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Thread: AI Is Taking Your Job

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Point Nemo
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicker View Post
    Are you sure it was a younger human, though?
    Yeah, they hired my replacement before laying me off. He may have been a robot though...

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Communism was rotten from the get go, contrary to what WAY too many people think (including myself when I was 17-21). All those 20th century dictatorships weren't 'not real communism'; they were faithful to Marx's principles: Dictatorship of the proletariat, destroying society and culture to supposedly improve it, viewing art and culture as bourgeois decadence (unless it serves the Party), repressing dissent to 'save' the revolution, etc. These were all part of Marx's theories.

    “There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”

    "Every provisional political set-up following a revolution requires a dictatorship, and an energetic dictatorship at that."


    Any reductionist system is bound to fail. Boiling down all human history as simply the interaction between oppressors and oppressed is.. well...dumb.

    Destroying society to rebuild it 'better' is like demolishing a city because a few buildings are in disrepair. Yet that's what communism preached: trying to fix society is 'reactionary' (or whatever other buzzword), and the only way is to raze it.

    Marx is a good example of a broken clock being right twice a day.

    And even if there were good aspects to communism, the last thing I want is to have my material goods expropriated, and be forced to live in a commune or communal apartment, with a bunch of other people, with 0 privacy, no hobbies, and doing forced labour "for the glorious Communist fatherland", then being told I should be happy and grateful to have food rations and a squalid shelter over my head.

    In communism, you and I are mere cogs in its machine, nothing more.

  3. #28
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Your first quote is very out of context. It's Marx's illustration of what the bourgeoisie would accuse communism of doing, while addressing it in the rest of the manifesto. But yeah, communism in and of itself has flaws that have already been expounded on.

  4. #29
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I'm as anti-communist as the next guy, but I don't like how people use anti-communism to close their eyes to real exploitation, corporate capture of regulation, economic and social rights -- housing, land, food/water, health care, social security, sustainable & decent work, education, etc -- and the role of class, race, and social position in all of that. That's getting into another topic though.

    But on the topic just a little, though, it is interesting to go back and read some of the old school Marxist-adjacent types like Kropotkin in light of the AI revolution. He's the one that was really hyper optimistic about state-controlled technology taking care of human needs.

    I think after the experience of the 20th Century, not many are that optimistic about tech anymore. There's no doubt that AI could do a lot for human good. It's just really hard to trust either state, any corporation, or even a non-profit to be the one in control of it.

    I tend to think there are a few human features that are persistently throwing a monkey wrench into social good, like the way narcissism and ego work, limits in people's understanding & the attraction of simple but false narratives & group think, a certain known percent of humans that will have some destructive mental illness you can't just hand wave away as economic exploitation...

    You can try to put in rules that protect AI from the most likely risks of bad actors using it to bad ends, but that has its limits, and I think at some point, like with climate change, there will come a time when we're thinking more about mitigating and adapting to the harm than preventing it. We can only hope the right people can come up with the right rules in time.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Unforeseen consequences, accelerated. Our earliest new technologies had effects which rolled out over centuries, slowly infusing through the world. Starting with the industrial revolution, the changes became generational. The WW2 generation were born into the electrical age and by the time they began passing, going to the moon was old hat. Literally from horse drawn carts to self driving cars.

    The effects of ChatGtp were nearly instantaneous, one of the first being academic cheating with a fresh kind of plagiarism, stealing work that hasn't even been penned yet. Toxic fireworks displays are fast being replaced by drone art but imagine swarm attacks in place of infantry or as instruments of terror. Remember the chill of hearing the buzz of those flying Manhacks in Half Life?


    I tend to think there are a few human features that are persistently throwing a monkey wrench into social good,...
    I have chewed on this a few times in other threads. We have a perverse fascination/weakness for sociopaths, historical and living. Pretty much any historical leader who took or was given the honorific "Great", was a narcissistic sociopath. Whatever good they did was an accidental consequence of humanity healing from their predation. We recognize them too late and forget our lessons about them with each new generation.

    It's the same with toxic financial schemes. People think they have cracked the code to easy street with some perpetual-motion inspired money magic and every time the bubble bursts (tulips, the south seas, sub-prime loans), we go, "that was dumb - won't do that again" and sure as shit we will, without fail.

    One predictable thing about new tech, the first three target applications will be war, the easy life, and sex.

