[ExI] Is unemployment the future?

Brent Neal brentn at freeshell.org
Wed Nov 4 14:35:27 UTC 2009

On 4 Nov, 2009, at 6:00, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 04, 2009 at 11:44:36AM +1030, Emlyn wrote:
>> Eugen's write when he says the so called "service" sector is
>> make-work. Not only that, but much of the "creative" sector (usually
>> cast to include management) is also makework, especially that which
>> primarily plays a part in the upper eschelons of the service sector.
> It would to better if we eliminate unproductive make-pretend
> work, and leave such people at home. They can pick up hobbies, do
> gardening, and no longer burn up resources and clog up infrastructure
> commuting. Speaking about telecommunting and telepresence, why is
> nobody mentioning that bete noire, ubiquitous symmetric broadband?
> It's not just for pirates anymore.
>> 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*
> The problem is that we're not doing tech civilisation right.
> We're regressing in our capabilities. Our infrastructure is degrading,
> since we no longer have the financial wherewithal nor skilled
> manpower to keep it where it was. I'm not talking about developing  
> countries,
> most of them climb up. We slide; I guess we'll meet more than halfway
> in the middle. What then? How can we start ascending again, this
> time, together?

Eugen -

I think you'll find that the decline in employment in all levels of  
the ecocnomy and the degradation of infrastructure are linked.  
Infrastructure, at least in our current economic model, gets built  
when there is either money to do so, or overwhelming political  
pressure to take on debt to do so.

We built a LOT of infrastructure in the post-WWII boom. Now, its time  
to repair, retrofit, or replace it and we're discovering that this  
will be more expensive than we expected it to be. Couple that with an  
utter lack of vision about how to replace old infrastructure with more  
efficient, but different infrastructure, and well, you'll find that  
there's both a lack of money AND a lack of political will, the ARRA  
funds in the US notwithstanding.


Brent Neal, Ph.D.
<brentn at freeshell.org>

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