[ExI] ai and job loss

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Jan 7 06:50:03 UTC 2017



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of John Clark
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2017 12:54 PM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] ai and job loss





John, your post seems too pessimistic by a factor of 2pi.  Read on please.



On Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 8:48 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net <mailto:spike66 at att.net> > wrote:




>>>… India's richest man and the fifth richest in the world spent 1.5 Billion dollars in his new house…right in the middle of one of the worst slums in India's poorest city…


>>…Indeed.  OK so who built the house?


>… His name is Mukesh Ambani…


Hmm, I didn’t ask that question very clearly.  I meant, who took hammer in hand, who placed bricks, who pulled the wire and wielded the paint brushes?  Did Ambani do any of that?  Or did he hire local builders?  


Since we are on the topic, what do you suppose are the attitudes of those in the part of the neighborhood next to the castle?  Do you suppose they blame him for their poverty?  I think not: they know he didn’t do this to them.  Old-fashioned overbreeding did this to them, but… they probably have a very positive attitude that the richest guy in India, the one in a billion in that enormous nation, chose to live right there with them, rather than haul his money elsewhere.  


I would imagine that big place requires plenty of hired help, grounds-keepers, a platoon of ladies who do nothing but go around dusting things, maintenance people for all the equipment.  With a place that size, that once guy probably supplies hundreds of jobs.  That money filters out through the neighborhood, raising home values, making it a nicer, safer place to live.


My contention is that the locals probably have a very positive attitude toward Ambani.  He stayed there with them.  I can’t fault him.  


>…When I extrapolate from history I don't find it one bit strained. In fact I think the probability such a gargantuan wealth gap can continue to widen and even accelerate indefinitely without a violent eruption is negligible…


That’s one way to look at it, but consider wealth on a logarithmic scale rather than linear.  If seen that way, the wealth gap is not increasing but rather is closing.  For instance, the world’s richest people are at magnitude about 11.  None of these guys are anywhere close to 1E12 dollars.  Consider all the people with net worth that puts them at magnitude about 5.  There are a lot of people who are worth about 100k, all over the globe.  Sure plenty of people worldwide bounce around at magnitude 0 to 2, but down that far, one can rise a magnitude or two pretty easily.  But the dozen or so 11s can’t get to 12 most likely.  Conclusion: in some important ways, the wealth gap is closing.


However… I am not making the case that all is well.  The shortage that worries me about the future is not insufficient wealth but rather insufficient work.  Even if there were some practical mechanism for redistributing wealth that didn’t destroy most of it, that still doesn’t solve the problem of insufficient work to do.  The masses do not want a handout, they want work.  However, there might not be enough left to do in the future.


​>…My favorite political party is the Libertarian Party, or rather it was before their disgraceful behavior in 2018…


Indeed?  He didn’t know Allepo, and this is disgraceful behavior?  Compared to what?



​> ​>…It means deplorable masses rose up and expressed their resentment of wealth inequality by voting for a billionaire.



>…I never said  American voters were smart but in all fairness to them the billionaire in question didn't get a majority of their votes or even a plurality of them or even come close to doing so…


But the alleged billionaire did win a majority of states.  That helps remind the people that the United States are a group of state governments working together.  I really like that the concept is right there in the name.  I like to say it with the accent on the second word.


In any case, look at the bright side.  Perhaps Americans will stop looking to their government for help.  Governments aren’t really about helping the people, they are really about helping themselves.  If a deplorable occupies the top office, that too is a constant reminder: government isn’t really there to help us, and in general will not.  It is run by power grabbers who cannot be trusted.  So don’t trust it.  Pay attention to the limits the constitution places on the federal government.  Your state government might help you, no guarantees.  If it doesn’t, we are free to choose one which does, no visa or paperwork necessary.  Hey, it’s what I did.  I am happy with my choice: California is a good state.



​> ​>…That notion appears to assume that wealth itself is limited.  Wealth is unlimited. 


>…It's true that wealth is potentially unlimited but inequality is unlimited too…Apple is the most valuable company on the planet but it only has 66,000 employees, Google has 57,000, Facebook has 15,700, and Twitter only 3,900…


John you are really almost on it here, what I am thinking about a lot for I have seen it firsthand in my own chosen industry, aerospace.  There is not enough work in that industry by an order of magnitude, and the amount of work available there is dropping.



​> ​>…Consider just one tiny corner of the internet: Khan Academy.  There is a great example of wealth just lying there for anyone to take it up.  It’s free, it’s excellent, it is a terrific educational resource.  Anyone can get to it. 


​>…I can't argue with that, ​Khan Academy is great, the guy just has a knack for making things clear.​  John K Clark



Is it not astonishing that this material is available free to anyone with a wifi connection?  Truly the man is setting up the One-World Schoolhouse.  


Before I criticize Mukesh Ambani or claim he failed to set up a school for the poor, I would want to verify he does not broadcast internet with sufficient bandwidth to download Khan Academy and all the other cool stuff available online.  If he is doing that, he has set up a school for the poor, far more effectively than any building.  


This is the kind of thing the really rich people of the world should be doing: setting up infrastructure for learning, in English, in western thought patterns, in capitalistic paradigms, demonstrate what miracles can transform a society that embraces technology, controls their absurd and self-destructive overbreeding, puts away their superstitions and grabs the wealth that is right there available to anyone who takes it up.







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