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Author Topic: Are Jobs Obsolete?  (Read 3206 times)

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Offline LustfulLord2011

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2011, 12:00:33 PM »
Allow me to clarify, since I seem to have miscommunicated. I believe it ISN'T being done because of the implementation problems (see my first post on this thread). I believe it will NEVER be done, even when those implementation problems have been solved (as they almost certainly will, within my own lifetime) for the reason I stated above. Two different chains of cause and effect.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2011, 02:19:07 PM »
Maybe its not jobs but work. Work for me equals slavery your doing a task over and over that one might find fun for a bit now and then but then it sucks like working on an assembly line it might be fun to do now and then but it hits the bad stage of having to do this activity.

Rather maybe work should be flexible doing different tasks I'm thinking everyone an independent contractor offering to do work so many hours doing this or that for money. Just thinking off the top of my head though.

But for dangerous work machines would likely be better like coal mining or other things humans would not necessarily be needed to take the risks to do.

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Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2011, 02:48:55 PM »
There's an old saying that if you do what you love, you'll never 'work' a day in your life.  For someone like me, doing call-center support quickly became 'work', but doing the technical analysis I'm doing now only hits that level when the deadlines are insane.  I like what I'm doing, I get to listen to Les Mis (or whatever) with the volume turned up, and I can spell Listeria monocytogenes without thinking about it.  (It's the little things that make me happy! ;D)

I'm sure there are people out there that love farming.  *looks out window*  Yup, there's one now.  There are even possible jobs out there for people that love to sit around playing video games (professional alpha and beta testers?)  So, in theory, it might be possible to sort people into niches where they get to do what they love, and society as a whole benefits.

Offline LustfulLord2011

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2011, 03:07:21 PM »
What ever happened to the guild system, anyway? Someone would find a skill or trade they wanted to learn, would work as an apprentice for x amount of years, and then go off on their own to make their way in the world. It was a good idea. Pity it went out of fashion about 200 years before I was born.

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Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2011, 03:10:38 PM »
It got institutionalized into things like UTI (the most unfortunately named educational program in the WORLD) and renamed as 'Trade schools'.  I'm fully in favor of people, who want to do something like that for a living, taking that particular educational path.

Offline LustfulLord2011

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2011, 03:16:07 PM »
I miss the concept of the apprenticeship system though, because it made education possible for everyone. I myself am self-educated, because I could not afford college or trade school, and neither could my parents when I was young. An apprentice "paid" for their education by working, actively learning their trade on the job so to speak. They weren't paid, but they got the skills needed to earn the right to practice whatever their trade was. Sometimes, with an older student, an arrangement for room and board would be made. I just think that it's difficult for those who don't come from money to set themselves up in a position to earn a lot of money these days, even if they HAVE the native ability to pursue a certain career.

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Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2011, 03:23:12 PM »
I'm sure that in more rural areas, there's still an element of that.  I live in the heart of Amish country (hence my comment about looking out the window for a farmer) and I'm fairly sure that the youngsters there learn carpentry and other skills at the feet of their elders.  It's probably still possible in other areas if you can figure out who to ask.

Offline LustfulLord2011

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2011, 03:28:36 PM »
I just think that, in some instances anyway, it's a much better way to do things, given that (for now, at least) human labor is still needed to make the world go round, LOL.

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Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2011, 03:52:34 PM »
Definitely agree with you there.  I can read all the books about disassembling a catalytic converter that I care to, and it still isn't the same as having someone show me the internal workings first hand.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2011, 05:18:33 PM »
The media and entertainment world - television, journalism, magazines, theatre - used to have some of the properties of the guild system, in a less formalized way, and as long as we're not talking of the higher rungs, but about getting *in* and making a living, making a name. Innate ability, a sense of how-to and a willingess to write, work, hustle, work more counted for much more than diplomas and schools. The spirit of the business often would be, you can only learn so much of how to write and act engagingly at a school, what really makes it work is something you either got or you haven't got, and the will to learn as you go.

Also, papers and tv channels were less committed to measuring themselves in "are we doing what the others would do, plus a little something more? Are we catching a big audience from the start?" plus they were often better funded than they are now (at least in Europe, but I think some of this is true for the U.S. as well). Since the internet and 24/7 cable news came along, we've all grown used to having unlimited access to news and information as it flows online and on tv screens, day and night, without needing to pay any more for a thousand more articles or a few more tv channels - as long as we pay the ISP per month. I'm not saying that makes us fully informed, hell no, but the point is it's become almost impossible to make a newspaper go around and make a profit only on "worthwhile news" and solid reporting and analysis in the old sense - whatever they write, if they put it online any other paper can pretty much rewrite and reuse it within half an hour, and any number of internet users can read it from the online edition of the paper or tv channel without actually paying a nickel (since most papers feel it's necessary to put 90% of their stuff online but very few feel in a position to charge in any strict way for accessing their pages). It's alsp become much more expensive to start a new title, to establish something that's clearly different.

So the media company doesn't work in a protected factory hub anymore, and at the same time there's massively more people who want in and these days there are actual schools and programs from which newspapers, magazines and tv channels recruit their incoming personnel. It's much harder now to get in by just showing up and waving a few daringly brilliant articles: "hey you should take a look at this!" or by knowing someone who is already in. Well, it just seems to me this comes through in how papers and tv channels (and movie studios) operate these days. There's not a lot of chance taking, or of giving people the space, technical teamwork and time needed to do something solid. Companies clearly look at each other a great deal, try to copy what the others did, and herd their employees in the direction where some other company got a hit. Too bad it tends to make them boring and sometimes very ill-informed...
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 05:25:45 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline LustfulLord2011

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2011, 05:23:30 PM »
* LustfulLord2011 agrees with gaggedLouise fully.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2011, 12:29:39 AM »
There are still some strict physical limits to human wealth and power. At the moment, we're managing to produce a vast excess of resources. Especially if you consider what people need, rather than just the latest technogizmos and luxury items that people want. However this excess is largely because we're exploiting fossil fuel reserves. The problem is that fossil fuels are not limitless and have some nasty ecological consequences to their overuse. There's also the upcoming peak in phosphate production which will greatly impact agriculture.

