[ExI] Is unemployment the future?

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Wed Nov 4 02:47:54 UTC 2009

On 11/3/2009 7:14 PM, Emlyn wrote:

> The thing is this: it's not a sign of failure, per se, that this is
> happening. If we are doing tech civilization right, the jobs*should*
> be disappearing. After all, a job is something which needs doing, but
> which no one will volunteer to do. Somehow we often forget, in our
> quest for high employment levels and job security, that people,
> overall, fundamentally don't actually want jobs; they want financial
> security (ie: to be able to live), and jobs have been a necessary
> evil, an indirect method and usually the only way to provide that.

Spot on, the whole post, aka "what he said". I do find myself wondering 
whether my instant agreement with this excellent summary from Emlyn is 
just a side-effect of our both being Australians, from an alternative 
universe that's *quite like* the US but massively different as well.

> (A quick aside: many of the "efficiencies" we see aren't from
> automation, but from exploiting cheap overseas labour, so we resemble
> at least in part the slave based empires of the past. That probably
> undermines a lot of my argument

The only problem I saw with Emlyn's post was that IMO this should have 
been the starting point in any assessment of the current problem (as 
seen from the privileged First World). It's a frightful shock here if 
your job is snatched away by some coolie in an alien land, but I 
wouldn't be surprised if the coolie is rather pleased by the new 
opportunities. If all else fails, our washing machines (made 
inexpensively for us by coolies) can take in their laundry...

Damien Broderick

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