The New Immigrants: Robots

So do we need a “big beautiful wall to keep them out?

The fact is that human immigrants are not stealing jobs; 99% of the jobs they fill few US citizens want to do or even will do.  But today I am not here to debate this moot issue, rather I want the reader to reflect critically on the possible real impact of robotics and AI (artificial intelligence).  I don’t want to look far into the future, but rather just conjecture on say the next 10 years.

Robotics (and AI that controls them) are the new immigrants. THESE new immigrants will take jobs from citizens, yet where is the outcry and concern except from other than a handful of very smart people, Andrew Yang for instance (and myself of course…LOL).

There is no wall that can be built to keep out these agile minded “guys.”  They are coming in caravans and hoards.  Beware.

There are few jobs, especially ones that follow a rather narrow script of activities:  from factory jobs to call centers, that will not be impacted.  Of course call centers largely have been shipped “off shore,” to India and Mexico and Jamaica, et al.  But AI will bring the cost down to the point where multi-nationals opt to just connect you to the big AI help desk in the sky.  So it is not only the United States that will be challenged by these pesky AI creatures, but rather much of the first and second worlds.

If you are in any job that frankly is “low wages,” you really need to be thinking about what to do after you get your notice.  What can you do?  Train in HIGH technology is one option:  smart people first have to make robots and initialize AI programming for these immigrants to perform.  So you can train to become one of the “technologists” or even better, a “keeper,” as I call these new classes of human workers.  Because of the profits from relegating low wage jobs and benefits more and more to the pile of obsolescence, like mining coal for instance, there will be no stopping the tide of robotics and AI, so YOU must RE-INVENT yourself!

This may require MOVING physically to locations where smart jobs are or will be placed, which for now are cities like Austin, Texas for example; to get the type of training you will need you also will likely have to relocate, for a lot of the low wage jobs now are at factories and facilities sited in the heart land of America, plants that will use robotics soon if not already, but who will NOT be offering any education to employees:  they will turn to the universal pool of people who have the knowledge they need, and not be altruistic in retraining their current employees. (I realize some are, but consider fully where that training may lead.  Think BIG PICTURE, LONG TERM.)

So what will be a few of the potential societal impacts of this flood of new immigrants?  There will be effectively created a new age stratification of our society:  an increasing very low income level at the bottom of the economy, increasingly highly dependent on “welfare” (or crime), and sadly, those of color will be triply effected due the present enormous inequities of capital and income;  and right above them will be the Technologists, able to sustain and increase incomes to some extent, but forever locked into the “middle class” state; above these techies will be the “Keepers” of the robotics and AI, highly educated and specialized people whose incomes far surpass those below…..these are the new “doctors, lawyers and engineers” who even today are seeing their heyday wane; then at the very top are the owners of all the robots and all the AI.  These people, mostly people and families who already control most of the capital and wealth in the world, will have incomes that are light years ahead of all others.

The mobility of human workers to move up from the “welfare” class to say the “keepers” level will be close to impossible.  Most everyone will be captive in their respective classes.  But is that much different from today’s scenario?  Not really, but the future does not bode well for a reduction in the number of people and families at the two bottom levels of the hierarchy.  This is why, if you are smart, you will do everything you can to determine what education or training will help you to the next level, and get that training now, no matter what it takes.  The future of yourself, your progeny and theirs depends on conscious decisions you make in the next 18-24 months.

Now there are other choices, if you don’t want to “play the game.”  You can choose to live your life without worrying about income, and be a free spirit, a free agent even, using your common sense, inventiveness and native creativity to enjoy life as it comes.  Become the antithesis of this robotic world, a 21st century hippie, finding novel ways to stay afloat, being aware that within you is the power to live your life unfettered by “intelligence.”  That is not a bad option really.

White men lost in the matrix of hate.

What is it about some white men that leads them to the worst kind of hate: hating another human being for the way she or he was born?  I do believe that if one could, by means of some super sleuth device that’s part time machine and part AI God, trace the origins of racism in white men in America, one would find they have been caught up in a matrix of naivety, ignorance and confusion that manifested a few hundred years ago, and has been a force that has lurked in the recesses of twisted minds since.

I have come to believe that racism in large part, is a form of mental illness afflicting a particular demography of white males within every generation in our country.  (Note: of course what I say applies to many white females, but thankfully they do not often express themselves by being creators of carnage.) I don’t think one can challenge an argument that America has many historical and cultural attributes, at the intersection of which is a mental “black hole” like those in deep space, that literally sucks in susceptible white men’s minds.  Once in the pull of the black hole, they cannot escape after passing a certain point.  Their mental and moral decay at that juncture radiates an anger that is entirely destructive, in fact, is evil itself.

