Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby Triangle_Man » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:39 pm UTC

Do any of you get the feeling that we're trying to render humanity obsolete sometimes?
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:56 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:Do any of you get the feeling that we're trying to render humanity obsolete sometimes?

Is this a problem?
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby aleflamedyud » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:32 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Triangle_Man wrote:Do any of you get the feeling that we're trying to render humanity obsolete sometimes?

Is this a problem?

Not unless we keep up with an economic system in which people can only obtain sustenance by selling their now-obsolete labor, ie: capitalism.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:31 pm UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Triangle_Man wrote:Do any of you get the feeling that we're trying to render humanity obsolete sometimes?

Is this a problem?

Not unless we keep up with an economic system in which people can only obtain sustenance by selling their now-obsolete labor, ie: capitalism.


Unless of course they can sell their creativity and intelligence, such as engineers and artists.

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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:18 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Triangle_Man wrote:Do any of you get the feeling that we're trying to render humanity obsolete sometimes?

Is this a problem?

Not unless we keep up with an economic system in which people can only obtain sustenance by selling their now-obsolete labor, ie: capitalism.


Unless of course they can sell their creativity and intelligence, such as engineers and artists.


Or we can just program robots to have creativity.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:07 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Or we can just program robots to have creativity.


At that time it will be less of "what do we do with obsolete workers" and more of "We robots have decided it is best to recycle all the obsolete meatsacks".

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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby Dark567 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:19 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Or we can just program robots to have creativity.

Yeah. But then we should have plenty of jobs programming.

Actually, I have seen some estimates that have upwards of 60% of the jobs available by 2030 are going to be IT/Software/Engineering. This makes a lot of sense as IT companies seem to be unable to fill positions currently.

http://www7.nationalacademies.org/cfe/S ... _Paper.pdf

There is a interesting table at the end where they have estimates on where computers are going to displace different jobs. If you don't care to look at it, stay out of retail and office support jobs, they estimate automation is going to wipe up to 90% of those out.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:09 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Or we can just program robots to have creativity.

Yeah. But then we should have plenty of jobs programming.

Actually, I have seen some estimates that have upwards of 60% of the jobs available by 2030 are going to be IT/Software/Engineering. This makes a lot of sense as IT companies seem to be unable to fill positions currently.

http://www7.nationalacademies.org/cfe/S ... _Paper.pdf

There is a interesting table at the end where they have estimates on where computers are going to displace different jobs. If you don't care to look at it, stay out of retail and office support jobs, they estimate automation is going to wipe up to 90% of those out.


That's very, very good. At least for the retail thing. I have a job coding so I should be fine.

We just need to program one creative robot who can creatively create more creative robots while also creatively expanding on his own source code (barring a few things set permanently in the hardware, like the three laws of robotics and some additional laws because those don't work) and then we can make robots of exponential intelligence as they improve themselves with billions of times the processing power that any human has.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby aleflamedyud » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:47 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Or we can just program robots to have creativity.

Yeah. But then we should have plenty of jobs programming.

Actually, I have seen some estimates that have upwards of 60% of the jobs available by 2030 are going to be IT/Software/Engineering. This makes a lot of sense as IT companies seem to be unable to fill positions currently.

http://www7.nationalacademies.org/cfe/S ... _Paper.pdf

There is a interesting table at the end where they have estimates on where computers are going to displace different jobs. If you don't care to look at it, stay out of retail and office support jobs, they estimate automation is going to wipe up to 90% of those out.

Which means that the number of crappy programmers and absolutely abysmal IT hacks is about to shoot way, way up as people attempt to "adjust capitalism" AGAIN by sending 60% of the population into IT/software jobs when a good part less than 60% are remotely qualified or capable for them.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:27 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:There is a interesting table at the end where they have estimates on where computers are going to displace different jobs. If you don't care to look at it, stay out of retail and office support jobs, they estimate automation is going to wipe up to 90% of those out.

