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Steve Langasek

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This is why I sound like a broken record when it comes to automation. 47% of the jobs that exist today may be replaced through automation within ten years, yet no one believes that their job will be affected.

The American Dream is that if you work hard and persevere, you can get ahead. There's no room for upward mobility in a world where the moment you are succeeding at putting money away, you too are a target for being automated out of a job.

Our economy is undergoing a rapid and accelerating transformation. Factory automation was just the tip of the iceberg. The only hope for our civilization is if we decide, as a people, to direct that transformation in a way that recognizes each of our fundamental humanity.

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Someone tell me again how replacing manual labor with robots doesn't eliminate jobs.
At this moment, in one of Fanuc's 40,000-square-foot factories near Mt. Fuji, robots are building other robots at a rate of about 50 per 24-h shift and can run unsupervised for as long as 30 days at a time.
When they stop, it's because there's no room to store the goods. Trucks haul off the new robots, the lights are cut, and the process begins anew.
“Not only is it lights-out," says Fanuc vice president Gary Zywiol, “we turn off the air conditioning and heat too" [31].

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An open letter to the Christian Science Monitor.

Dear Ms. Kauffman,

Your recent article "Why a third of Clinton supporters say Trump's victory is illegitimate" ( looks at the question of whether the US should continue using the Electoral College to decide the outcome of the presidential election. While I don't believe it's fruitful to question the legitimacy of the current results as determined under current law, the time is ripe for us to question whether this is the right system to use going forward.

Your article quotes Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, as saying: "The question is: Do we have the ability to change it? And the answer is probably not."

I think it's important for your readers to be aware that there is a way for this to be changed, at the state level, without passing the high hurdle of a Constitutional amendment. It's called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, and it has already been signed on to by 10 states and the District of Columbia:

The Constitution guarantees that the President is elected by the Electoral College, but the states decide who their electors will vote for. Once states holding 270 or more electoral votes have signed onto this compact, it goes into effect, causing the winner of the popular vote to always be chosen as the winner of the electoral vote.

Mr. Anuzis's own state of Michigan let a bill on the Compact die in committee in the 2007-08 legislative session. In the 2015-16 session, there is again a bill in committee in the Michigan state senate - where the Republicans currently hold a majority. If he truly believes that direct election by popular vote is the right thing for our country, there is concrete action that he and his fellows in the Michigan Republican leadership can take right now to move us forward.

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Some wise words from Russ Allbery about the election outcome, saying better than I would have many things that need to be said.

Trump didn't win the election because he's racist and sexist; he won because he speaks to the problems of the less educated white voters in this country in a way that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have been willing to do. That his plans for addressing the problem are unrealistic is beside the point. He got a head start just by acknowledging the problem, which Sanders also did but Clinton did not.

Even Sanders focused on the problem of student loan debt to the exclusion of deeper structural issues. You only have student loan debt if you go to college, and you know what? Not everyone is college material. Shouldn't those that aren't also still have a place in our society, in our economy? They certainly showed yesterday that they still have a place in our voting booths. In that sense, yesterday's election was - as hard as it is for me to say it - a triumph of democracy. Whether that translates in the longer term into a triumph for America remains to be seen.

Thanks, Obama.

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'The prosecutors then cite cases to support that as well as noting that “the Fifth Amendment protects the accused, and as of this point, no person is being accused.”'

Good show, government. Well, as if we needed another reminder that fingerprints are usernames, not passwords, right, +Dustin Kirkland?​

Removed and reinstalled a toilet today.

Wore an old Linux Plumbers T-shirt for the occasion.

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Interesting ideas about applying principles of organizing successful open endeavors (Open Source projects, Wikipedia) to other spheres.

The sticking point will be when this model has to interact with the traditional banking system. A bank account has an owner / set of authorized users, which is quite difficult to update. If a human is the account owner, they have power over the account that other members do not. If the organization is the owner, that organization must have legal existence, which means it in turn has officers who have power. If the platform is the account holder, then a successful platform will eventually come under scrutiny from regulators for operating as a de facto bank.
It's Sunday, time for revolutionary thoughts. Here's my latest thinking on automating our bosses away, replacing them with a small script.
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