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

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 19:54:08 -0700
Message-id: <031A5ACFFED34D78A191444FF0C6F1D4@Gateway>
Dear John,    (01)

You and I don't have jobs either; we work at what
we choose to do, our own way, on our own schedules
and with whatever tools and materials we choose to
use.  So I would say that the prognosticators who
said we would find ways to use our spare time were
only wrong in what they thought we would do - we
still work, but at what we choose to do, not at
what we are compelled to do.      (02)

I don't know what Azamat and Ron do for a living,
but I wouldn't be surprised if they do the same
kind of thing - whatever they want to do to earn
what they need, all without steady jobs.  Many of
us seem to have chosen that if we cared enough to
do so.  Personally, I worked at two jobs for ten
or twelve years before starting a consulting
business, and I have had jobs off and on whenever
the cleptocrats ruin the economy, (Carter!) but it
keeps coming back, and I keep doing businesses
when it does.  I bet the same is true for you and
Azamat and Ron, though you did say you worked at
IBM for a while.  I take it you enjoyed it enough
to stay till retirement, and then decided you
couldn't just watch movies and play shuffleboard
all day long.  At 66, I still don't even know the
rules for shuffleboard.      (03)

Jobs are still available, and they pay well if
they're good jobs, but the ROIs right now don't
favor hiring people - with all the payroll taxes,
employees are too expensive for most business
owners, which is why most businesses are small,
sometimes family owned and family operated.
Consulting and contracting is what we technical
people do when we get tired of having a boss.
It's more fun to please a customer who pays you
better for short engagements than to constantly
please a boss who is harried by paperwork and by
plenty of other employees to place for marginal
profits.      (04)

To paraphrase, the very notion of a job is what I
think is obsolete.  With nearly all productivity
so high, there is no real need to work when you
can have fun, run a business, and make enough
money to be happy doing what you choose.  Of
course, there are people who do take jobs, but
many of them do it because they choose to.  They
want to keep a low profile, limit responsibility,
and concentrate on family, friends and fun.  I
work twelve to sixteen hours a day when I have to
(rarely), but it's only for a short while, and
then I can take days off, even weeks off, and
spend the time however I want - I bet you, Azamat
and Ron do too.      (05)

So I don't foresee riots and entitlements as the
future, I see all of us doing "service" work like
the MDs, attorneys, construction crews, and we
business owner/operators, and so many others today
who prefer to contract our work, not to get a
regular paycheck under duress.  Schools should be
teaching how to entrepreneur, how to negotiate
contracts, how to market and sell instead of all
that political correctness nonsense.      (06)

My dad worked a job for decades, only to be
unjobbed at age 58 when the government decided to
terminate his employer (RCA) from the Cape Kennedy
service contract it had held at 2% profit per year
for decades.  NASA and the Air Force hired a
different company every year from then on to
supposedly manage the work more competitively.
Congress made it do so.  It didn't turn out to
make economic sense of course, but the people who
had jobs at RCA, when old, couldn't get placed in
the new companies (age was grounds for refusal
purposes then), so the government got young people
it had to train to do the job the old guys had
been doing well.      (07)

But who knows?  You may turn out to be right, but
I truly hope not.  My grandkids will live in that
world.  My grandfather was a sheriff in Lamar
County Mississippi, and postmaster of the same
county, while he ran a farm with (believe it or
not) cows, corn and veggies he grew.  Then
Roosevelt screwed up the economy and turned people
of my dad's generation into job holders instead of
business people like they had been working and
living with their families since the Mayflower
landed.      (08)

Our problem today is that the government has
gotten too good at taking away our livelihood and
taxing what they can't take and regulating us out
of work it chooses to reserve for big companies.
If the government did what little it really should
be doing, most people would be able to be self
employed, self directed, and self fulfilling
again.  But only the tea party seems to know that.
Republicans are too busy coddling the big
companies, while Democrats are too busy buying
union votes with union money extracted by force
from union members, and making government jobs
into unions that require the job holders to join.    (09)

But that's been the game for a long, long time.
Those who can do, those who can't run for office.    (010)

-Rich    (011)

Rich Cooper
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2    (012)

-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of John F. Sowa
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2011 6:29 PM
To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE:
Why most classifications are fuzzy)    (013)

Azamat, Rich, and Ron,    (014)

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.    (015)

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.    (016)

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.    (017)

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.    (018)

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.    (019)

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.    (020)

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.    (021)

> the elite also has its self-interest, which is
fully domineering
> over common individuals...    (022)

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.    (023)

> 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 don't play well together
without supervision).    (024)

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.    (025)

> some sort of revolution when the majority of the
people decide that
> a radical redistribution of wealth by force is
in their self interest.    (026)

There will certainly be lots of rioting.
Unfortunately, the people who
riot won't have a clue about who or what to riot
against.    (027)

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.    (028)

John    (029)

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