Poll

This is a uniquely informed and diverse group to survey on any question, most definitely this one.  At this point, for whom would you cast your ballot?

Trump
19 (46.3%)
Biden
9 (22%)
Sanders
8 (19.5%)
Booker
4 (9.8%)
Klobuchar
1 (2.4%)

Total Members Voted: 41

Voting closed: March 21, 2019, 04:39:47 PM

Author Topic: 2020 Vision  (Read 32855 times)

eastbound

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #540 on: April 15, 2019, 08:10:46 AM »
and weve always self-medicated, bean

what's new, and what paved the way for the opioid abuse epidemic, was the legal corporate pushing of oxycontin on ordinary folk who were told the meds were safe---a whole new population of law-abiding citizens who would never abuse drugs, or engage criminal activity, who are now addicts----and who know cousin johnny's got the smack or fentanyl they learned they need after burning thru several oxy scripts--so now they call cousin johnny--and there's no copay and the stuff's cheaper-whole new expanded market!! great corporate business!

grow market share, and grow market!!  so what if there're a few junkies in the wake!  name a museum after yourself and youre golden!!

how?? in our democracy??



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Bean

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #541 on: April 15, 2019, 09:10:18 AM »
I'm all for disgorging ill-gotten gain and a degree of punitive damages. 

But, we also have to expect that the law suits, even if completely successful, will have little effect on the underlying issues if the monies are simply recycled into the current US model (arrest, incarceration, shaming and destruction of the individual's credibility.)

Good god, I'm sounding like a liberal...I guess I'm bi-polital ;D



eastbound

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #542 on: April 15, 2019, 09:18:49 AM »
BI?? you, bean?? i like to think youre POLY-political!!
hope i am too--tho it's clear i wear progressive lenses!
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Bean

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #543 on: April 15, 2019, 09:43:39 AM »
Yes, that's more like it, for sure Eastie

PonoBill

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #544 on: April 15, 2019, 10:24:40 AM »
I'm reading a lot of science history lately, and though it is getting repetitive, there is an underlying theme that most people who think carefully about such things see benefits in all modes of political thought, and no benefit in adhering absolutely to one. The world in general was on a trajectory to mix liberalism (in the original meaning of a belief in liberty and equal treatment under the law) with a big dash of socialism in the form of efforts to equalize opportunity and provide a safety net, and a splash of Fascism in giving government more control over capitalism's excesses. Liberalism more or less won the war but it was adopting useful DNA from the vanquished. Then this strange nationalism and polarization emerged. How a country with the geopolitical and resource advantages of the USA could fall for whatever this crap is called is beyond me. My increasingly brief forays into the muck of Facebook lead me to believe it will persist.
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Area 10

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #545 on: April 15, 2019, 11:44:03 AM »
I think this is just populism, plain and simple, but a version that is being amplified hugely by a population trained by reality TV, no-wait consumerism, and socially and politically manipulated by the cruel and paradoxically isolating effects of social media. All you need is one narcissistic and shameless demagogue who somehow lucked into enough money to not be mis-selling life insurance to gullible old ladies (which is what he’d otherwise have been doing), and hey presto you have a perfect recipe for the disintegration of democracy.

I suspect that, in future years, political theorists will regard the rise of populism as one of the many dangers of social media - or at least, unfettered social media. Hence why there is such a move to try to put curbs on the excesses. There needs to be accountability and responsibility in the way that there is with the print and broadcast media. Ironically, to save democracy we may need to set an agenda that looks more like the kind of state control associated with undemocratic regimes. A democracy has to have a free press. But it also has to have a responsible one. It is becoming less clear that our press is actually “free”, and the digital media is certainly less responsible.

And then of course there is the use of the modern phrase for the Nazi term Lügenpresse”: “fake news”.

This is of course 101 for demagogues. It’s the first thing you have to do: convince people that they can’t believe the press. But in our age this is made easy by the sheer amount of false crap in the digital media, and a broadcast media so obsessed with ratings and money that it will happily lander to the lowest common denominator (and the whims of it’s super-rich owners).

It’s extraordinary to read that video has captured two Donald Trump supporters chanting the word “Lügenpresse” at reporters. And there’s this:



The problem, of course, is that populism doesn’t provide any answers. It’s a protest, not a philosophy for building something new. So into that philosophical vacuum created by populism steps a philosophy. And we’d better hope it’s not the one that originally started shouting a German version of the “fake news” phrase at everything it disagreed with. But it’s sure looking like it could head that way.