    Yeah, there is something in our genes. Our wisdom is always ten steps behind our cleverness.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    UBI is part of a capitalist system. Nobody is saying Alaska is a communist state.
    Yeah, social security and welfare systems are only something that exist under a capitalist system, since they rely on a pool of unemployed people existing that can create a "labor market". There will need to be hand-outs to prevent starvation, total deprivation, ghettos forming.

    Communist nations barely even had welfare systems by comparison. This became a problem when communism broke up in place like Russia since there were almost no actual government agencies responsible for making sure people could eat.

    Under Soviet communism - everyone worked. It was guaranteed employment, not a guaranteed government check. So instead of welfare you'd be assign to some government-owned corporation and that corporation was completely responsible for what they did with you. So there was simply no need for a separate welfare system.

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    I'm honestly concerned about what tech is being used for war and sex?

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Azaran is right. The first people who will get rich from UBI are current property owners, especially owners of low income housing. The same people will be competing for the same housing stock, with more money in their pocket. UBI would just shift the demand curve up. It could also turn being a slum lord into big business, so I expect current rental property owners to sell out, enjoy a major windfall, and then big rental property management companies will take over and extract every dollar they can from UBI. There will still be good housing and bad housing, people will still be priced out of where they want to live, and there will still be homeless.

    It could have a similar effect on prices of anything else with inelastic demand.

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Quote Originally Posted by Cipheron View Post
    Yeah, social security and welfare systems are only something that exist under a capitalist system, since they rely on a pool of unemployed people existing that can create a "labor market". There will need to be hand-outs to prevent starvation, total deprivation, ghettos forming.

    Communist nations barely even had welfare systems by comparison. This became a problem when communism broke up in place like Russia since there were almost no actual government agencies responsible for making sure people could eat.

    Under Soviet communism - everyone worked. It was guaranteed employment, not a guaranteed government check. So instead of welfare you'd be assign to some government-owned corporation and that corporation was completely responsible for what they did with you. So there was simply no need for a separate welfare system.
    So state housing for everyone isn't a welfare system? They had ill & disabled people too, and pensioners, and students. Even some homeless.

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2024
    Location: Egyptian Afterlife
    Homeless people out there in the cold - Cº 30, 40, 50 degrees, I don't know for how long they could last.

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Quote Originally Posted by PigLick View Post
    I'm honestly concerned about what tech is being used for war and sex?
    HINT: It's ALL of them! Try to keep up

  12. #37
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Quote Originally Posted by DuatDweller View Post
    Homeless people out there in the cold - Cº 30, 40, 50 degrees, I don't know for how long they could last.
    Homeless shelters, rail stations, underground tunnels, churches, community centers, abandoned buildings, hospitals, wherever they can find heat where they won't get kicked out. Like every other northern place in the world. Russia has fewer homeless than most, but every big city has a homeless population.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Point Nemo
    Quote Originally Posted by PigLick View Post
    I'm honestly concerned about what tech is being used for war and sex?
    Anytime there is new imaging technology one of the first uses is for sex. AI art would be no different.

    Drone technology started out as fun toys and now they are being used to fight on the battle field and sink ships. What will that look like when it's controlled by AI? Pretty scary.


  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Russia specifically built up centralized heating infrastructure, where water is heated in a central building and piped out to homes and businesses. Lots of opportunities in that system to find some warmth in a nook by a pipe.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Point Nemo
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Russia specifically built up centralized heating infrastructure, where water is heated in a central building and piped out to homes and businesses. Lots of opportunities in that system to find some warmth in a nook by a pipe.
    Chernobyl is still kinda warm in places.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    So state housing for everyone isn't a welfare system? They had ill & disabled people too, and pensioners, and students. Even some homeless.
    "State" housing was mostly handled by the org you worked for:

    https://kommunalka.colgate.edu/cfm/e...660&TourID=900

    Like certain other social benefits, housing was offered to many Soviet citizens through the enterprises and organizations where they worked (see the essay about the paternalistic state). The quality of this "departmental" housing varied in relation to the place of a citizen in the social hierarchy: from a workers' barracks with no indoor plumbing to an individual apartment in a comfortable "Stalin-era" building. Most commonly, however, departmental housing involved a room in a dormitory or a communal apartment (see the essay "Housing in the USSR"). Having worked a specified number of years at an enterprise, a person (or more accurately, that person's family) received the right to their work-related housing, and it was established as the family's: if the person stopped working, the housing nevertheless remained available to his or her family and descendants. Such housing could be divided up, traded, and so forth (see the essay "Property and ownership").
    As for disability, you were assessed on capacity to work, and if you were found to have any capacity at all, then you'd be assigned to one of the enterprises, and they'd be responsible for handling everything.

