Food for thought - The Third Industrial Revolution

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    Apr 23, 2012 2:49 PM GMT
    http://www.economist.com/node/21553017
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    Apr 23, 2012 7:40 PM GMT
    Werent two of them enough? the world is not getting any better as it is, clearly enough
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    Apr 23, 2012 8:02 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidWerent two of them enough? the world is not getting any better as it is, clearly enough


    You asking me? Ask the author. I'll read this when I get a chance.
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    Apr 23, 2012 8:12 PM GMT
    Super interesting. My 91-year old stepfather was an engineer for Ford back in the day - this will make a good discussion topic. Thanks for posting.
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    Apr 23, 2012 8:22 PM GMT
    showme saidSuper interesting. My 91-year old stepfather was an engineer for Ford back in the day - this will make a good discussion topic. Thanks for posting.


    I saw this on a news feed this morning and briefly looked at it, but yes, I thought this would be of interest. Now, I just to get around to reading it.
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    Apr 23, 2012 11:35 PM GMT
    The most interesting aspect of this is that, first, it's clear that China has tremendous disadvantages: piracy, a rapidly aging population and a lack of fundamental innovation.

    But also: it appears entirely possible that for the first time in human history that production may need very little (no?) labour and yet resources are still finite (though in the long term it's possible that they might be greatly extended by utilizing those off planet). Modern economics is entirely incapable of analyzing how such an economy might work---and a proper consideration requires us to rethink what the good life might look like if noone is needed, or even invited, to work.

    Manufacturing will return to the USA. But it will not bring jobs. I'm not sure any existing politics, right or left, is really ready for this.
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    Apr 23, 2012 11:54 PM GMT
    Hm. I don't see it.

    I don't see such a big need for personalized, individualized products in my daily life, except for maybe in medicine, where some of it is already done (prosthesis, insertive parts of hearing aids and of-course dental crowns.

    Prototype production is a big field for 3D printing, but then mass-production can be done traditionally.
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    Apr 23, 2012 11:58 PM GMT
    bhp91126 saidHm. I don't see it.

    I don't see such a big need for personalized, individualized products in my daily life, except for maybe in medicine, where some of it is already done (prosthesis, insertive parts of hearing aids and of-course dental crowns.

    Prototype production is a big field for 3D printing, but then mass-production can be done traditionally.


    What if you can make things with no human input? What if everything can be precisely tailored to you, your home and your environment? What if everything you own is open to choice?

    Plus there are a lot of things with additive printing that you actually can't make easily.
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    Apr 24, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
    I will look at it again, but when I skimmed the article last week, I thought the point was that ready availability of inexpensive CNC equipment (and I might add, open source robotics) could lead to decentralized and more diversified industrialization. Rather than sending your widget to China for a production run, (or having to wait all spring while somebody in Sri Lanka cuts your new sails icon_mad.gif ) you might get it done by your neighborhood machinist. Of course, (I suppose) the more complicated the project, the larger enterprise needed.
    If so, more technical jobs, but not mass employment for unskilled labor. I didn't spot any new ideas in the article.
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    Apr 24, 2012 12:49 AM GMT
    TigerTim said
    bhp91126 saidHm. I don't see it.

    I don't see such a big need for personalized, individualized products in my daily life, except for maybe in medicine, where some of it is already done (prosthesis, insertive parts of hearing aids and of-course dental crowns.

    Prototype production is a big field for 3D printing, but then mass-production can be done traditionally.
    ... What if everything can be precisely tailored to you, your home and your environment? What if everything you own is open to choice?
    ...


    Like I said, I don't have a big need for that. My " Venti non-fat caramel Frappuchino - no whip" is complex enough.
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    Apr 24, 2012 12:54 AM GMT
    I’m trying to find some non-partisan discussion topics of interest where there might not be the opportunity to get into such outrageous knock drag out fights similar to so many other threads in RJ. Sometimes I end up posting them before I get a chance to read them. At my age, if I don't do it right then, I'll forget what I was going to post.
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    Apr 24, 2012 1:07 AM GMT
    freedomisntfree saidI’m trying to find some non-partisan discussion topics of interest where there might not be the opportunity to get into such outrageous knock drag out fights similar to so many other threads in RJ. ....


