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Philo and Sophia

Will Humans Become Redundant In Your Lifetime?


by Ian R Thorpe.

As unemployment continues to rise a few people in all walks of life are starting to recognise that contrary to what we are constantly being told, the internet and technology in general is not a job creator but a job killer. And yet our politicians continue to export low skill jobs to low wahe economies and automate the work requiring higher skill levels.

Will Humans Become Redundant In Your Lifetime?

by Ian R Thorpe

The widening gap between investment in job killing technology and in job creation for human workers makes nonsense of' promises to "focus on job creation" and their exhortations to young people to stay in full timed education and saddle themselves with debt in order to get a degree qualification. This dehumanisation of industry and commerce means the prospects look bright for robots and computers but where do people stand in the food chain? On the fringes unless you live on inherited wealth or are part of an academic and political elite, The Daily Stirrer.

We are bombarded every day with news of new uses for computers and machines that initially augment but will eventually replace human labour. Google claims to have developed cars that drive themselves, algorithms can write news stories from data, compose music or poetry and, it is claimed though somewhat exaggeratedly, fool real people that they are conversing with humans (in tests the only people fooled were scientists and they are not real people, they're nerds) , In Japan and increasingly in the west factories run “lights out” for weeks at a time with little or no human presence required.

Historically, technology revolutions spawn waves of creative destruction that produce new kinds of jobs. For instance, the industrial revolution put artisans out of work but employed legions of unskilled laborers. The upshot of this was the Luddite riots, when gangs of skilled workers, fearing for their livelihood, would burn mills and factories, smash machines and even abduct relatives of the owners.

Today all over the developed world national unemployment rates stand at its highest points for many decades. In Spain, one of Europe's most threatened nations, thanks largely to its commitment to "sustainable" energy which left factories silent and homes in darkness until the already heavily indebted government started to import electricity from France's nuclear plants, the unemployment rate is a shade over 20%, or one in five. There and elsewhere out of work protestors are taking to the streets. The so called Arab Spring uprising were not triggered by a desire for democracy as the ever more clownish Barack Obama likes to claim, but by the hardships imposed by high unemployment, downward pressure on wages as a result of this and by rising prices impacting on living standards.

Everywhere, as the global population explodes, work - which is one of the secondary human needs, not essential to sustain life but important in sustaining a community - is being done by machines, jobs are being destroyed. As a long time Information Technology professional I am more aware than most people of the damage inflicted on society by the internet. We are all required to laud and extol the net as one of the great technological advances yet apart from making us all more likely to be isolated, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality and shortening the attention span, it has been a huge job killer. In many of Britain's town and city centres up to a third of shops now stand empty, victims of the switch to online trading.

A new book, “Race Against the Machine” from MIT researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argues that jobs lost since the Great Recession haven’t returned partly because companies have invested more heavily in automated technology, rather than hiring (outsourcing is another cause). The authors spell out the consequences in an article published in The Atlantic:

The threat of technological unemployment is real. To understand this threat, we’ll define three overlapping sets of winners and losers that technical change creates: (1) high-skilled vs. low-skilled workers, (2) superstars vs. everyone else, and (3) capital vs. labor. Each set has well-documented facts and compelling links to digital technology. What’s more, these sets are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the winners in one set are more likely to be winners in the other two sets as well, which concentrates the consequences.

Nobody is immune. Administrative and sales functions are being automated and though customers might hate dealing with robotic voices instructing them to press a number for ordering, another for checking delivery dates economics are all and in the end machines are cheaper, do not call in sick, do not join unions and do not get pregnant / injure themselves playing dangerous sports. In the coming decades, advanced pattern recognition software and AI-driven systems will replace much of what knowledge workers do today, including those in the retail, legal and information technology industries.

The trend has led experts like Douglas Rushkoff to question if work is obsolete and if society should continue to organize itself around employment or look for other ways to occupy humans before they descent into self destructive lifestyles through sheer boredom.. Others, mainly those who would themselves prefer to be machines as they have never been comfortable with emotions, view this labor revolution with optimism, claiming that we have a place alongside machines. It is making us confront the fundamental question of what humans are good at and potentially expose a greater meaning to life. This is all very well but in this scientific utopia probably 80% or more of us would find no place for our skills. The nerd elite do not much care for music, art, literature or poetry the things humans excel at and from experience I can tell you machines are utter crap at.

