Life is for Living

This blog is to collect random thoughts that don't really have a structure, except a publishing chronology, and even that is unlikely to follow the creation chronology.

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Calm, excited, weak, strong, funny, serious, lazy, worker, irresponsible, thinker, shallow, selfish, generous, spontaneous, impulsive, undecided, poor, rich, tall(ish), ignorant, cultured, sophisticated, procrastinator, stoopid, clever. Pick any two, or more... ;-) 
One of my favorite quotes: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well reserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... 'Wow! What a ride!' "

Generally interested in a lot of subjects:
- Artificial Intelligence (mostly because there's so little Natural Intelligence around)
- 3D printing
- DIY projects (including home foundry, electronics, general hacking)
- Scuba diving
- Mountaineering
- Paragliding
- Music
- Arts (mostly visual arts) including street art
- Dance
- Intentional communities
- Society in general, how to fix the current mess in particular, or rather how to escape it

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Working, what for?

There were a few items in the news lately that have coalesced to bring a few issues into focus for me. One of those was fairly discrete, a side item that did not make headlines, but that reflects a general attitude: a gentleman employed by EDF (the historical French National Electricity provider, now privatized) was complaining that his job was going to disappear. His task consists in inspecting the electricity counters to record the consumption of the users. His complaint is that this is a job that could be done by children during school holidays, and people without much education, and these counters are now being replaced by models that can be read, and controlled, remotely. When he soon retires, his post is not going to be filled by a new person. He was also bemoaning people that use automated teller equipment at the supermarket, thereby eliminating the jobs of cashiers. To me, the issue is not one of the maintain of low-level jobs, but of wealth distribution. When suppressing jobs, the additional profits are typically appropriated by the capital owners. This in turn derives from the balance of power between the working class and the capital owners. As long as the power balance remains the way it is now, nothing will fundamentally change. The working class will remain exploited by the owners class. Changing the faces in the political class will not introduce any significant change to the balance of power.

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