http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/comment/story/0,12449,1078798,00.html

I have had similar ideas with computers being so prevalent in society ? how they have affected many aspects of our cultures (speech, learning, etc.). I do not like the feeling that some people have been ?left behind? ? out of touch with the processes of the technological world.

It is not unusual for me to speak with someone who has been working for hours on a job and for me to show them how to do the same thing in a matter of seconds (or less). Older people have felt as if I was taking their work away from them, but I try to assure them that there is never a shortage of work in the world.

Technology serves people ? it never replaces them.
Posted on 2003-11-06 20:59:25 by bitRAKE
too bad no shortage of work != jobs available

all hail the new economy :(


edit: stupid omission
Posted on 2003-11-07 01:39:40 by Hiroshimator

Technology serves people ? it never replaces them.


I feel like it actually does replace them in some jobs :(
Posted on 2003-11-07 07:50:29 by Ultrano
Hell yeah, and the more the merrier. In many of the places that technology takes over, the jobs shouldn't be done by people anyway - like building cars and the like. Ofcourse, that doesn't cover all jobs lost to technology but still ... If you want to blame somebody, don't blame technology, blame the capitalist idiots who figure that economic considerations are the only considerations a company should have.

Fake
Posted on 2003-11-07 10:31:46 by Fake51
On second thought, I see you're right - I really couldn't find an example to back me up. :)
Posted on 2003-11-07 11:56:03 by Ultrano
Fake51,

Capitalists are not idiots. Economic considerations are not the only considerations companies have, but they are important for the survival of the company. How many jobs does a dead company provide?

Charles
Posted on 2003-11-07 13:03:07 by cdquarles
I agree with Fake51 - as most companies get more competitive they are willing to sacrafice humanity for profit, and then as time progresses those same companies must stoop even lower and lower - we see this happening all around us in the US. On top of that, this kind of competition usually creates an inflated market (no big surprise).

A metaphor I like to use is a good boxing match: In a 'good' boxing match both guys go home hurt, but in a bad boxing match the winner beats the hell out of the other guy and he is lucky if he gets to go home. In good competition between companies both companies stay in business, but one company make more money. In bad competition one company puts the other company out of business and many people out of work - like a dead boxer.
Posted on 2003-11-07 21:41:49 by bitRAKE

I agree with Fake51 - as most companies get more competitive they are willing to sacrafice humanity for profit, and then as time progresses those same companies must stoop even lower and lower - we see this happening all around us in the US. On top of that, this kind of competition usually creates an inflated market (no big surprise).

A metaphor I like to use is a good boxing match: In a 'good' boxing match both guys go home hurt, but in a bad boxing match the winner beats the hell out of the other guy and he is lucky if he gets to go home. In good competition between companies both companies stay in business, but one company make more money. In bad competition one company puts the other company out of business and many people out of work - like a dead boxer.


Of course, if all boxing matches were 'good' matches, boxing would get really boring all of a sudden :grin:
/Edit: To elaborate a little...sure people still get beat up, but why watch when you already know nobody will get seriously hurt? (BTW I am not trying to condone violence here...in fact I dislike boxing entirely)

I do know one thing that needs to be changed (at least in the U.S.)...corporate accountability.

If an independent truck driver runs a red light and kills somebody, that driver is held responsible...his life and business are both most likely ruined.

If a corporate truck driver runs a red light and kills someone, most likely the driver goes to jail and the corporation pays damages...corporate stockholders aren't held accountable at all. The only thing they will notice is slightly less profits at the end of the year.

Myself, I wouldn't mind seeing corporations done away with entirely :rolleyes:
Posted on 2003-11-07 22:47:32 by sirchess
This will be my last post on this subject.

The level of economic understanding is so poor. Humanity is never sacrificed for profit. Some humans may be "sacrificed" for business survival. I note that no one answered the question, How many jobs does a dead company provide? Humanity is served by businesses, and businesses profit from the purchases of service by its customers. If the buyer doesn't buy the seller doesn't eat, or IOW, no customers no profit; which, by the way, is earned not taken. It is just that simple.

