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    nmw 14:10:51 on 2014/10/09 Permalink
    Tags: , Categorical Imperative, , collabortive, , , cooperation, cooperative, , dystopia, dystopian, economic development, , , , , , , Immanuel Kant, , , jobs, Kant, , , , , , , , , , , utopia, utopian,   

    Kant’s Big Mistake? 

    In my previous post I referred to Kant’s “Categorical Imperative”. Here, let me entertain the following suggestion: That Kant made a big mistake.

    Kant wrote a lot. If he was consistent in his thinking, that would mean that he wanted everyone to write a lot. Now since he lived several hundred years ago, Kant never had to face the prospect of having to read dozens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of volumes of text, with rarely one of them rising above the level of completely ephemeral blather (in my opinion, this is primarily due to how the coincidence of copyright law and mass production of printed paper had not yet taken its course into its swirling destiny of mind-numbing confusion). Had Kant ever envisioned the world we live in today, he would have probably immediately had a heart attack and died on the spot right then and there.

    There is some irony to how my main goal in life is something quite similar to making this frightening, horrific vision actually come true — but to do so in a way that might satisfy the hopes and dreams of literate people everywhere. One of the main reasons why I am so focused on literacy is that I do not feel that publishing hogwash improves anything anywhere (except, perhaps, for people who “make money” that way — and in particular only insofar as it fulfills their financial obsession and their fetish for cash).

    Yet I feel optimistic enough to believe that everyone is particularly literate at something… — what’s your thing?

  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 13:41:14 on 2014/02/08 Permalink
    Tags: automation, benefit, benefits, , , , , , , jobs, , , salary, , ,   

    Can somebody please explain to me how more automation is supposed to lead to more jobs? 

    There are many thing that make very little sense to me — so many that I hardly know where to start. Perhaps one of the most grotesque examples of this is when people say that we need more technological progress and also more jobs. Why?

    The way I learned economics, if there is technological progress then we need less jobs, certainly not more jobs. Anyone who expects to show up to work and given orders what to do can be easily replaced by a computer program or robot that can complete simple instructions without coffee breaks, without a salary, without health insurance and without many other “benefits” that are usually tied to human employment. Therefore, the more that gets invested in such technology, the less jobs there should be for humans. Indeed: I see no reason why a robot couldn’t even give me a superb haircut.

    Why do Google and/or Facebook need so many thousands of employees? They don’t. I bet a half a dozen high quality hackers should be able to create comparable websites in less than a week. What is needed most of all are people who can think for themselves, not just slaves to mechanically follow orders or to carry out instructions or press buttons or whatever.

    Any one of the many millions of “followers” who find it difficult to think for themselves need only 1 instruction: Go to sleep… — or at least: Get out of the way.

  • Profile photo of feedwordpress

    feedwordpress 18:38:59 on 2013/01/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , behaviors, , , , , , , , jobs, , , , ,   

    Sometime the Laws of Economics are not a feature — sometimes they’re a bug 

    There are many behaviors that actually benefit no one, but there are nonetheless incentives for people to engage in them.

    For example: When I was a teenager, many kids would drive around in cars with “no particular place to go”. I don’t know how prevalent this behavior is today across the planet, but it really does no one any good, and it harms the environment.

    Of course there is some “entertainment” aspect of it — as Holly Cole captures it: “the world seems to come and go…”

    An economy that builds cars and allows people to pump gasoline for pennies, makes way for people to harm the environment without needing to think much about what they are actually doing. People who produce cars, and also people who deliver gasoline to the pumps profit from promoting this behavior.

    Likewise, “supersized” food producers profit from promoting obesity. The tobacco industry profits from promoting lung cancer. The advertising and marketing industries profit by motivating people to engage in harmful behavior that hurts both people and the environment.

    If someone argues that these industries provide jobs, then I want to know: where have all the whippers gone?

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