iPhones for Robots

There is a continually accelerating trend in the world today, although fairly obvious, most people probably haven’t really come to grips with it. The improvements of automated technology have made more and more jobs obsolete, and this is just the beginning. The trend seems to be on an exponential path, and yet the main stream media seems to not make mention of it.

A long time ago, in the era of my grandfather, people were once employed to make the elevator go up and down, and telephone operators were needed to connect you to other people. These days of course other than you pressing some buttons, both the elevators and phones are completely automated. Are you old enough to remember when you used to have to go see a real live human bank teller to get your money out of the bank?

Farming has of course gone through similar transitions, the amount of work done by many dozens of people can now be done faster by a sole driver of one machine, and even that one driver could be replaced by a self driving vehicle these days.

Automated Farming

Over the years, most people who used to work on the farm, have moved to the city to get work, no longer do they work to supply society with their needs, but spend most of their waking life creating documents which eventually get stuffed into filing cabinets where no one will ever read them again, or pushing some kind of product on the consumer.

Just as most farming jobs have become obsolete, the same type of thing has been going on with manufacturing jobs, as the robots are improving, the jobs they can do are getting more complex, in fact people are no longer needed in the modern factory at all, with today’s technology entire cars can actually be made by robots via 3D printing.

Though it took a long time to produce the plans for the first car, they can now be print out one after the other, 24 hours a day, with no sick days or holidays. The first car took forty-four hours to print, which may seem like a while, but imagine thousands of 3D printers going at the same time.

You might think that all the manufacturing of 3D printers would be lots of work for humans, however the printers amazingly enough, can replicate themselves, or even make larger or smaller versions of themselves, who then again can scale upwards or downwards.

In theory you can now order a car from a website, and it could then drive itself right to your house to pick you up. No human needed.

The same thing of course is going on with every other manufacturing business from clothing to iPhones. Even the age old job warfare is being replaced by robots

Rather than shopping malls, and sales clerks, websites now sell products, and robots can sort and ship them.

Once pretty much all these jobs are taken by robots, then there are of course no need for managers, accountants, bookkeepers, or really any office job at all. The robots just need to be told once what to do, and away they go. Nothing to manage there. The selling, and management of the sales, money transfers, tax and everything else can all be handled by computers.

So what exactly would a human be needed for in the ultra modern world then? Other than the initial deigning of new products, not very much. Although currently over seventy percent of jobs seem to be of no use to society anyhow.

The old idea was that for every bit of automation we created, from washing machines to vending machines we could all enjoy more free time, that the machines would continually free us from the menial task of daily life and create paradise. However most people these days who do have work, are working harder and longer than ever just to keep a roof over their heads.

As most of the once important blue collar jobs become obsolete, people are being forced to move into white collar positions, but the transition is not easy for many, and they end up soon going broke, which can lead to desperation, and the desperation can lead to crime. Crime of course leads to more crime enforcement, and often jail for many.

Once all the blue collar jobs are gone, most white collar jobs will follow.

It makes me wonder if the people who rule our societies have any sort of long term plan for the future of humanity, it seems to me that they do not. In a very capitalist type of society such as the US, automating all aspects of consumerism may seem like good business sense, in the short term the profits will be immense. However as robotics continue to improve, and as 3D printers keep replicating themselves and are programmed to make more and more things. Who exactly will have a paying job to be able to afford the things they sell?

I have spoken before of my wishes for the future of society, that I believe we should have some sort of new Renaissance, and new era of art, music, entertainment and creativity, but what I didn’t realize is that at that point we were in the middle of a small one, before spring of 2012, many people could actually make a living on the internet, good writers, artists and other sorts of entertainers were able to post things on blogs and social media, which friends would share, people would read them, possibly click on an advertisement along the way, and people were rewarded for their creativity. Things were pretty good back then, however during 2011-2012, things changed, most social media website who’s stocks were publicly traded got bought up by people who had other things in mind, namely directing people to their own news websites and stores, those who resisted found themselves under extreme pressure. The unedited streams of Facebook, Digg and the like became heavily edited, big business hijacked the social media, and search engine results became more Big Business oriented as well. Many popular blogs on publicly hosted blogging networks were quietly deleted by their big business friendly hosts around that time, all the writers work was lost, and many bloggers suddenly found themselves without an income, the blog sharing networks were also of course hurt, most blogging networks suffered great financial losses during this time, some of them lost the ability to use advertising from the large companies who had essentially hijacked the internet at this time, one of the biggest blogging networks of the time Blogger went out of business completely. Most internet based small businesses also disappeared around this time, or soon after.

