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Old 05-22-2020, 01:44 PM   #1876
Icky Thump
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
Think long, not short. We'll lap them 10X per capita in terms of deaths accruing from the coming financial disaster we're about to endure.
Many seem to forget you don't need a lock down for the economy to shit the bed. Just a couple of million people to say "Nah, my toilet seat licking days are over" and folks are back to squeegeeing windows for change.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:49 PM   #1877
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by LessinSF View Post
From Josh Blackman at Volokh -

"Today, President Trump visited the Ford factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Under state law, everyone in the factory was required to wear a mask. President Trump refused to wear a mask. The Michigan Attorney General said she would investigate Ford for letting the President visit the plant without a mask.

This Ford Factory is currently providing services under a Defense Production Act contract. Is the company a federal agent for purposes of the DPA? If so, are there any Supremacy Clause issues with prosecuting Ford for the President's behavior? Is this case like McCulloch v. Maryland, where the state of Maryland disciplined a federal bank employee?

We are living in a real-time final exam hypothetical."
Does the service it is providing and the rules Ford is following prevent it from following the mask rule? No. Maybe, with a dumb federal judge the removed state court complaint doesn't get remanded in 90 seconds but there has not been a successful federal contractor defense in like 40 years.
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Old 05-22-2020, 02:01 PM   #1878
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Re: Swede emotion

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And you are not quite right about the express intent of many forms of tech. The idea is to "disrupt" by creating something new and better. Eliminating labor is a collateral effect, but not the objective.
Where's the crying from laughing so hard emoji? We need that for statements like this.

The "better" always includes "cheaper." And the "cheaper" part comes from avoidance of the bigger costs. And the biggest cost is always this: Labor.

Now answer me seriously.

Quote:
Maybe so, but almost always there is a creation of new value, not just a shifting of labor costs to tech company owners. Uber hurt a lot of taxi drivers, but now you can use an app to get a car much faster.
Correct. You have taken money from a cabby and given it to Uber shareholders and me. Thank you.

Quote:
Were cars predatory because they eliminating buggy whip makers? No one says that.
No. But an algorithm that is designed to meet if not outperform an analyst is designed to avoid the cost of paying that analyst. A kiosk in a grocery store is not any more efficient than a worker. It actually makes the consumer's job harder. It's sole purpose is to eliminate labor costs.

Quote:
I think we all want to focus on the value we are creating. Some of that is replacing things that don't work as well.
I can get a cab in a city just as fast as I can get an Uber. Often easier, as it's simpler to wave than pull up an app. Why do people nevertheless use Uber? It's cheaper. It eliminated the cabby's margin.

Quote:
You like to talk about this problem, but you're not actually willing to do anything about it, are you? Except UBI, of course, the exception that proves the rule.
There is nothing to be done about it. The only thing that will fix the inequality accruing from tech disruption and policies that so disproportionately favor capital over labor is a crisis. Things will get so bad that there will be public outcry to reset the system which can no longer be ignored.

That could take the form of massive anti-monopoly policies (breaking up Amazon: See Galloway on that). It could result from populist rage coupled with social unrest. Idk what it will look like, but I know this: The country can't absorb the permanent job losses predicted coming out of this pandemic.

You argue that we should all have to pay marginally higher taxes to fatten a safety net for those tech is displacing. But you avoid the argument that I have made: "Tech broke it, tech can buy it." Let tech deal with the pitchforks. Let Wall Street deal with the pitchforks. Let Washington deal with the pitchforks.

I don't have to deal with them. I say Do Nothing because I know if we do nothing, this will bubble over into a crisis that won't harm me. I'm not putting people out of work, or profiting from the loss of others as private equity is poised to do. I'm not getting a bailout. No pitchforks come for me.

But when they come for others, being largely anti-fragile by dumb luck of choice of business, I might be able to profit, or survive nicely.

That's why I'm pretty much just doing what Lennon said: Watching the wheels go round. Tending my garden. And waiting to see how this clash of the mass unemployed and the profiteers and disrupters unfolds. (An amusing part of the pandemic acting as an accelerant in bringing this simmering conflict to a head is that now nobody can easily leave the country. If shit hits the fan, all interested parties are within the same borders.)

Quote:
If you think tech should bear the burden for the safety for the rest of the country, explain how that should work.
Jaron Lanier has done this in each of his books. It involves a special form of taxation on use of people's private information. It makes sense, but will never become law.

Quote:
What does the class war accomplish?
It's revenue neutral to me and the rest of us who aren't putting people out of work. It pits the luddites against the technocrats and leave them to fight to some bloody end while the rest of us just do what we're doing.

