Automation will destroy us

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Old truckers never die, they just re-tire. Anyways, the point is those screaming automation will destroy us all, are missing that they've been saying the same thing since Ug first tied a spear tip to a spear, and Zug predicted that would end all animal life. This is nothing new.

There's a rate of change that can cause short term localized issues. But historically the costs of labor versus costs of automation balance each other out. Eliminating drivers ups the demand for loaders/unloaders and sales/repair people.

Even disruptive technologies don't happen overnight. Look at smart phones, the most massively disruptive technology of our era... poor flip phone builders were devastated. But we created more jobs in Apple stores than were lost at Nokia. Smart phones didn't eliminate laptops and desktops. And lots of jobs were created in improving data networks and mall kiosks for phone accessories and repairs. The systems balance. More people are better off now, and enjoy the fruits of the transition than before. Most of those predicting catastrophe are ignoring history, or the parts of the equations they don't want to see.

There's even a 200 year old word for them, having to do with those that would destroy the tools of automation in the early 19th century... luddites.

The Population Bomb

When the 1960’s happened the hippie collectivist environmentalists started their watermelon movement (green on the outside, red on the inside). They had nothing logical to support their fear mongering, so they just went with the long disproven falsehood of Tragedy of the commons, again. First Garrett Hardin regurgitated the Tragedy of the commons, despite the fact that it was disproven 160 years before he wrote it. Then Ehrlich did a shallow, plagiaristic, pessimistic derivative of Hardin and Malthus, entitled "The Population Bomb", basically saying that if you didn’t give government all your money and rights, so they could enact compulsory population control, then there would be mass starvations and war in the 1970s and 1980s that would destroy civilization. Of course it didn't happen, but many on the left seems it will, soon, and believe in over-population is a problem. As far as we know the carrying capacity of the earth far expands with technology and exceeds population growth (so is infinite) -- and current projections are that we'll peak in population in a couple more generations (well below any imaginary ceiling), as currently the worlds population could fit in Texas. Only science deniers think overpopulation is a serious capacity problem. more...

Tragedy of the commons
We often get dire warnings about Malthusian Catastrophes, Ehrlich's population bombs and how individuals can't be trusted to manage shared interests. We need government to protect us from ourselves. History shows the opposite: individuals form small governments for common interests better than big governments, unless big government stops them.


Malthusian Catastrophe

In 1798, this guy named Robert Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population , basically saying that since population growth was exceeding food production, our labor value would crash to zero, we’d all be poor and we were all going to die in 50 or 100 years (known as the Malthusian Catastrophe), if we didn’t give the government control over our breeding. Also we needed to “condemn the bad specimens to celibacy”. Hey, he must be right, he used math.

We ignored Malthus, and he was wrong about everything. The world not only didn’t go into meltdown by 1898 (or ever couple generations after that): it got better in every dimension along with population growth. But his ideas long outlived the era where they were proven wrong, and were often repeated by the the left like Keynes, or to this day.

Every time one the collectivist ideas fail (which is always), they try to repackage it (reinvent it), to sell the next gullible on the same bullshit. And this zombie has more lives than a cattery. But all the variants have a few things in common, their premise (humans can't control themselves and need government), their proposed solution (giving up our liberty/money to government to fix it), the outcome if we didn’t act (our near term violent demise, to add immediacy), and then finally — the unwillingness of the rational to heed their warnings, and then the complete lack of consequences that were predicted (proving that they were wrong all along). more...


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