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Humanoid Or Specifically Built Robots VS Human Workers


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This is the same objection you raised earlier, and which Adam Smith, Witold Rybczynski, and Sigmund Freud all address. I already tackled this one, and did so before you even raised it, showing the predictability of your opinion and its conclusions. Of course, you conveniently ignore this.

A particle accelerator mechanizes/automates the process of perception. All it does is let us see extremely fine structures; it is an extension, an upgrade, a prosthetic enhancement of the Mk I Block I Mod 0 eyeball or fingertip.

It was thoughtful of you to provide the Wikipedia quote backing my position. (It sums to "technology is stuff humans use to reduce labor". Of course, this means that technology is doing some sort of work or task on behalf of a human. As you freely acknowledge, this is the definition of automation as well.) So, thank you.

The worst of it (besides your liberal use of hubristic ad hominems) is that you think your views or ideas are original to this, or even the last, century. Your arguments cropped up (albeit, more eloquently) in literature contemporary with, and predating, On the Wealth of Nations, allowing Smith to deal with your arguments in the first chapter. The idea that economics and philosophy are iterative is false. There are no new fundamentally different ideas. (It is either all the philosophies which distill into Machiavellian Hobbesianism, or those which distill into...the other worldview.) Socrates could see as much of human nature as you can, and probably more.

Also, please note that Smith, Bastiat, et. al. never claimed the originality of their ideas, and certainly never implied that they would be more correct if they were new. Those who oppose/opposed them did and do claim the originality of their ideas, and did and do imply this "originality" or "independent reasoning" adds truth value.  That alone should give you pause.

So automation adds more jobs than it removes, when applied in a free market.

The attacks leveled at my argument have been addressed, and we are now devolving into fruitless repetition. I won't repeat my previous statements just to refute the same arguments against me; if you have a problem now, read one of my previous posts.

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On 9/12/2020 at 6:40 PM, SOXBLOX said:

The attacks leveled at my argument have been addressed, and we are now devolving into fruitless repetition.

You addressed nothing. That's what I've been trying to tell you. The Wikipedia quote has nothing about reducing labor. You're interpreting language itself in a way that suits you, as long as you refuse to use the same words as anyone else, your arguments are meaningless. Yes, I do have more in common in Machiavelli and Hobbes than with your bunch of hopeless idealists. I also think that Marx had some things right, and early on, he did not propose that revolution was required, which was also right, even if he ultimately pivoted to a view that didn't work. Machiavelli, in fact, had his views validated time and again. Machiavellian realpolitik produced a much better world than ideologically-motivated WWII and Cold War that followed a departure from it (and yes, I know the former gave us WWI). However, "my authorities are better than yours" contests don't add anything, this is economic not scholastics. I don't claim my ideas are original (or even the idea of putting these particular views together), I claim that I can formulate views arguments of my own, not parrot ones made by the real thinkers. 

OK, one last question, if technology is automation, then why do we have both of those words? They're pretty both pretty old words, and words with the same meaning usually don't coexist for very long (usually, one would be relegated to a seldom-seen synonym used to add linguistic flair. Yet, we see them both in common use. In fact, why do you use them both? If we consider them synonyms, as you're postulating (and if you're not, give your definition of automation, like you did with technology), then it turns most of your arguments into tautologies or circular reasoning which starts with one synonym and ends in another. With that, your core argument reduces to "technology is technology, because it's technology", which is admittedly true, but also perfectly useless, and does not support the statements about jobs at all.

[snip]

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On 9/13/2020 at 1:14 AM, Dragon01 said:

OK, one last question, if technology is automation, then why do we have both of those words? 

Alright, good question. I would assume that it is the fact that there is an apparent difference between what "automation" describes and what "technology" describes. Really though, they are the same; they're both doing the exact same thing. Automation is what useful technology always does. If A is X, and B is X, then A is B, right? The idea was to show that fundamentally, they're the same, and we should expect them to have fundamentally the same effect on the economy as their predecessors.

I was showing equivalence, so it isn't circular. "If they're the same thing, they do the same thing" is the idea.

Automation = labor-saving technology. Technology = automation of a process.

