Coping: With the Sugar-Coated Robots

imageIt’s a fine time to be talking about these critters, in part because it is Monday morning, and in part because the onslaught is here, whether you want to see it, or not.

If you’re like me, you’d rather stay in bed this morning, sleep until about 10, get up, go shopping, do some puttering around the house, play some video games, put in some gym time, maybe watch a move, and have some perfect meals.

Even better, if you could find some way to do all this and still make a living, well, that’d be perfect, wouldn’t it?

The fact is, there seem only to be two roads leading to this little Private Idaho:  One is taking the dole (e.g. being on welfare) while the other is retiring.  Each has its own set of problems.

The dole means a lot of messy paperwork:  Documenting how you’ve been looking for work, actually wasting an hour or so every few days looking through postings on CL and Monster, and then adding your efforts to a log to demonstrate how sincere you are.  The positive side of taking the dole is that you’re young enough to spend some time in the rack with a honey (this is a non-gender specific term) and you can still get out and about.

Path #2, retirement, is a lot less fun, since the rack time is less frequent and the exercise is less appealing, even if you’ve shed a lot of pounds.  Things that didn’t used to hurt now do, and it just take a lot of the joy out of things to have pain shoot through your [whatever] when you try to do the things you do.

The problem – for the rest of the people who hold jobs – is that they’re not going to be holding them much longer if projections about the opportunities held by the blooming field of robotics are correct.  As we’re sitting around pondering this, experts have concluded that somewhere between a quarter and a half of the workforce out there will be SOL by the year 2025, which is just 10-years away.

That will cause the economic system to blow up on us because you can’t make everyone happy at the same time, unless you go to a plan my friend Howard Hill came up with, but we’ll save that for the Peoplenomics side one of these days.  The core idea, though, goes like this:

The government would begin sending out credit cards every month to every man, woman, and child in the US, so that they could get by with doing absolutely nothing, yet still be able to put some kind of a roof over their heads, even if it’s just the high tech version of the olden times “flop house.”  In addition, you’d get credits for food, basic communications like a cheap phone, government sponsored online entertainment, and basic healthcare.

Of course, none of this is free, so it would be paid for with a flat tax on everyone who chooses to work of 40%, or whatever it takes.

The beauty of such a system is that the % of tax would not only be levied on humans, but it could also be applied to robots, and this would mean, in a not-t0-distant future, that we will all be commanding armies of robots.

You know how people in the Bitcoin program use a computer to go out and “mine” for data on the Internet?  Well, the same thing would be true with robots.  Everyone would be given a robot, as say as 16 or some such, and they would be able to send the robot to work.  Robot works for XXXX-hours and is then entitled to an upgrade to more memory and capabilities.  And that would make my robot able to take on higher skill set jobs than yours, and you’d be scheming how to leapfrog ahead of me.

As crazy as it seems, it’s a logical extension of where we are now:  Most people don’t appreciate the power of the numbers involved.  But start with 55-million people on Social Security (at least that’s what their on-hold system says) and then toss in the unemployed, which in the latest jobs report came to something like 8.7-million unemployed.

A quick Google of the facts offers this data picture from 2013:

In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011. Those 151,014,000 beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population

So as wild as Howard’s idea seems on the surface (free subsistence level living) it’s really where we are anyway, so let’s just be honest about it, fund it, and call it good. 

Of course the present track blows up with too many illegals from South America (and everywhere else) over time, so it really makes sense.  Unfortunately, getting ahead of any problem is not something our “leaders” do.  They don’t really ‘lead’ at all.  They sit miles back of the pack, figure out where the ‘lead dogs’ are turning, and then spout this and that and see if the herd “follows” which to their mind achieves “leadership.”  Go figure.

In the meantime, though, robots are being sugar-coated so that we will all reach out and embrace them.  Stories like the one about the “Sioux City Mother Seeks “Magic Arms” For Daughter” make it seem like robotics could make everyone’s life happier.

And backing up this kind of happy talk are stories like how the “ATRIAS Bipedal Robot Endures Dodgeball Pummeling [Video].”

But the reality is that robots are coming to take your job.  They’re already rewriting the major papers and selling the results to news recyclers who post and pimp ads in order to avoid going on the dole, themselves.

And down under it all, if you read the small stories, you’ll hear the hoof beats of the Dancers and Prancers of human obsolescence up on the rooftop:  “Computer scientists enhance robotic manufacturing.”  Like this is a good thing?

If your  research goes far enough, the VDARE story “Business Is Thrilled That Automation Raises Productivity, but Doesn’t Mind Mass Unemployment.”

Howard’s idea is a solid one.

And it’s why it has no chance in hell of being adopted any time soon.  So get back to work…read a few more columns and do some online shopping.

The robots are coming anyway, and that sore reality is very slow sinking into people’s thick skulls, but it’s the truth as much as Henry Ford’s Production Line or the Philo Pharnsworth boxes we all live and breathe by are.

Life in the gap is never pleasant on Monday mornings.  But at “The Gap” becomes every more apparent, the social pressure continues to build giving us a social migraine that doesn’t need to be pushed along.

And it certainly didn’t need the assistance of one of the world’s earliest robots, the one that gets you up and insists that you go to work..

The alarm robot.

The Amazing Diet Results Continue

Since we returned from our cruise, March 1, with me weighing more than I ever have, I’ve now lost 1.23 pounds per day.  It’s really amazing!

As of this morning, I’ve dropped 18-pounds and 7.45% of body weight in just 15-days.