RideTheGlide

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #546 on: April 15, 2019, 12:33:18 PM »
I think you are on to something with the protest notion. I think if Bernie had run as the DEM candidate instead of Hillary he would have won. Not because most people are that far left (I am, but recognize that most are not). Not because of Benghazi or the email saga. I think he would have gotten a big chunk of the protest voters who wanted to throw a brick though the window of ineffective government. A lot of Trump voters were voting against business as usual.

On a separate topic, I think some of the authoritarian crap Trump is trying now is because he is backed into a corner. He is fighting too hard to keep his taxes from being scrutinized, to keep security approval records from being subpoenaed and pushing back too hard on any sort of investigation claiming he has been exonerated when he clearly has not. He is in real danger and despite all his bluster I think he knows it.
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Area 10

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #547 on: April 15, 2019, 01:24:11 PM »
I don’t see he’s in any danger, until the Dems finally find a moderate who is sane, and communicates in a way that ordinary folk can relate too. None of the guys you guys have mentioned seems to be that person, to my mind.  If Trump was vulnerable he’d have gone by now, surely? Short of screwing a Mexican child up the butt on the front lawn of the White House, he’s already done most things that would in the past seen a president become an ex-president.

Mind you, I’m beginning to wonder if the problem isn’t so much the lack of a Dem who can run against Trump, as a Republican who could replace him. Who is there, waiting in the wings?

PonoBill

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #548 on: April 15, 2019, 09:59:45 PM »
If it's popularism it's the same flavor as the nihilism that infected Germany in the 30's--rooted in a powerless feeling. Of course, those people weren't really powerless, whereas ordinary people, or let's just say it straight out, stupid people, are rapidly becoming truly powerless. There are a lot of them.

In 1940's socialist doctrine, the workers realize their power as the unique source of wealth and progress and take charge. In the 2019 version, the workers realize that no one really needs them to do anything worth a working wage, and just get pissed about it. That reality is about to get a LOT worse.

This is an older article, but it's the source that got me thinking about where we are likely to be headed and what can be done about it.  https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603465/the-relentless-pace-of-automation/  Two years later my conclusion is pretty much the same: Not much.

In the ultra-capitalist USA there is little sympathy or support for the folks that get rolled over. Take a look at the graph in the article related to retraining or other forms of assistance. The open question is "retraining for what". we're currently enjoying very low unemployment rates, though that's a number that is almost as manipulated as the inflation rate. I view current employment rates as being as fluffy as the credit boom. Fragile is too soft a word.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 10:04:22 PM by PonoBill »
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Area 10

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #549 on: April 15, 2019, 11:29:05 PM »
It’s useful that you are linking being “ultra-capitalist” with downsides in living conditions for many people. If you are thinking that then many others in the US must be (starting to) too. People like me tend to believe that having a fairer and kinder society should be a goal, rather than only GDP, and that rampant and unstoppable inequality breeds discontent which will lower life satisfaction for all, not just those at the bottom.

But I appreciate that these kind of ideas (which are basically somewhat Christian in nature) are seen by many here on the zone as an affront to the natural order of things, where people should be allowed to sink to the bottom of the heap, because if they were “worthy” then somehow they’d be able to overcome all obstacles and become president. In this version of Liberty, freedom is not about an individual’s opportunity to succeed, but about the freedom of the government to let you live a miserable existence without being held to account.

This subversion of what it means for people to be “free”, and the concept of Liberty in a society that likes to call itself the “free world” reminds me of the subversion of the concept of “free speech” by the alt-right. In their version of free speech, they should be allowed to say things that will lead to the suffering of others, because the concept of free speech trumps the suffering of others in some hierarchy of virtuosity held by those who believe in ultra-capitalism (because it benefits them personally).

What puzzles many of us from outside the US is the “God bless America” slogan, in this respect. The God referred to is presumably principally the Christian notion of a God. That same God whose son was Jesus Christ. Well, JC was a pretty radical guy in terms of his commitment to helping others, and the rejection of “ultra-capitalism”. So why does a country that purports to aspire so much to the teachings of someone who put great value in helping those less fortunate than themselves, and in the value of altruism and treating others as one would be wished to be treated, cleave so closely to a narrow definition of “freedom” and “liberty” that large sections of society are perpetually afraid that they are only one pay check away from misery and ill health, while a gilded few keep getting obscenely rich whilst feeling little apparent compunction to responsibility to those less fortunate. I guess they believe that their privileged life, free of responsibility to others, is God’s work. Hmm... I’d be interested to hear what JC would have said about that.

God bless the United States of America. If Trump is a message from God, what is he trying to tell you (and us outside the US, because we look and learn too)? Holding up a mirror perhaps?

eastbound

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #550 on: April 16, 2019, 03:16:58 AM »
politics, crime or not---sadly nothing thoughtful seems to be going on around trump

from the piece posted above:

Written by President Obama’s top economic and science advisors, “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy” is a clear-eyed look at how fast-developing AI and automation technologies are affecting jobs, and it offers a litany of suggestions for how to deal with the upheaval.


textbook mixed economy intervention is to provide sustenance and retraining to those who find themselves structurally unemployed--chart makes clear we dont care about that anymore--we have a new word for the structurally unemployed---lazy

weve become not so christian, in case you care about that, that's for sure
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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #551 on: April 16, 2019, 04:59:10 AM »
I’m not at all sure that AI will be the jobs apocalypse that some are suggesting. Robots are still extremely expensive and limited in what they can do practically. Many jobs *could* be automated but it just wouldn’t be economical to do so. Plus, our understanding of much of what humans can do in terms of brain function is still in its infancy. Moreover, humans are inherently social creatures. We simply aren’t going to tolerate environments where we are isolated from other humans, which is what would happen if large swathes of the population are removed from workplaces. AI and robots are just the latest step in the ongoing process of industrialisation. They are new tools. And like any new tools, they will replace some older skills, but encourage the development of others. Plus, I think that scientists are over-selling AI a bit. It’s right that they do so, in order to get people thinking about the future. But the chances that in 10 years we will all be driven around in robotic cars, sleeping in the back seat, is just total fantasy. Science fiction nearly always overestimates the speed of scientific progress. And scientists aren’t going to tell you that it is going to take a gazillion years to get to point X, because most people would then prioritise the money for something more immediate, and so point X would never be reached.

A much more immediate threat to the US workforce is surely India? 900 million people. 900. Think about that. With very good education opportunities, and a pretty startling work ethic. With Europe being quickly pulled apart now by Trump-style populism, soon the geographic focus of the biggest economic blocks in the world won’t be in the West, but will lie with China and India. Without Europe, the US will in the future be more culturally and economically isolated; a country of under 400 million vs. two massive trading countries of over a billion each.

The smart thing for the US to do now, therefore, would be to be building bridges (political, cultural, economic) as fast as possible with China and India in particular. But instead, you have installed a narcissistic reality TV president whose focus is looking back, not forward, and who is not mentally or socially deft enough to be building bridges with anyone. Trump’s populism only demolishes; it does not build.

So, you worry about Skynet taking over the US if you like, with every taxi being driven by T-800, and your Starbucks being served to you by a Marilyn Munroe robot. But it seems much more likely to me that the real jobs apocalypse for US (or for that matter, European) citizens will be for the uneducated citizens within those countries who have poor social skills, and therefore are people that other people don’t want to mix with, and cannot compete in a globalised job market run principally by neither the US nor their closest cultural allies (Europe).

But I think that if you are a well-educated novel problem-solver, and/or have good social skills and an altruistic and people-oriented outlook, your position in the job market will be fine. T-800 won’t be able to do the things that you do, for a very very long time.

http://fortune.com/2016/07/11/skills-gap-automation/

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #552 on: April 16, 2019, 07:04:55 AM »
^^^ I think even lot of skilled blue collar jobs that don't require a degree are not going away, or at least not anytime soon.  For all the reasons you described about robots, they are not going to take over carpentry, they are not going to weld bridges, or be electricians, or plumbers, etc.  If fact there is a huge shortage of people getting into these professions and that's causing serious issues of it's own.  There is WAY too much emphasis on the idea that everyone needs to go to college and that's simply not the case. 

eastbound

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #553 on: April 16, 2019, 07:07:57 AM »
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RideTheGlide

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Re: 2020 Vision
« Reply #554 on: April 16, 2019, 09:13:46 AM »
^^^ I think even lot of skilled blue collar jobs that don't require a degree are not going away, or at least not anytime soon.  For all the reasons you described about robots, they are not going to take over carpentry, they are not going to weld bridges, or be electricians, or plumbers, etc.  If fact there is a huge shortage of people getting into these professions and that's causing serious issues of it's own.  There is WAY too much emphasis on the idea that everyone needs to go to college and that's simply not the case.

I agree with the latter part of your statement completely. One of my kids is not so sure about college and I would be more than okay with him going into a skilled trade. In 18 months he could be an AC tech instead of working at Dunkin. I learned to program at a tech school and have had a 40 year career (so far) earning as much or more than my college educated peers.

As far as your first statement, I think that assistive tech will reduce the number of workers needed in a lot of cases. It would be quite an undertaking to make robots that could work together to build a house, but what about one that just frames out windows and doors? Or laying shingles in big open areas of a roof with a human inspecting and doing the advanced stuff around chimneys and standpipes?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 09:15:29 AM by RideTheGlide »
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