Economic competition is every purchase choice made by customers, including the choice to refrain from purchasing at all. Competition does not respect competitors, for competitors come and go. Competition will exist as long as governments don't interfere with the purchasing decisions of people. It is just that simple. Those who wish corporations would go away essentially want to live in either slavery or in the Stone Age. Count me out of either.

The corporate owners do not have legal liability in the case of an employee causing harm, because a corporation is an artificial person for the purposes of doing business. The corporation will pay damages directly, but the damages are ultimately paid by the customers, who also don't have any legal liability. It is bad for an otherwise good business to die because of the legal liability of an owner (sole proprietorship or partnership), or operator (manager or regular employee). That's why these rules exist.

Charles
Posted on 2003-11-08 18:14:58 by cdquarles

Humanity is never sacrificed for profit.
All this means is not to kill all your customers - so, they kill non-customers or kill customers at a rate less than the increase of new customers. :rolleyes:
Posted on 2003-11-08 19:37:11 by bitRAKE
the fact that water may be bottled and sold for profit says it all for me.

Hell, bottled or not, in Africa lots of people (millions) can't even pay for purified (tap)water these days.



There is nothing humane about that, just sheer profits.
Posted on 2003-11-09 06:53:20 by Hiroshimator
cdquarles:

I believe I should rephrase my view on corporations (BTW I hope this isn't too political for this forum...). I believe that there are better alternatives to the corporation (such as sole proprietorship) that would take the place of corporations if current government policy didn't restrain their potential and favor corporations. If I understand how a corporation works correctly, it is owned by the stockholders, who get votes in the policy of the corporation according to the percentage of stock they own. In my experience, groups are slow to change and quick to return to the "old way of doing things." In the rapid business environment, changes need to be made quickly. A single owner can make a needed change in two minutes.

Of course, I realize that many business ventures wouldn't be possible without the backing of thousands of investors, and I don't know of any alternative to corporations right now, so I retract my previous statement about doing away with corporations...I still think there must be a better way, though.

As for the liability...hmm you're right; thanks for correcting me. I was blindly parroting the words I had heard elsewhere...the way you put it makes more sense.


Hiroshimator:
For some unknown reason, there's a demand for pure water in a bottle :rolleyes:

I only buy bottled water for two reasons: 1) I stopped at a C-store to...umm...relieve myself...and I want some water for the road, and 2) for the bottle :tongue:

Myself, I prefer good-tasting farm well-water :)

Interesting note: A 1/2-liter bottle of water costs around $0.99, while a 1-liter bottle of water costs around $1.09...doing the math, 1/2 a liter of water costs around 10 cents, while the packaging costs around 89 cents :eek:
Posted on 2003-11-10 16:14:58 by sirchess
Remember there's nothing wrong with taking a profit. We all take home a profit from our jobs or businesses. So do corporations. Without profit there is no incentive to perform.

Good economics report by cdquarles.

The thing about bottled water is a matter of choice. No one has to buy it. If someone profits from it then what's the harm?

Technology improves productivity leaving free time to either do other things or produce more of the same thing. Some companies produce more widgets. Others make the same number of widgets but grow the business by getting into doodads. That may be a good or bad idea. It may fail and hurt the company or it may double their income. If they double their income they may grow more and hire more people because they'll start making watchamacallits. And on and on.
Posted on 2003-11-11 10:45:01 by drhowarddrfine

the fact that water may be bottled and sold for profit says it all for me.

Hell, bottled or not, in Africa lots of people (millions) can't even pay for purified (tap)water these days.

There is nothing humane about that, just sheer profits.


For some unknown reason, there's a demand for pure water in a bottle :rolleyes:

Originally posted by drhowarddrfinedrhoward"]
The thing about bottled water is a matter of choice. No one has to buy it. If someone profits from it then what's the harm?

That's not the point... Some things are not just products that can be sold, they are basic human rights. How can "free market" possibly apply, for example, to medicines? How can anyone see it right to sell something when you die if you can't afford it?

It isn't a matter of going back to the stone ages. Just to realize that this is not the best of all possible worlds.
Posted on 2003-11-11 16:46:31 by QvasiModo


How can anyone see it right to sell something when
you die if you can't afford it?


What about the other side of the picture? How can anyone see it right to buy something when other people die because they can't afford it?

