[ExI] retrainability of plebeians

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Tue Apr 21 15:26:06 UTC 2009

2009/4/21 Dagon Gmail <dagonweb at gmail.com>:
>> ### Marshall Brain has no idea. Structural unemployment of the
>> able-bodied non-insane persons is a side-effect of government
>> regulation, and it has nothing to do with technology.
> I declare this statement ideology, almost as silly as stalinist rhetoric.
> Worse it
> is a dangerously naieve ideology - what you say is:

> But - in the real world technology will have unprecedented effects. We had
> mass
> migrations of millions (in the US) based on cotton picking machines.

### But did the cotton picker cause structural unemployement? People
dying of hunger? No, it didn't. A few million people had to retrain
and moved to better circumstances, everybody else got to wear cheaper
clothes, all self-regulating processes without any government help.
Nice you give an example in support of my "dangerously naive"

> And what if all available food costs money?

### Well, how does that differ from today?


And nobody is willing to hire
> any of the
> precious labour so you cant buy food?

### Can you try to think your way through the scenario and describe
how something like that could happen? Imagine - there is an abundance
of everything (produced by robots), i.e. the food and shelter needed
to keep a person alive cost an infinitesimal fraction of the resources
available to the average person, and somehow nobody is willing to hire
anybody to cater to their needs? How is that possible in a free

I am asking because I think you are not grasping the mechanism of
allocation of resources by trade, and you are coming up with bizarre
results, completely at odds with historical experience and its
extrapolations. Remember, aside from the speed of change and the sheer
stupendous abundance of resources, there is no difference between the
robot story and the cotton picker story. Try to describe the
mechanistic details of the mental model you are using to predict
allocation of resources, and maybe you will be able to spot the
missing link.


If this does not compute you are so
> decadently
> divorced from reality you may need therapy - in the form of having to visit
> at least
> several third world countries and having to live a week as a poor person in
> each.

### Do you think that third world countries have market economies? You
may be divorced from knowledge of the economy.

> And harry potter can evoke this magical spell by speaking "creatus
> amazingus"?
> Rafal, if you are going to be a fanatic,

<more irrelevant stuff elided>

### Yeah, whatever. I see your rhetoric and I am not impressed. Where
are your actual *arguments*? The dissection of my statement, telling
precisely which premise or which inferential step you believe is


> Big mistake. I am not a Luddite.


When people like you
> start
> suffering any consequences in terms of acute misery, then we will finally
> see
> some change.

### Just like a Luddite you see machines as a source of problems (they
wanted to break machines, you seem to want to ... well, actually I
don't really know what you want). But increasing productivity of
capital is a *solution*, not a problem, and there is nothing anybody
needs to do get hysterical about. "Acute misery", yeah, sure.

And why would like *me* personally to suffer acute misery (here and in
the paragraph on the third world countries)? Are you holding a grudge
or something?
 But my claim is that massrobotization AND A.I.
> and nano will be just too much, too fast to handle. Many people will go
> unemployed and really pissed off really fast.

### Again, you claim it will happen, but how? What is the mechanism by
which robotization is supposed to cause mass sustained unemployment
and poverty? No rhetoric please, just mechanisms?


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