Without these deposits to cheat with, we as humans are limited to the energy provided by the sunlight that hits the earth's surface. We have to use this for growing our food, preserving the natural environments we choose to protect and powering all our technology. Unfortunately there's really not enough sunlight for all of this. Nuclear power can help keep us going maybe another century or so, but there's limits to the amount of Uranium available for use. Fusion power may be coming along, or may not... it's hard to say for sure.

So we're not really as limitless a society as we like to imagine. We're more like a teenager being given a credit card and imagining that they now have limitless money, not realizing that it's all just being borrowed on credit.

Still. I do think we could do better with what we have, we're currently not spending our resources wisely and we're certainly not giving everyone a fair chance. I think we're doing okay, the world is a nicer place than it was at any point in human history. But we shouldn't rest on our laurels. As a species I do think we're capable of more.

One day, science will make jobs obsolete. We're already reaching the point where we can see the shape of it. Robotics can one day replace manual labour, computers can one day replace intellectual labour but we're not there yet. It'll certainly be a difficult period of adjustment when we start reaching that point of development.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2011, 01:12:21 AM »
Robotics can one day replace manual labour, computers can one day replace intellectual labour but we're not there yet. It'll certainly be a difficult period of adjustment when we start reaching that point of development.

 And at that point, there is no longer any need for humanity.

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Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2011, 01:23:01 AM »
Intellectual 'labor' is not the same thing as 'thought' or 'creativity'.  In fact, we may already be most of the way to having computers replace intellectual labor, if you define that as things like computation, data analysis, and the like.  How many people out there remember how to calculate a square root with nothing but a pencil and paper?

Anyone?

Offline Caehlim

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2011, 04:06:52 AM »
And at that point, there is no longer any need for humanity.

There's never been a need for humanity. Universe got along fine for about 13.7 billion years without us.

But one day my nieces and nephews and their descendants may just inherit a world where they don't have to work. What our culture could possibly be like at that point is hard to imagine.

Intellectual 'labor' is not the same thing as 'thought' or 'creativity'.

That's true, but one day computers may be able to duplicate thought and creativity as easily as they reproduce calculation and simulation. I don't think they can now, I don't think they're even that close but who knows what another century will bring.


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Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2011, 09:57:51 AM »
Even if a computer does reach the point of being truly creative, creative thought is unique to the entity that uses it.  There will never be two independent creative works that are identical, whether a computer or a human creates them.  Hence, a 'creative' computer does not eliminate the usefulness of creative humans.

Offline LustfulLord2011

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2011, 11:50:52 AM »
The point is that there is a difference between labor performed to accommodate the needs of survival, labor into which we are forced because we don't want to be without food, or homes, or our creature comforts, and labor engaged in to feed the body, the mind, and the spirit. There is zero need for the former in the modern world. We have the technology to make comfortable plenty for all the people currently walking around on this planet a reality, WITHOUT grinding our lives away in cubicles or factories. And I'm not talking the bare minimum; I am talking about the technology to ensure that everyone is fed, has a home, a vehicle, and reasonable creature comforts ALL WITHOUT THE INPUT OF HUMAN EFFORT. The problem is that, in enacting these sorts of measures, those who depend upon social stratification to maintain their current level of wealth and power would have to participate in the creation of a system that would destroy their sense of status and privilege, and that will NEVER happen. The goal of life isn't to be more wealthy than your neighbor, or to drive a shinier car, or to have a bigger home, or to have a more powerful computer. The goals of life are simple:

1) Survive. This is kind of square one.
2) Happiness - For yourself, and for those around you.
3) Pass It On - Leave the world a little better than you found it when you die, whether in the form of some enduring good work, or healthy and happy offspring, or what.

That's it. Those are the really important things. Working between 40 and 120 hours a week (yes, I know some people who work that much) doesn't serve, for the vast majority of people, ANY OF THOSE GOALS. Not even the first, because you don't have to work to survive... The world is plenty willing to support us on little to no labor at all, if we let it. And as far as the latter two goals, for most of us it not only DETRACTS from those goals, but makes us forget about them AS goals.

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Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2011, 12:31:21 PM »
The world is plenty willing to support us on little to no labor at all, if we let it.

When the weather warms up where you are, try planting a vegetable garden, and then get back to me on that 'little to no labor' thing.  O_o

Offline LustfulLord2011

Re: Are Jobs Obsolete?
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2011, 12:56:59 PM »
I've done plenty of gardening. But you don't have to garden to feed yourself... unless you have allowed uncontrolled population growth to make human agriculture necessary to produce enough food to feed everyone. People in non-agricultural societies spend an average of 2-3 hours a day on the "work" of survival (hunting, harvesting, and making/repairing dwellings, clothing, and tools). The rest of their time is spent with family, in the pursuit of learning, on art, or, if they are a more warlike people, on occasionally killing each other. All told, NON-agrarian peoples are the most leisure heavy on earth.  We have the means to give that leisure to everyone, WITHOUT forcing a return to a pre-agrarian society. But we won't. We can't, because it would mean the end of status, and all it entails.