[ExI] Serious topic

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 2 01:55:25 UTC 2011

On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 2:54 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 09:10:27PM -0500, Mike Dougherty wrote:
>> Can we persuade governments to incentivise knowledge workers to stay
>> home and telecommute?  Once I can do my job without the daily to/from
> Here's an infrastructure problem, again. In order to make
> telepresence happen you need to roll out symmetric high-bandwidth
> connections, which basically means laying ducts and pulling
> fiber (owned by municipalities, operated by contracting companies),
> plus provide enough backbone capacity.

I don't require realtime video conferencing to write code.  I could be
working from a home office right now.  I am not doing so because my
employer still believes that cube dwellers are easier to manage than
their mobile/wfh equivalents.  Sure we can abuse the privilege, but
how many people burn their time at work on facebook/youtube/et al
where they're supposedly better managed?

Samantha is correct: we could form a cabal of knowledge workers who
have secured enough intellectual property to demand work from
home/home office.  But there would likely never be enough of us to
noticeably reduce energy consumption (or wear on physical
infrastructure)   If there was some compelling evidence to make those
enlightened businesses that spkie mentioned stand out as winners in
productivity, cost savings, or government fiat (they're all forms of
money) then maybe some behavior will change.

My mom sent me the included video recently. [1]  She has a cell phone
only for an emergency and checks email maybe twice a week.  Still, she
forwarded the link with the optimistic line, "We might be living like
this in 10-15 years."   That video could have been made in 1980 for
how "future predictive" it is  ( oh wow, TV screens in every surface -
imagine Corning would think of that )  However we still don't live
that way.  Of course we could do this right now, the microsoft
smarthome is a working example.  Will it be affordable for everyone to
live like the Jetsons?  No, we'll be spending increasing percentages
of our income on food/fuel & heat.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list