Which means that the number of crappy programmers and absolutely abysmal IT hacks is about to shoot way, way up as people attempt to "adjust capitalism" AGAIN by sending 60% of the population into IT/software jobs when a good part less than 60% are remotely qualified or capable for them.


I wouldn't worry too much about it. Sure, there will be tons of code monkeys and basic-level tech-support employees, but if you actually have skill with computers people will still need you.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby Triangle_Man » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:37 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:There is a interesting table at the end where they have estimates on where computers are going to displace different jobs. If you don't care to look at it, stay out of retail and office support jobs, they estimate automation is going to wipe up to 90% of those out.

Which means that the number of crappy programmers and absolutely abysmal IT hacks is about to shoot way, way up as people attempt to "adjust capitalism" AGAIN by sending 60% of the population into IT/software jobs when a good part less than 60% are remotely qualified or capable for them.


I wouldn't worry too much about it. Sure, there will be tons of code monkeys and basic-level tech-support employees, but if you actually have skill with computers people will still need you.


There will always be someone in need of technical support, and as long as this is true there will always be tech support workers.

Because that's how the market works.

Sort of.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby aleflamedyud » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:56 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:There is a interesting table at the end where they have estimates on where computers are going to displace different jobs. If you don't care to look at it, stay out of retail and office support jobs, they estimate automation is going to wipe up to 90% of those out.

Which means that the number of crappy programmers and absolutely abysmal IT hacks is about to shoot way, way up as people attempt to "adjust capitalism" AGAIN by sending 60% of the population into IT/software jobs when a good part less than 60% are remotely qualified or capable for them.


I wouldn't worry too much about it. Sure, there will be tons of code monkeys and basic-level tech-support employees, but if you actually have skill with computers people will still need you.

Yes, those few of us who actually have skill with computers will still be needed. I'm not worried about losing my job, especially since my prospective job is already damn near the top of the heap, adjusted for my age cohort and our macroeconomic circumstances. I'm worried about how crappy, unqualified programmers and IT staffers without the basic talents for the field will make a living, and I'm worried about how the public at large will be able to wade through the heap of straw to find the needle of a capable tech person for their needs.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby Save Point » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:28 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:There are reasons for those services. Problem is, Federal and State laws make the law needlessly complicated, requiring you to hire extra accountants or lawyers, spending money on things that you shouldn't have needed in the first place. For example, the incredibly Byzantine tax laws. It should be simple enough to say "I earned X this year, so government takes Y". But then there are all the various forms of income being taxed differently, the thousands of "tax credits" and other loopholes that are a tax on anyone not hiring an accountant. Hey, if a company posts a loss in this year, its loss can be carried over to next year, even if another company buys it. In other words, if a company worth $1B loses absolutely everything, at 40% income tax it is still worth $400m in tax reductions to someone else that wants to avoid taxes. Crazy, right?

Estate law is incredibly bizarre (I doubt the people writing it understand it), and if the law was simplified then you could sack a few lawyers and accountants. Of course, the American Bar Association is one of the more powerful lobbying groups, (if not the most powerful seeing as half of congress, and the President, are lawyers), making any streamlining of the legal system nearly impossible.

Similar arguments could be made against half the bureaucracies in government. For example, food stamps, medicare, medicaid, soc-sec. All could be replaced with a single agency that provides the bare basic welfare to every citizen, like Norway or Sweden*, only checking that said citizen exists/still alive.

In the meantime, the country/entire world is denied the other labor that the accountants and lawyers would've produced. Keep in mind that a law degree is a doctorate; every lawyer position "created" by needlessly complicated laws takes a moderately intelligent** person out of productive society.

*I think? Anyone know if it's different than that?

**I'm assuming slightly above average intelligence for lawyers, on the average. I've met too many dumb lawyers, and doctors for that matter, to say that high intelligence is needed for those jobs, compared to, say, engineering. Though, it helps.

