Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Oct 2013 16:02 UTC, submitted by bowkota
Google

Google back in 2005:

There will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results pages.

Google today:

The company confirmed to the Guardian that it is testing a system with about 30 advertisers in the US in which it shows banner ads for companies including SouthWest Airlines on pages which include them in web search results.

And people wonder why I have zero trust in companies.

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RE[4]: Comment by Tractor
by Lennie on Fri 25th Oct 2013 09:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Tractor"
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Welcome to the world of globalization and mass automation and mass communication. There is going to be a lot of change in the world in the coming years.

As an example FoxConn a company employs 1.2 million people in China, mostly in factories building electronics. They say they want to have their first fully automated factory build in 5 to 10 years.

Think about it: if you were a truck- or taxi-driver, do you expect to have a job in 5 years now Google and others are building self-driving cars ? And Uber makes it really easy to get a taxi where you want ?

http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/16/this-time-is-different/

45% of jobs (!) in the US are a high risk to be automated away in 10 to 20 years.

It probably has already started, jobs that existed before the crisis did not return:
http://www.technologyreview.com/sites/default/files/images/destroyi...

http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/515926/how-technology...

Luckily electricity, water and food, the basic necessities of life might get dirt cheap too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEWLjVmweoE

If you want to have a job, be a generalist and move up the stack. Maybe learn programming. Moore's Law will take away your job eventually. As Marc Andreessen says: Software is eating the world.

Edited 2013-10-25 09:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Tractor
by unclefester on Fri 25th Oct 2013 10:15 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Tractor"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

When I was an undergraduate back in the late 80s a visiting food industry executive explained how his global company was planning fully automated factories. Twenty-five years later they are no closer to automation.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Tractor
by Lennie on Fri 25th Oct 2013 10:20 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tractor"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

It might go slower than people expect or faster, we don't really know.

But don't dismiss the power of exponentially improving technologies like Moore's law.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Tractor
by JAlexoid on Mon 28th Oct 2013 13:33 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tractor"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Automating is more expensive than the wages that are not increasing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Tractor
by unclefester on Fri 25th Oct 2013 10:26 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Tractor"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

45% of jobs (!) in the US are a high risk to be automated away in 10 to 20 years.


Prior to the Industrial Revolution only a small minority of people had a permanent job. The rest were seasonal or part-time employees.

In the Middle Ages European peasants had at least 150-200 work-free days per year.

Hunter-gatherers typically spend only 15-20 yours per week "working" [a more realistic description would be a permanent camping trip].

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Tractor
by Lennie on Fri 25th Oct 2013 10:39 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tractor"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The Industrial Revolution also made many people unemployed, depending how you look at it. It took 40 to over a 100 years to recover those jobs.

Probably because the next generation of people were educated to do other jobs.

The original jobs were gone.

As automation and robotics improve, the tasks they can do will be more complicated, which takes a human more time to learn to do a better job, eventually you can't learn a completely new job fast enough to keep up with that.

If you are a taxi-driver and your job is gone. What will be your next job ? If you were good at doing something else, you probably wouldn't have chosen taxi-driving in the first place. Am I right ?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Tractor
by WereCatf on Fri 25th Oct 2013 12:39 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Tractor"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Think about it: if you were a truck- or taxi-driver, do you expect to have a job in 5 years now Google and others are building self-driving cars ? And Uber makes it really easy to get a taxi where you want ?

--SNIP--

If you want to have a job, be a generalist and move up the stack. Maybe learn programming. Moore's Law will take away your job eventually. As Marc Andreessen says: Software is eating the world.


That's actually something I've thought about several times: sooner or later it's possible to automate anything that doesn't require creativity, and that means the only jobs left for real, living human beings would be the creative ones -- how much demand can there even be for that? Given how today's economy works would it be possible to earn enough money to sustain yourself in a world where almost everything is automated? And..how would the kinds of people fare in such a world that simply aren't creative?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Tractor
by Lennie on Fri 25th Oct 2013 12:43 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tractor"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

That is where personalization comes in. It is on the rise in a big way.

Have a look at what Gabe Newell has to say about productivity, the economy, personalization, the corporation and political instituions:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td_PGkfIdIQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhgOqyZHBIU

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Tractor
by Soulbender on Fri 25th Oct 2013 12:56 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tractor"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Given how today's economy works would it be possible to earn enough money to sustain yourself in a world where almost everything is automated?