Nevertheless, I did use both, mainly because you still were, and I had to show that they were the same. And, I suppose, the verb "to automate" has no equivalent with the word technology. "To technologise"? I also used the word mechanization. When I did that, automation referred specifically to the third step of technological development, and mechanization to the second, even though they're both technology, and fundamentally identical.

And English does love its synonyms!

[snip]

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1 hour ago, SOXBLOX said:

Nevertheless, I did use both, mainly because you still were, and I had to show that they were the same.

Except you didn't. You (re)defined "technology" to mean the same thing as "automation". Under this definition, there is no need to show anything, because definitions are assumed to be true. Hence, your arguments are nothing but a heap of tautologies. This despite several of my counterexamples, causing you to casually exclude the vast majority of human achievements in medicine, delegitimize the very name of biotechnology (not my field, but close), and demean the entire field of transportation, which produces nothing but exhaust fumes, but moves things around, as of today under full control of humans.

FYI, since this is linguistics and not economics by this point, this is an area where you are demonstrably and obviously wrong (my sister is a linguist, and if you think that doesn't qualify her friends and relatives as authorities on the English language, then you've never lived with a linguist. Or tried speaking English near one. :)). Forget Wiki, let's get a real authority on English language:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/automation
You'll notice "technology" is conspicuously absent from the list (and in fact, from the thesaurus, having no real synonyms). Before you say it's not a logical argument, it isn't. It is just something that's accepted by linguists as part of the English language. All logical argumentation needs axioms, and in English language discourse, English word definitions (particularly anything from merriam-webster) are axioms. Either you accept them, or you aren't speaking the English language (and technically breaking forum rules on that account, because they say that you have to).

For the record, real, commonly accepted definitions of the words under discussion:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/technology
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/automation
Notice that "technology", sense 1, is a type of knowledge. Not only is it broader, it is entirely immaterial. It cannot be the same thing as automation just on this account. Sense 2 is closer, but still not equivalent, because it encompasses every single thing ever devised by humanity. According to that definition, the moment a human rubbed two sticks together to make a fire, this pair of sticks became technology (sense 2). Rubbing two sticks together became a technology (sense 1), as well, and the technology (sense 3) of starting fire saw its first development. It would, however, take a few more of those to get to a point where this can happen without human intervention or a natural source of heat. Only after that, one could say fire starting had undergone automation (sense 1). 

Any language in which "technology" and "automation" are synonyms is therefore not English language as defined by linguists who created this dictionary. You're now welcome to start an argument with the global linguistic community over that (if nothing else, it'll get my sister off my back). :) 

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18 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

This is the same objection you raised earlier, and which Adam Smith, Witold Rybczynski, and Sigmund Freud all address. I already tackled this one, and did so before you even raised it, showing the predictability of your opinion and its conclusions. Of course, you conveniently ignore this.

A particle accelerator mechanizes/automates the process of perception. All it does is let us see extremely fine structures; it is an extension, an upgrade, a prosthetic enhancement of the Mk I Block I Mod 0 eyeball or fingertip.

It was thoughtful of you to provide the Wikipedia quote backing my position. (It sums to "technology is stuff humans use to reduce labor". Of course, this means that technology is doing some sort of work or task on behalf of a human. As you freely acknowledge, this is the definition of automation as well.) So, thank you.

The worst of it (besides your liberal use of hubristic ad hominems) is that you think your views or ideas are original to this, or even the last, century. Your arguments cropped up (albeit, more eloquently) in literature contemporary with, and predating, On the Wealth of Nations, allowing Smith to deal with your arguments in the first chapter. The idea that economics and philosophy are iterative is false. There are no new fundamentally different ideas. (It is either all the philosophies which distill into Machiavellian Hobbesianism, or those which distill into...the other worldview.) Socrates could see as much of human nature as you can, and probably more.

Also, please note that Smith, Bastiat, et. al. never claimed the originality of their ideas, and certainly never implied that they would be more correct if they were new. Those who oppose/opposed them did and do claim the originality of their ideas, and did and do imply this "originality" or "independent reasoning" adds truth value.  That alone should give you pause.

So automation adds more jobs than it removes, when applied in a free market.

