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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: The end of labor—protecting workers from robots (140 comments)

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  •  Not the time to bash robots, please. (1+ / 0-)
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    Thousands and thousands of high school students worldwide are on Week 3 of a marathon 6 week "Build Season" designing, constructing and testing competition robots for the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Competition this spring.  

    Here's a video describing the program:

    Lots more competition videos can be found on YouTube by year.  It is one of the most exciting high school activities that is both legal and safe.

    Give these kids a cheer for taking on the new technologies and making change a part of their own lives!  We all need their problem solving skills as soon as we can get them into the workforce.

    Robots are tools, but not static durable items like wrenches, batteries, or dishwashers.  A robot is a job creator!  Just last November, a family member of mine had robotic surgery.  Thousands of jobs over decades led to that application.  Just today, I saw the truck and crew that maintains and operates a city robot which checks the integrity of sewer lines.  Glad that manual job was 'eliminated'!  The process of development, design, engineering, testing, modification, implementation and operation of robots employs an army of skilled workers in reliable jobs all over the country, even in rural areas.  Robots will be part of more types of jobs, in just a few years, than we can even imagine at this time.  How long has it taken the workforce to retrain to use simple computers?  Most of my lifetime!  Have computers made life better for most people?  I certainly think so.  I believe that robots have even more potential and that the more we become familiar with the ground being broken, the easier it will be to take advantage of the technology in unforeseen ways.

    Go watch your local F.I.R.S.T. regional competition: I guarantee you will feel the excitement of change.

    •  Calm down, (4+ / 0-)
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      DeadHead, Lawrence, hrvatska, mike101

      this is not about bashing robots. Sure some comments can sound like it, but the bigger picture is how robots are being used to displace many in the economy. In many instances with adverse results for many in society. Robots are here to stay and will continue to advance and increasingly perform functions that take over jobs that people perform, it is inevitable in an open society like ours. But the bigger question is: what are we going to do as a society to minimize the dislocations and tribulations?

      This is the problem, the way I see it, we are being asked to accept at the very same time 21st century technologies while functioning under 19th century economic models and dogmas. This is not necessarily accidental and something has to give. For the unimaginative the answer might be to restrict or eliminate the robots. For others the answer is that we have to change our economic models, they need to evolve at the same pace than technology and preferably in a way that is beneficial to everyone and  not just for a few in our societies.

      "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

      by basquebob on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:25:27 PM PST

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      •  Education is the lubricant. (1+ / 0-)
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        If liberals have a goal of equal access to opportunity, they must focus on delivery of quality education to every child in a way that is blind to poverty.  We have never achieved anything close to this in the U.S. and are limiting opportunity for more kids every day as we turn to profit over knowledge.  New technology will always change the tasks of jobs but workers need built-in flexibility in order to adapt quickly and efficiently whenever an old career becomes obsolete.  It's not necessarily money that produces an educated population.  It's always leadership, first.  Any other social ill is secondary to our lack of support for knowledge.  It may be too late, as the attacks on universal education have been deadly effective.  Brainwashed segments of society are anti-knowledge.  Nothing will change until the country realizes just how much trouble we are in and just how drastic the measures need to be to salvage the system.

        Of course, an educated and informed population is difficult to control.  It takes a brave leader to relinquish control for the benefit of a population.  

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