April 14, 2015 at 9:33 am #9551Chris_TaylorParticipant
This is not just thinking outside “the box,” this is changing the box itself…literally.April 14, 2015 at 10:03 am #9554
More automation to put more workers in the unemployment line.April 14, 2015 at 10:09 am #9557
That does not have to be true Deane.
Right now, I’m involved in an automation project. Just got robots! (and man, is there a LOT to learn about the damn things! Makes me feel young, like the late 80’s when I was learning about CNC machines. They are fucking cool!)
They have two purposes:
One is to automate some labor intensive things we do right now.
Two ways to look at that problem as well: One is the direct cost of the labor. Would be nice to lower it. Another is the opportunity cost. When the people I’ve got are really busy on mundane things, they don’t have time for the awesome things that help us get to the next level.
Replacing people actualizes the labor cost savings, but it costs me the opportunity potential, because now I still have busy people. Just fewer of them. I still can’t get those awesome things done!
A ton of people running business do not understand that. Wish more of them did.
The other purpose is to enable those awesome things! Not by freeing labor, that’s discussed above. No, in this case, they are going to enable new things not possible before! And once that is happening, I can sell it!
Once it’s selling, I can pay people more, or hire more people, or both!
Better still, I can capitalize. Guess what? Get more robots, wash, rinse, repeat 🙂
Wish more people running business understood that too.April 14, 2015 at 10:14 am #9562
This is a cool innovation. Thanks for linking it.
Our future economic growth is going to come down to process oriented innovation like this.April 14, 2015 at 10:41 am #9564Alfredo_TParticipant
Because this is a radio-themed board, I believe that it is difficult to not see all of the board operators and disc jockeys who have been put out of work by automated radio studios. Whether this development is positive, negative, or not important to the listener is subjective.
Whether developments in automation of manufacturing processes are positive or negative depends, in my opinion, on one’s education and career path. If one has an engineering degree, a good-paying job opportunity may be created in the design and optimization of the automation systems or of the manufacturing processes associated with them. However, if one’s career path is blue-collar (that is, one is an equipment operator), then one’s job might become a casualty of automation.
State-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing facilities have been highly automated for many years. There are principal technical reasons for this. The first is that semiconductor devices must be produced in extremely clean environments, and humans are a major source of contamination. The second is that modern semiconductor manufacturing processes demand a level of repeatability that cannot be achieved with manually operated tools. (In the early days of semiconductor manufacturing, technicians would manually apply photosensitive coatings onto semiconductor wafers using eyedroppers, bake wafers on hotplates, and dunk wafers into chemical baths.)April 14, 2015 at 10:59 am #9565
Oh, and they so could have kept a ton of people in radio.
The automation tools could have meant new program types and forms. Quality could have gone up.
But mergers and the whole mess associated with consolidation in general drained every last bit of value, leaving just enough room for it to run with automation and the thinnest number of people.
That’s greed, and it’s irresponsible. Today the overall industry value is very seriously diluted, when it could be far more potent and relevant today.
Radio isn’t the only industry impacted by this. Just know there are plenty and a growing number of people who get it and really do want to add value, not just get liquid and exit.April 14, 2015 at 11:17 am #9567
This is relevant to the consolidation / outsource discussion.
There is no need to maximize for shareholders in a legal, or real sense.
…unless the goal is to sell the company and exit.
And that is the problem right there. The moment we lowered higher income tax rates, the pressure to exit and get liquid wealth out of a business went through the roof, and here we are today, many of us seeing the result of unbridled greed.
Value produced this way is dubious at best. And consider how many investment dollars are sitting on the sidelines right now. Their biggest problem is lack of investment opportunities.
No fucking wonder. They all got merged, stripped, and sold!April 14, 2015 at 12:10 pm #9569Andy BrownParticipant
This is not just thinking outside “the box,” this is changing the box itself…literally.
What most of you fail to grasp is the age old principle of when one door closes another one opens.
This invention will create jobs (more smaller firms entering the marketplace) and give smaller honey manufacturers a more competitive edge against the huge companies.
This is called lowering the barriers to entry. It is the exact opposite of what has happened in many industries that have been consolidated as a result of deregulation, and not just broadcasting.April 14, 2015 at 12:18 pm #9571VitalogyParticipant
I might have to get one of those!April 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm #9579
Missing, my post was meant in humor, but as robots take over more and more work, we’re going to have to think about employment. I realize you addressed it in your posts, but basically, unless an equal number of jobs are created in a new form, we’ll have a few people trying to support a lot of people.April 14, 2015 at 2:54 pm #9580VitalogyParticipant
Somebody has to build and maintain the robots…April 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm #9582
Yep, and somebody has to buy what the robots make too.April 14, 2015 at 2:56 pm #9583Alfredo_TParticipant
The demonstration of the internal workings of this beehive that appears in the video is interesting. However, I do not know anything about beekeeping/honey production, so I can’t tell if this is a workable idea or whether I just watched a slickly produced video made solely to get money out of well-intentioned people.April 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm #9584Andy BrownParticipantApril 14, 2015 at 3:54 pm #9585
“Somebody has to build and maintain the robots…”
So, does it take one maintenance guy for every robot, or perhaps multiple maintenance guys. I would be interested in how you arrive a not achieving a net loss of jobs.
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