HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log in  
Share | 
 

 How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Fri May 17, 2013 12:55 pm

Jaron Lanier :

Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only 13 people. Where did all those jobs disappear? And what happened to the wealth that all those middle-class jobs created?

Before, when people made contributions to the system that they used, they received formal benefits, which means not only salary but pensions and certain kinds of social safety nets. Now, instead, they receive benefits on an informal basis. And what an informal economy is like is the economy in a developing country slum. Itís reputation, itís barter, itís that kind of stuff.

What changed is that at the turn of the [21st] century it was really Sergey Brin at Google who just had the thought of, well, if we give away all the information services, but we make money from advertising, we can make information free and still have capitalism. But the problem with that is it reneges on the social contract where people still participate in the formal economy. And itís a kind of capitalism thatís totally self-defeating because itís so narrow. Itís a winner-take-all capitalism thatís not sustaining.

In a market society, a middle class has always required some little artificial help to keep going. Thereís always academic tenure, or a taxi medallion, or a cosmetology license, or a pension. Thereís often some kind of license or some kind of ratcheting scheme that allows people to keep their middle-class status.

In a raw kind of capitalism there tend to be unstable events that wipe away the middle and tend to separate people into rich and poor. So these mechanisms are undone by a particular kind of style that is called the digital open network.

We donít realize that our society and our democracy ultimately rest on the stability of middle-class jobs. When I talk to libertarians and socialists, they have this weird belief that everybodyís this abstract robot that wonít ever get sick or have kids or get old. Itís like everybodyís this eternal freelancer who can afford downtime and can self-fund until they find their magic moment or something.

The way society actually works is thereís some mechanism of basic stability so that the majority of people can outspend the elite so we can have a democracy. Thatís the thing weíre destroying, and thatís really the thing Iím hoping to preserve. So we can look at musicians and artists and journalists as the canaries in the coal mine, and is this the precedent that we want to follow for our doctors and lawyers and nurses and everybody else? Because technology will get to everybody eventually.

I have 14-year-old kids who come to my talks who say, ďBut isnít open source software the best thing in life? Isnít it the future?Ē Itís a perfect thought system. It reminds me of communists I knew when growing up or Ayn Rand libertarians. Itís one of these things where you have a simplistic model that suggests this perfect society so you just believe in it totally. These perfect societies donít work. Weíve already seen hyper-communism come to tears. And hyper-capitalism come to tears. And I just donít want to have to see that for cyber-hacker culture. We should have learned that these perfect simple systems are illusions. I think seeking perfection in human affairs is a perfect way to destroy them. It just doesnít work.

Letís stick with politics for one more. Is there something dissonant about the fact that the greatest fortunes in human history have been created with a system developed largely by taxpayers dollars? Military research and labs at public universities. And many of the people whom the Internet has enriched have become libertarians who earnestly tell you that they are ďsocially liberal and fiscally conservative,Ē and resist progressive taxation because of it.

Yeah, no kidding. I was there. I gotta say, every little step of this thing was really funded by either the military or public research agencies. If you look at something like Facebook, Facebook is adding the tiniest little rind of value over the basic structure thatís there anyway. In fact, itís even worse than that. The original designs for networking, going back to Ted Nelson, kept track of everything everybody was pointing at so that you would know who was pointing at your website. In a way Facebook is just recovering information that was deliberately lost because of the fetish for being anonymous. Thatís also true of Google.

http://www.salon.com/2013/05/12/jaron_lanier_the_internet_destroyed_the_middle_class/

What a Face
Back to top Go down
Harlock999

avatar

Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Sun May 19, 2013 11:11 pm

Reminds me of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture, by Andrew Keen.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Sun May 19, 2013 11:24 pm

Checking that out tomorrow Cool

What a Face
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Mon May 20, 2013 7:08 am

While I live in the rust belt and drive by acres of parking lots that used to be for the workers, I see no reason to use weak arguements about job loss due to some technology. There wouldn't be people left with good jobs producing steel without that.

The reason Kodak went out of business was a lot of stupid, management decisions. They persisted in telling the consumer what to do and it failed. Maybe their last stop would have been switching to buggy whip production but they just didn't get there. Shame...