Well, in theory the massive increase in profits could be used to subsidize decent living for everyone. On the other hand, that's probably already possible and the main reason it's not happening is greed.
This discussion reminds me a bit of Childhoods End.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Tractor
by unclefester on Sat 26th Oct 2013 03:12 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tractor"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

That's actually something I've thought about several times: sooner or later it's possible to automate anything that doesn't require creativity, and that means the only jobs left for real, living human beings would be the creative ones -- how much demand can there even be for that? Given how today's economy works would it be possible to earn enough money to sustain yourself in a world where almost everything is automated? And..how would the kinds of people fare in such a world that simply aren't creative?


One of my friends owns an upmarket hair salon. She earns $2000-3000/week after costs. Her son is studying pharmacy. I know who has the best long term financial prospects - the hairdresser. Robotised pharmacies are already used in some US hospitals.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Tractor
by Alfman on Fri 25th Oct 2013 17:56 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Tractor"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lennie,

"If you want to have a job, be a generalist and move up the stack. Maybe learn programming. Moore's Law will take away your job eventually. As Marc Andreessen says: Software is eating the world."

Well Lennie, there were several cold truths in your post, however I found this conclusion rather comical. I have a CS degree and am a talented software engineer, however software commoditization and offshoring has weakened demand for software guys like me.

These days companies buy commodity software and simply customize that instead of engineering their own. One of my ex-employers, who used to do major inhouse software engineering, is clearly (albeit slowly) phasing it out in favor customized commodity software. While this trend is very bad for those getting into the software field, it's difficult to blame the businesses; they save heaps of money on the costs of employing engineers. Why hire engineers when you can shop around for pre-existing & supported software that only needs to be slightly customized?


The most obvious rebuttal is that this software has to be written somewhere, they need talented engineers. That's true, some big players are growing, but they don't need nearly as many as those they've displaced in the market by means of consolidation. Since software engineers are actually higher up in the food chain, we often get jobs we're overqualified for, I guess that's a perk, right?


With regards to offshoring, many people are dismissive of it because they didn't care about the industries that got offshored, presumably because it didn't effect them directly and they now get cheaper products. However it's quite naive to think software is somehow impervious to offshoring and many don't realize just how much it's already happening.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Tractor
by Lennie on Fri 25th Oct 2013 18:16 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tractor"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

When I say move up the stack, I do really mean: work on the infrastructure and at the producers of the original software.

I'm just thinking: you might have some more job security if you can land a job at the people that are building these things.

I'm sure it can't work for everyone, because you are right, we can't all do that work.

An example could be to work on open source software like OpenStack.

Find a company that needs new features in OpenStack and work there.

That is infrastructure development.

BTW Did you know there is also a reverse trend ?

They are opening up factories in the US again that were previously closed when the work moved to China ? Or in Europe ?

Obviously not a very large scale, but it is happening.

Some people that used to work in the factory are now being hired again, but for less pay.

China had a pay increase of 12% every single year, for many years now. You just can't keep doing that without getting to expensive eventually.

And obviously the price of oil is making transportation more expensive. So shipping goads from China to US or Europe also becomes more expensive.

Doubt it will help people in software, but it's an interesting trend.

Edited 2013-10-25 18:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Tractor
by Soulbender on Fri 25th Oct 2013 18:18 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tractor"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Why hire engineers when you can shop around for pre-existing & supported software that only needs to be slightly customized?


This is a natural progression, I think. When you think about it, it's a bit absurd that a company would have their own software engineering team and have custom software, especially if they're not a tech company.
It's not like most companies employ their own mechanics and build their own cars.

However it's quite naive to think software is somehow impervious to offshoring


Are there really people who think that?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Tractor
by JAlexoid on Mon 28th Oct 2013 13:39 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tractor"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Working for the producer of COTS software is not "up-the-stack" it's down the stack. Up the stack is consulting and value services. Going up the stack would require for you to produce more value with less or no code.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Tractor
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat 26th Oct 2013 18:18 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Tractor"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Get a a job solving hard, unique problems. they can't automate those kind of jobs.

Reply Parent Score: 3