    https://dsq-sds.org/index.php/dsq/article/view/936/1111

    The state's priority was not so much to "rehabilitate" the disabled war veteran per se as to facilitate as robust a work force as possible in the traumatic war and post-war period. Within the Soviet ideology of modernization and industrialization, all citizens, including those with disabilities, were viewed as a potential labor resource. In this context many war veterans with significant disabilities were denied disability status and thus required to work, or were assigned to group III, the category of least severity.
    There was last-gap support available, but it really was the last step if your needs couldn't be accommodated by one of the government corporations.

    The point is: almost all that stuff was handled through your employer, who was government owned. In the USSR there was a lack of separate government agencies that you interact with directly. So when in the late 1980s and 1990s, as corporations became privatized and were no longer obligated to keep people on the payroll, unemployment became a real problem, they didn't have many mechanisms in place to deal with it.

    https://www.ucis.pitt.edu/nceeer/pre...-2-Moskoff.pdf

    The ability to register as "unemployed" was only implemented in 1991, several years after the state corporations started firing people.

    We can get some sense of who has been hit by unemployment by looking at the 1991 figures for registered unemployed in the Russian republic. The social composition of the 25,000 people who signed up in the first month Russian workers could register as unemployed could be broken down as follows ...
    So, "state housing" in the Soviet Union was a little different to what we think of as government housing in the West, where an independent agency assigns you a house. In the USSR, your employer was required to provide you with a place to live, but after a while, your house basically became a family home you could pass on the rights to. The medical profession was separate, probably because medicine is too specialized to leave to your employer, and as for disability:

    There was a much darker side to Soviet policy vis-à-vis disabled veterans, whose continuing need for more support was unwelcome evidence of the Soviet state's inability or unwillingness to adequately provide for all citizens' needs. During the late 1940s and 1950s disabled veterans were dispersed from Moscow and other large cities for forced resettlement in remote areas. According to Fieseler (2006:51), kolkhoz supervisors in rural areas, in order to shed inefficient disabled workers, sometimes turned them in as "parasites;" such workers were then deported, presumably to labor camps. Penal camps were established in the Soviet Union for disabled prisoners and disabled veterans of the Russian Civil War and the two World Wars.
    EDIT: So yes, they had "Welfare", but the vast majority of the mechanisms were handled through state-owned enterprises and organizations. There was very little welfare actually administered directly from government to the individual, so when the state-owned corporations became private companies, this caused a lot of problems. Like I said, they didn't have any systems in place to deal with that.

    So, back to the original point, UI/UBI isn't a "communist" idea, because under (Soviet style) communism the promise is guaranteed employment, not free stuff for doing nothing.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 6th Feb 2024 at 01:08.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    Communism was rotten from the get go, contrary to what WAY too many people think (including myself when I was 17-21). All those 20th century dictatorships weren't 'not real communism'; they were faithful to Marx's principles: Dictatorship of the proletariat, destroying society and culture to supposedly improve it, viewing art and culture as bourgeois decadence (unless it serves the Party), repressing dissent to 'save' the revolution, etc. These were all part of Marx's theories.

    ...

    In communism, you and I are mere cogs in its machine, nothing more.
    Addressing this separately. This is off-base because Marx didn't even specify a "system" to "implement". What he proposed was a theory of future development that would go through specific stages. He said that in the future, capitalist systems would evolve through stages he called socialism and communism.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/historical-materialism

    Historical materialism applies the logic of dialectical materialism to human civilization. ... Marx’s writings identify four modes of production that humanity has already used: hunting and gathering (sometimes called primitive communism), slavery, feudalism (serfdom), and capitalism. Marx also names a fifth mode, communism, which he believed would eventually result from capitalism’s own contradiction: like feudalism, it had created a new class of people, industrial workers, who would ultimately cease to accept their place in the social order. Marx labeled this class of workers the proletariat, borrowing the term from another scholar he often cited, the Swiss economist Jean-Charles-Léonard Simonde de Sismondi.
    These changes happen because of changes in the "mode of production" which is another way of just saying "technological development". He wasn't saying that we *should* do specific things, but that the rise of economic power of a new class *would* cause specific things. It's a prediction.

