Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hmm …

… New Statesman | The new Luddites: why former digital prophets are turning against tech. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A good many years ago, a friend of mine, who had headed a large manufacturing firm, told me that manufacturing would go the way of agriculture, that robots would end up doing most of the work. From the owners' standpoint, this would seem advantageous. Robots won't go on strike, don't need healthcare, etc. But then, there's the downside: if a lot of people are put out of work, who will you sell your products to? Of course, you could simply work out some sort of automatic system whereby everyone simply got what they needed to live, and were left to pursue whatever interests they found fulfilling. The devil, as usual, lies in the details, but I'm sure someone could work out a plausible theoretical model. Were such to happen, though, that probably would spell the end of humanity, because I suspect a lot of people, maybe most, would have a problem with too much time on their hands.

I wonder, too: Is this not just Almighty Evolution going about its undirected business?

1 comment:

  1. It is said that Walter Reuther once took a tour of some GM plant with Management. One of the managers explained to him about certain new machines that had been installed. After telling what it could do, the management type said, "And not one of them has signed up with UAW". Reuther replied, "And how many of them have purchased a GM car."

    (It has been a while, and I won't swear that the story wasn't about Ford, Chrysler, or American Motors.)