Something most people fail to acknowledge is that the factory is the easiest place to automate and has largely been done already.

Since the 60’s, in some cases. :-)

Many people “on the outside” of automation really lack enough understanding to know how truly difficult it is to actually do the rest. So they make such vague statements in support of their ideals.

Precisely. It’s going to be a long, LONG time before a robot plumber knocks on your door, crawls under your sink, and changes out the trap. But some people seem to think that’s coming year after next.

We’ve been replacing jobs, not eliminating them.

Kind of. I think we have been replacing jobs, but not as many as people think, because at this nacent stage of AI/Cognitive automation, we’re still writing software and staffing for the support infrastructures. However, once the software challenges are solved, code is reusable, and the infrastructures are in place, the replacement of jobs will accelerate.

I think this is because those who use automation as justification for an ideological position are short-sighted about it.

Yes. All this talk about UBI and GJB is WAY premature; it’s not being driven my necessity, it’s being driven by ideology and sloth. It’s an attempt to strong-arm the conservative majority into a massive expansion of government services through fear-mongering.

Unemployment is low by historical standards, and real wage is holding steady. If you think about it, any broad-spectrum elimination of jobs by automation will be accompanied by either an increase in the unemployment rate, and/or a marked increase in revenue per employee, as productive job functions shift to machines who are willing to work 24x7 for a quart of oil.

When the metrics start to erode, and we can clearly attribute that erosion to jobs lost to automation, THAT is the time to start looking at compensatory policies. In my view, that’s going to be a topic of discussion in the Congress of the mid-2020’s, and trying to tackle it now risks missing nuances that are not apparent in 2017 real time.

I think the human race, generally speaking, has a biological urge to not only reproduce, but to produce.

Yep. Completely agree. And I’d add that speaking in general, the majority of women have no respect for a man who doesn’t produce. :-) And as you point out, that connection is very likely anthropological in basis. A habit built over fifty thousand years is hard to break. :-)

Automation is a foil to collectivism, not an enabler.


Free markets, free minds. Question all narratives. If you think one political party is right and the other party is evil, the problem with our politics is you.