Now racism is a form of hate based on an invalid Zeitgeist that has traveled through time, morphing along the way, generation by generation.  In the mid-Twentieth Century it was manifested profoundly in Germany, infecting a large part of the population, even though it had already taken hold here in AmeriKKKa long before.  Really this country has been built on hate, when one takes a serious look at our history.  Every immigrant group that has come to theses shores has hated the other group, with those arriving more recently receiving the brunt of the hate of those already here; and, then there is the matter of the genocide of First Peoples.  But the racism of white men hating people of color is a unique brand of such hate, giving them the “justification” to commit atrocities like at Wounded Knee, and the now countless mass murders over the last three years.

Here is one article asking if racism should not be considered a mental illness, or at least explored as such.  I agree with most of the article, as it lays out what to me is obvious, that one way to begin to “cure” racists is by exposing white racists to those persons of color in a way that can lead to person to person transaction.  I don’t know where one might begin to practice such an experiment at large, but within our prison industry might be a good starting point.  It is a fact that if two people of different “persuasions”  are forced to confront one another in a situation that depends on their mutual cooperation, they tend to begin to see the other as “human” and not a mere object to receive their hate.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-pacific-heart/201708/after-charlottesville-is-racism-mental-illness

I think this approach should be seriously looked into.  Of course, we can not use pleas of insanity by domestic terrorists or other racists that have harmed innocent people; but, we can attempt to root out the mental/spiritual cancer of racists and try to “fix them.”

Another “approach” to preventing or curing racism, I believe wholeheartedly could and should began in secondary education.  In previous posts I have suggested that a reason for so much of our problems as a country is the inability to critically analyze problems, or “problems.”  Using the  Socratic method of discussion, showing young people how to analyze and unravel the threads of a problem or condition, so they can separate the real threads from the perceived fallacious threads, would without a doubt contribute to youth who carry that ability to seek truth into adulthood.  Racism will not flourish where there is truth.

Musings on Life.

Life is a funny thing.  Poetically, life is like the tides at the shore, each tide rising and ebbing, each full of thousands of waves doing their thing, one by one, more or less sequentially, each totally unique in furry, pattern, sound and gifts deposited on the sand or rocks.  Many of these gifts are beautiful, shells and little creatures of nature’s design, and some are “ugly,” dead fish or even mammal carcasses stolen from the sharks and given to the birds, dead seaweed or jellyfish splayed on an alien surface.

Life is like this, life is the sea itself, but we are each a beach, molded a little with every wave, changing day by day but yet still there the next day.  We receive life’s gifts also, some with happiness, some with sadness, but mostly we just take these for granted, unfortunately.  If we could truly grasp the meaning of life, and embrace the false dichotomy of having both an infinite life but for now, a limited lifespan, we could live differently. As it is, most do not want to think of their present mortality, and have little concept of the infinite aspect of their being.

Aging is the play of life.  We model the format of plays after that of life itself.  Aging can be cruel.  I have sometimes thought that, “Heh, it would be nice to be born fully grown as an old person, then as we ‘age,’ become younger and younger and then die in the form of a new born babe?” Not sure how we could be born, obviously not the conventional way.  But just think, if one had the knowledge of an older person at the beginning of life, would it be possible to avoid doing things that later one regrets?  So you could actually live a wonderful life with minimal difficulties?  I don’t know.  Likely the wisdom of the universal Mind feels differently.

How we come into this world is even a strangely little understood phenomenon in itself:  we understand it biologically of course, but how our human life comes to be conscious of itself it not understood.  Does the new born babe come from “nothing?” Is it then just a successive product of its environment as it grows daily? This seems highly illogical to me.  So I ask, how can so many of Western religions in this “magic” (something from nothing) rather than belief as in Eastern and many other religions such as Ifa, that humans are reincarnated (of course, interpretations of this view differ across the spectrum of such believers), so “not something from nothing, but rather a continuation of something.”  The latter corresponds to all know physical properties of the universe as to energy and matter, whereas being born from just an egg and sperm doing a dance does not.

The aging process is naturally conducive to what we humans need and require to live our lives of course.  When young we are energetic, do wild things and learn from these; when in our 20’s-30’s we began to grasp adulthood and the responsibilities (whether or not we fully accept these is another story), and moving through our 40’s and 50’s we feel like we are much more in control and if we have lived our earlier years fairly well, we can enjoy the fruits of life in all ways.  Then comes the 60’s and by then we begin to sense that most of our life has been lived, and begin to wonder about what’s left.