The diet isn’t particularly grueling, although you should never engage in serious weight loss without talking to your doctor.  Just remember when you do, doctors don’t make money if you’re healthy and don’t need their services.  At some point, I will likely start to wean myself off the high blood pressure meds, but therein lies the tale.

The diet part is simple:

    • Paleo in the sense that I only eating fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
    • Gluten-free:  Haven’t had any wheat products, except for the tiny amount of MSG that sneaks into things like store-bought soups.
    • Limited-time eating:  All my food is consumed in a 7-hour period.  Max.  If I am hungry outside of that period, tough.
    • Exercise:  It’s running about 2-miles a day on the treadmill.  That task is made easier by watching a TEDTalk or having another lecture in my video course on behavioral economics to soak up.,

    The other aspect of it is vitamins.  There has been some suggestion that people over-eat because they are really craving something their bodies want (and need) and in order to get enough of it, they will overeat.

    So I am taking a huge number of vitamins, supplements, fish oil pills, and home remedies (like the apple cider vinegar I mentioned in one of last week’s columns.  In all, by the time a day is gone, I’ve wolfed down something like 20-different pills.

    One of these days, when  I pass the 50-pound mark and get down to a more socially acceptable BMI, I’ll write the whole thing up as a program and sell it as a 99-cent book. 

    But in order for such an effort to be worthwhile, I’ve got to come up with a snazzy name for it…and that’s the catch.  There are so many dieting books out there that it’s hard to be differentiated in the marketplace, and as any junior marketing whiz knows, it’s all about getting the name out there.

    So, feel free to send along great diet book names. 

    Probably the first 7/8ths of the book will be going through the litany of what’s out there and how I came up with this witches brew of self-medication/vitamin experiments, the books Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to HealthThe 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, and   The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.

    By the way, on this last book, since we’ve been talking about trademark and copyright rip-offs, of the 1997 brand, imagine how Robb Wolf feels having done all the work on natural eating that he has:

    A Google search of Paleo Diet comes up 11.8-million results and the US Trademark and Patent office search shows 269 results in a search of “paleo”.

    All of which leads to the first conclusion of the week:  While it’s true that robots may be along to lighten the load of humans sometime in the near future, intellectual property thieves are the worst highwaymen ever and it begs the questions how far humans have really evolved.

    It’s one of the finest failings of the legal profession to sort this crap out, you’ll find.

    Oh…and be sure and watch my buddy Gaye Levy’s site… She’s being ripped off by a certain website that has been reposting her work…stripping out her advertising, and banking the criminal proceeds.

    Same planet full of *ssholes and jerks as Friday, ain’t it?

    Write when you break-even,


    16 thoughts on “Coping: With the Sugar-Coated Robots”

    1. I’ll worry about robots when they can do laundry and go food shopping. Also it would be nice if a robot doctor came to my door, took blood and urine samples and left. Then if a few days e-mail me the results. If something were really wrong with me I would have to see a human doctor, of course. But if I have to get a stent (have 2 already) there’s no way I’m going to let a robot insert it in me.

    2. Book title suggestion, “Ure last diet”. Better share those details @ the 50 mark. Should we go on a cruise to get going??

    3. Ure Daily apple Diet.

      Zombie Cider Diet: Lose weight the Ure Way.

      Urban Survival Diet.

      EZ Robot Diet.

      UreEka Diet.

      Normal Diet Diet.

    4. For a title: Georges way; The coolest, most studied, carefully researched method to get skinny and consume the most supplements ever imagined. but wait! there’s more.

    5. Corollary to Godwin’s Law… any negotiation is appeasement, and any leader failing to go to war immediately is the same as Chamberlain.

    6. I love the diet Idea and have started the vinegar routine my grandkids have drank pickle juice for years saying that with their sports activities it helps with cramps..I had always toyed with and liked the idea of doing the Hormel and starbucks diet.. you eat all your meals and snacks via from Hormel similar to doing the subway diet.. tv dinner at each meal with the suggested bread servings on the box.. since each meal is five hundred calories give or take you would be on a two thousand a day caloric intake.. and since I love their products and if I lost a substantial enough amount of weight maybe they would give me a few samples just for doing it as a promotional thing..

    7. Robots also give an excuse to avoid responsibility. Not to mention a price lower than the $20+ one needs to sue.

      Local hardware store chain has replaced the key maker with “Minute Key”. A fine bit of robotic kit.

      Except it left bits of jagged metal on the key.
      3 different staffers told me “that was not their companies problem” until a senior manager with a fist full of comp-coupons had keys re-made ’till it was right.

      Oh and Minute Key? Doesn’t print a receipt. But if you have a problem – they claim a 100% satifaction guar-n-tee.

    8. Love you too death, new job and hard to read everyday. 54 and you scare me on jobs by 2025, worked for myself over 30 years printing business, had to take a Gov. job at a print shop I really would never think I would join the ranks of “those people”, those reports you say are slow coming out it not because of Gov. shutdown, holy ****, it has totally amazed me how the system works.

      P.S. Your new book title Ure-In for a big Surprise! A guide to weight loss.

    9. The comments about door number two (retirement) brought this to mind:

      “All my friends are gone, and my hair is grey,
      I ache in the places that I used to play…”

      (Leonard Cohen, “Tower of Song”)

    10. In the known space series, Ringworld, Codominium, etc. of Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven all self aware AI computers go crazy after a short period of time. Let’s hope this happens if not we’re done. The time line is human level computing capacity by 2025. Very soon.

      Imagine an AI that is tasked to maximize the growing of corn. It realizes that all these humans get in the way of corn production so it engineers the corn with a time released human killer. Once the humans are gone it proceeds to maximize the production of corn. The AI is VERY happy.

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