One fan of this drive to make us the slaves of machines has written, "Over the next decade, while machines will replace humans in some tasks, they’ll also amplify us, enabling us to do things we never dreamed of doing before. We’ll enter into a new kind of partnership with these machines—one that will shine light on the unique comparative advantages of humans: thinking, creativity, spontaneity, adaptability, and improvisation." Really? In the fifty years since computer and digital technology started to have an impact on society large swathes of the population have started to rapidly de-evolve, heading back towards the knuckle dragging, selfish, impulsive state of our early early ancestors.

The World Future Society argues that industries that undergo technological transformation don’t disappear, but the number of jobs they support sure do. For instance, agribusiness employed half the population in the early 1900’s but now provides just 3% of all jobs.David Autor, an economist at MIT, says that the transition towards a post-industrial economy will see a clustering of job opportunities at opposite ends of the skills spectrum where machines have yet to foray.

At one end of the spectrum are low-paying service-oriented jobs that require personal interaction and the manipulation of machinery in unpredictable environments, such as cooking food in a busy kitchen, or taking care of pre-schoolers. At the other end are jobs that require creativity, ambiguity, and high levels of personal training and judgment. These include jobs that require both physical and advanced mental capabilities e.g., doctors and engineers or in tasks that involve rapid decision making in unpredictable and unprecedented situations such as nurses and plumbers. The nerds may cream themselves dreaming of machines that can think like humans, but forgetting the "like humans" bit, I have described how machines filter data previously (IBM to build a chip that emulates the human brain) Basically it comes down to "If X = n then do action." Now that is not by any definition thinking.

According to the sociologists 65% of today’s school pupils will end up in a non job, paper shuffling or bean counting in a government office or in a pointless manual task simply for the sake of keeping them occupied. Clearly the establishment and the business and commercial worlds have not thought through the likely consequences of this crazy drive to dehumanisation of work. Politicians, academic institutions, and business leaders need to think about what will happen to society if machines are used to make humanity redundant in the name of efficiency and profit. We are pitifully unprepared for the challenges of a world with seven billion people in it, if half those people are surplus to requirements who knows what kind of trouble they may cause just to make life interesting.

“The activities that make us human – thinking, dreaming, learning, communicating, and feeling, are the skills that are the most difficult to program. In a contest of “man vs. machine”, people will continue to shine and outperform in these areas for years to come,” says the World Future Society. That's all very well but what about the people who aren't equipped to be artists, musicians, writers, poets, philosophers or athletes. There are rather more of them than the "experts" appear to think.

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It may seem far fetched but it is possible to link the techniques of the climate change / anti capitalist lobby to the brainwashing prorammes used by the Nazis in Germany, Stalin's Soviet regime in Russia and Chaitrman Mao's brutal government in Communist China. Thus it becomes quite similar to malware that infects computer systems. The left do not care about saving the planet, all they are interested in is advancing their totalitarian, globalist agenda.

Libya, Syria, Yemen: Sectarian conflict threatens entire Middle East
Another failure of US foreign policy leads to threat of war as a coalition of 10 Sunni Arab states launches a military offensive against Shiite Houthi militants in Yemen, recently proclaimed by America’s president as a brilliant example of war on terror, but now catapulting the Middle East into the inferno of battle.

Obama's Terrible Trade Pact Is a Scam That Must Be Stopped Says Jim Hightower
Having written a book on the evil trade treaty that will transform the democratic nations into corporate oligarchies, we step aside and hand the baton to Jim Hightower of Alternet who is equally outraged about the iniquities of TTIP's equally evil twin, TPP.

"I'm Not Stupid" Monsanto Lobbyist Refuses To Drink Weedkiller After Proclaiming "It Won't Hurt You"
The glib claim backfired however when the Monsanto lobbyist was offered a glass of diluted Roundup (active ingredient Glyphosate) and asked to drink it.
"Do you think I'm stupid, " the lobbyist blustered ...

Rotherham Child Sex Abuse Probe Puts 42 Police Officers Under Invesitigation
allegations against police officers include neglect of duty by failing to adequately investigate on the basis of evidence or to deal with incidents appropriately, inappropriate comments and evidence of corrupt relationships between police officers and offenders.

U.S. versus Russia War: Top Russian Politics Scolar Stephen Cohen Tells The Truth
We have been blogging for four years about the US drive for war, provocation of Russia in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and elsewhere made it obvious. But I'm just a news junkie with a strong sense of curiosity and have wondered why the US seems set on this course. Good to see experts like Stephen Cohen, a prominent expert on, Russia are coming onside.

