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Sonic & Knuckles

Technology changing the models of doing business

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So many companies and businesses are either extending into or natively operating on a digital/internet business model and work is generally being replaced by machines. So many jobs are going to be gone in the next decade. I think this is going to make the distortions and socio-economic gaps we already have in society much worse. Personally, since I have some "real-world adult" living issues because of certain neurological diagnosis I have, I am quite concerned that we are going to head down a bad path in the future and I will be "left behind" even further and I will never be able to "make it" any step as an adult at all.

I also want to ask everyone what their opinion is about something else. The changing ways of doing business like watching a movie or shopping, and the effects of business like concentration of ownership of media with newspapers and (formerly) locally-managed TV/radio stations is creating a scenario in the private market that can be analogous to centralization or Communism in many ways. I think this is a kind of concern of mine also. If watching movies you don't physically own on a shared server (e.g. Netflix) is here to stay and physical media is on it's way to extinction, I feel some kind of doom for even the next 5 years, I am uncertain about it.

Besides my personal view, what does everyone here think about it?

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Sonic & Knuckles,

You're covering a lot of topics; you might consider breaking it down a little, or searching for threads related to each of these areas of discussion. Nonetheless, I'll take a few of your questions and try to answer briefly.

work is generally being replaced by machines. Yes, labor intense work is often replaced by machines. Machines increase productivity. Increased productivity results in greater output at a lower cost. Net result: More people will be able to afford the goods and services that, at present, only the higher income market can afford. Services made more efficient through high-speed communications are another improvement.

So many jobs are going to be gone in the next decade. I think this is going to make the distortions and socio-economic gaps we already have in society much worse. What you are describing has been a concern since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, especially in mass manufacturing. The blacksmiths and candlestick makers were taking a terrible beating back then, but it certainly wasn't the end of the world. You are right to be concerned about being "left behind." I think every young person, (and for that matter, middle-aged people stuck in jobs of the aging industries) ought to seriously plan for the reality of mechanization in the Digital-Age. Objectivist ethics requires one to face the facts, and to deal with them accordingly. As for society getting worse, I think the worst will affect those at the economic bottom, as it always has.

The changing ways of doing business like watching a movie or shopping, and the effects of business like concentration of ownership of media with newspapers and (formerly) locally-managed TV/radio stations is creating a scenario in the private market that can be analogous to centralization or Communism in many ways. If the media outlets are privately owned, it certainly wouldn't qualify as Communism, which means that the media are a monopoly owned and operated by the government; so long as the internet stays relatively unregulated, centralization of information is unlikely. I would say the greater problem is the reaction of the general public to hysteria inflamed by the media. As long as there is a market for entertainment and information products, be they physical or digital on-demand, those products will be produced. Ask anyone with a vinyl record collection.

As for your neurological condition, I have no comments. I hope the best for your improvement, and by all means, spend some time reading some of the works of Ayn Rand.

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1 hour ago, Repairman said:

As for your neurological condition, I have no comments. I hope the best for your improvement, and by all means, spend some time reading some of the works of Ayn Rand.

Hey, thanks. I'm glad somebody is wishing the best for me.

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Competition is a challenge, whether it is between men or machines.  Its a good time to explore fields that are difficult for machines to compete in.  Figuring out skills you may still be able to develop within the confines of your condition.  Look into services the owners of the machines might need, where are they going to spend their money?  There will be work in engineering and designing machines.  

If goods are produced with greater efficiency, what use are all those goods if no one has a job to earn money to buy them?  We may see a rise in human jobs that make use of our creative capacity.  Brainstorm starting as many businesses as you can that train humans in jobs that humans are better at.  

'Long term competitive advantage' is a term some entrepreneurs use.  How can you develop your own personal competitive advantage?  What books can you read to maximize your potential?  

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