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Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE: Why most classifications are fu

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 2011 21:28:45 -0400
Message-id: <4E408D4D.2060805@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Azamat, Rich, and Ron,    (01)

All of your comments are well considered from various points of view,
but there are forces at work that are likely to make all of them (and
many others) obsolete.  Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes,
and Ayn Rand could not imagine the kind of world we live in today.    (02)

About half a century ago, people noticed that automation was increasing
productivity so rapidly that the 21st century would be totally different
from the mid 20th c.  There were glorious predictions that productivity
would be so high that people would only have to work 2 hours per day to
do all the work that had to be done.  And the big question was what to
do with all that leisure time that everybody would have.    (03)

The pundits who made those predictions were partly right.  Productivity
has increased rapidly.  If the same proportion of the population were
still engaged in factory production, they really could produce many
manufactured goods with only 2 hours of work per day.  But the people
who owned the factory had no desire to maintain the same number of
workers.  Instead, they fired most of them and made the remaining
workers spend even more time working for the same wages.    (04)

The first people to be fired were factory workers.  But more and more
office workers and their managers have been fired.  There are very few
secretaries and receptionists, since nearly everybody does their own
typing and messaging.  Telephone operators are long gone.  Even people
called stock brokers have vanished.  Anybody who owns stocks does their
own trading in a fraction of the time and cost of calling a broker.    (05)

Our work on artificial intelligence, ontology, and related fields is
accelerating the transition.  More and more managerial jobs will become
obsolete and unnecessary.  An ever smaller and smaller workforce will
be able to produce all the goods anybody needs.    (06)

There will still be jobs to be done.  Those are primarily service jobs.
Unfortunately, very few people who need those services will be able
to pay for them.  The number of unemployed and unemployable people
will escalate from 10 to 20%, later to 30, 40, 50, 60& or more.    (07)

I don't know the exact dates when these stages will be met, but it
will certainly be within this century.  Perhaps within the next 40
to 50 years.  Rioting will get very bad when unemployment hits 30%,
and that stage might not be very far away.    (08)

> the elite also has its self-interest, which is fully domineering
> over common individuals...    (09)

What elites?  There are many formerly highly-paid executives, who are
unemployable.  Many bankers are still getting high bonuses, but banking
is the easiest thing to automate.  They'll soon go the way of the former
stock brokers.  Of course, there will be fewer and fewer people at the
top of each of those companies, who will rake in billions.  But as we
have seen, banks can fail, and the elites at those banks will have to
scramble for fewer and fewer elite positions.    (010)

> Government, as someone wise once said, is inherently evil (because
> it uses force to have its laws and regulations obeyed), yet absolutely
> essential (because we donít play well together without supervision).    (011)

Churchill said that democracy is the worst possible form of government,
except for all the others.  And if you want to see what happens without
government look at the various trouble spots around the world, such as
Somalia.    (012)

> some sort of revolution when the majority of the people decide that
> a radical redistribution of wealth by force is in their self interest.    (013)

There will certainly be lots of rioting.  Unfortunately, the people who
riot won't have a clue about who or what to riot against.    (014)

People say that entitlements are bad.  But maybe our only hope is
to develop some workable system of entitlements, but it will have
to totally different from anything we have today.    (015)

John    (016)

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