Universal Basic Income - Future or nah?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by oc616, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I wasn't clear when I said "by that time," but that wasn't my point.
    You can take my knowledge as good or bad, if you like, but, either the point I made was right, wrong, or irrelevant.
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Using big words is not 'rude'. Realistically, lots of people on this board are legitimately intelligent and knowledgeable. Lots of people here are much smarter than me- I don't take it as offensive, I take it as an opportunity to learn something.
     
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I see the board the same way. We all have different areas of strengths and weaknesses. I used to think I was smart, then I went to college and hung around with actual smart people. Then I thought I was halfway decent at guitar, and then I started hanging out here with real guitar players. Even if it does absolutely nothing for my self esteem, maybe it at least makes me a little better at doing the things I'm interested in doing.
    I guess it doesn't help with my social skills, though, if I still come off as pretentious everywhere I go. I really don't mean to be that way. I guess I should find a board for people with halfway decent social skills and hang out there for a little while. :(
     
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  4. AngstRiddenDreams

    AngstRiddenDreams Filthy Casual

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    The idea is it's not valid to assume that growth (in the case of a car it's acceleration) is going to be constant. Calculus is all about rates of change. Speed is the rate of change of position and acceleration is the rate of change of speed. The car example is saying that a car may be accelerating 0-60 in 15 seconds but it's acceleration will change as it approaches 60, likely becoming zero. So the acceleration is not constant.
    I think that's what he's saying about population growth. While we can look at the rate of change right now, it doesn't mean it's going to be constant forever.
    It's not something that algebra can encompass. A straight line going up in the Y as it changes in X will have a constant rate of change. But things like a parabola (think U shaped thing, sometimes upside down) have varied rates. Figuring out that rate is what calculus does.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
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  5. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Wait, we're having a conversation about data modeling the world population growth rate, and you think it's pretentious to introduce concepts like data modeling?
     
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  6. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    I agree with the prior several posters - bostjan's analogy was neither pretentious nor self serving. In fact, it was an appropriate response to the graph it referenced.
     
  7. CrazyDean

    CrazyDean SS.org Regular

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    A good example needs good data to back it up. The numbers given didn't look right to me so I worked out the problem myself. The mistake that bostjan made was not converting the units from seconds to hours.

    And yes, the solution to the given example was calculable using algebra. I didn't take a single derivative. I just used the position formula for an object moving in one dimension with no air resistance:

    x_f = x_i + v_i*t + (1/2)(a_i)*t^2 .

    The above formula can be derived using calculus if you so choose. However, it can also be derived algebraically. Anyway, it is irrelevant because the formula itself is quadratic algebra.

    Also, there was no change in acceleration stated. It must be assumed that acceleration is constant because the only example given was a simple one of 0-60mph. Therefore, the problem would be unsolvable if you considered a change in acceleration.

    At first I was just pointing out the mistake, but as usual, nobody can be bothered to check the math themselves. It's just easier to assume it was right and that I'm an asshole for correcting him.
     
  8. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    for making assumptions and calling someone pretentious for having an uplifted vocabulary*
     
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That is correct, the problem can be solved using algebra. Actually any problem can be solved using algebra if you have an algebraic formula for that problem.

    If you know position is half of acceleration multiplied by time squared, then:

    t = 40 years
    a = 60 mph in 15 s

    Converting units to mks:

    t = 1262269440 s
    a = 0.0011111... mi/s²

    1/2 a t² = 1/2 * .001111111... mi/s² * 1262269440 s = ~1.77 trillion miles. (about 650 times the distance between the Earth and Neptune, or about 1/14th of the distance between the Sun and the next nearest star)

    I apologize for the sloppiness. My point was not the mathematics of the example, though, rather how the mathematics work with a sloppy example such as that. I thought that was clear, but obviously not, since we are still discussing it days later.

    So, back to my point, you cannot take the rate of change of the rate of change in something that is known to not have a constant second derivative and extrapolate accurately out tens of years. Specifically, knowing the population, instantaneous rate of change of population, and the instantaneous rate of change in population growth does not mean that one can accurately predict the population 80 years from now (~4 generations). It might be the closest you can get, but my point is that you just cannot know with any certainty - in 80 years, there could be world war, nuclear war, genocide, climate change, global famine, plague, having the machines take over violently, etc., or, in that time, it is also possible that we could have breakthroughs that allow even more population, like a genetically altered resilient staple crop, space colonization, underground cities, etc.

    So what we do know is that right now, the world's population is huge, and is still growing rapidly. Overpopulation is already a concern in many places, and it's going to get worse in the near future, from a global perspective. Even if it corrects itself in the next generation, we still have a problem to deal with it now.

    I know I'm not seeing the whole picture, but I still propose that as a valid point. If not, let's discuss.
     
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  10. CrazyDean

    CrazyDean SS.org Regular

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    Sorry for being an asshole, then. If you don't express your math clearly, it's hard to tell if you're being sloppy or you're pulling it out of your ass.

    Annnnywayyy, a UBI is something to aspire to, but as of right now, it won't work in the US. Minimum wage isn't really enough to live on, so UBI would need to be so close to it that working at McD's wouldn't be worth it.

    Say you are an adult with no skills who lives at home and only needs a part-time job so you can go out to a movie or whatever. In this case, the $7.25/hr that McD's pays is worth working 20-30 hours/week because it's all spending money. If your UBI was 80% of that, there's not much reason to get a job.

