[ExI] retrainability of plebeians

Dagon Gmail dagonweb at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 17:50:14 UTC 2009

> > Thats what will happen. If robotics achieve
> > take-off in competitive edge, that very day
> > McDonalds orders a million of these machines
> It never happens in a single day. The buggy
> whip manufacturers slowly went out of business,
> remember.

Pfft when computers appears it took less than ten. Typewriters were the norm
in the
late 80s. In the 90s they were gone. Remember that period? It was a mad
for administrative workers to keep up, wordperfect, word star and finally

> > Listen I know you probably will be safe. You
> > will probably have a job that'll last decades
> > before some machine starts pushing you out.
> > But can you feel safe, or do you actually
> Dagon, do you really have to *personalize* all
> these exchanges? Do you think that people here
> are never interested in the ideas for their own
> sakes? Please stop.

No this is a valid example. Rafal is defending a system that safeguards his
and excludes millions from a humane existence. He is spokesperson for a
system that
I argue causes immense grief. I work to persuade him, or if I can not,
those who listen in, if at all possible in the current crowd. I draw the
line in the sand here,
I stick with this one.

> > Are you sure your unswerving zealous faith
> > in free markets will not produce a society
> > with abundance in one places and sprawling'
> > favella ghettoes a few hundred meters away
> > from that?
> Scandinavian societies have *always* been more
> egalitarian, and that stems far more from their
> basic culture than from the lately adopted
> semi-socialist economics. The smorgasbord came
> from up there for a reason.
On the contrary, very under capitalized societies
> in Latin America, for example, were extremely
> inequal---and this was *not* caused by rampant
> capitalism.

I do not agree with that assessment - south american dictators were by and
largel right wing
dictators actively sponsored by US interests, corporations and intelligence
services. I'd say
nearly all southamerican nations. Unless anyone wishes to level the claim
that right wing
dictatorships and free markets are mutually exclusive. I level the claim
that right wing
dictatorships are very much in bed with market liberalization and "leaving
the poor and
helpless to fend for themselves" .

> > ### 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"
> > statement.
> Dagon wants a starker example. The enclosure acts
> in England forced hundreds of thousands off their
> lands---where it must be emphasized that they were
> living in unbelievable squalor already---into towns
> where there was factory work now to be had. There
> were transition costs that were indeed heavy, but
> in a couple of generations, the enormous wealth
> from English factories got much better dispersed
> among the people, and standards of living in England
> rose for the first time ever above Malthusian levels.

Oh I agree that free markets aren't all bad. And I insist that
mechanization, automatization
is good - VERY GOOD. I am not a luddite. I just can;t stand the idea that
society blissfully
stumbles into mass-exclusion and mass-worthless squallor for those who lose
their job
because of these machines. I agree that self-regulation can absorb a trickle
of people being
laid off, but we are approaching a historical transition that may very well
culminate into
something called a singularity. These are very drastic shifts, and I am
deeply suspicious
that if we go into that place with the current ideologies and moral systems,
millions will end
up in ghettos (US/EU/Japan/Australia) and billions will end up dying in the
next decades.

> >     ### 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
> >     economy?
> >
> > It happens in most of the third world. The end result is millions of
> > people living on top of each other, in miserable, crowded, violent
> > conditions.
> Pray tell, just what examples do you have in mind?
> They're only "miserable" and crowded according to
> your standards. Talk to the people. They never
> had it so good. If you think that things are bad,
> try to find out how they lived 100 years ago.

This is is debatable, and I actually did speak to people living in
Bidonvilles who escaped
from urban Africa and those who were capable of seeing the bigger context,
and were
capable verbalizing their concerns all -
1) hate and fear the leaders in their countries
2) hate the rich nations in the world and will keep doing so for a long time
3) want to get out, first chance they get, but are terrified of westerner
police horror stories

I would not characterize conditions in some third world countries as much
as equivalent people suffered a century ago. Not much worse either. But, do
in mind it may get worse.

> > Worse, we have examples it happened in
> > Russia, in the 1990s. People fell back from a
> > livable existence and (through external change)
> > lost most economic power they had and fell back
> > to a level of misery.
> These changes were made most unwillingly by the
> Soviet leaders. Their system simply wasn't working
> and they knew it.
> It will take generations for them to learn how
> to be capitalist again, not that *Russians* ever
> had great strengths in this area. It's wrong to
> blame their lack of rule of law and respect for
> private property on the disintegration of a
> system that wasn't working and was headed for
> even worse.
> It took the west hundreds of years to develop
> the wealth producing traditions and institutions.
> The countries of Eastern Europe, are recovering
> faster from socialism because they lived under
> it for a shorter time.

As Eugen Leitl what his oinion on this topic is. He knows better than I do,
and his views are
less favorable. In fact he projects the same collapse scenarios and police
state conditions
within most of the western world as we see in Russia right now.  And his
expectations on
what will happen after that involve most humanity going extinct. Its one
example, but a valid

> Poeple living in the most expensive city of
> > third world pensions and incomes. Very limited health care.
> Again, are you aware of what it was like 70 or 80
> years ago?

Good argument to make damn sure we dont go back there. Unless you assume
"such a thing
will never happen here".

> You seem to think that a smoothly functioning
> free-market society with relatively little corruption
> is just the natural state, and it gets disrupted by
> sinister forces. No, it takes many generations to
> break free of backwardness.

Is there a chance that might be a support theory? Christians, to name but an
example, use
these contrived explanations the world is evil, whereas god is good. You did
roughly the same
thing - free market society is categorically good, but people are corrupt.

I say free market societies may be very good, as long as we have unfettered
democracy, and
all people can organize into unions, vote up welfare (or basic income). and
vote in progressive
'tax (or - my favorite : a maximum income constitutionally linked to a
minimum income)

> That's why so many people in those countries would
> like to live in the U.S., but they can't get in.

I am sorry, you may think this is personal, but this makes me chuckle. I see
people leaving
'the US in droves, denouncing citizinship rights to avoid having to cough up
the US debt in
a few years. In fact - I am helping a family I know from SL to resettle to
the netherlands and
become dutch citizins. I suggested to the guy to get out of high mortgages
and stocks, he
did so in 2006 and he admitted, very grudgingly, I was right several months
ago. I saved his
ass. He is likely to decide selling his jersey home and move to delft this
or next year.

> > ### Do you think that third world countries have
> > market economies? You may be divorced from
> > knowledge of the economy.
> I agree with Rafal about that.

I start getting the impression you and whatshisname are utopian free market
people vying for a yet untested,
never seen, ideal, potentially unrealizable economic system. As far out
idealist and unlikely as
theoretical communism.

> People have limited skills and ability to do meaningful work.
> > There is a limited demand for complex and highly rewarded work.
> > People are left doing simple jobs and as a consequence cannot improve
> > themselves.
> > Large amounts of people are doing machinelike jobs.
> > Machines become available, in the span of a decade (2015-2025) than can
> > replace simple jobs.
> > Simple jobs are replaced by machines.
> > Pay for jobs decreases below the value of having machines do the job.
> > People who do simple jobs can not find jobs that pay them enough to live
> > humane existences
> > US and EU society stratifies into a "rio de janearo model"
> > Many will claim, like people always did "something like that will never
> > happen here"
> > Rightwing and "free market" ideologies blame the unemployed to secure
> > their value systems.
> > Left wing and "socialist" ideologies start implementing statist,
> > wasteful bureaucracies
> > Black markets fill the gap and large criminal syndicates develop.
> > Society dehumanizes. We end up in a world where I do not want to live.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20090422/f17f901c/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list