Quote:
You can't explain what a "fix" even is, unless you mean UBI. What do you think should be done?
Nothing. UBI would work. But it won't be passed. So I do nothing, because in my position, nothing makes the most sense. The unskilled vs. tech is not my war. Wall Street vs. Main Street is not my war.

Quote:
If you don't use tech, then you can be holier-than-thou about who pays. But you do. You want the benefits that tech creates for consumers, but you want to let someone else pay the costs.
Correct. He who makes the massive profits bears the risk.

Quote:
Or, huge companies would have a lot of large campuses, like they do.
You know any huge company that exists on one campus alone? They all own pricey commercial space in multiple city centers.
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Old 05-22-2020, 02:16 PM   #1879
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Re: Swede emotion

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
Gig economy replacing almost any service provided by an employee with an independent contractor paid a fraction of what employee made
We can fix this one if we have the will (CA is trying).

Quote:
Automated kiosks eliminating every type of clerk that exists (bank, grocery, fast food, retail, etc.)
Ah, yes, there are no more bank tellers anymore: https://www.aei.org/economics/what-a...bots-and-jobs/
(Yeah, shitty source)

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I don't know the significance of 1996, but tech is just getting started in terms of replacement or elimination of work that paid living wages.
Something that people like you have been saying for at least a thousand years.

Also, the “living wage” and “good job” sides of this are policy choices. We don’t need to let new jobs be shitty, but we do need to elect people who don’t want to let them be. Unfortunately , we have one party that entirely wants them to be and one party that maybe feels a little bad about it but also mostly does too.
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:00 PM   #1880
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
Think long, not short. We'll lap them 10X per capita in terms of deaths accruing from the coming financial disaster we're about to endure.
Still waiting for you to explain how a financial disaster is going to kill so many more people than a pandemic with a >1% mortality rate. Any month now, I'm sure.
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:01 PM   #1881
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Re: Who could have seen this coming?

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Originally Posted by Icky Thump View Post
For the 40,000th time he's long on the drugmakers.
I don't doubt it.
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:04 PM   #1882
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Icky Thump View Post
Does the service it is providing and the rules Ford is following prevent it from following the mask rule? No. Maybe, with a dumb federal judge the removed state court complaint doesn't get remanded in 90 seconds but there has not been a successful federal contractor defense in like 40 years.
Suppose the state brings a case and gets a judgment. Then what?
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:24 PM   #1883
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Re: Swede emotion

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
Where's the crying from laughing so hard emoji? We need that for statements like this.

The "better" always includes "cheaper." And the "cheaper" part comes from avoidance of the bigger costs. And the biggest cost is always this: Labor.

Now answer me seriously.
I'll give you two examples. Pierre Omidyar started eBay in his spare time while he was working a day job, as a way for people to connect with each other to sell things. He said he knew he had something with potential when there was a transaction for a broken laser pointer. He was creating value because he created a market where there really wasn't one before. Maybe you could go to a flea market to sell a broken laser pointer, but you'd have a hard time finding a buyer. eBay created value for a lot of people who wanted to buy and sell things that were hard to find, in part through bringing enough people that you could use auctions for price discovery for goods that are hard to value.

Undeniably, eBay has both created jobs and killed jobs. If you had a shop specializing in some sort of collectibles, you're either selling on eBay or you're out of business. But if you think Omidyar's motivation was to cut labor costs, you don't know what you're talking about.

Another example is PayPal, which had a bunch of founders with a bunch of ideas, but which took off because people who were buying and selling on eBay needed a way to take credit cards and the legacy card networks were not interested in solving that problem. They wouldn't use their rails to let the smallest businesses receive funds. So PayPal built a way to use ACH to do that. Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Keith Rabois have no love for traditional jobs, but PayPal succeeded because they found a problem to solve by creating value, not because they were trying to find a less labor-intensive way of doing things that other people are already doing.

Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Square, Stripe, Twitter -- they all have similar stories.

Now, give me a counter example. Tell me about a prominent tech company that was started to do what people were already doing, only with less labor. You're going to be tempted to try with Amazon, but you'll be wrong.

Quote:
But an algorithm that is designed to meet if not outperform an analyst is designed to avoid the cost of paying that analyst. A kiosk in a grocery store is not any more efficient than a worker. It actually makes the consumer's job harder. It's sole purpose is to eliminate labor costs.
Now you're moving the goalposts. Of course there are successful companies that use technology to try to do things cheaper, and there always have been. Eli Whitney's cotton gin is more than two hundred years old. But you were making a different argument, that today's tech companies were founded primarily to eliminate labor costs, in a way that is fundamentally different than the rest of the Industrial Revolution.