It seems to me that in the future most jobs positions will be held by robots.

Again I ask “Who exactly will have a paying job to be able to afford the things they sell?”

In the future are they going to try and market iPhones to Robots?

EDIT: The robotic farmers have now arrived.

New Boston Dynamics video

Weapon Peace Sign Shirt

Weapon Peace Shirt

Weapons Make Peace Sign Shirt – Click Image

The idea that peace can be brought about by war is about as stupid as thinking that only fire can bring on the cold. Though the end of a war does of course result in peace, before the war began, peace was of course there as well.
Warmongers these days seem to follow the: “This is so stupid, it just might work!”, train of thought. The warfare justification is often twisted into some sort of reverse logic, weapons are given to rebels to create peace, first attacks on foreign soil are called “preemptive strikes”, people defending their homes are called insurgents. Meanwhile the killers on both sides of a conflict think a higher being is exclusively on their side, yet a greater possibility is that any divine power probably dislikes all sides enough to force them into the hellish combat in the first place.
This shirt shows an image of a peace sign made of various weapons of war, this is probably the only time you will actually see weapons creating peace.

Weapon Peace Shirt

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Ms Mega Consumer

About a year ago now, something happened to me which shook my reality a bit, although hundreds of others also experienced this small event, for me it had a profound meaning that I will now share with you all here.

During the middle of my work week, just after lunch, I ran out of shipping envelopes, so I headed down to the local wholesaler to pick up a cool thousand 10″x14″ envelopes. Due to the distance between where I parked and the wholesaler, it was fastest and easiest for me to cut through a local shopping mall. From past experience I knew the thousand envelopes were going to weight quite a bit, so I decided that on the way back I would stop for a coffee in the mall.
Mall View
I picked up the envelopes, and carried them back to the mall’s third floor coffee shop, my muscles we’re getting tired, so when I found an empty coffee shop table next to the third floor railing of the mall’s courtyard, I dumped my envelopes in one of the chairs, went to ordered my coffee, then returned to my table to drink it.

The coffee was nice, and so was the view of the busy mall. This mall is always extremely busy, and getting more so by the day. It was a suburban mall once, but the city has grown so much over the last decade or so, the surrounding roads which were once full of houses are now full of condominiums. The population density in the area has more than doubled over the last few years, as has the population of the mall.

I people watched as I slowly drank my coffee, there were lots of people all over the place, many had a bag or so in their arms. There were people on laptops in the coffee shop, some with friends, some that looked to be on dates, and then there was this one table that I couldn’t quite figure out. Sitting at this table there was what seemed to be a very well off lady, drinking her coffee, she was just beyond middle age, well made up, with a designer haircut, about 5 ft 5 inches tall, and 180 pounds. The lady was very nicely dressed in what I would assume to all be all new designer clothing, she wore a blue floral dress, designer shoes, lots of jewelry, and polished leather high heals. She seemed very relaxed, I would guess she was wealthy enough she didn’t need to work, this was mid day after all. The man who sat with her did not have a drink of his own and was not dressed so extravagantly, from the look of him, I assumed he was probably living on an income below the poverty line, his clothing looked plain, old, but looked clean and ironed, he had no jewelry that I could see. He was about 5 ft 8 inches tall, thin, in his early 30s, and fit. They did not look at each other or talk. The couple finished just moments before I did, so my thousand envelopes and I ended up following them out of the coffee shop.
Too-many-bags
Other than the physical differences between the two, I saw some other very obvious clues as to who they might be. While the lady was obviously leading the man, as she carried what seemed to be a very expensive designer purse. The man was following and carrying about fifteen designer brand name shopping bags, fanning out from his hips, which I would assume had just been purchased. I reasoned this man was an employee of the woman, brought with her on these shopping trips possibly as a driver, and then due to the fact that the woman bought more clothing that it looked like she could carry, he was her porter as well. The way this all played out, this looks like a common event for the two. It is possible that this woman never wore the same clothing twice, and maybe did not even wear some items once.