The attacks leveled at my argument have been addressed, and we are now devolving into fruitless repetition. I won't repeat my previous statements just to refute the same arguments against me; if you have a problem now, read one of my previous posts.

In the case that more wealth create more jobs at its more money to spend. 

Humans are also non rational, showing off your wealth by having hard to produce / expensive / rare stuff or spending lots of resources is way older than farming. 

Now you could tilt this with an large enough change, strong AI "slaves" will do so, its also an argument that today a few major cooperation has too much power as they own the platforms. Now the tax dodging issue is real but questionable if you need to regulate much outside the tax dodging. 

It looks like most modern cooperation's tend to fall into one of multiple traps. 
Lets grab as much money as we can this year and more the next, we can do no wrong,  we will always dominate our competitors. Lets go woke. Fire all who disagree and go ramming speed. And yes we are an once product company, much better as the product has insane growth the last 5 years, lets do all above :P
 

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On 9/10/2020 at 8:52 AM, DerekL1963 said:

The problem isn't "what has happened so far".  The problem is that the past is apples and the future is oranges, and thus it's less than clear that the past is a useful guide to the future.  You can't get apple cider out of oranges no matter how much smoke you blow.

This is true, however baseline is that current trend works. 
No its not the same as saying it will hold, Probably lots of papers on why cloud computing or stealth technology will fail. Sponsored by the ones who uses it most. 
You will not read these papers unless you sign that you never saw them. 
However unlike new and weird tech, industrialization had one effect the last 200 years, increased wealth production. No it has not been even, back at the start it mostly benefited the investors and inventors. Later it became more universal. Today its an global effect. It an reason why plastic pollution has become an major issue. 
So many global middle class people in countries with poor waste handling. 
Yes you have strong AI, who might break it but its something we have no idea how to make, I guess decent fusion or uplifting animals are simpler. 

And if we could make it it would require an huge supercomputer to run something who would not be cheap but would be worth it if you could make something smart look into real time data streams like we watch an crowd. 

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Eh, no. Wrong. I am not redefining words, burning my dictionary, or tampering with the English language.

Here's what I said. When technology is applied, it automates. Trucks and trains automate walking or running, water-powered looms automate hand-weaving, etc. So automation is just applied technology, and there is no fundamental difference between types of technology. If past technology has added jobs, it is very reasonable to assume future technology will do so as well. Automation is what we've been doing all along; it isn't new.

Please note the word "applied". It instantly excludes all technology besides that which is doing work in the economy. The excluded items include medicine as a commodity and biotechnology research. This is perfectly fine, as this is an economic discussion.

Also, a "natural laboratory" type experiment we can perform is to remove technology from a group of people and see whether it adds or subtracts jobs. Since this would be an unethical and difficult task, we look for historical examples. The Khmer Rouge did this/had this happen. You remember the results, of course.

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1 hour ago, SOXBLOX said:

Please note the word "applied".

I do note it, because it's the first time you used it. I touched on this, when I characterized your argument as "technology leads to automation (implied: when applied to industry)". A few posts ago, you were literally claiming that "technology" and "automation" were synonyms:

9 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

And English does love its synonyms!

No quantifiers such as "applied" technology appeared anywhere. At most, a nebulous reference to mechanization, in which you implied you used the term "automation" inconsistently, as well (presumably when citing/paraphrasing one of your 100 year old tracts). Try that logical consistency thing you were talking about, because it's difficult to argue with a constantly shifting viewpoint, or one so poorly articulated that it feels like it.

Of course, none of that is actually relevant to the main point, which is how automation relates to jobs. I hope that it at least makes it clear to you that no, I am not against "technology", as the word is commonly understood. 

1 hour ago, SOXBLOX said:

Also, a "natural laboratory" type experiment we can perform is to remove technology from a group of people and see whether it adds or subtracts jobs. Since this would be an unethical and difficult task, we look for historical examples. The Khmer Rouge did this/had this happen. You remember the results, of course.