I'll leave the rest of what you said for another post.

eta, never mind this is easy. You said, look how bad things are. I said, so which side are you on? You said, your own. You are a combination of selfish, fatalistic, and apathetic, shifting from one to another whenever someone tries to pin you down too well. OK then.

And maybe you read something once about a way to tax tech. I think I've been pretty clear that I'm more inclined than the average bear to regulate or tax tech if we can find a way to do it that works. If you really cared, we could talk about it. But your interest seems to be more about sticking it to people who have found success than about solving a societal problem, because you generally lack any kind of interest in solving any kind of societal problem.

Quote:
He who makes the massive profits bears the risk.
My point was, you "profit" too by using the tech products. If they weren't making your life better, considering the money you pay for them that turns into those companies' profits, you wouldn't use them. Tech creates a lot of consumer welfare, not just for the tech companies. You have a principled position that you want all the stuff you want, but other people shouldn't make money making it for you.

Quote:
You know any huge company that exists on one campus alone? They all own pricey commercial space in multiple city centers.
No kidding. I didn't say large companies put their employees on one single campus. I said large companies put their people in offices, and they need large offices, because they have lots of people. You were explaining that the pricy commercial space isn't going to be necessary. I'm saying, large companies are all organized around have people in space like that.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:40 PM   #1884
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
Suppose the state brings a case and gets a judgment. Then what?
Michigan's AG ain't suing Ford over this. It's fucking stupid.
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:05 PM   #1885
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
Michigan's AG ain't suing Ford over this. It's fucking stupid.
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:35 PM   #1886
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Re: Swede emotion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
I'll give you two examples. Pierre Omidyar started eBay in his spare time while he was working a day job, as a way for people to connect with each other to sell things. He said he knew he had something with potential when there was a transaction for a broken laser pointer. He was creating value because he created a market where there really wasn't one before. Maybe you could go to a flea market to sell a broken laser pointer, but you'd have a hard time finding a buyer. eBay created value for a lot of people who wanted to buy and sell things that were hard to find, in part through bringing enough people that you could use auctions for price discovery for goods that are hard to value.

Undeniably, eBay has both created jobs and killed jobs. If you had a shop specializing in some sort of collectibles, you're either selling on eBay or you're out of business. But if you think Omidyar's motivation was to cut labor costs, you don't know what you're talking about.

Another example is PayPal, which had a bunch of founders with a bunch of ideas, but which took off because people who were buying and selling on eBay needed a way to take credit cards and the legacy card networks were not interested in solving that problem. They wouldn't use their rails to let the smallest businesses receive funds. So PayPal built a way to use ACH to do that. Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Keith Rabois have no love for traditional jobs, but PayPal succeeded because they found a problem to solve by creating value, not because they were trying to find a less labor-intensive way of doing things that other people are already doing.

Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Square, Stripe, Twitter -- they all have similar stories.

Now, give me a counter example. Tell me about a prominent tech company that was started to do what people were already doing, only with less labor. You're going to be tempted to try with Amazon, but you'll be wrong.



Now you're moving the goalposts. Of course there are successful companies that use technology to try to do things cheaper, and there always have been. Eli Whitney's cotton gin is more than two hundred years old. But you were making a different argument, that today's tech companies were founded primarily to eliminate labor costs, in a way that is fundamentally different than the rest of the Industrial Revolution.

I'll leave the rest of what you said for another post.

eta, never mind this is easy. You said, look how bad things are. I said, so which side are you on? You said, your own. You are a combination of selfish, fatalistic, and apathetic, shifting from one to another whenever someone tries to pin you down too well. OK then.

And maybe you read something once about a way to tax tech. I think I've been pretty clear that I'm more inclined than the average bear to regulate or tax tech if we can find a way to do it that works. If you really cared, we could talk about it. But your interest seems to be more about sticking it to people who have found success than about solving a societal problem, because you generally lack any kind of interest in solving any kind of societal problem.



My point was, you "profit" too by using the tech products. If they weren't making your life better, considering the money you pay for them that turns into those companies' profits, you wouldn't use them. Tech creates a lot of consumer welfare, not just for the tech companies. You have a principled position that you want all the stuff you want, but other people shouldn't make money making it for you.