This particular mall had five stories to it, and conveniently at the front of the mall, there were four floors of escalators all facing the same direction with about a 20 ft gap between the top of one escalator, and the bottom of another. The up escalators lined up with the next up escalators, and the down with the down. Due to the efficiency of this design, not to mention the huge population of the shopping mall, I could not imagine just how many thousands of people that this row of escalators moved during a normal day, however at this there were at least 200 people using them, as well as another hundred or so queued on the islands between the escalators.

Just as this lady and guy reached the extremely busy center of the third floor island between escalators, something happened, this lady just figured out that she didn’t know where she wanted to go next. So she stopped, as did her servant. This was of course an immediate problem for the hundreds of people who were being pushed onto the already full escalator island by the up and down escalators. A lone person would have caused some inconvenience in such a place, but this wide girthed lady together with her servant and the 15 bags of clothing, were taking up the space of about five or so people.

A human traffic jam began almost immediately, things like this happen from time to time, so I expected the woman would figure out what was happening, and leave the busy area to let others past, but she seemed completely unaware of what was going on around her. As she put her finger to her lip for some harder thinking about what to do next, the man with the bags was looking around a bit worried at all the trouble they were causing, he looked to the lady, which he stood behind, but did not say anything to her, he seemed to be uncomfortable at the thought of informing her. People tried to force themselves by, but the population of the island was growing fast. After a few more seconds, I became scared, I was afraid that the escalator machinery’s continuous push of people both up and down from this spot was soon going to crush, injure and kill many people. I had a pain in my stomach about this possibility, and it seemed the man with the bags was concerned about this as well, I could see from his quick glances around that he was fully aware of what was going on, but his master was not, she stood there a while longer, it was getting very bad on the island, very dangerous, then she took her finger down from her lip, and walked back the way she came, not taking the escalator after all. Possibly she was not yet done shopping for the day.
Shopping mall escalator
I stood out of the way for a bit while the crowd died down, then took the escalator down to where I would get in my car.

As I was driving home I kept thinking about the incident, it had caused quite a bit of stress to me at the time, and it went over and over in my head…. you see what really bothered me about this situation, other than the possible horror this woman had almost caused to the other people in the mall, was that this shopaholic, slow thinking, ignorant woman was the boss to the man who carried her bags. She was the one that had the money, she was the one that was calling the shots here, yet the man who served her was obviously a hard worker of higher intelligence.

If this was truly a modern darwinistic world where the hard working and intelligent people were supposed to rise to the top, it would seemed far more logical that she should be following him, not the other way around.

How exactly did this lady have so much money, and therefore so much power over others?

I thought later of all the things she had just bought, all the people that needed to serve her in the stores, all the cotton farming, the picking, sewing, and delivery needed. The petroleum used for her bags has likely been fought over in wars causing people to lose their lives, not to mention the environmental destruction which goes along with it, the raw oil gets shipped and refined, processed and shipped again etc, the things she had bought had taken up enormous amounts of manpower, and were constructed from raw materials that came from all over the world. Yet she might only wear it once ? If that.

I can hear the average news watching economists saying “But, But, she creates jobs!”. However, she doesn’t really create jobs, what she creates is work, tons of it, and she creates environmental damage, and in this instance she created trouble. Maybe if someone wasn’t slaving away in the factory for her, they could be doing something better for someone else.

How much of humanities manpower is spent on this woman and people like her? How much work do we all need to do to support shopaholics? How much work does she do for society? From the looks of her, I would guess she takes countless millions of manpower work in her life, and probably gives zero in return.

The strangest part of this coming from me, a retailer, is that she would be my ideal customer, as much as I did not want her in front of me at the mall, people like her are what I need for my business survive. In fact I was out buying envelopes to serve consumers just like her in the first place. My lifestyle depends on shoppers and improves with over shoppers.

But how come she was in charge? How come all these hard working human beings need to serve her?

Does that seem right to you?

I hope one day soon, all the world’s shopaholics might find something better to do with their time, then all the poor workers who served them can take a well deserved break.

You Say You Want A Revolution

A few years back now, out of the blue, I received a phone call from a former female workmate that I had not heard from in quite a while. It seems that this friend, Anne, had actually sought out my number from a mutual friend of ours who we both occasional went out for a few drinks with. I had been quite friendly with Anne back in the day, but after I left my job as a teacher at the school we both worked at, we did not keep in touch.

