On 08/08/2011 10:54 PM, Rich Cooper wrote:
> Dear John,
> 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.
> 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.
Just for the record:
I have just bought out my partners interest in a small Canadian company
that has been around for 13 years.
I purchased my original interest 11 years ago.
We are a Saba Partner which means that we sell and implement the Saba
Learning Management Systems and other products to US and Canadian
We also represent an Indian company that makes a software package that
produces rapid eLearning content for training people on how to use
I have to pay the office rent and the staff (4 people currently)
regularly and ensure that there is work and money flowing in.
I also have to pay the various governments and produce the paperwork
that they insist is required.
I am also in my 60's and have worked on my own for 10 years prior to
joining Artifact. Prior to that I worked at various companies and one
government organization (development bank). (01)
I know that Canadians have a different view of the utility of government
but I am happy to live and work in a large city with an office in downtown.
I can walk anywhere in the city and take public transit to my suburban
residence any time of the day or night.
I can walk the 3 miles from my local pool hall to my home though a low
and medium income area in complete safety since no one's only means of
feeding their kids is robbery. (02)
> 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.
> 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
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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
> 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.
> But that's been the game for a long, long time.
> Those who can do, those who can't run for office.
> Rich Cooper
> Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
> 9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
> -----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)
> Azamat, Rich, and Ron,
> 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.
> 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
> 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
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
>> the elite also has its self-interest, which is
> fully domineering
>> over common individuals...
> 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.
>> 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).
> 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
>> some sort of revolution when the majority of the
> people decide that
>> a radical redistribution of wealth by force is
> in their self interest.
> There will certainly be lots of rioting.
> Unfortunately, the people who
> riot won't have a clue about who or what to riot
> 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.
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