No kidding. I didn't say large companies put their employees on one single campus. I said large companies put their people in offices, and they need large offices, because they have lots of people. You were explaining that the pricy commercial space isn't going to be necessary. I'm saying, large companies are all organized around have people in space like that.
There’s a lot here, and I’ll get to it, but let me clear this up:

I do not want to stick it to those who’ve found success. You do.

You wish to have people outside your bubble subsidize the safety net for those you render unemployed. So the guy who’s got a fat dermatology practice and pulls down $400k has to pay more. The guy who’s developing projects and makes $500k has to pay more. The small businessman who’s doing well has to pay more.

I’m saying leave them alone and let the unemployed masses fight it out with Wall Street, tech, and DC. I don’t care who wins. I just don’t wish to subsidize any of the players.

ETA: I don’t think people shouldn’t profit by giving stuff to me. I think they should profit all they like, but when their products cause job losses, I shouldn’t be on the hook. That’s their problem, not mine. I pay them for their tech. They get my money. Hitting me with the cost of paying for the safety net is a double dip. If tech needs more money from me to deal with that problem, it can charge me more.

I have the exact same problem with Wal Mart and oil company subsidies.

ETA2: I also love how you reframe arguments. I say tech is displacing people and selling products that render people obsolete. You respond by citing companies and saying none of them were started with the intent of eliminating labor.

All of them, and many other companies you haven’t listed, are nevertheless selling products that replace labor as a feature.

Tech by its very nature is adverse to labor. Through history, it has always displaced or eliminated labor. Are you suggesting that because all tech companies weren’t started with that explicit intent you’re somehow undoing my point? No business person in history has looked at tech and thought, “Hmmm... How can I find a way to pay for this tech which eliminates labor, but still retain that labor?” Conceptually, the labor could be repurposed, but in reality, it never works that way. Redundant labor is jettisoned.

Labor cost elimination may be argued to be collateral in some instances, but it’s always really more a feature. Everybody knows that.

The companies you have cited, most notably Facebook, make significant sums of money selling products that eliminate labor. (Maybe not Twitter, Square, and PayPal.). They have also engaged in old school predation - simply crushing all competition with scale. In this regard, big tech is a Standard Oil of sorts.

John D. Rockefeller provided a whole lot of value, by the way.

My view, my “selfish and apathetic” view is that this only gets fixed when things Get Really Bad. I see no point in crafting a solution here or anywhere else (you should read Lanier, btw) because tech has too much lobbying power to allow one (read The Age of Surveillance Capitalism on that).

I say let the big winners and big losers fight this battle. They have the skin in the game. And that’s the inevitable outcome toward which we hurtle anyway.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:31 PM   #1887
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by sebastian_dangerfield View Post
Think long, not short. We'll lap them 10X per capita in terms of deaths accruing from the coming financial disaster we're about to endure.
“Worst case scenario we have a few thousand deaths.”
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:43 PM   #1888
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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“Worst case scenario we have a few thousand deaths.”
“Few” can be interpreted broadly.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:33 AM   #1889
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Re: Objectively intelligent.

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Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
Michigan's AG ain't suing Ford over this. It's fucking stupid.
So, yes. I agree. My question was, even if they did, and won, then what? That doesn't work either.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:31 AM   #1890
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Re: Swede emotion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
I'll give you two examples. Pierre Omidyar started eBay in his spare time while he was working a day job, as a way for people to connect with each other to sell things. He said he knew he had something with potential when there was a transaction for a broken laser pointer. He was creating value because he created a market where there really wasn't one before. Maybe you could go to a flea market to sell a broken laser pointer, but you'd have a hard time finding a buyer. eBay created value for a lot of people who wanted to buy and sell things that were hard to find, in part through bringing enough people that you could use auctions for price discovery for goods that are hard to value.

Undeniably, eBay has both created jobs and killed jobs. If you had a shop specializing in some sort of collectibles, you're either selling on eBay or you're out of business. But if you think Omidyar's motivation was to cut labor costs, you don't know what you're talking about.

Another example is PayPal, which had a bunch of founders with a bunch of ideas, but which took off because people who were buying and selling on eBay needed a way to take credit cards and the legacy card networks were not interested in solving that problem. They wouldn't use their rails to let the smallest businesses receive funds. So PayPal built a way to use ACH to do that. Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Keith Rabois have no love for traditional jobs, but PayPal succeeded because they found a problem to solve by creating value, not because they were trying to find a less labor-intensive way of doing things that other people are already doing.

Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Square, Stripe, Twitter -- they all have similar stories.

Now, give me a counter example. Tell me about a prominent tech company that was started to do what people were already doing, only with less labor. You're going to be tempted to try with Amazon, but you'll be wrong.



