Author Topic: Tesla and other electric cars drives parts of Norways electric net to its knees  (Read 6173 times)

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Offline CJay

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I just read somewhere else that a bubble is occurring with car loans. Similar to that which happened with real estate in 2008.
There's a whole market segment in the UK where finance companies have driven car sales by offering very consumer favourable finance deals on cars that are priced to take into account the resale value of the vehicle when the user hands the car back.

Unfortunately that means there's a huge number of 1,2 and three year old cars about to hit the market with low mileage and probably lower than predicted prices because of the large number available. 

At the same time, society's love affair with the automobile is closely associated with the world of work, especially commuting, and as we move into the 21st century, numbers of commuters is expected to fall tremendously as more and more work is automated, goes to telecommuting or is off-shored. 


I still think hybrids make sense, but fully EV - for a small vehicle for doing errands, shopping, yes, but I wouldn't want to be tied to a charger for a family's main form of transportation.

Telecommuting has never really taken off in the industry segments I've worked in, it's difficult to refurbish locomotives and carriages over the internet for one example ;)

Agree on hybrids over EV, price differences notwithstanding, I'd have a hybrid tomorrow if I could.
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Offline IanMacdonald

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"Telecommuting has never really taken off in the industry segments I've worked in, it's difficult to refurbish locomotives and carriages over the internet for one example."

Which is a major flaw in the government's notions on public transport and cycling. They assume that all workers are penpushers who need take only very lightweight and small items of hand luggage. 

Even where only small items are needed, having to go to site to examine the job and then return to base to collect what's needed, all by cycle or public transport, is simply not economical. You put what's likely to be needed in the van and make one journey. 
 

Offline cdev

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How much transport in today's post-GATS UK is still "public"? I'm just curious.


"Telecommuting has never really taken off in the industry segments I've worked in, it's difficult to refurbish locomotives and carriages over the internet for one example."

Which is a major flaw in the government's notions on public transport and cycling. They assume that all workers are penpushers who need take only very lightweight and small items of hand luggage. 

Even where only small items are needed, having to go to site to examine the job and then return to base to collect what's needed, all by cycle or public transport, is simply not economical. You put what's likely to be needed in the van and make one journey.
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Offline cdev

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Several thoughts..

If you look at old TV series or photos of offices you'll notice that businesses in the past employed far more office staff than today, across the board, You can pick almost any kind of work, in both goods and services. Everything was far more labor intensive in the past, requiring armies of workers.

Most generic business processes now are mostly handled by computing applications (including the web) with the office staff planning the operation of the business and handling the exceptions.

Large numbers of office jobs simply vanish with new advances in technology, within two or three years. Also large segments of businesses that used to be handled in house (fulfillment, shipping, delivery, etc.) is increasingly offloaded to specialized firms which handle the same task for hundreds or thousands or in some cases literally millions of businesses at once.

Everybody knows automation is increasing exponentially, but at least as many, perhaps more jobs will be moved overseas as a sort of bridge to their being automated. The next few years will be the beginning of a huge shift of jobs to the places where people have high levels of education but are paid much less.This has been in the pipeline for 20 years but the thing that's hanging them up is "non tariff barriers". What you call red tape of all kinds. But the ink is already dry, it has been for 20 years, its just the implementation thats been taking forever, because the different sides all want different things in exchange for what they want to give up.

The key term they repeat over and over is "efficiency gains".

Its more efficient where they can do the work in the cheaper countries with services just like it is with manufacturing. They claim that efficiency gains will mean many many people will be freed up to pursue their dreams.

The things that have been preventing them from being moved are what you call red tape. In the case of the UK, some of that was because of being in the EU. The jobs that before might have gone to Eastern European firms will likely end up much father away.

BTW, Tim Berners-Lee ("timbl") invented that remote control pen around 30 years ago at CERN, on his NeXT workstation, we're using it right now.  Its making it possible for people everywhere to do work over the net.

Its impact on the workplace is still in its infancy compared to where we'll be in a decade or two. Hopefully the benefits of people being able to enter in their own data will accrue to more people around the world despite the falling wages.  Its going to eliminate a lot of jobs but also create a substantial number of better ones.People will need different skills to do them, and will have to stay on top of the changes.

Slightly offtopic, but I thought that would happen and it hasn't. At least not in the UK. What I see happening here is that real jobs on the shop floor are becoming scarcer as machines take over, but that office jobs are multiplying like crazy. Some places have three to five times as many office staff as shopfloor workers.

