Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Monday, May 18, 2015

Machines Rising

Long ago in my first post on the inevitable changes that will come with automation I mentioned the following:
So going back to the Star Trek: Insurrection movie. What was it they found so objectionable that they decided to leave? The removal of the human element. The purpose. The sense of having a place in society. The replacement of human work by machines in the name of efficiency, safety and profit eventually kills what it is to be human.
Illinois is procuring $42k lawn mowers which are described as huge Roombas. What is it that the state is saying? It "reduces costs" and reduces "safety risks". The machines have performed well and so far have been low maintenance, said Kerry Brown, a tollway maintenance section manager. While the Spider has been cost-effective compared with traditional landscaping, the big advantage has been reducing the risk of accidents and injuries, Brown said [italics to indicate quote in original]
Now we find this:
. But you can see where this is going, namely to the eventual elimination of some police and fireman jobs. Not all, of course, but those jobs (plus pensions) are very expensive for local governments. (The average San Francisco police pension as of 2011 was $95,016.) Police deserve a generous retirement for what they put up with, but governments tend to look at the dollar cost of such services and how to cut it.