|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] sad times for us all
|From hangout-bounces-at-nylxs.com Fri Feb 3 12:20:15 2017
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From: Ruben Safir
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2017 12:20:10 -0500
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Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] sad times for us all
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Looking for job security in the knowledge economy? Just learn to code.
At least, that=E2=80=99s what we=E2=80=99ve been telling young professional=
mid-career workers alike who want to hack it in the modern workforce=E2=80=
fact, it=E2=80=99s advice I=E2=80=99ve given myself. And judging by the pro=
coding schools and bootcamps we=E2=80=99ve seen over the past few years, no=
few have eagerly heeded that instruction, thinking they=E2=80=99re shoring =
their livelihoods in the process.
"More and more, "learn to code" is looking like bad advice."
Unfortunately, many have already learned the hard way that even the best
coding chops have their limits. More and more, "learn to code" is
looking like bad advice.
Coding Can=E2=80=99t Save You
Anyone competent in languages such as Python, Java, or even web coding
like HTML and CSS, is currently in high demand by businesses that are
still just gearing up for the digital marketplace. However, as coding
becomes more commonplace, particularly in developing nations like India,
we find a lot of that work is being assigned piecemeal by computerized
services such as Upwork to low-paid workers in digital sweatshops.
This trend is bound to increase. The better opportunity may be to use
your coding skills to develop an app or platform yourself, but this
means competing against thousands of others doing the same thing=E2=80=94an=
an online marketplace ruled by just about the same power dynamics as the
digital music business.
This Is What It Feels Like When A Robot Takes Your Job
Why You Should Plan On Switching Jobs Every Three Years For The Rest
Of Your Life
Can This Adorable Bedtime Storybook Make Toddlers Want To Code?
Are Robots Going To Kill Your Next Job Or Create It?
Geek Girl Academy Wants To Get 1 Million Girls Coding By 2025
Besides, learning code is hard, particularly for adults who don=E2=80=99t
remember their algebra and haven=E2=80=99t been raised thinking algorithmic=
Learning code well enough to be a competent programmer is even harder.
Although I certainly believe that any member of our highly digital
society should be familiar with how these platforms work, universal code
literacy won=E2=80=99t solve our employment crisis any more than the univer=
ability to read and write would result in a full-employment economy of
It=E2=80=99s actually worse. A single computer program written by perhaps a
dozen developers can wipe out hundreds of jobs. As the author and
entrepreneur Andrew Keen has pointed out, digital companies employ 10
times fewer people per dollar earned than traditional companies. Every
time a company decides to relegate its computing to the cloud, it's free
to release a few more IT employees.
Most of the technologies we're currently developing replace or obsolesce
far more employment opportunities than they create. Those that
don=E2=80=99t=E2=80=94technologies that require ongoing human maintenance or
participation in order to work=E2=80=94are not supported by venture capital=
precisely this reason. They are considered unscalable because they
demand more paid human employees as the business grows.
Training Our Robo-Replacements
Finally, there are jobs for those willing to assist with our transition
to a more computerized society. As employment counselors like to point
out, self-checkout stations may have cost you your job as a supermarket
cashier, but there=E2=80=99s a new opening for that person who assists cust=
having trouble scanning their items at the kiosk, swiping their debit
cards, or finding the SKU code for Swiss chard. It=E2=80=99s a slightly more
skilled job and may even pay better than working as a regular cashier.
"Universal code literacy won=E2=80=99t solve our employment crisis any more=
the universal ability to read and write would result in a
full-employment economy of book publishing."
But it=E2=80=99s a temporary position: Soon enough, consumers will be as
proficient at self-checkout as they are at getting cash from the bank
machine, and the self-checkout tutor will be unnecessary. By then,
digital tagging technology may have advanced to the point where shoppers
just leave stores with the items they want and get billed automatically.
For the moment, we=E2=80=99ll need more of those specialists than we=E2=80=
=99ll be able
to find=E2=80=94mechanics to fit our current cars with robot drivers, engin=
to replace medical staff with sensors, and to write software for postal
drones. There will be an increase in specialized jobs before there's a
precipitous drop. Already in China, the implementation of 3-D printing
and other automated solutions is threatening hundreds of thousands of
high-tech manufacturing jobs, many of which have existed for less than a
American factories would be winning back this business but for a
shortage of workers with the training necessary to run an automated
factory. Still, this wealth of opportunity will likely be only
temporary. Once the robots are in place, their continued upkeep and a
large part of their improvement will be automated as well. Humans may
have to learn to live with it.
This conundrum was first articulated back in the 1940s by the
cybernetics pioneer Norbert Wiener, whose work influenced members of the
Eisenhower Administration to start worrying about what would come after
industrialism. By 1966, the United States convened the first and only
sessions of the National Commission on Technology, Automation, and
Economic Progress, which published six (mostly ignored) volumes sizing
up what would later be termed the "post-industrial economy."
Today, it=E2=80=99s MIT=E2=80=99s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee who a=
ppear to be
leading the conversation about technology=E2=80=99s impact on the future of
employment=E2=80=94what they call the "great decoupling." Their extensive
research shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that technological progress
eliminates jobs and leaves average workers worse off than they were before.
"It=E2=80=99s the great paradox of our era," Brynjolfsson explained to MIT
Technology Review in 2013. "Productivity is at record levels, innovation
has never been faster, and yet at the same time, we have a falling
median income and we have fewer jobs. People are falling behind because
technology is advancing so fast and our skills and organizations aren=E2=80=
"There are jobs for those willing to assist with our transition to a
more computerized society . . . But it's a temporary position."
Yet it=E2=80=99s hard to see this great decoupling as a mere unintended
consequence of digital technology. It is not a paradox but the
realization of the industrial drive to remove humans from the value
equation. That=E2=80=99s the big news: The growth of an economy does not me=
more jobs or prosperity for the people living in it.
"I would like to be wrong," a flummoxed McAfee confided in the same
article, "but when all these science-fiction technologies are deployed,
what will we need all the people for?"
When technology increases productivity, a company has a new excuse to
eliminate jobs and use the savings to reward its shareholders with
dividends and stock buybacks. What would've been lost to wages is
instead turned back into capital. So the middle class hollows out, and
the only ones left making money are those depending on the passive
returns from their investments.
It turns out that digital technology merely accelerates this process to
the point where we can all see it occurring. It's just that we haven't
all taken notice yet=E2=80=94we=E2=80=99ve been busy coding.
This article is adapted from Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How
Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff, with
permission of Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a
division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright =C2=A9 Douglas Rushkoff, 20=
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/resources - Unpublished Archive
http://www.coinhangout.com - coins!
Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and and extermination camps,
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013
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