    Change is scary, but this isn't the first time machines have claimed jobs. There used to be a job position called "knocker-up" who went around with a long stick and knocked on people's windows before the alarm clock was available to the masses. There are also no more milkmen. Before refrigeration, there was a job of cutting and selling ice in large bricks so that people could keep their food cold.

    I expect that we will get through the tech boon just as we have in the past. New technology creates new job titles. However, the good jobs that require little education are drying up. We need to focus on education as opposed to UBI.
     
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  11. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    I don't view these as comparable. Previous tech replaced manual labor. Current/future tech is replacing intelligent behavior. Sure, this creates some jobs to develop and improve such technology, but the scale of new jobs vs the jobs they're replacing should be staggering.
     
  12. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I appreciate the opportunity to clarify :)

    I think your first point is a very strong one. There are jobs that are designed to be for high school kids saving up for a car or people living in mom's basement/on a friend's couch, trying to get on their feet. These jobs are not designed to ever be a part of a career. But since manufacturing jobs that kept people gainfully occupied in the 20th century are essentially gone now, for whatever reason we don't want to argue anymore about, a lot of young adults started working at McD's/BK/RiteAid/whatever, not knowing what the hell else to do.

    But, at the same time, I'm kind of pissed. Do you know how many electrical grid engineers there are? 70% of the ones I know (and I work with a ton of them across the US, Canada, Mexico, and even Europe) are from India or China, as in, they went to school and got their first jobs there and then moved here, because no one here wants to do that job. 25% of them are retiring soon or recently retired. That means 5% of them are domestically educated and under the age of 60. If people want a career, there's an option right there. And, yes, I am aware that if every unemployed and underemployed person went into this field, it'd be a thousand times oversaturated, but if a couple hundred people made this career move, I think they'd all be pretty secure for the rest of their lives.

    In this geographical area, we also have a near vacuum in the medical profession. Our local hospital is usually run by a skeleton crew, just because there are not enough trained workers to do any more than that. Family doctors and specialists have waiting lists of patients that backlog for several months. From the numbers I've seen, it's not common everywhere in the USA, but it is common generally in the USA, meaning that if you are willing to move, and you have some training in a medical field, you should be secure.

    With where we are right now, it's hard to say that there are not decent jobs, but it is hard to say that there are decent jobs people can just jump into right away. The examples of window-knockers, paperboys, ice deliverers, etc., just goes to show that general labour jobs are always changing - but then, I mean, honestly, what do you want? You are doing a non-specialized job that requires little training, so it kind of sits at the bottom of the proverbial totem pole, in terms of career security. As tech moves forward, those jobs will definitely change.

    But I do think that most unskilled jobs don't pay what they are worth. I think most jobs, in general, don't really pay what they are worth. If the CEO of a failing company is making 100x what the average worker is making, then he's getting too much and/or they are making too little. And the scenario I brought up is not atypical.
     
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  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    This has always been a part of my gut reaction whenever I hear someone say that they're upset about not being able to make a living a particular way - maybe it's from an entry level job, or wanting to make a living from music or another hobby or something. I've never thought of the purpose of an entry level job to be to sustain a person on it's own. Ideally, those jobs are there to provide extra money, help people pay for school while living at home, help to instill work ethic into people who have never been employed before, etc.- then once you're past that point, you go and do something that will actually sustain you. If what you're doing doesn't pay the bills, then do something else. I recognize that this is an ideal situation that doesn't happen as often anymore, though. It worked out for me, but I'm not a single parent, or someone who's without employable skills, or (and I hate to put it this way) I'm not old (I imagine employment opportunities slim as you get old), or something like that.

    I don't think it really is though. I mean, something like taking your order at a McDonalds is not "intelligent behavior". Maybe I've not read far enough into which jobs are actually being replaced, but I haven't heard of any real AI taking a thinking job yet. I think people are paranoid of the whole "master control program" type AI taking all the thinking jobs, but I don't see what's happening right now as being very different than any other automation-taking-peoples-jobs.
     
  14. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    On the contrary, it's probably the general public perception that AI will replace cashiers (maybe because we've already experienced the transition to self-checkout and self-ordering sorts of setups), but it's more the white collar financial services / paralegal types of jobs that are probably at high risk. Any sort of job that's basically taking an in-domain set of rules and where expertise is defined by being familiar with all the relevant rules, and then providing assistance to the regular person -- those are high risk for AI replacement with virtual agents.

    This is in addition to basically all transport / distribution jobs.
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Yeah, that makes sense when you put it that way.
     
  16. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    bostjan already clarified the math, but I still want to reiterate that his analogy had nothing to do with the exact math involved. The basic premise was that the rate of change in population level is no more constant over an extended period of time than a car's rate of acceleration over an extended period of time is (a car CAN'T continue accelerating at that rate for long, even that fastest jet powered cars used to set the land speed records). The exact math was not relevant in this case, the concept was.
     
  17. CrazyDean

    CrazyDean SS.org Regular

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    Ok, let's keep talking about it then.
     
  18. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    For that graph, let's let E be the function associated with the plot, let m be the slope, and c be the parabolic curve. I get E = mc^2.
     
  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    "A = pi r²"
    "But pie are generally round?"

    Imagine that joke being told by a robot to a nightclub full of robots. Would any of them find it funny?

    I guess I could see where AI might be developed to come up with jokes. AI generated jokes might become a controversial thing. With all of the joke-stealing accusations going around the stand-up circuit, synthetic jokes might be more easily traced.

    "Hey Electro, tell joke #AG05016, that's my favourite!"
     
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  20. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    I think one of my favorites is still:

    What is the integral of [d(cabin)/cabin]? Log cabin.
     
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