    Then you shouldn't have started a thread about the war between Replicators and the Asgard.
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    Apr 24, 2012 1:22 AM GMT
    theantijock said
    freedomisntfree saidI’m trying to find some non-partisan discussion topics of interest where there might not be the opportunity to get into such outrageous knock drag out fights similar to so many other threads in RJ. ....


    Then you shouldn't have started a thread about the war between Replicators and the Asgard.


    There are days when I can't please anyone icon_exclaim.gif
  • metta

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    Aug 20, 2012 6:48 AM GMT
    The Future of Manufacturing Is in America, Not China


    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/07/17/the_future_of_manufacturing_is_in_america_not_china
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    Aug 20, 2012 7:38 AM GMT
    I found the article interesting but still it does not state precisely where the jobs are going to come from. Yes production will move to the US but the manufactured goods will come from printers and robots, not humans. Of course this will represent job opportunities because someone has to produce these printers and robots, and the raw materials will come from the US, but not enough to suffice the current unemployment. I believe that the US will have to innovate in other areas if we went to see unemployment drop to acceptable standards.
  • metta

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    Aug 20, 2012 7:47 AM GMT
    ^
    That is definitely an issue....worldwide. We are going to have to decide what we are going to do on a worldwide basis to try and sustain a quality lifestyle while not needing so many work hours. Over the long term, we may need to cut the number of work hours in order to make it work...maybe more like Europe. The alternative is to design a society where you have a lot more unemployed and the wealthy being even more wealthy at the top. Honestly, it is difficult to keep an economy healthy when the only people with money are at the top. No one is willing to discuss this yet. Obviously, we know where the Republicans stand on this. If we make the wrong move, we will destroy the middle class. And gosh...the poor...which much of the middle class could end up in...well...that is really sad to think about. I don't think that we have to let it get like that. But there are tough decision that will eventually need to be made. And cutting taxes on the wealthy is the exact wrong direction to go.

    I believe that society should try and be as ethical as possible: that a government should try to take care of its people to the extent that it can to make sure that there are minimum humane standards kept, for example, basic health care for its people, making sure that people don't die of starvation, making sure people do not suffer in pain, etc.


    Even in China, they have started replacing people with machines. They have a middle class of roughly 300 million people today and roughly 900 million that are still in poverty.

    What can we do when we have such a huge world population and our technological advancements that are leading us to need less work hours?

    The wealthy should be careful what they wish for....unless they want a war between the classes.
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    Aug 20, 2012 8:09 AM GMT
    ^^^^^

    In France legal working time is is 35 hours a week. And our productivity isnt far away from Germany and other industrial country. Defenitly China gonna to crash down in the next 30 years. I had the opportunity to speak with chinese import/export directors I met along my last travel around Nepal. And they told me, sure Europe and US are in a fucking huge shit atm. But our economy is way stronger. We have all stages of a production process, from design to final production. For sure, our physical production have been moved to Asia or North Africa in the past decate, but will masivly come back. Europe can life whitout china, but China need the world to maintain the richness production. Moreover, china have grown way to fast, compare our european slow industrial development, building stronger foundations. (not speaking abou US, its an other specific situation).
    My thoughts are that, if we focus on the traditional international trademarket the Triad (US/Europe/Japan+ Australia and South America) world could run just fine.
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    Aug 20, 2012 9:01 AM GMT
    I read Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano a while ago and didn't quite understand what he was getting at for the time I read it. Now ...

    The logical consequences of such a third industrial revolution, socially at least, would seem to be to have an elite class of engineers and designers, a small workforce responsible for maintaining the machines, and a very large unemployed/underemployed underclass. This is quite extreme, true, but just imagine if even doctors were obsolete because machines could diagnose illness and perform corrective treatments without human labour.

    Apart from the question of 'what would everyone do for a job ?', the other question that arises would be 'how would anyone be able to consume anything anymore if most jobs are obsolete ?', and 'how would you alleviate boredom and disatisfaction for a large proportion of people who find meaning and purpose in work ?'.

    Interesting topic for discussion and thank you for posting.
  • metta

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    Aug 20, 2012 2:54 PM GMT
    hot_french_man said^^^^^


    My thoughts are that, if we focus on the traditional international trademarket the Triad (US/Europe/Japan+ Australia and South America) world could run just fine.


    I don't think that is realistic. We have a global economy and we are all dependent on each other.