Thursday, May 30, 2013

Humans Replaced by Automatons?

Here is another excellent post idea from Laurie.  It asks the very real question, how will we humans justify our "income" when the the robots are doing most of the "work" in the world.
Mother Jones Hello Robot Overlords, Please Don't Fire Us

I have often wondered if our future society will look like Star Trek or Blade Runner.  Will all humans live fruitful lives and be well taken care of, or will the "wealthy/capital holders" live large while the majority live in squalor?

I mean in Wall-E the humans became fat and lazy, and there certainly weren't 6+ billion of them on the ship.  Who made it on the ship and what happened to the rest?

Lord knows we are already on the path to obsoleting a whole lot of jobs. (ie weld robots, ATMs, self scan grocery kiosks, streaming videos, tax software, autonomous mining trucks, etc, etc, etc)  And NO, the replacement jobs do not require as many people and/or pay as well, otherwise we wouldn't have built the machine/automation.

Here is a photo of a street sweeper in China.  That is apparently one way to keep people employed, however in America folks would demand that the person be paid $10 / hr and the accountants would go buy a piece of equipment that can replace 1000 guys with a broom.

So what do you think the future holds?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Global Warming Revisited

Per Laurie's idea from the G2A Brainstorming Page, let's talk about climate change.  She gave us the following link as a starting point.  MJ 97% of Climate Scientists Can't Be Wrong

My first thought is that their logic is kind of funny.
"Of the roughly 4,000 of those abstracts that expressed some view on the evidence for global warming, more than 97 percent endorsed the consensus that climate change is happening, and it's caused by humans."
Isn't that kind of like saying that:
97% of those who support raising educational funding see high class sizes as the primary cause of the achievement gap?
Now remember.  I actually do believe that burning fuels and releasing a great deal of previously stored energy into our closed system will impact the environment.  However I also believe that the earth and system will adjust accordingly. 

For example, the core temperature may heat to a level such that we experience more large volcanic eruptions???  Which would then release a massive amount of particulate into the atmosphere and likely cool the system???

I mean us humans may not like the Earth's natural correction, however it has been apparently self correcting for a very very long time.  However, I would advise moving away from the low lying areas and the fault lines...  Thoughts?

One last thought, I could really use a little global warming right now.  Putting in the docks, boats and lifts on Saturday and Sunday was very cold and damp...  And now I have a head cold...

Skeptical Science
FOX Cooling
USA Today Sick Science
G2A GW Apr2013
G2A GW Mar2012
G2A EPA Aug2011

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Teacher Morale and Engagement Suffers

Laurie asked me to post regarding this article.
America Prospect - Teachers Left Behind

I thought this quote seemed pretty important:
"Morale tends to plummet when the pendulum swings toward stricter accountability, says Dworkin. “And then it picks up as teachers discover they’re not being fired, and then a new reform comes in and morale dips again.” What’s different this time, he says, is that teacher burnout, which he defines as “a feeling of isolation that produces a sense among educators that their work does not matter,” has escalated to significantly higher levels than he has found before and is particularly affecting veteran teachers, who had grown accustomed to being able to control what and how they taught."
Let's say that employees spent years or decades being free to teach what they want to teach.  And not only that, but they really weren't held accountable for the academic achievement of their students.  Imagine having a job where you got to do what you want and didn't have to achieve management set goals.  It sounds like a pretty good gig if one can get it. (and summers off on top of it...)

Then imagine one day your manager decides that you have to start working towards the company's goals.  And that your performance is going to be graded based on how effective your efforts are.  I think I would be pretty upset and demoralized also at losing my sweet idealistic position.

Of course since I work in a for profit business, I find it hard to generate much empathy.  I mean in my line of work I am paid to accomplish the goals that are set by managers / owners, and my reviews and raises are based on how effective I am.  If my perceived cost exceeds my perceived value, I will be demoted or lose my position.

So do you think the tax payers demanding to much from the public education system and it's Teachers?  Or are these Teachers simply suffering grief because they are becoming immersed in the real world by being held accountable?

As for this quote:
"Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that the number of people entering teaching programs has been declining, too."
Of course you know my opinion, get rid of the unions and let Teachers be paid what they are worth based on the market.  If there are too few Teachers, wages will rise.  If there are too many, wages will fall.  Also, very gifted new Teachers could go to the top of the pay scale very quickly and not have to wait for 20 years...  I sure wouldn't have entered a field where my compensation growth was limited to what steps and lanes would allow.  Thoughts?

Friday, May 17, 2013

How Many Shower Rooms?

Sorry Laurie, I need to address this before we move on.  And J, for the duration of this post please just assume there is a "gay" gene. (ie genetic cause for some to be strongly sexually attracted to only others of the same sex)

That said...  Laurie, would you be comfortable sharing a shower room with a man who would be sexually attracted by seeing you scantily clad or naked?  Would you be comfortable sharing a shower room with a woman who would be sexually attracted by seeing you scantily clad or naked?  And no I am not implying that anyone is going to act on their desires, but naturally they will have them...

Is the answer the same or different?  Why?

