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Author Topic: Rise of the Robots -- Paul Krugman  (Read 2528 times)
scrybe
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December 19, 2012, 02:34:02 AM
 #21


Personally, I've discovered in some forays into PCB assembly that one key cost factor is actually import taxes into China.  You have to pay 20-30% of the value of the the CHIPS just to import them into China to get them soldered onto a board and then sent right back out of the country!  So the boards that tend to be fabricated domestically are ones with very high value chips.  This observation is consistent with what I saw coming off the line during my tour.  While the consumer market is overrun with really cheap chips, $500-$2000 single chips certainly still exist in telecom applications.

So this guy seems way off the mark to me...


A single top of the line Virtex 7 retails for about $30k (or about $6-9k in duties per chip) so it sounds like it would really pay to stay domestic somewhere in the lower range of the chip-cost scale. Good info, thanks!

(yes I know that there is a big markup, discounts and optimizations to be had, but you can only go so far)

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December 19, 2012, 02:52:42 AM
 #22

I still don't see the problem.  Why do you insist on the need for people to buy your stuff in this hypothetical scenario?  Trading is a solution to satisfy your own needs (and do so more efficiently), it is not a goal in itself.

You can make robots and satisfy your own needs, but others can not since they are not smart enough to make robots, what can they do? To replace their brain?


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December 19, 2012, 03:03:52 AM
 #23

Take an extreme case, if one person in a country own all the robot and these robot in turn make other robot to do all the work, then to whom could he sell his products? All the other people are jobless and without income, they live at social welfare level. His production will continuously shrink until it mets the demand from all the other people's consumption at lowest social welfare level, and those social welfare handouts are coming from his own production too (in tax form)

If this comes to pass you ARE the government. This is an instant autocracy, and maybe even a theocracy if you are into people worshiping you. Set the rules for the sustainment of the people that you like.

Take a slightly less extreme case and you end up in an oligarchy.

Take a messy, fractious bunch of folks arguing amongst themselves (like we actually have today) and play it forward to this level of technology, and we will have a messy fractious set of possible solutions being played out including some interesting communist and socialist experiments as well as markets with regulated competition, and likely at least a few oddballs or free-zones, especially if we go interplanetary.

There are many solutions to this problem, and I'm sure some of them are beyond imagination today.

Just because you have a machine that can make any material object does not mean an end to labor, it will not invent NEW things, create the BEST music, the most AUTHENTIC hobby/folk crafts, the most time consuming work of art, the joy of time with family, experiences in nature, trendsetting, communication, politics, travel and cultural exchange, historical, theoretical, or practical science, or any number of undertakings that define the human condition. As we have seen, a rising standard of living increases the desire for luxuries, inventing new ones will be a lucrative job in itself. Just because nobody is having to slave away in a sweatshop (at least in the neighborhood of earth...) does not mean the end of labor, simply the end of manufacturing as we know it.

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December 19, 2012, 03:38:51 AM
 #24

I still don't see the problem.  Why do you insist on the need for people to buy your stuff in this hypothetical scenario?  Trading is a solution to satisfy your own needs (and do so more efficiently), it is not a goal in itself.

You can make robots and satisfy your own needs, but others can not since they are not smart enough to make robots, what can they do? To replace their brain?


Ok, I think we are talking about 2 different things here 1) how capital would be distributed across the population & 2) how the economy would work (which I was addressing before).  

I did not first realise your emphasis/concern on nr.1 (I read a little too quick).  Like you said in your own post, if the market forces would drive a strong positive feedback loop of capital gaining more capital, and lack thereof leading to ever more poverty then either A) a lot of poverty will exist or B) there will be sufficient offsetting measures for wealth redistribution (like taxes etc.).  It will just be a more extreme form of the thug of war that has allways existed somewhat between rich and poorer people I guess, one group believing it is unfair that their property is being taken from them, the other group believing it is unfair that they have little property and little possibility to escape from this position. (remember I am talking about an extreme future scenario in which lack of available work would deny a poor person the ability to gain capital for himself, I am not talking about the present situation in which savers and taxpayer money is being funneled to wall street banks...).

Now if there was some sort of good resolution, everybody could have their own robots, and nobody would have to worry about a thing :-), tadaa: singularity-like utopia.  (provided population growth is halted, and everybody's needs could be provided for sustainably).
This is all pretty pie in the sky though, who knows how it would play out...
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December 19, 2012, 04:41:47 AM
Last edit: December 19, 2012, 05:11:22 AM by LightRider
 #25

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYIfeZcXA9U

TEDxVienna - Federico Pistono - Robots Will Steal Your Job, but That's OK

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie5zO-mF31M (Potentially NSFW...ironically?)

Workers of the world...Relax!

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