Google Meets White House Officials Every Week, Why?
We have been very suspicious for ten years of the way Google with such apparent ease achieved a dominant position in web search. How did it happen, did Google do something evil, did they invoke the powers of darkness in their meteoric rise. Or were there even darker forces at work, powering Google to a position in which their internet technologies could dominate global information flows? Here's something cynics should read.

Venezuela's President Maduro Accuses USA Of Psychological Warfare
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused forces in the United States, Colombia, and Spain of waging an international “psychological war campaign” against his country. Barack Obama is behind a psychological war campaign to justify a coup in Venezuela said Maduro (who is not known for emotional restraint in his speeches) as he presented the results of the CELAC meeting in Costa Rica and elaborated on one of the grandest conspiracy theories yet proposed by his government.

The US House of Representatives Openly Calls for Regime Change in Moscow
Aside from Washington's usual lust for war, and the enthusiasm of American politicians to act as cheerleaders for death and destruction (so as to secure their billions in military industrial complex campaign donations, (graft, bungs, slush money, payola), a key part of a new bill before the House of Representatives which calls for lethal aid to Ukraine, has nothing to do with Ukraine at all.

Banning Cash Will Stop Terrorism (and end war, poverty, disease and bad smells)
The cashless society has been talked of for a long time by worshippers of authority, science fanboys, supporters of left wing politics and other people who think that nice Mr. Hitler had some good ideas really, but leading the race to ban cash because it is an aid to terrorism is the extereme right wing National Socialist regime in France.

Stupidity Of America's Lust For War With Russia
We have reported many times on the American attempts to provoke Russia's leader Vladimir Putin in the hope that Puting will then fire the first shot in the war the USA so desperately needs to revive its failed economy, unify its dysfunctional society and restore is to the position of dominant global superpower ...

TThe Idea Of An Infinite Universe Is Fashionable Again
The now little discussed (due to the witch hunt tactics employed by the scientific consensus gangsters) idea of an infinite, eternal, self renewing universe makes a lot more sense than a point at which everything suddenly materialises out of nothing.

Free Speech Is Being Murdered By The Media And Left Wing Authoritarianism
Without free speech there is no democracy. Without democracy there is no freedom. But all over the developed world free speech is under attack from politically correct politics. It is time to start resisting, do not believe the propaganda published by mainstream media, question everything and make up your own mind. as The Buddha said, "Believe nothing you read or are told unless it agrees with your own experience and common sense."

To Infinity And Beyond - Big Bang Theory Trashed?
One 'scientific fact' Little Nicky has challenged in the past is Big Bang Theory. I have lost count of the times that having offered proof that Big Bang is not a fact, the universe is in reality infinite I have become involved in thousand - comment threads in which the arguments of the Big Bang sceptics were contradicted by science tits screeching, "It is a fact because we say it is."

De - dollarization Moves Ahead - Once Again We Told You So.
Add the IMF to the (now long) list of those who apparently share the UK’s view that joining the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is an “unrivaled opportunity,” as Christine Largarde says her institution not only sees a “massive” opportunity for cooperation with the AIIB but is also “delighted” to explore the possibilities.

World Domination Freak Bill Gathes Appeals For World Government
In a recent interview with the German magazine “Süddeutsche Zeitung“, Bill Gates, son of a CIA director and the New World Order's 'made man' uttered some highly sinister comments in support of abolishing democracy and nationhood in favour of world government.

Another Reason To Get Out Of EU. UKIP MEP Hits Out At Fishing Policy That Penalises British Fishing Crews
As the General Election campaign starts to heat up, we try to shift focus away from the squabbling between Conservative and Labour about who can make the most promises they have no intention of keeping and to the real issues concerning jobs, social breakdown , mass immigration, and an often overlooked area in which our EU membership has perhaps done more damage than any other, the fishing industry.

German Ubermacht Gives Greek Upstats The Finger In European Union Confrontation. The confrontation between Germany, which some say sees itself as the increasingly dominant nation in the EU as 'ever closer integration' progresses, and Greece, the Euro zone economic basket case but a proud and independent nation all the same, had to come. Germany was more austerity from Greece to protect the value of the Greek debt it hold. Greece want money from Germany to settle old grievances.

France Moves to Make ‘Conspiracy Theories’ Illegal by Government Decree
Political elites and super-bureaucrats must be very worried. New start up political parties, dismissed as populist byt in reality listening to the concerns of voters are making inroads into the political status quo. New media investigative journalists and op-ed writers are challenging the official propaganda (and gaining an ever bigger audience). It’s becoming harder to control consensus reality.

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