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Science and Unemployment...

There are so many issues in this... Firstly I would like to say I am not against
science... It's natural, we have questioning minds so we want to discover and
utilize the things around us to improve our lives... We can't stop it... (Andrew Christy) wrote:
> (Madhudvisa dasa       ) writes:
>>[follow-up set to science groups only]
>> (Kevin Sterner) wrote:
>>And why is that? Because science has produced so much wonderful advanced
>>technology and abolished the jobs they used to do... If the society
>>provided jobs they could do these people [who are now unemployed] would
>>work and be fine upstanding citizens... They would be paying tax, they
>>would be consuming... they wouldn't be a burden at all. But how can they
>>be productive? Your machines are doing all the work! It is a great
>>paradox... you are making "advancements" but your "advancements" are
>>putting people out of work. You then have to pay them social security

>>[which comes out of your own pockets] As you "advance" more and more so
>>many more become unemployed as a result... Thus science destroys the
>Madhudvisa, you are (as usual, I'm afraid) talking out of the
>wrong orifice.
It is a little strong perhaps, but the paradox is there, you can't deny that. All
the scientific advancements come with a cost attached...
But science is working to make jobs easier as well. Once one would have to know
some basic arithmetic to work as a shop assistant... But now one just waves things
at the scanner and takes the money and gives the customer back what the computer
tells him to... Almost anyone could do it...
>'Science' (to which you seem irrationally opposed) is simply the pursuit
>of deeper understanding of nature through observation and hypothesis-
"Science" is the natural quest of knowledge by man. I am not opposed to it. It is
quite natural. I am opposed to the efforts of some of the scientists who are using
science to try and prove there is no God... I know there are many scientists who
believe in God... But science is the "religion" of the athiests... I am opposed to
the idea that science generally won't consider the possibility of the existence of
the soul, a spiritual force whose symptom is consciousness. I'm not suggesting
everyone has to "believe" in the soul, but just that such a theory is valid and
should be considered. I am also opposed to the fact that science tends to be
hostile toward theories that include God... I propose one can state a scientific
theory that includes the acceptance of God and the eternal spirit soul and such
scientific theories should be considered, scientifically, on their merit,
alongside any other scientific theory...
 < snip >
>>You [the scientists (BTW I was a computer systems analyst before so I did
>>a fair share of it myself too)] are forcing them into poverty and
>>oppression by taking away their jobs.
>Elephant's testicles.
> I could argue that basic research *creates*
>jobs for bright 'overqualifieds' and takes them out of competition with
>others for less specialised jobs.
>>Not many people want to be
>>unemployed. Mostly they are ready to work at something, but many people
>>are not super-intelligent, they are suited to manual laboring, farm work,
>>etc... But where are the jobs for them now... You have the tractors and
>>the computers doing it...
>Funny thing to say for someone who claims to be an ex-systems analyst.
>Computers need programming, operation, and maintenance. Plenty of
>jobs for humans there. Left to themselves, computers don't 'do'
That's true to a certain extent. But once the programs are written you don't need
programmers. With todays tools anyone can "program" most things... You don't need
a programmer to set up a data-base, install a business package, or even to set up
a server on the Internet [of course it's still a little tricky but someones bound
to release a foolproof self-configuring automatic package you just have to plug
Operators are still common at big sites but this is more or less because they
haven't caught up with the technology yet. We are living in an increasingly
"distributed" world. Everyone wants control over their own data, their own
processing, so the "operators" are becoming displaced. The operators traditionally
mounted tapes for backups and for archives... Now there is lots of disk space so
you keep the archives on-line and you have a robot to mount the tapes for the

The operators used to mount all the different forms on the printers and "burst"
the multi-part reports... But there are not so many reports [of course some sites
still print them out of habit... but you don't need them usually because
everything is on-line] and you don't need to change the forms because the lazar
printers print the forms as well!. Anyhow whatever printing has to be done mostly
the users do it themselves...
And maintenance... Things don't break down so much now... Of course there are
still heaps of things to do to try and get things to work at big sites but that's
bad hardware design more than anything else. Look at the mac. How much
maintenaince is required there? How many operators? and How many programmers?
I am a computer programmer but I have Microsoft Works. It has a nice spreadsheet
and a simple database and I haven't had to write a program since....
There is not the momentum in the computer industry that there used to be. We have
100mhz+ processors in the pc's... That's fast enough! We have System 7 for the
mac's... It's perfect, who'd want anything else. Even Windows 3.1 is quite
satisfying... I use Page Maker for publishing and there is very little one could
wish for...
In the "good old days" I used to work with Vaxes and we'd go along to the DECUS
conferences with our "wish lists" for improvements to the operating system, etc...
But now I am quite happy... Page Maker 5 does everything I want for publishing,
Adobe photoshop 3.0 is so nice, and my good old Microsoft Works, simple as it is,
keeps me satisfied for databases and spreadsheets.
I have seen at our university here they just have a big sun system which is really
just a big file server and internet machine and they have mac-labs everywhere... I
think that's the future. Big file servers and distributed pc's and macs...
The big fileservers will become just as simple as the pc's and the macs and
installing and operating them will be no more difficult than installing and
operating a photocopier... So where's the DP industry?
>It is true that there are less unskilled manual jobs than there used
>to be. All the more reason for people to learn new skills (which
>doesn't require 'super' intelligence).
Yes. I'm notticing it more and more. My point [that there are less unskilled jobs]
is really not valid. Actually most jobs are becoming unskilled jobs... It's the
skilled jobs that are vanishing!
>All the more sickening that
>the education systems of the developed world seem to be churning out
>an *increasing* proportion of innumerate illiterates.
Because thats all we need... Nice face, nice smile, and an ability to wave things
in front of a scanner and say "Have a nice day."
Also the students are too distracted to actually learn anything. They're too busy
chasing sex and reading the pornography on the net and talking about sex on IRC...
>It may be very economical but it's destroying
>>the society...
>Nope. More destructive factors include the replacement of the neighbours+
>extended family network by the false ideal of the nuclear family and paranoia
>about the (unknown) neighbours, the
>destruction of even the support , trust and communication within the nuclear
> family by TV , subcultural distinctions between generations
>enhanced by advertising pressures, t he need for both
>parents to work long hours ... etc..etc..
I agree completely. Extended familes are the way to go... But it's not good for
consumption. They want everyone to live in their own personal house, with their
own personal car, their own personal lawn-mower, their own personal microwave oven
and their own personal 12 hour-a-day job... It boosts the economy!

>Unfortunately, we can't return to the 11th century, and even if we could,
>most people wouldn't like it very much. The main thing is to pinpoint the
>*real* problems with society rather than attcking scapegoats. Once we
>know whatis really wrong, we can work on changing it.
I also agree. Most people don't want to live simply and we can't turn the clock
back. We have to use things for the proper purpose though. The real purpose of
life is spiritual and all these material things can be used to help people advance
Thank you. Hare Krishna!
Madhudvisa dasa       
(     /sudarsana
All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!

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