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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, March 06, 2021

Kevin Roose: Workers with college degrees and specialized training once felt relatively safe from automation. They aren't.

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Best thing to is for every worker who loses they job to automation or outsourcing the company is required to make them a shareholder and the finances don't die with the worker they are inherited by their families.

#1 | Posted by Tor at 2021-03-06 10:49 PM | Reply

Wow Tor, what fantasy world do you live in?

#2 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2021-03-07 06:39 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Those of us with computer science backgrounds saw this coming a long time ago. Anything can be automated. Even computer programming.

#3 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-03-07 06:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Even the lowest skill level job I ever held, green bean picker, has been automated. Every skilled job I ever held is likely to become automated. Presently, I believe jobs involving repairs or maintenance will become automated; but not right now. Even the proofreader built into my Gmail catches me sometimes, often embarrassingly.

#4 | Posted by john47 at 2021-03-07 10:11 AM | Reply

Don't worry, Capitalism will take care of us all. Won't it?

What is the "conservative" response to this situation? All the benefits of automation will go to the "investors" and workers will be SOL. Welcome to serfdom.

#5 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2021-03-07 11:08 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Personally I never liked Phil in accounting.

#6 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2021-03-07 12:09 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Wow Tor, what fantasy world do you live in?"

That's what they said when Social Security was first proposed.

#7 | Posted by Tor at 2021-03-07 03:00 PM | Reply

Don't worry, Capitalism will take care of us all. Won't it?

Actually, it will. Find a skill that's needed. That's the problem. There will always be a need for plumbers, electricians and A/C experts.

Problem with most kids today they graduate just to say they graduated without anything anyone needs.

#8 | Posted by boaz at 2021-03-07 05:40 PM | Reply

Get a job Boaz, workin' for da Man. Renounce the bloodmoney, it gets in the way, you're better they say! Learn a new skill,show us de way. We need more earning,less trouble today!

#9 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2021-03-08 12:17 AM | Reply

"There will always be a need for plumbers, electricians and a/c 'experts.'" Yep...right up to the point robotics advances to take those functions over as well. You just don't get it, do you?

#10 | Posted by dutch46 at 2021-03-08 01:02 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

James Carville is still kicking himself for that one.

#11 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-03-08 04:30 AM | Reply

Yep...right up to the point robotics advances to take those functions over as well.

Those are things that require human interaction and I think that's something where humans will draw the line. Things that require human judgement, like if a line needs to be replaced by sight and experience, just cannot be replaced by AI.

#12 | Posted by boaz at 2021-03-08 07:14 AM | Reply

...always be a need for plumbers, electricians and A/C experts.
#8 | POSTED BY BOAZ

I'm sure at 53 with no (plumbing, electrical, or HVAC) experience, Phil will be first in line for these jobs.

#13 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2021-03-08 07:58 AM | Reply

...that's...where (Capitalism) will draw the line.
#12 | POSTED BY BOAZ

The only concern of Capitalism is profits.

#14 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2021-03-08 08:00 AM | Reply

My plumber and electrician are highly skilled and worth every penny. It takes a lot of self-control not to stare over their shoulders to see what they're doing.

#15 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-03-08 08:09 AM | Reply

Boaz, a university education is supposed to teach the classics and impart knowledge gained through history in order to produce well-rounded people with a keen insight into human nature. A bachelor's degree is just an entry into the workforce with the understanding you can manage a group of people and do what you're told. In the sciences, it's a little different. They're teaching hands-on skills. It's more of a technical/vocational education piled high with classics electives. With two years' of calculus, statistics, differential equations, and 80 hours of chemistry, physics, botany, zoology, biochemistry and metabolism, there isn't a lot of time left for electives. My degree mandated 142 hours, where the normal BA degree from the college of arts, business, and music only required the normal 120. That's why they offer a Bachelor to Master's degree plan in chemistry in some schools.

#16 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-03-08 08:22 AM | Reply

We're currently in the process of changing payroll/HR systems where it's so much more automated.

We won't eliminate any jobs but we likely be adding fewer with our continued growth.

#17 | Posted by eberly at 2021-03-08 08:44 AM | Reply

My plumber and electrician are highly skilled...
#15 | POSTED BY MADSCIENTIST

They certainly are. Boaz thinks they can be replaced by a middle aged accountant who never touched a channel locks before he went to PennCo Tech last year.

#18 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2021-03-08 08:48 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

-What is the "conservative" response to this situation? All the benefits of automation will go to the "investors" and workers will be SOL. Welcome to serfdom.

Is this your lifelong response to every single piece of technology that's developed and implemented?

Because it always leads to more efficiency......and yes...that ugly word...profit

#19 | Posted by eberly at 2021-03-08 08:48 AM | Reply

Boaz thinks they can be replaced by a middle aged accountant who never touched a channel locks before he went to PennCo Tech last year.

