Originally posted by Bathsaint
Indeed, Pap, it is the obvious end-point - a kind of Star Trek utopia. In the meantime, people are plunged into poverty.
There have been waves of automation from the beginning of the industrial revolution. They have been resisted, fought against and, eventually, the automation wins out. There have always been a wave of jobs that have emerged to replace them. I guess the biggest threat is AI, which challenges our intellect through things like expert systems and machine learning. We're miles off that at the moment, so what you end up with is all those manual jobs being automated.
Part of the reason France has higher productivity than the UK is structural. It is difficult to fire people from French companies, so they try not to employ people in the first place but automate instead. Higher automation generally leads to higher productivity. the downside, of course, is high unemployment in France (and the associated misery that brings).
Bring it on. Far fucking better getting non-intelligent automatons to create shit than having Chinese kids die in sweatshops.
For far too long, we've been locked into this false paradigm that everyone has to work. In reality, it has been the same since the classical times. Elites vs Plebs. The rich never want to give shit up, the poor are always made to strive for any part of this Earth.
We should embrace automation. Other countries will if we don't, and if they get there first, it'll just be another case of "failed British engineering". It perhaps already is.
It's a huge subject which I'm glad you've raised. Personally, I think it requires a wholesale rewriting of the social contract and serious investment. There's a government in waiting for that, y'know