Now you're moving the goalposts. Of course there are successful companies that use technology to try to do things cheaper, and there always have been. Eli Whitney's cotton gin is more than two hundred years old. But you were making a different argument, that today's tech companies were founded primarily to eliminate labor costs, in a way that is fundamentally different than the rest of the Industrial Revolution.

I'll leave the rest of what you said for another post.

eta, never mind this is easy. You said, look how bad things are. I said, so which side are you on? You said, your own. You are a combination of selfish, fatalistic, and apathetic, shifting from one to another whenever someone tries to pin you down too well. OK then.

And maybe you read something once about a way to tax tech. I think I've been pretty clear that I'm more inclined than the average bear to regulate or tax tech if we can find a way to do it that works. If you really cared, we could talk about it. But your interest seems to be more about sticking it to people who have found success than about solving a societal problem, because you generally lack any kind of interest in solving any kind of societal problem.



My point was, you "profit" too by using the tech products. If they weren't making your life better, considering the money you pay for them that turns into those companies' profits, you wouldn't use them. Tech creates a lot of consumer welfare, not just for the tech companies. You have a principled position that you want all the stuff you want, but other people shouldn't make money making it for you.



No kidding. I didn't say large companies put their employees on one single campus. I said large companies put their people in offices, and they need large offices, because they have lots of people. You were explaining that the pricy commercial space isn't going to be necessary. I'm saying, large companies are all organized around have people in space like that.
One last point. You use “founding” a lot here. And you frame my argument as one in which I said tech firms were “founded” to replace labor.

But here’s what I actually said:

“OK. I still don't know how this addressed my original point, but I agree with it. It is true. But it also misses something. Tech is not like the automobile. Cars put buggy whip makers (a tiny piece of the economy, btw) out of business collaterally. The intent was not to eliminate the costs of buggy whips (indeed, cars were a bit pricier than horses and horse appliances). The express intent of many forms of tech - and how it makes the huge sums it does for the fortunate few - is to eliminate massive pools of labor by doing the work that labor does via robot, platform, or algorithm.”

I didn’t use “founded” or even speak to that issue. I said that where tech can replace labor and realizes this is attractive to its consumers, it does. When does that occur? It could be at a tech company’s founding. It could be years later, when the firm develops a product that happens to eliminate jobs.

You’ve tried to narrow the issue so you can make the argument that tech firms are never “founded” to replace labor. Well, I can stipulate that many aren’t. And many are. But the issue is, when a tech firm (particularly a big one) finds itself in possession of tech that can eliminate labor, does it sell that tech to consumers who it knows will be interested in that tech because it allows that firm to eliminate labor costs? Absolutely. And does tech seek to “disrupt” (read, put a shit ton of people out of business, as Uber and Amazon have) in order to profit? Absolutely. Bezos has brilliantly sought, openly, to establish a monopoly by undercutting all competitors in price for decades. Uber was genius in undercutting the taxi and black car industries. It even sought to copy the black car industry by initially only inviting black car owners!

Again, there is nothing wrong with this. And tech should profit as it likes. But the suggestions tech doesn’t know the harm it’s causing, doesn’t know its insane profits are in great part a diversion of dollars from those it puts under, and doesn't intentionally profit by selling things that will eliminate jobs are just silly.

That some in tech advocate for a robust safety net does not get tech off the hook. Tech is filled with many libertarians, people who shrug and say "the market will do what it does" when confronted with its impacts. I think that's a fine response. And in response to that, I'll say this:

If you push those market forces too far, the losers will seek the govt to even the playing field, and that may harm you in many different ways. The biggest of you could find yourself broken up. And the rest of us will not be here to defend you. Like you, we don't care about the externalities. We don't care about you. We just want what you make, and even if the govt slams you, you'll still make it and we'll still get it. Probably cheaper. (What else are you going to do? Get a 9-5 gig at [insert widget maker here]?)

Enjoy the profits, and see if you can avoid a level of inequality that brings out the populists with pitchforks and the politicians who'll trade off class warfare. We'll sit this one out and watch. It's going to be wildly entertaining.


Demanding the rest of the economy subsidize a safety net for tech (Wall Street also fits in this bucket, but it's a different analysis) is nuts. Particularly where tech fights tooth and nail with lobbyists to avoid any form of windfall tax, privacy legislation, or tax on use of customer information that would take away even a small portion of its profits.

Read Zuboff and Lanier.
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Last edited by sebastian_dangerfield; 05-23-2020 at 12:19 PM..
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