The problem here is the EU and its mountains of regulations and red tape.  Every time a new regulation comes out, that means firms having to employ another 'officer' just to ensure that they aren't at risk of being fined for noncompliance. In the nature of things bureaucratic these 'officers' have to be onsite; they can't work remotely. (Maybe if someone invented a remote controlled pen that ticks boxes over the  Internet.. ;) )  Hence more cars, more traffic jams, more pollution. GDPR is a case in point right now.

The EU is one of the greatest promoters of climate change action, yet they are adding enormously to the problem of fuel wastage and pollution through their own red tape!


Do you understand that when neoliberals rail against 'regulation' they are talking about the things that made working more fulfilling and less destructive to peoples lives (like limits on how many hours people work in a work week, and prohibitions against dangerous workplaces, also laws that regulate the kinds of intra-corporate travel corporations would like to see much much more of.

The things you are talking about "competition" and "deregulation" and "eliminating red tape" will mean far far more job loss than new jobs. Most business owners see themselves as part of heir communities but huge mega corporations see themselves as being able to take their places on a large scale. That will cut out the middlemen for sure but there will be huge reductions in workers and the economies everywhere are likely to implode. 

You understand that wages and benefits are all determined by supply and demand, right? So even if only a few jobs percentage wise move elsewhere, wages will fall because the remaining workers will be forced to accept less and less for their time. Younger and older people especially will suffer because there is a clock icking for both of them much more so than for people in the middle. Also investments people have made in housing, (especially in areas where there used to be a lot of jobs but are no more) stocks (when they were valued by the business they did or by over optimistic potential people saw for hem, perhaps being quite unrealistic about this ticking time bomb driven by the GATS IOU to the developing world) . Even the developing countries, which were projected to grow rapidly wont because their export markets will collapse and their internal markets wont increase because of falling global wages. There isnt a single group that will benefit. However, those currently in power will maintain control and get a larger and larger slice of the pie, even as the value of that slice plummets.

People will lkely work for free to keep their skills honed.
Businesses are alredy taking advantage of this effect by means of internships, extended qusi-traing 'jobs' that pay just a token amount. The number of jobs which either pay very little or eventually where the workers pay to work will increase.

Many parents of would be workers will likely pay for them to gain work experience. When trade was truly free, businesses will likely get free workers. But would that be enough, if their customers can no longer buy things and vanish, whats the point?

Under those conditions, even though freely traded workers would save the business owners trillions, how would those workers survive? How would the businesses survive, buried by huge debts and likely their business assets would be auctioned off to pay them.


So, maybe inefficiency is more of a gain than efficiency now, huh?
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline mux

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This is going far off-topic, but if you really want to follow this line of thought to its logical conclusion, you have to ask: do we live to work, or live to live? This is a system design question at heart, not an implementation question.

Society right now, pretty much everywhere from subsistence farmers in Northern Afghanistan to office workers in the Shard, is designed in such a way to require some means of economic productivity (in the rules of society) to allow for a decent life. You have to either earn ordinary income or capital gains to be able to participate in regular society. This means that implicitly, whatever you wish to do has to eventually be monetized or consumable one way or another. So far this has been a decent model, because by and large, the only source of economic value has been people. Without a person doing something to propel its endeavours, nothing happens. Sure, machines and computers may multiply the efforts, but in the end it's all human labour. And the price of whatever end product is, by and large, determined by the required amount of labour, thus earning everybody willing and able to work a living wage.

We have now well and truly entered the age of lights-out manufacturing, where you can create economic value without any human input whatsoever. Sure, this is still limited to operation only - LOM is only truly a thing in refining, car manufacturing and a bunch of food-related factories - but with self-driving trucks and mining equipment this will soon extend quite a bit beyond that, requiring a handful of people (who repair and maintain the machines once in a while) to literally produce all the pasta or all Mazda cars in the world. You said it rightly; these kinds of supply chains have gone from needing hundreds of thousands of people to tens or hundreds currently, and essentially zero in the near future. On a scale of automation, we're already very much near the end. It's a true miracle that people are still employed.

Clearly, our model of society will break down when people are unemployable through no fault of their own. If whatever your capabilities, your economic output will always be negative. Where we fundamentally differ in opinion is whether this will result in people working for free. I don't think that is very likely. Sure, right now they are, but in the near future this will be completely futile. Regardless of what a human does, his output will be of such bad quality and/or completely outside of its capabilities that there is nothing to be gained from such labor. This goes for everything, from manual labor (he'll just be in the way of the ploughing robots) to food service (you're sneezing on my food!) to high-tech manufacturing (what, you think a human can do lithography?).