Erm, well it really simplifies things to boil it down to "make work" for lawyers, courtesy of ABA lobbying. As you said, tax law covers a myriad of different areas - personal income, property, education, corporate, etc - and is similarly affected by federalism (i.e., the federal, state, and local governments each hold some sway over particular kinds of taxes.) Within each of these different kinds of taxation is a different interest, each of which is represented to a certain degree by lobbyists and other individuals with clout. This shouldn't suggest that I don't think our taxation system isn't ridiculous, but to claim that this is a result of pure lawyering simplifies things in a way that would make it impossible to fix precisely because of tunnel-vision. You're looking at an amalgamation of various political interests - only one of which is lawyers - being jammed into what legislators want to be a coherent tax code. Building on this, different kinds of law beget different kinds of interests: how do you reconcile the interests of tax lawyers with those who are corporate council? What about those at think-tanks such as the Institute of Justice, or those who work for environmental non-profits? The interests of lawyers do not always (usually?) align.

Another thing is, with estate planning, you're dealing with an area that has an awful lot of English common law history, complete with antiquated notions of property and how it can be transferred. There also isn't anyone "writing it" per se. Legislatures typically codify this common law and, if they do, it still comes with that common law baggage unless the legislature specifically says otherwise. Given (1) the framework for property and, consequently, estate planning was laid out hundreds of years ago; (2) that this subject is not the sexiest one for legislators to address, and; (3) trying to plug in those common law holes can have unintended consequences (as is always the case, but some of these rules are especially entrenched), it's a bit of a hamfisted criticism to again contribute this to lawyers just wanting to insure they have a job. So, again, you're right in that there is some silly stuff one has to deal with in estate planning, but you're making very sweeping criticism about something that is actually fairly nuanced.

Finally, it bears mentioning that a lot of the people who go to law school are engineers or come from other math/science backgrounds. This is becoming more and more the case as patent law remains the one really burgeoning concentration while the rest of the legal market is in a bit of a lull. I couldn't help but chuckle at your hesitations regarding intelligence, not because what you said is entirely without merit (there are some dumb lawyers), but because my property professor is our resident estate planning and tax law junky -- he was also a nuclear engineer in a previous life :P Fact is, people need an undergraduate degree before going to law school, and while the running joke is that most folks are poli-sci majors, the truth is that most law classes represent a broad swath of disciplines, including super-mega-epic-awesome-smart-brilliant engineers.

EDIT: Cleaned this post up a bit.

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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:00 am UTC

Themis wrote:Erm, well it really simplifies things to boil it down to "make work" for lawyers, courtesy of ABA lobbying. As you said, tax law covers a myriad of different areas - personal income, property, education, corporate, etc - and is similarly affected by federalism (i.e., the federal, state, and local governments each hold some sway over particular kinds of taxes.) Within each of these different kinds of taxation is a different interest, each of which is represented to a certain degree by lobbyists and other individuals with clout. This shouldn't suggest that I don't think our taxation system isn't ridiculous, but to claim that this is a result of pure lawyering simplifies things in a way that would make it impossible to fix precisely because of tunnel-vision. You're looking at an amalgamation of various political interests - only one of which is lawyers - being jammed into what legislators want to be a coherent tax code. Building on this, different kinds of law beget different kinds of interests: how do you reconcile the interests of tax lawyers with those who are corporate council? What about those at think-tanks such as the Institute of Justice, or those who work for environmental non-profits? The interests of lawyers do not always (usually?) align.


I wouldn't go so far as to say lawyering is the only reason, just that it is the major reason. Feel free to disagree, which I'm assuming you are. Other reasons include other interests of course, who like their tax breaks and loopholes (which in reality, are tax hikes on everything else; taxes have to come from somewhere, or else).

Themis wrote:Another thing is, with estate planning, you're dealing with an area that has an awful lot of English common law history, complete with antiquated notions of property and how it can be transferred. There also isn't anyone "writing it" per se. Legislatures typically codify this common law and, if they do, it still comes with that common law baggage unless the legislature specifically says otherwise. Given (1) the framework for property and, consequently, estate planning was laid out hundreds of years ago; (2) that this subject is not the sexiest one for legislators to address, and; (3) trying to plug in those common law holes can have unintended consequences (as is always the case, but some of these rules are especially entrenched), it's a bit of a hamfisted criticism to again contribute this to lawyers just wanting to insure they have a job. So, again, you're right in that there is some silly stuff one has to deal with in estate planning, but you're making very sweeping criticism about something that is actually fairly nuanced.