Ever heard of the Amish? Khmer Rouge had this inflicted on them for most part, and they are a highly flawed example, because they also did many things unrelated to technology, such as outright genocide, that disqualify them as an argument in this discussion. The Amish, however, are a "natural laboratory" like you describe (and are doing just fine, so they're not really historical). Not that they really have anything to do with what I am actually arguing, which is a rather more complex stance than that of the Amish.

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On 9/11/2020 at 8:28 PM, SOXBLOX said:

...are applied in the economy, as economically useful technology, then they are examples of me being correct. When they are not applied, that is, people don't do labor using them, then they are not part of the economy and are outside the realm of this discussion.

Emphasis added. (And no, I didn't edit it in.)

Is there an automated community of comparable size to the Amish? IDK. But I would bet that there would be more jobs in such a community, and I will guarantee that it would be more productive. 

I also never said they are synonyms. I said that they have the same definition when we define a thing by what it does. 

Now, can you present an argument for why automation will remove jobs? Invalidating my argument does not necessarily verify your opinion. (Even though you haven't invalidated it yet.)

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6 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

I also never said they are synonyms. I said that they have the same definition when we define a thing by what it does. 

This is exactly what "synonym" means. "When we define a thing by what it does" means that we are defining things differently than the commonly used definitions (because accepting dictionary definitions is implied by the fact we're speaking English). Ergo, you did tamper with the English language to make them synonyms. This was completely pointless and only muddled the waters, the only possible purpose was to ridicule what you thought was my position by the means of equivocation (which is why you got ridiculed in response, it's only an ad hominem if it's used to make an argument). 

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Is there an automated community of comparable size to the Amish? IDK. But I would bet that there would be more jobs in such a community, and I will guarantee that it would be more productive. 

A village-sized colony on Mars could be such an example, but it's not a thing yet. However, bear in mind that while it would be more productive, if we're talking an enclosed community of the number of people (what is commonly meant by size), neither will have more jobs than the other. In this case, labor supply is the limiting factor, and without any other limits, there will be as many jobs in the community as there are people to do them. However, if there are limits (land area, natural resources), then the automated community, being more productive per person, will hit them at a smaller size than an Amish commune. Of course, that disregards non-production jobs, a Mars colony for example would be mostly composed of researchers, with maintenance and manufacturing personnel being a small fraction.

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Now, can you present an argument for why automation will remove jobs? Invalidating my argument does not necessarily verify your opinion. (Even though you haven't invalidated it yet.)

I'm getting to it (or rather restating, since I've already put that proposition forward). Consider the above example. We have an Amish village, and we have a self-sufficient colony on Mars. The Amish own more land area they could possibly farm, the Mars people have, well, all of Mars. However, demand is limited, because they can only consume so much (I'm disregarding possible surplus, because the Amish won't have much, and Mars couldn't economically export anything). The former get by on their land, make some arts and crafts and provide their own services, while the latter produce stuff largely automatically, with minimum human intervention, and their services are mostly automated. Now, in the Amish community, most of the population works towards sustaining the community. Only a small minority, if any, would have jobs outside production. On Mars, however, the majority will have such jobs, with production workers in minority.

How does it translate to a practical situation? Well, long story short, any idiot can dig holes, but being a researcher takes brains. As I said before, automation creates jobs which are different from the ones it destroys, and usually require higher skills. What results in such situation is unemployment in the low-skilled sector, and a shortage of workers in the high-skilled sector. One looks at the job market will tell you this is exactly where we stand. On paper, we didn't lose jobs, but we did in practice, since not everyone has the mental capacity to transition the highly educated stratum. Most people don't, in fact, and IT professionals, engineers and scientists are in high demand on the job market.

Note that this is actually different from past industrial revolutions, which created menial, low-skilled factory jobs, while primarily putting skilled craftsmen out of works. This did result in net job creation, even if their quality took a nosedive (another thing I take an issue with). Today, what we're seeing is that automation causes increases in job quality, but at the same time shifts them into sectors which are limited by the availability of qualified workers. This is why outsourcing arose as an alternative way to stay competitive (with crappier, cheaper labor elsewhere).

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The national policies which led to wars is not only off-topic for this thread, but is also the kind of political argument we've had to rule off-limits because it invariably goes off the rails. A number of posts have been removed. Please stick to the subject. 

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