Now you say, the solution to this is inefficiency. Yes, obviously, you can keep people working unnecessarily given the state of technology to keep them employed and extend the lifetime of our current model of society. Unfortunately this is an inherently unstable situation. That same model of society favors market dynamics, and if you insist on keeping lots of people employed in your country, thereby making your exports more expensive to the rest of the world, you will lose out on the world stage. Alright then, in order to insulate yourself from bad actors, you close your borders. Without trade, no economic area can prosper long-term, so you will necessarily have to accept lower standards of living and technological regression. Long-term stagnation, while the rest of the world (or even just one country?) can continue on the path of increased automation, because the incentives work that way.

Stable systems have goals and incentives that point in the same direction. A well-designed and well-incentivized system should be something that allows for a peaceful transition from our current market dynamics to something that does not require human labor to provide for human happiness and prosperity. Obviously, this means that the only way forward is fully automated luxury gay space communism.
 

Online Marco

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This is going far off-topic, but if you really want to follow this line of thought to its logical conclusion, you have to ask: do we live to work, or live to live?

Ultimately most people live to provide for their kin and future kin, even when work is mostly removed that won't change. Can't build a good society on hedonism.
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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This is going far off-topic, but if you really want to follow this line of thought to its logical conclusion, you have to ask: do we live to work, or live to live?

Ultimately most people live to provide for their kin and future kin, even when work is mostly removed that won't change. Can't build a good society on hedonism.

Well, a lot of people regard reproduction as life's goal, but then isn't that a circular argument? We create more humans because creating more humans is what gives us fulfilment in life. If life is not satisfactory or rewarding for those kin and future kin though, the argument falls down. And, it won't be if we fill the planet to bursting point with humans.
 

Offline cdev

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For many people their family is their life. For others they want to push the sum total of human knowledge forward to benefit everybody. Both goals are good ones. Both are valid ways to motivate yourself.

But putting money above all else and amassing money to the exclusion of all else and everybody else starts to get unhealthy at a certain point. That point may vary a lot but we know it when we see it.

Maybe money should have a date attached to it and decrease in value if its kept and not spent beyond that date?

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online Marco

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Well, a lot of people regard reproduction as life's goal, but then isn't that a circular argument?

Nihilism is another thing which you can't build a good society on. Abandon logic where it stops being useful.
 

Offline mux

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This is going far off-topic, but if you really want to follow this line of thought to its logical conclusion, you have to ask: do we live to work, or live to live?

Ultimately most people live to provide for their kin and future kin, even when work is mostly removed that won't change. Can't build a good society on hedonism.

I don't agree at all, actually. Why not? It seems to me like a society based on hedonism would be pretty awesome. We *can't* build a society based on hedonism because we require useful work towards our survival to be carried out by people, but as our robot overlords come to exceed our capabilities in every way, why not let society become a hedon's zoo?
s
Hedonism isn't just lots of orgies and drug use - humans have evolved to be pretty good at adaptive behaviour, tool use and other very advanced types of learning. This is very rewarding to us. Consequently I would expect a society based on stuff everybody wants to become a bit like a massive hackerspace; everybody doing things because they can or because it's interesting. Not because it is necessary - eventually - towards their personal or communal survival.

Also, I'm very skeptical as to the percentage of people primarily interested in their offspring. Fertility has not increased with increasing standards of living and decreasing stress on individuals, quite the opposite. There is a whole further philosophical train of thought you can follow here, by the way. Not sure how far we can continue going off-track and into side streets until this topic is split off.
 

Offline woody

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Maybe money should have a date attached to it and decrease in value if its kept and not spent beyond that date?

It's an idea and it's called 100% inheritance tax. IMO a brilliant strategy but better not talk about it in public, it'll get lynched  ;D
 

Offline cdev

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There is no reason to think that people will have more time, rather most will have to work harder for their money, because so many things will be done for free by machines.

Supply and demand always determines wages, even regulation cannot prevent it because trade agreements have already given poor countries promises for twenty years that they would be able to sell their low cost services to developed countries as the effect of machines on labor's price pushes wages downward by making jobs scarce and labor plentiful. So changing this now will be difficult, when the push is so strongly in the other direction, to open labor markets up to them since people in developed countries likely either don't want skilled jobs that only pay a fraction of what they did in the past, or don't have the advanced educations which will increasingly stand as the barriers to their getting them.