A couple of days after new years we made plans to meet up for dinner at a lakeside restaurant near both our houses, the dinner was nice, there was more food than I could eat, we laughed after dinner and downed a beer each. When the bill came Anne insisted on paying for it, and asked me back to her place.

Once arriving at her place, she brought us each a drink, and began asking about my work as a website developer and promoter, I opened up this website for her, to have a look at, she liked it. Then she mentioned that she wanted to start a website of her own, a blog, and the purpose of this blog was to start a new French revolution(she was french). She wanted me to set this up for her, and was willing to pay me for it.

“A revolution” I said, “if we started a revolution people would get hurt, normal people would face danger, buildings might burn, and there would be nothing but suffering. I used to try and change the world, but I realized the transitions were often too long and painful to benefit the people who would take part in it.”

“I don’t care” she said, “something needs to be done, these A-holes that run the country (France) need to be stopped, and only a revolution can stop them, we all need to stand up and take the country for the people, toss the crooks out of office!”

“Yes”, I said “but the people who are burned out of their houses will be more inconvenienced than the people tossed out of the offices, not to mention those injured or hospitalized during the revolution. I won’t be part of causing so much long term suffering.”

“I don’t care,”she said, “it needs to be done.”

2014 Hrushevskoho Street riotsThe conversation was laid to rest, we had another drink, she played some music for me, and I played some music for her. She did not care for my music, and let me know with quite a bit of vigor, apparently my taste in music was the same as her ex husband’s, so that flagged me as an A-Hole to her. I felt like I was overstaying my welcome, and soon made my way out. I called her in a couple of days, but she did not return my call. I am not sure exactly what the evening was about, at some parts it felt a bit like a date, and others it was a job proposition.

Although I am all for the idea of making a positive change in the world, I would not help an angry person such as her become the leader.

I’ve heard it said that hope was the cause of most pain in the world. The whole “Fight Today For A Better Tomorrow” was the main reason that some countries seemed to always be burning in some parts of the world. They say war is a result of too much national optimism, and if people could just try and make today a better today, the world would be a better place. There are a few exceptions, but mostly I agree with this point of view.

I heard this song the other day and it made me think of this story, I am sure you have heard it before, I posted the lyrics below so you can read through it.

Revolution

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out

Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We’re all doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright, al…

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You’d better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright

Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright

Sometimes They Actually Are Out To Get You

When I first started this business, I thought I had a great idea, I would be a reseller of hard to find and interesting products from all sorts of factories I had sourced out. I would sell the things I liked, and get to deal with customers that were just like me. This has worked to some degree, I enjoy my work most of the time, and almost all of the customers we ever deal with are cool and fantastic ones.

The online world is a bit different that I had imagined though, I thought I could build my own little online home of cool items, deal with only cool people and kick any uncool people out of the house forever, never having to deal with them again, but unfortunately it is not quite like that, just as a percentage of the real world contains some of confrontational, narcissistic, non empathetic jerks, so is the Internet, but unlike the real word, where none of these people would be allowed in my house, my online home with its millions of visitors, tens of thousands of them will be the type of person I do not want a visit from. Some of them even bother to write my Inbox with threats, though they are not physical threats, but legal ones, they are still very disturbing to read.

Justice Scales

Justice Scales

I do not make any of the products I sell, I buy them all from large companies, they are branded, trademarked and copyrighted already, but still the shirts that I pick, especially the funny ones, often have messages the corporate world does not like. Once they decide they do not like your product lawyers are often unleashed at you to try and stop you from selling any more of the offending products, the first tool the lawyers usually use are cease and desist letters. Cease and desist letters, for those of you that don’t know, are like legal declarations of war threatening severe, business destroying legal action if you do not surrender your suppliers names, products, sales records, and even your website immediately. Please know that these letter are not from courts, as they pretend they are, and do not actually hold any legal value, but are usually the first step taken before any legal action.

The most recent legal threat against us was from a massive massive company who were very offended by an original image drawn on a shirt I was selling, though it contained no logo, trademark or even words, when I named the image for the shirt, I used a very common English word to describe it. They sent me a letter saying that this word can only be used by them, and even claim to have trademarked it. From what I know of law, having only studied it for one year, I find this highly unlikely. Even though it has a strong smell of BS surrounding it. I have taken the product down since the letter seemed to come from an actual lawyer, and although they might not be able to win a case on this particular shirt, I do have other ones that they may win cases on. So better safe than sorry I guess.

I find I am itching to fight with them, but I still have other shirts I can sell, and had best use my energy elsewhere, though it is unjust for this multi billion dollar corporation to try and control such a common English word, and to deny the world not only the word, but the sight of the funny t-shirt, not to mention my bread and butter. I will let them win the battle they started. I will not currently post the word, company, letter and shirt image here, but I may in the future.

These actions might not sound not so bad to people that believe in a fair world, where all these letter are coming for upright and moral persons, where only people who know they did something wrong, and yet did it anyway had to face such things, but I have found that sometimes lawyers are impersonating customers, sometimes our competition in to hope of having us take down a competitive product are impersonating lawyers, and sometimes lawyers admit they are lawyers, but you never know which is which, and whether they do or do not have a legitimate case against you. I can say that in the twenty or so legal threats to ourselves here over the last four years, only one of them was legitimate, I was new to the business and did not know any better, I apologized and they let me go. The other nineteen however, were just aggressive mean companies trying to seize our products, business and website with absolutely no right to it. I would shutter to think of all the business they have closed, and things they have seized from others over the years with these immoral practices. The cost of lawyers to find out what is a legitimate threat and what isn’t is also no laughing matter.

Chuck You Tee

Chuck You Big Business

You would think I should know which is a legal shirt and which isn’t but sometimes the lines are a bit blurry, for example a shirt such as Chuck You! obviously refers to the famous martial artist and movie star Chuck Norris. I would think that it was perfectly alright to sell such a shirt, so long as it does not offend Mr Norris, and trust me I would not ever want to offend Mr. Norris. I do understand that Chuck Norris has some legal rights to the shirt, if he were to contact me, since the shirt uses both his name and image, I would have no moral reason to ever refuse him, as far as I am concerned it is his shirt, the same would of course go for many of the Star Wars inspired shirts we sell, if Mr Lucas was offended by them, I would simply bow my head down, saying “I am not worthy” and slowly and respectfully place the shirts at his feet. But it is not like that, what happens is some lawyer, or maybe competitor pretending to be a lawyer, who knows, wants to get your whole damn website, and put you out of business forever for using lets say an image of Chuck holding a gun, and they say any image of Chuck ever holding a gun is owned by them forever, even if the image is an original hand drawn piece of art.

I have written and called some of the actual lawyers back that have contacted me on occasion, and was surprised to find out that they are not actually there to help, they do not understand your position, lack any sort of empathy, have no sense of humor, and are only asking you questions to build a case against you so they can accumulate more power for themselves. As if they needed any more power already being backed by billion dollar companies. I find they are very similar to a schoolyard bully flexing their muscles, expressing their dominance, and hoping very hard to have a good fight with you so they can use their foot to grind your head into the dirt. They are not trying to avoid confrontation, they are creating it. In fact the more they get to fight with you, the more hours they can bill for and the more cash they make. Like some of the most evil corporations in the world, they make money from battle, lots of money, and do not wish for peace.

I was doing a Google search on “Corporate Bullying” the other day to see what it came up with, and came across a video which I will place below, of one guy that has started to put up a bit of a fight against this type of action, he is commonly known as the “Eat More Kale” guy. I respect this guy, and I hope he doesn’t give up the fight. Since he really only sells one product, and the massive billion dollar a year chain called Chick-fil-A decided they were going to put him out of business, he really has no choice but to fight.

Have a watch and let me know what you think.

The guy has raised almost one hundred thousand USD on kickstarter.com already to do a film on this, I have nothing against Chick-fil-A, in fact I never even heard of them until now, but I hope they lose a lot of money due to this, I hope they lose so much money that all the other companies that do this kind of stuff start thinking a bit more about their actions before doing them, as currently there doesn’t seem to be any repercussions for putting the little guy out of business, and sadly it is a very very common practice. I might start posting all the threats against us here similar to the Piratebay, but I will not do that yet.

Here is his campaign if you wish to contribute: Kickstarter Campaign

Google documents any such practice they find out about on chillingeffects.org, one particular story here I found very interesting as it resonates quite a bit with my current issue:

 

Letter To Warner Bros. From Groucho Marx

1947 Letter From Groucho Marx

 

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