    A comparison could be for example, the rise of music streaming after the early efforts to stamp out piracy. The internet (a new technology) changed the *economics* of music sharing, and early on, there was conflict as the existing powers tried to stamp out file sharing and re-enforce the status quo of buying physical records/CDs. But, eventually, it was inevitable that streaming would win, and the music publishers ended up having to adopt it themselves. That's "historical materialism" in a microcosm. The paradigm shift occurred after a period of conflict with the existing powers, due to changes in technology also changed the "mode of production" of music distribution.

    And "dictatorship of the proletariat" is just a clunky way of saying "electoral politics with universal suffrage", before such things basically existed. Remember he was writing when most of the world was actually just dictatorships and nowhere had universal voting:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictat...he_proletariat

    In Marxist philosophy, the dictatorship of the proletariat is a condition in which the proletariat holds state power. The dictatorship of the proletariat is the intermediate stage between a capitalist economy and a communist economy, whereby the post-revolutionary state seizes the means of production, compels the implementation of direct elections on behalf of and within the confines of the ruling proletarian state party, and institutes elected delegates into representative workers' councils that nationalise ownership of the means of production from private to collective ownership.
    he allowed for the possibility of a peaceful transition in some countries with strong democratic institutional structures (such as the case of Great Britain, the Netherlands and the United States), suggesting however that in other countries in which workers can not "attain their goal by peaceful means" the "lever of our revolution must be force", on the principle that the working people had the right to revolt if they were denied political expression.
    So, trade unions organizing politically, pushing through universal suffrage, and then getting union delegates elected to government who then pushed pro-worker laws through. All those things happened *after* Marx, and basically fit with what predicted would happen in capitalist societies. The level of nationalization didn't hit 100% in many countries, but many countries did implement fair chunks of this stuff.

    And he specifically said the point, wasn't "revolutions" in countries which already had democracy, but against the currently-existing dictatorships of Europe, because at the time he couldn't conceive of a way that they would willingly give worker's any actual political rights. The "revolutions" Marx said were needed have already in fact happened, because those governments fell in events such as WWI and WWII, then pro-democracy / workers-right parties rose up and took power during the power vacuum.

    Any society where the common worker now has a vote fits Marx's definition of historical materialism. The core of this is a truth: that economic power shapes political reality. And economic power is shape by materialism, i.e. technology. For example you can argue that the industrial revolution directly lead to women getting the vote, as women gained employment and organized in factories, so economic power lead to political power.

    So what Marx was doing is a prediction here, not a recipe or program you're supposed to "implement". He was arguing that the rise of a new economic base - the worker under capitalism would lead to a class conflict and a shift in power, and the period after the shift is what he calls "communism".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_e...g_to_his_needs

    Quote Originally Posted by Marx
    In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual
    This is what Marx says would happen eventually: the end of the "enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor". Which means he was AGAINST the "cog in the machine" view of Soviet style "everyone works" "communism".

    Also the "productive forces have also increased" Marx is actually talking about technology here, since technology is what drives the stages of development in Marx's theory. Terms like "Automation" didn't really exist in the 19th century:

    https://link.springer.com/article/10...06-022-00604-x

    Karl Marx took technological development to be the heart of capitalism’s drive and, ultimately, its undoing. Machines are initially engineered to perform functions that otherwise would be performed by human workers. The economic logic pushed to its limits leads to the prospect of full automation: a world in which all labor required to meet human needs is superseded and performed by machines.
    Basically, Marx was talking about automation when he talks about the increases in productive forces under capitalism. What he means by "labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want" is that all the shitty jobs are now automated, so if you're still working, it's because you're doing stuff you WANT to do.

    So when you look at the most advanced capitalist nations and the top capitalists are saying "looks like we really need to implement universal income now!" AND they've given everyone the vote AND they had welfare system for people who can't work or don't want to do the jobs on offer, that's ... literally proving Marx's predictions correct.

    Nations like the USSR basically enforced their idea of "everyone works" which is the opposite of what Marx says the goal actually is, because such "workers" nations deify the very division of labor that Marx said was "enslaving", thus the vested interests in such a nation fight against the increases in technology which are actually required to develop the system into what Marx was getting at.