Don't blame me, I am just trying to give you a heads up.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline cdev

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Your idea of encouraging creative thinking is exactly what they don't want more of, because they already are trying to stay on top despite an exponentially increasing body of knowledge that is making their business models look more and more dated and broken.  Its all they need to create more. Not.

No, they want fewer logical thinkers who are not on a very tight leash, so thats is what trade agreements are setting up.  They are making higher education so costly and so unlikely to lead to a paying job without investments which will look impossibly hard to most people, plus when one finishes eight or perhaps soon ten or twelve years of college then they will likelyhave to work for almost nothing for many years, that will become the norm. Only wealthy people will be able to afford to pay for that for their children.

The challenge for them is to reduce their people's expectations of success without being obvious about it. Making it impossible to get an education is one thats most likely to succeed. People who could never get an education don't expect to succeed. So when they don't, nobody is surprised. People who have a good education expect to succeed, and its much much harder to create convincing scenarios within which they don't.

Hard but some are determined to do it.

Consequently I would expect a society based on stuff everybody wants to become a bit like a massive hackerspace; everybody doing things because they can or because it's interesting. Not because it is necessary - eventually - towards their personal or communal survival.

Also, I'm very skeptical as to the percentage of people primarily interested in their offspring. Fertility has not increased with increasing standards of living and decreasing stress on individuals, quite the opposite. There is a whole further philosophical train of thought you can follow here, by the way. Not sure how far we can continue going off-track and into side streets until this topic is split off.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline cleaningOut

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This is going far off-topic, but if you really want to follow this line of thought to its logical conclusion, you have to ask: do we live to work, or live to live? This is a system design question at heart, not an implementation question.

Society right now, pretty much everywhere from subsistence farmers in Northern Afghanistan to office workers in the Shard, is designed in such a way to require some means of economic productivity (in the rules of society) to allow for a decent life. You have to either earn ordinary income or capital gains to be able to participate in regular society. This means that implicitly, whatever you wish to do has to eventually be monetized or consumable one way or another. So far this has been a decent model, because by and large, the only source of economic value has been people. Without a person doing something to propel its endeavours, nothing happens. Sure, machines and computers may multiply the efforts, but in the end it's all human labour. And the price of whatever end product is, by and large, determined by the required amount of labour, thus earning everybody willing and able to work a living wage.

We have now well and truly entered the age of lights-out manufacturing, where you can create economic value without any human input whatsoever. Sure, this is still limited to operation only - LOM is only truly a thing in refining, car manufacturing and a bunch of food-related factories - but with self-driving trucks and mining equipment this will soon extend quite a bit beyond that, requiring a handful of people (who repair and maintain the machines once in a while) to literally produce all the pasta or all Mazda cars in the world. You said it rightly; these kinds of supply chains have gone from needing hundreds of thousands of people to tens or hundreds currently, and essentially zero in the near future. On a scale of automation, we're already very much near the end. It's a true miracle that people are still employed.

Clearly, our model of society will break down when people are unemployable through no fault of their own. If whatever your capabilities, your economic output will always be negative. Where we fundamentally differ in opinion is whether this will result in people working for free. I don't think that is very likely. Sure, right now they are, but in the near future this will be completely futile. Regardless of what a human does, his output will be of such bad quality and/or completely outside of its capabilities that there is nothing to be gained from such labor. This goes for everything, from manual labor (he'll just be in the way of the ploughing robots) to food service (you're sneezing on my food!) to high-tech manufacturing (what, you think a human can do lithography?).

Now you say, the solution to this is inefficiency. Yes, obviously, you can keep people working unnecessarily given the state of technology to keep them employed and extend the lifetime of our current model of society. Unfortunately this is an inherently unstable situation. That same model of society favors market dynamics, and if you insist on keeping lots of people employed in your country, thereby making your exports more expensive to the rest of the world, you will lose out on the world stage. Alright then, in order to insulate yourself from bad actors, you close your borders. Without trade, no economic area can prosper long-term, so you will necessarily have to accept lower standards of living and technological regression. Long-term stagnation, while the rest of the world (or even just one country?) can continue on the path of increased automation, because the incentives work that way.

Stable systems have goals and incentives that point in the same direction. A well-designed and well-incentivized system should be something that allows for a peaceful transition from our current market dynamics to something that does not require human labor to provide for human happiness and prosperity. Obviously, this means that the only way forward is fully automated luxury gay space communism.


Alright, I've only just found this topic, but I love this post. There's no way you haven't read the Culture series, right?
 


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