones - the latter of which steadily increasing.
Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft, die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schafft. // Jealousy is a passion, seeking zealously what causes suffering. Franz Grillparzer
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Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Glaucon » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:11 pm

Victor wrote:I think you haven't really thought that one through there, to be honest.

Why do you think an hour of a German engineer's work time could be more productive than an hour of a Chinese one even if they were equally gifted with technical understanding and identically industrious?

Could be because almost throughout of the advancement of a global economy, there have been companies like Siemens who are leading the world-wide field when it comes to automatisation.


Why? A few reasons. I think that someone who is well-rested, has had time to unwind, divert themselves, and so forth is likely to be able to bring more to the job (PER HOUR) than someone who is being worked to death. Sure, the Chinese worker made to work 16 hours per day will probably produce more in that day than the German worker that starts at 8 and gets off at 16:30, but per hour, I think the German worker can do more.

When it comes to work that requires creativity, ingenuity, high level thinking, I suspect that this is even more true. You won't get the great American Novel by forcing writers into a sweatshop and having them churn out page after page from dusk till dawn. Maybe some writers would binge-work anyway, but most probably would not function well working like that. Research seems to show that more 'freedom' and a degree on leisure helps a lot when it comes to complicated work that needs to be of a high quality.

And didn't the above debate assume that that sort of high-level work is going to be the more value-adding sort, as opposed to stuffing toy rabbits in a factory? That is the stuff that robots can do as well. And I am sure Siemens can make the robot to do it. ;)
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Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Glaucon » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:32 pm

Wrote something long about socialism/communism but I deleted it as I tried to post it. :shifty:

The short of it:

Hawt Sommer wrote:Well, The problem I have with Communism/ Socialism is you have people that are essentially slaves to a class of people that are nothing but parasites.


The idea of old fashioned socialism was that the working class (actually working) would come to hold the real economic power, eventually. Communism isn't 'Moocherism'. But what we have been talking about is machines/robots etc. essentially taking over the work done by the 'proletariat', depriving it of it's economic powerbase. In a sense, the reverse of a communist revolution.

Kind of how Socialists feel about Capitalists. It's class warfare- each side pointing at the other and saying "You're using the working class!" the other side saying "you're sustaining the non-working with the money of the working class!"


This may capture much of the essence of the left-right discussion in American politics. But I think this supposed class warfare is a phantom war, really. Divide et Empire. But that's me.

Now... if we have robots doing all the hard work and essentially have a 24/7 slave crew and we ALL can feed off that... We breed and just have fun on Robot provided Welfare, then everyone wins, that's the kind of socialism I can tolerate... yep

We all get fat lazy and happy on the backs of mechno-slaves.


Well, this COULD be the case. The Roman empire gave the people of Rome their famous 'Bread and Games', feeding them with the surplus of the empire's spoils and slave labor, essentially. Not sure if I'd call that socialism, but... I see what you mean.

Well.. at least until there's some kind of people that start feeling sorry for the AI Toaster that makes breakfast for 200 slobs sitting in buckets of goo


I don't think that will really happen. Humans aren't that nice, really. Let's face it. We are selfish bastards. If the 'slaves' don't get uppity and don't complain (or take up arms), we are generally not too concerned. See what we do with animals. We have vegetarians and animal right activists, but the meat on our tables isn't seriously threatened by those. And we would be sure to produce mostly 'willing slaves' anyway.

or the AI gets smart like Terminator, or War Games. Then we are screwed.


Who knows? Stapple in sci fi. Blade Runner, Hall 9000, Matrix,even Star Trek. But any real reason to think this will happen? No. It is far from a necessity, I'd say.
Hawt Sommer

Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Hawt Sommer » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:59 pm

Theoden wrote:And you trust the entire fate of the human race that no one will decide to program a robot without those three laws?


The Three Laws are:
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


I'm pretty certain that any country's military will be happy to program mechanized AI Troops to disobey that first law. Theo is correct- When we are already making humans a weapon, what makes you think that AI bots won't be used as weapons?

Just like machines are "Programmed" to kill humans when they step on them.. or trigger death when a trip wire is tripped.

Who will get this technology first? It's sort of looking like Google is in the lead. You thought Americans where fat and lazy before? You aint seen nothing yet!

Image

Robot MAKE ME PANCAKES!!!

(yes.. .I know that isn't pancakes the robot is making)
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Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Victor. » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:04 pm

Glaucon wrote:
Victor wrote:I think you haven't really thought that one through there, to be honest.

Why do you think an hour of a German engineer's work time could be more productive than an hour of a Chinese one even if they were equally gifted with technical understanding and identically industrious?

Could be because almost throughout of the advancement of a global economy, there have been companies like Siemens who are leading the world-wide field when it comes to automatisation.


Why? A few reasons. I think that someone who is well-rested, has had time to unwind, divert themselves, and so forth is likely to be able to bring more to the job (PER HOUR) than someone who is being worked to death. Sure, the Chinese worker made to work 16 hours per day will probably produce more in that day than the German worker that starts at 8 and gets off at 16:30, but per hour, I think the German worker can do more.

When it comes to work that requires creativity, ingenuity, high level thinking, I suspect that this is even more true. You won't get the great American Novel by forcing writers into a sweatshop and having them churn out page after page from dusk till dawn. Maybe some writers would binge-work anyway, but most probably would not function well working like that. Research seems to show that more 'freedom' and a degree on leisure helps a lot when it comes to complicated work that needs to be of a high quality.

And didn't the above debate assume that that sort of high-level work is going to be the more value-adding sort, as opposed to stuffing toy rabbits in a factory? That is the stuff that robots can do as well. And I am sure Siemens can make the robot to do it. ;)


My point was that more leisure time doesn't necessarily mean that you won't be competitive any longer, for all those reasons you've just mentioned.

Yet in the short-answer I quoted, you seemed to be of a different opinion, unless I misunderstood you.
Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft, die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schafft. // Jealousy is a passion, seeking zealously what causes suffering. Franz Grillparzer
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Re: "Software (Bot) Substituion" A Gorean Forums Think-tank

Postby Glaucon » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:02 pm

You had me fooled with your robot pancakes, Hawt.

@ Victor. Yep. Misunderstanding. We seem to agree there.

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