    Also he didn't say we *should* tear down religion, but it's more that religion would become an is obsolete idea, like the buggy whip. Concepts like "God, King and Country" themselves would become *obsolete concepts* as they are a cluster of related ideas that work together to enforce the sociopolitical status quo. We're already seeing that, as religion is a lot less relevant in many people's lives. That's not inconsistent with what Marx said would happen.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people

    religion turns the attention of the oppressed away from the exploitation and class structure that encompasses their everyday lives. In the process, religion helps to foster a kind of false consciousness that emboldens cultural values and beliefs that support and validate the continued dominance of the ruling class. It thereby prevents the socialist revolution, the overthrowing of capitalism, and the establishment of a classless, socialist society. In Marx's view, once workers finally overthrow capitalism, unequal social relations will no longer need legitimating and people's alienation will dissolve, along with any need for religion.
    None of that is really wrong. He's not saying we should "destroy religion" but that religion itself is an outgrowth of society's divisions and as those divisions become obsolete, so does the basis for believing in a religion - religion itself will wither as a result of serving obsolete political goals.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 6th Feb 2024 at 02:56.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2024
    Location: Egyptian Afterlife
    Well religions based on Abraham origins are at war for futile reasons.

    "We descend from the prophet!"
    "No we're the only heirs of the prophet!"
    "God gives us the right to defend ourselves and kill the enemy!"

    Just look at the crusades, killing people just for the sake of it, going against the very core of Christianity, no violence my ass. With the blessing of the Vatican.

    And soviet communism, ah the ruling class using BMW, Mercedes, Bentley, cars and so on, and the people using Volga, Moscovich, UAZ, Lada cars and so on.

    You have to accept that certain items were of good quality, in electronics the smaller the suffix number the higher the quality of the product. Example VEF RadioTechnika 001 amplifier was better than the same brand model 301.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Quote Originally Posted by Cipheron View Post
    "State" housing was mostly handled by the org you worked for:
    Which was the state.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by DuatDweller View Post
    And soviet communism, ah the ruling class using BMW, Mercedes, Bentley, cars and so on, and the people using Volga, Moscovich, UAZ, Lada cars and so on.
    Nobody of the "people" had a Volga. It was a luxury car only available if you had a high position somewhere, had some connections, or were a "businessman" and bought one from the black market. Pretty much the only chance an ordinary person had to even sit in a Volga was when they used a taxi.

    Also, if you ever saw a black Volga hanging around your house or following you, it wasn't the worst idea to pack some warm clothes and other necessities.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    Marx was a fool to think the need for the state would fade away under communism. The need for the state is bigger under communism. Central planning requires more bureaucracy, not less. The party replaced the bourgeoise, and the party's first interest is in protecting itself, not the workers.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Cipheron View Post
    Addressing this separately. This is off-base because Marx didn't even specify a "system" to "implement". What he proposed was a theory of future development that would go through specific stages. He said that in the future, capitalist systems would evolve through stages he called socialism and communism.

    Fair enough. Still, you can see how his theories could and were be interpreted/used by bad actors

    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    Marx was a fool to think the need for the state would fade away under communism. The need for the state is bigger under communism. Central planning requires more bureaucracy, not less. The party replaced the bourgeoise, and the party's first interest is in protecting itself, not the workers.
    It's been discussed to death, but still ironic how Communism and Fascism ended up mirroring each other in their totalitarian aspects, their economic differences notwithstanding

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2024
    Location: Egyptian Afterlife
    Originally Posted by Starker
    Nobody of the "people" had a Volga. It was a luxury car only available if you had a high position somewhere, had some connections, or were a "businessman" and bought one from the black market. Pretty much the only chance an ordinary person had to even sit in a Volga was when they used a taxi.
    Wow, I didn't know about that.
    Run away from the Volga, the KGB is coming for you.

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    Which was the state.
    I think that's over-simplifying. Sure, it's owned by the State and the State can potentially override any decision they might make, no matter how petty, but it's not centralized, and that's an important distinction for individual experience and the incentives involved. Anybody short of an able-bodied worker is a hot potato that no State company wants - and they have ways of making that the disabled person's problem.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    I think welfare is welfare regardless of which layers of the bureaucracy are administering it, which probably varied a lot when comparing the big cities to the single-purpose towns and the very rural areas.

    I mentioned the disabled because the Soviet Union had a lot of disabled WWII veterans. They couldn't be kicked out of housing for being useless. The ones who couldn't do useful work weren't left to die. Although the Soviet Union officially didn't have unemployment, they had jobless people for a lot of the same reasons as everywhere else. You didn't lose your housing when you lost your job, you didn't lose access to health care, etc.

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