Generation back it was Demon Rum that destroyed the middle class. We seem to always be destroying those poor bastards. But, hell, I'll drink to that.
Back to top Go down
Kyle Weiss

avatar

Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Mon May 20, 2013 1:03 pm

Technology used to be a boon for workers back when hand-coding and net administration required people. These days, mastercoders create programming environments that minimize the number of hands on people churning out fresh programs, a dozen people managing servers were replaced by remote log-in and self-correcting software handled by sometimes one part-time or on-call guy, and factories have already automated electronics component manufacturing for years...

...the only thing necessary that cannot be replaced are the database controllers, connection techs making sure the bandwidth is uninterrupted, and the people pulling the materials out of the ground to build more of the cockamamie magic boxes and handheld devices.

Like everything, when the accountants became the real string-pullers via number crunching, less people = less liability (and paychecks/benefits are considered a loss of overhead).
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Mon May 20, 2013 1:20 pm

Saw that programmer's pay is down 2% over last year.-- slashdot.com

Part of it is sign of the times. When I started out we had to set jumpers and such. Today, one or something can reconfigure something from the other side of the world.

The economy is vastly different from the time I was starting out. That has it ups and downs. But, taking advantage of workers isn't anything new. Most think management here but I'll include unions. Many good jobs remain in our area that wouldn't be here without the changes. That part is all a teeter-totter and always has been.

Change is inevitable. That affected people throughout history. Fortunately, man is adaptable.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Mon May 20, 2013 1:33 pm

Quote :
While I live in the rust belt and drive by acres of parking lots that used to be for the workers, I see no reason to use weak arguements about job loss due to some technology

IOW, job loss to technology is so self-apparent that you have to go into denial mode to evade it.

Sure, with widgets, some of it is technological progress. And some of it is offshoring encouraged -- mandated -- by changes to the law.

But in the areas you're ignoring -- like culture -- the ability of creators to make a living from their work -- even when wildly popular -- has been gutted out. By the exact paradigm change he pointed to : information as the same kind of loss-leader commodity (to drive advertising revenue) that bannannas are in the grocery store. When that happens, as Harlock's link guy points out, creativity becomes the purview of amateurs.

Everybody's creating, and nobody's getting paid for it other than in dribbles.

What a Face
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Mon May 20, 2013 3:47 pm

In the early 50's steel mills were cash cows and union benefited tremendously. Beside the salary increase the benefits rocketed. By the 80's that died off and the mills started their decline with foreign steel replacing American workers and that was the catalyst for massive declines. Technology actually saved jobs from then on. Without technology there would be no operating mills. Many of the old mills are shuttered. The reduced force is so productive they will never be needed.

Everything here is about unintended consequences more than technology. The people in the mills now have much better livelihoods. There health is far better. From the days of heavy production laborer, it is few in production and most with well paying maintenance jobs either for the mill or an outside contractor. A friend of mine is an E.E. and there are more of them around than ever.

Automation has brought jobs back to this country. We can manufacture autos and even computers now and pay workers prevailing wages. Without technology, that wouldn't happen.

Cause and effect. Cause and effect. Cause and effect.
Back to top Go down
Kyle Weiss

avatar

Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Tue May 21, 2013 1:25 pm

We'd better still know how to make stuff, technology or not, because the Chinese workforce is starting to look at their paychecks versus what the American (or even Japanese) equivalent gets, and they are starting to ask for more. Which means, either source out another cheap labor force or American kids are gonna have to give up dreams of living at home until age 30 with dreams of being a video game designer if they want to have healthcare and gold teeth. Laughing
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Bobby Stubbs

avatar

Age : 69
Location : Corpus Christi Texas
Registration date : 2014-02-16

PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:45 am

Been a working man all my life..did good untill the right to work law killed the unions in Texas
Back to top Go down
View user profile
deathmetal

avatar

Registration date : 2015-08-26

PostSubject: Re: How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class   Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:25 pm

Guest wrote:
In a market society, a middle class has always required some little artificial help to keep going.

That's a huge assumption. It's popular to blame capitalism but the argument needs to be better than that.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.deathmetal.org/
 
How the Internet Destroyed the Middle Class
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» baby p and the internet
» Married to an upper-class paedophile
» Global News, 16:9 - Cyber Seduction Documentary (42 Year Old Mom & Teacher Turned Internet Predator)
» AWARENESS VIDEOS FOR KIDS WHO USE THE INTERNET
» FSS destroyed all samples?

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Brothers of Briar :: Related Pursuits :: Technology-
Jump to: