Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Dec 2012 10:19 UTC, submitted by anonymous
General Development "Computers are ubiquitous in modern life. They offer us portals to information and entertainment, and they handle the complex tasks needed to keep many facets of modern society running smoothly. Chances are, there is not a single person in Ars' readership whose day-to-day existence doesn't rely on computers in one manner or another. Despite this, very few people know how computers actually do the things that they do. How does one go from what is really nothing more than a collection - a very large collection, mind you - of switches to the things we see powering the modern world?"
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Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

"I have addressed that problem specifically. Menial jobs are getting automated - slowly for now, but it's happening and can only accelerate."

Yes and no. The price of robotics obviously has to continue to drop for them to become more prevalent. In theory we might get rid of most jobs and have robots to do all the work. Some might even consider it a utopia. However if we don't reform our current economic models, it might easily result in mass joblessness. The thing with robots is that production can scale WITHOUT creating enough new jobs to replace those that had been laid off.

For example, a highly successful robotics company might eventually employ 100K engineers to build machines which will do the menial work of 50M people.

There's certainly no need for 50M engineers, and even if we pretend there is, there would not be enough money to pay all of them good wages.


"Today's device aren't too programmable, but as we can see, things like the iPad and Android are able to make the possibility of programming available to a wider group of people but that's beside the point. Programming will become a menial job."

Can the ipad be programmed without a computer?
Can an android?

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