I am nearing my mid-70’s now, and find it both interesting and strange.  In many ways mentally I feel much younger, and although my eyesight is not very sharp I feel what I see is through the eyes of someone younger in a lot of ways.  Yet, when those same eyes see myself in the mirror or camera selfie, I can only marvel at the power of nature to change us physically, but in exchange is the wisdom I know nature has given in return, a wisdom that will coach me on through my remaining days, each day trading another wrinkle for a bit of wisdom.  A fair trade I would say.

The point of this posting is just to say, live each day to the fullest, sincerely, not just figuratively.  But never despair, because your life is truly infinite, your energy and your essence was never born and will never die, so just relax ok.

Have a great day!

 

Dreaming

Dear readers, starting my morning, coffee level down to one-half, and not sure where this post will lead really.  I am just sort of dreaming it up as I “type.”  I often get spontaneous thoughts, spurts of inquisitiveness, and on rare occasions, creativeness, and the notion of dreaming popped into my mind a few days ago.

Lest you immediately think I am about to write about the dream states we experience during sleep, I am not.  I ask you to consider the term “dreaming” as having to do with living our lives having “goals” that we may adjust over time – or not – depending on our personalities, versus living your life as a dream.  I know, I need to be more clear with this notion.  Life coaches will inform us that we should have goals that we work or strive for, right?  We have heard often the phrase, “dream big,” or some permutation of that idea.  What brought this to my mind actually was when I was out for my morning walk, my path taking me along a busy boulevard with heavy rush hour traffic, I suddenly felt great empathy for all those passing me, all “going somewhere,” most in a rush.  As I am retired, I do not rush anywhere anymore, and now have the luxury of doing what I want (within my tiny budget) using my time as I feel at any moment.  Sounds great I know, and it is.  I feel very blessed, and do not take it for granted, as it is only my great health that provides this comfortable lifestyle.

But all these people rushing along in the morning, and then going the opposite way at the end of the day, I ask, are they chasing their dreams for something better? Have they a vision of what they are actually doing all this rushing for?  What are they dreaming about as they drive along?

I also hope that some or many of those folks of all ages, have not dreams of the future, but are living their lives as if within a dream.  By that I mean not focusing on the future, not even focusing really on tomorrow or the next few hours, but merely relaxing and “being” in the moment they are in right at each moment.  We are so challenged, particularly in this country – USA – with temporal sensitivity:  do I have time for this or that? What time is it?  Johnny has to be at soccer (football) practice by 6, oh my, how can I make it there on time?

There is another state we can be in, and often all of the concerns we have like getting to the soccer pitch on time will just vanish if we shift into our own “dream time.”  If we just attune to being present in what we are doing, being “mindful,” using a Buddhist term, so many things just fall into place.  Important things get worked out with least effort, and small things just fall off the table, and they never should have been placed on the table.

So I ask you, are you living/dreaming within the moment right now, or rushing to achieve some thing, some place, where if you live long enough you can spend your days “dreaming” in a fantasy which you may find not at all satisfying?

Sweet dreams may you catch each dawn.  Peace.

Where have all the “old people” gone?

I was trying to think of a good topic to write about today….although my guts were directing me to delve into “domestic terrorism” and how our government is effectively green lighting white nationalists, compared to Federal and local response whenever there is an act perpetrated by foreign terrorists.  But, no, I am not going to ruin my day getting even more agitated about this.

I thought also to write under a post title, “Death by blogging,” and I likely will do that in the future; however, today’s topic is as stated.  I can’t seem to find any “old people” on the web, in photos and film, and frankly, in flesh and blood, in most public places.  I know we haven’t all just “disappeared.”  I can look at myself and see that I haven’t disappeared….or at least I don’t think I have, but maybe?  Of course, by some standards I am not even “old” yet, so maybe I haven’t totally disappeared yet?

When I go out looking for photos for my blog posts, if it’s about people, seems like the only old people “pics” are those taken in foreign countries; by “foreign,” I really mean developing or third-world.  No offense meant, of course, for my readers in India and other areas populated by societies that have been around so long that the USA is not even a sneeze in comparison.  But, please, my readers not in the US, don’t you agree? Can you find many “old American” pics, except maybe people golfing or living on the streets?  We have no gurus just “chilling,” drawing photographers to them like a magnet.  Do you not agree that there is a dearth of photographic proof of the existence of old people in America?