It happens. I know many a man who changed careers at the age of 50 or more. And because of their work ethic, they are probably the one you want working on your equipment.

#20 | Posted by boaz at 2021-03-08 09:54 AM | Reply

I got a new A/C installed in my house about 5 years ago. The guy I hired to do it was a Type-A personality workaholic. He talked to fast I couldn't understand him at times. He had no problem with me helping him install both the inside condenser and outside compressor. He called a guy and sent the old unit to be recycled. The only thing he didn't do was put in larger gauge copper tubing between the new condenser and compressor. But he said he could compensate for it. It uses 2/3 less electricity than my 45 year old one and haven't had a problem yet. It's already paid for itself. Instead of a $350/month electric bill, it's $150. $200 x 60 months = $12,000 savings. The units only cost $4000 to install. With a wifi thermostat it's nice to dial up the heat in the morning by telling Alexa to raise the thermostat two degrees. He even wired a new circuit breaker on the compressor and put a chain on it hooked to the electric box with a padlock on it to keep thieves from stealing the compressor for it's copper coils.

In short, this guy was just as professional in his line of work as a chemist doing delicate measurements on an analytical microbalance.

There is a great difference between other men's occupations and yours. A glance at theirs will make it clear
to you.

--Epictetus

#21 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-03-08 10:14 AM | Reply

It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a new bomber.

We've got the best government money can buy. Think about that for awhile.

--Dunn

#22 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-03-08 10:19 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Things that require human judgement, like if a line needs to be replaced by sight and experience, just cannot be replaced by AI.

#12 | POSTED BY BOAZ

This is the type of dated thinking the article is talking about.

AI can and will learn to be better than people, even at trades.

#23 | Posted by jpw at 2021-03-08 10:32 AM | Reply

-In short, this guy was just as professional in his line of work as a chemist doing delicate measurements on an analytical microbalance.

How many chemists have to deal with customers?

My point is that this guy was undoubtedly MORE professional than a chemist.

But perhaps I have a different definition of "professional" than others.

#24 | Posted by eberly at 2021-03-08 11:25 AM | Reply

I deal with businessmen trying to undercut each others' prices...by the 20,000 gallon load. They're usually a joy to work with. And knowledgeable. Occasionally I deal with customer complaints. This is a little different. They'll want to know why their eye drops sting. I tell them it's the drug going to work. Once or twice they got a hold of the privite lab number wanting to know te exact ingredients. I'll read the constituents off the side of the bottle. There's really no secrets, just production procedures that need to be on a need to know basis.

Once, out of the blue, I called our Exxon representative and asked if he could do better on our shipment of methanol. He told me e hates going back-and-forth negotiations. I told him likewise. So he quoted a price one penny a gallon less than our competitor. I said deal and we saved $400/load from there on. Not much, but it was worth it.

#25 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-03-08 05:23 PM | Reply

"So he quoted a price one penny a gallon less than our competitor."

I used to know a guy who ran some gas stations. His margin was often times under a penny per gallon.

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-03-08 05:25 PM | Reply

Solvents and Chemicals are a razor-thin margin for profit. Their go-to statement was: We know we've got you on price and quality, the only thing left for us to do is ensure customer satisfaction. They they'd take my boss and I out to a steak dinner to ensure loyalty.

I was so young at the time I'd never eaten prime rib before sitting in a puddle of blood. It was delicious. My mother taught me the southern way of cooking. There are two settings on the electric stove: Hi and off. Learning to prepare food on Medium was a learning experience. I had no idea beef tasted better medium rare and not charred to a crisp. I take it from her being reared in the South where they burn everything.

#27 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-03-08 05:38 PM | Reply

sIt takes a lot of self-control not to stare over their shoulders to see what they're doing.

Can't speak for your guys but for me I don't mind when someone stares over my shoulder. I don't mind when they ask questions, mostly there is a limit. The only thing I mind is when they start telling me how to do the job.

The closest I ever got to walking out was a guy who tried to tell me what was wrong then started second guessing me. I'm not the argumentative type but if you tell me the problem is caused by X and I know X is irrelevant I'm going to say "no I don't think so because (reasons)" if you then try and argue with me that's about the only thing you can do to piss me off.

As far as the topic of the thread, yes I could design a robot to do my job. With current prices and technology it would probably cost 50 million on the low end and you would need a self-driving car to get it to the job site. Seeing as it can't really go much faster than me and travel time is fixed the only gain would be that it could work 24/7/365 instead of 12/6/250. Since I don't think most customers would want a robot in their house at 2AM you wouldn't even gain the full difference. However for arguments sake say it could fix 18 fireplaces a day at 250 per fireplace assuming no repair costs or down time you are looking at a 30 year payoff. I'm not too worried yet but tech advances so maybe in 20 years it could be a worry. I'll have to warn the kid I train to replace me about that.

#28 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2021-03-09 06:02 AM | Reply

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