I understand that the law and tax system can't have a blanket system, as any Cost Accountant can tell you about the definition of "net income" and the matching principal. Just that a lot of the laws are in serious need of overhaul, and I don't see the ABA doing anything to facilitate that overhaul except in a manner that benefits them.

Themis wrote:Finally, it bears mentioning that a lot of the people who go to law school are engineers or come from other math/science backgrounds. This is becoming more and more the case as patent law remains the one really burgeoning concentration while the rest of the legal market is in a bit of a lull. I couldn't help but chuckle at your hesitations regarding intelligence, not because what you said is entirely without merit (there are some dumb lawyers), but because my property professor is our resident estate planning and tax law junky -- he was also a nuclear engineer in a previous life :P Fact is, people need an undergraduate degree before going to law school, and while the running joke is that most folks are poli-sci majors, the truth is that most law classes represent a broad swath of disciplines, including super-mega-epic-awesome-smart-brilliant engineers.


Didn't say all lawyers were dumb. Didn't deny that there are genius lawyers. Just that a law degree/certification itself doesn't require high intelligence, given that there are fools that managed to graduate Law School and pass the Bar exams. Intelligence certainly helps, of course, but the bulk of a law degree is hard work and studying.

The system as is, tells your "super-mega-epic-awesome-smart-brilliant" engineers that they benefit society more in law than in engineering. But is this necessarily true? Does society gain more from that incredibly intelligent person becoming a lawyer rather than an engineer? That's one of the problems with people interrupting the monetary system for their own/group benefits, and the whole confusing Money vs Wealth idea I was talking about earlier.

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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby Indon » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:20 pm UTC

The way I see it, the process goes:
1.People discover new ways to do things better. Not problematic - quite awesome in fact.

2.People practicing the old ways are personally harmed as their jobs become obsolete. This is problematic because it reduces the stability of an economy and makes personal economic development harder - why bother with a career if you'll just have to learn another one before long? We address this problem somewhat with unemployment insurance, and could conceivably make more progress on this problem through welfare measures targeted at people whose careers became obsolete.

3.People learn the new ways to do things through education. This is problematic because not everyone can afford education, especially as educational standards continually progress higher. Our society has historically dealt with this problem through state-provided public education so that poor people can stay ahead of the curve and have a chance to succeed. But what happens if the educational standards for a middle-class or even subsistence job rise to a level which is not state-funded? I would posit that colleges rake in a lot of money and a lot of middling-paid graduates wallow in debt, wondering why the hell they went to college - which is happening increasingly.

We don't need to worry about job obsolescence in and of itself if people can rely on a social safety net in the event it does happen, and people can rely on free education to stay ahead of the curve and/or acquire new career skillsets.

We still need to worry about the technological singularity and the potential that technology would develop faster than individual humans can adapt - but by then we'll probably have self-modification available that can let us keep up.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:36 pm UTC

Engineering and Programming is largly automated today. Hell, Compiler Design is all about making programming an easier and easier job. Thats why we keep getting newer and newer programming languages that attempt to do something different. All this seems to do however is just make more work for programmers: now we gotta port over X Application from Cobol / ColdFusion / Perl to a "modern language" / framework...

Engineering is also largly automated. No sane engineer does calculus anymore, you just plug it into WolframAlpha to automatically do the derivatives for you (if your company can't afford Matlab or Mathematica). Hell, its even simpler than that: use Matlab Filters to design the RCL circuits you need. Use CAD to automatically lay out your boards. Use Verilog + toolset to change your code into a computer chip.
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Re: Jesse Jackson Jr. : Progress Bad

Postby Jahoclave » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:04 am UTC

Really, we're blaming Borders on the Ipad? It couldn't have had anything to do with the fact that they had to have a going out a of business sale just to be competitive with Amazon?


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