I don’t get out much anymore, and when I do, I don’t stray far, but in the stores the only “old people” I see are perhaps around the time Social Security checks hit our bank accounts.  I do occasionally see a little “blue haired” white lady being slowly chaperoned by her health assistant, usually a young non-white person.  I don’t know, maybe if I were a golfer, I might see a few more old men.  But I hate golf.

I suppose this is just how nature works with people.  The new is out and about, blooming, busy as bees, and the old folks just sort of stay out of the way.

That’s ok by me, but just remember, we are still here among you, so watch your steps!

Adulting – is Hard?

Until a few days ago I was unaware there was such a word, “adulting.”  Just pronouncing the word out loud informs it is loaded with connotations.  It sounds like a “heavy” word, at least to me.  It has something to do with getting off one’s ass and washing the sink full of dishes – and other things.  Apparently for many Millennials, and now the next generation coming “on line,” becoming an adult is harder than it was for Boomers like myself – or is it?

The question then arises, why are “M’s” having a harder time with becoming adults and conducting their affairs responsibly?  I admit not having looked for any research on such a question, or hypothesis, but I suspect it is a combination, a milieu, of rather oppressive conditions the M’s face.  Or, perhaps, their perception of daunting conditions?  Let’s name a few of these conditions:  one might be the “digital environment” that has largely shaped their lifestyles, to wit, distractions of “fun” activities that become addictive, such as video games, especially the on-line games.  I have one god-daughter who would argue with me on that, and I suppose a counter argument to mine could be strongly advocated, but from my viewpoint, these people have spent too much time with gadgets and not enough face time out in the world, experiencing real life rather than digital life.

Another condition is, the economy and their education.  The demands of the new digital age and worldwide economy, and the huge and increasing cost of higher education, and hell, just getting accepted into a college or university today, create a mine field for young adults.  Finding jobs and being able to pay off student debt has forced a high percentage of these “adulting” folks to live at home with parents already struggling with their own financial and or health issues.  Living at home with parents when you are supposed to be “an adult” cannot be easy – and many parents likely cut their kids a lot of slack too, not really helping their offspring grow up.  It is said the human brain is not “adult” until around 25-27 (that’s why we send our kids off to war…..any adult mind would reconsider enlisting), so that too is an innate challenge that all generations have.  I have some first hand experience with that, having had one god-son and his girlfriend live with us for a while.

For these M’s who chose not to go to college – and avoided large debts  (I choose to exclude the M’s who come from financially strong families, as those are a rather small percentage) –  there is the struggle of finding and holding down a decent wage paying job that they can live on.  Well, those jobs are few, and most of these young folk also must live with parents, or do what they call “couch surfing” from friend to friend or relative. However, one cannot couch surf one’s entire adult life, so what happens to these guys?  Fortunately many of these guys are smart, inventive types, who are trying to establish their own business or source of income, through their own creativity.  Let’s recall most of our most successful tech corps were established similarly, so that gives some assurance.

The endless wars in the Middle East also impact the M generation, although the effects seem to have gotten lost in many of our minds.  It’s a rather small group of M’s, usually those from poorer or rural areas having no future for kids as they came out of high school, who joined the ranks of our military and did what they were called on to do by Washington “fat cats.”  Today it would be hard to find someone in “middle class” American who knows one military person, or even knows someone who knows.  Our fighting M’s are nearly invisible today sadly, but the cost they have paid and continue to pay is incalculably high.  And how are they rewarded?  By being sent to the Mexican border to build fences and by having funds intended to improve their housing taken away to build such fences and walls.  Got to love America the Beautiful!

In contrast, we Baby Boomers came of age during the Race to the Moon, the Beatles and Woodstock, and of course “our” war, Viet Nam.  I find it difficult to say which generation faced more confusing and challenging environments to accomplish their “adulting” days in.  However, I do absolutely empathize with the M’s.  Although I just learned what “adulting” is, I can “feel you guys.”  Yes, becoming an adult is hard.  In tribal societies their was and still is, initiation rites for the passage to “adulthood.”  Girls and boys are instructed in the ways of being an adult within their tribal group.  Unfortunately in contemporary Western society do not have such rituals identified, we just have sports.  Ha-ha.  If a young person goes into the military, there is additional “initiation,” better called indoctrination, and perhaps this helps one to become an adult quicker than the rest, but then one may have to deal with PTSD on top of “adulting.”

So I have learned about the word, and I I myself went through “it.”  All human beings do, and I am sure around the world “adulting” is as serious a matter as it is to young Americans.  It is not a disease, nor affliction, it is Life.  So sometimes as a soldier might say, “just suck it up!”  The quicker you take charge of being your own adult, the better you will feel, and look back on those days “fondly.”

I wonder what new word I will learn this week?