Businessmen are commonly blamed for the "evils of capitalism", but I have rarely, maybe never, seen it pointed out that consumers are to blame as well. True, it is a lot easier to convince a business leader to stop selling a product than it is to convince a public to stop buying a product, but that does not change the issue of right and wrong.

What's more, I don't see how preventing the sale of water will help save people dying of thirst. If prevented from selling a product, a businessman must either shut down his business or offer his/her product freely to anyone who wants it. Under the former situation, the thirsty people don't get their water because there isn't any. Under the latter, the business owner makes no profit, and once his/her bottling machines break down, he/she can't produce and distribute bottled water anyways. Eventually, the thirsty people still don't get their water.

On the other hand, if the business owner is allowed to sell his bottled water, he/she can expand his business and buy new and better bottling machines, which allow him to lower prices (which he/she will have to do to keep ahead of the competition). Although the thirsty people may still not get their water if they cannot afford it, there is a chance that eventually the price of bottled water will become so low that even the poorest of the poor can afford to buy as much as they desire.

/Edit: I just noticed you were talking about medicine there, but the same concept applies.
Posted on 2003-11-11 22:59:49 by sirchess

On the other hand, if the business owner is allowed to sell his bottled water, he/she can expand his business and buy new and better bottling machines, which allow him to lower prices (which he/she will have to do to keep ahead of the competition). Although the thirsty people may still not get their water if they cannot afford it, there is a chance that eventually the price of bottled water will become so low that even the poorest of the poor can afford to buy as much as they desire.
Yeah, in a perfect world. In the REAL world we get to repeatedly see the point where greed takes over and large businesses gouge the people in frenzy like a home evasion robbery.

The way the media targets the public in thousands of angles to ensure their profit margins disgusts and enrages me when I see it?s affect on the youth. The culture becomes retarded and perverse.

This system is so well founded in this country that it has grown several massive appendages to treat the symptoms of a diseased populous. What we are becoming can seem scary at times.

This is just looking at one side of things ? there is certainly a much brighter angle to see the world. :)
Posted on 2003-11-11 23:38:23 by bitRAKE
That's why I said there was a chance things would get better :)

You make very valid points about many businesses doing bad things for profit. The question is why businesses that do so survive and even thrive. Like I said before, on the one hand, there are the sellers, who have the nerve to sell their product under such bad conditions. On the other hand, there's the buyers, who have the nerve to buy from a company that operates under such bad conditions. Throw in the government, with its myriad of legislation, and it takes an economic genius to figure out what the true source of any problem is :(

That's why I was trying to stick to the example of a ban on sale...the results of that action were easier for me to understand :)
Posted on 2003-11-11 23:55:35 by sirchess
sirchess, to answer the question of the lame consumer would take a Jungian analysis of the developing US psyche over the past 100 years - something I'm not prepared to do. So, I'll just say there are many more stupid people then I once thought there were - myself included. And it seems to be contagious. :)
Posted on 2003-11-12 00:23:52 by bitRAKE
I think the saddest thing is retirement funds. Think about them for a second, most retirement funds are just mutual funds invested in a wide range of industries, usually wide enough to provide performance even in an economic downturn. The retirement fund is there to help employees, that's fine. But it is still a mutual fund and if a particular business does not perform up to expectations it is dropped from the fund. The amount of money we are talking about is enormous, maybe trillions of dollars worldwide, so there is a very big incentive for a company to perform well and have a tap on that cash cow. So what to do, it has to cut costs to perform better and be more attractive to the mutual funds, how do you cut costs - layoffs ! Capatalism has finally found out how to turn the workers desire for economic stability into the engine of their misery, all hail Wall Street !
Posted on 2003-11-12 00:49:08 by donkey
I'm already glad some organisations try to sensibilize people, making them aware of the risks and actual problems arising with too big a liberalisation/commercialisation of our society

why don't you watch this once? (warning, 7.6 MB)
http://www.11.be/campagnes/2003/materiaal/multimedia/tvspot.mpeg

I made a smaller version (2.6 MB so less quality)

http://www.win32asmcommunity.net/download/water.avi
Posted on 2003-11-12 06:05:57 by Hiroshimator