I can easily make a case for anywhere between 1 & 4 shower rooms...
  1. Sexual attraction and physical differences don't matter.  Let's all get naked... (ie look up videos for Starship Trooper Shower scenes)
  2. Only physical differences matter.  It doesn't matter if that other woman is attracted and somewhat turned on as you wash your body parts.  Let them have their little thrill.
  3. Attraction/Intent is what matters because parts is parts... Therefore we need shower rooms for men, women, and the gay women/men can share.  I mean they have no interest in each others parts anyway.
  4. We need 4 shower rooms because we can't be mixing parts or attractions...
I wonder when the colleges, fitness centers, pools, etc, etc, etc will start their remodels and what they will decide?  Maybe the group shower/locker rooms will have to be eliminated...  It is an interesting and practical question that has been eating at me for a couple days.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Brainstorm Ideas for Posts Post

To escape the contentious  nature of the last post for now.  Let's do some brainstorming over what you would like to discuss in the future.  As usual almost no topic is to taboo or silly, within the "G2A Rules" off to the right.

So what mysteries or topics have you been aching to discuss?  Then I will be happy to post on the topics over the coming weeks.

And remember, guest posters are always welcome.  Just drop me an email with your post and if it conforms with the rule I will happily put it on the site and give you credit...

Monday, May 13, 2013

MN Gays, Incest, Polygamy and Slippery Slopes?

So I have J who swears the Conservatives are the rational and intelligent ones.  And I have Dog Gone who swears the Progressives are the rational and intelligent ones.  Who do you think is telling the truth?  They both seem pretty sure of themselves.

And Dog Gone is absolutely certain that people who are against gay marriage are hate filled bigots, while Dog Gone sees incest, polygamy, polyandry, etc as totally unacceptable and has many "facts/opinions" as to why. It kind of reminded me of listening to the Conservative arguments against gay marriage.  Thoughts?

G2A Libertarian Liberal
MPP Parting Shot for the Right
MPP Same Sex Marriage Passes

MPP Shortly It Will Be Signed
G2A Snopes and Relativity

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Libertarian Liberal?

Tommy over at MPP discusses the interesting disclosure statement he has at the bottom of his emails.  MPP TwoPutt Preview  I left some comments and questions and received no response, so I thought I would see if anyone here has an opinion / answer.
"So Tommy, since Obama has been in power for 4+ years and things like this are still in force. Is it our new reality and the price we pay for a safe country? Or is there some conspiracy taking place? Thoughts?

Since I really have nothing to hide, I am pretty much okay with having computers search my correspondence for suspicious words, topics, contacts, etc. Of course, we may want to stock some more guns downstairs in case the government becomes too power hungry. Oops, I thought I was on a far right blog for a moment.

Man, I love that Nolan diagram. The idea of a Liberal Libertarian seems counter intuitive too me, since Liberals usually want government involvement in our lives and wallets. But it does seem to fit in the top left edge of the diagram."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

ObamaCare Revisited

Since J and Hiram brought the topic up in the Defict vs Surplus discussion, maybe there is some interest in revisiting it.  I have at least one reason to dislike Obamacare, since it already cost my family $800+ this year alone.  And that is only from the medical flex spending maximum being lowered from $5,000 to $2,500...

The reality is that someone is going to have to pay for those who can not afford the insurance.  And more funds will need to be kept in the pool due to their being more variability in the system.


FOX News Obama on Obamacare: This is as good as it gets
ObamaCare Facts
Wiki Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Heritage: ObamaCare
Politco Insurers Hold Noses and Start Selling Obamacare
WP ObamaCare and More PartTime Workers?
HP Part Timers and Obamacare
US News Obamacare Subsidies
G2A Healthcare Cost Drivers
G2A ACA Raising Costs
G2A Make em pay
G2A Obama to spend more
G2A Pre-existing Condition Fraud

Sunday, May 5, 2013

USA Israel and Syria

My first thought when I heard about the attack was to wonder if the USA sanctioned the attack.  It seems to me sometimes that our relationship with Israel is somewhat like having an attack dog on a leash.  And when the USA wants to be involved without being involved, they lengthen the leash for awhile.

I mean we pay the Israelis very well for their cooperation, and have been doing so for a very long time.  Thoughts?

CNN Attack on Syria Military
Wiki Israel USA Relations

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Villages of Deficit and Surplus

Hiram has proposed the following thought experiment:
"Lets assume that there are two villages close to each other. Surplus is full of hard working citizens who create lots of products both for their own consumption, and for export. Deficit is full of citizens who maybe also work but not very productively. It's a poor community, and it also is Surplus principal export market. Let's assume both share the same currency, the Euro, or gold perhaps. Deficit, being poor, has bought goods from surplus on credit extended by Surplus's bankers. At some point, Deficit runs out of money. All the Euros, all the gold, it has must go to Surplus and it's bankers to pay off the debt. Lots of consequences flow from this. For one thing, Deficit has no money with which to conduct ordinary transactions. it's all gone to Surplus. Employees are not hired because employers have no money to pay them. Investment doesn't happen because there is no money with which to invest. There are other consequences as well. The impact of Deficit's situation has an impact on Surplus as well. The loans they made aren't being paid back. The factories they built to create product for export to Deficit lie idle because Deficit has no money to buy the product.

So, what's the solution? Or maybe the first question to ask is whether there is or what is the nature of the problem."  Hiram