Technological advances may take the humanity out of humans and leave nothing left to invest in…

What will the capitalists, all smug with their assets, do when they have no one left to make money off of?

No I’m no communist or even Bernie Sanders democratic socialist but I’m just saying once we’ve put everyone out of work no one will have any money to buy any of the goods and services the capitalists have for sale.

I’ve heard and read that the reaction to the coming raise in the minimum wage is that fast food workers and restaurant waiters will be replaced by kiosks and robots. Now in some restaurants I have been to that might seem an improvement what with the quality of service you get these days.

I’ve been a truck driver for the past 21 years (I had another life, or a life, before that). Full-service restaurants at truck stops are disappearing. No one has time to put up with the lousy service, poor food, and staggering prices — and yet I still miss them.

Interaction with humans is part of the enjoyment of being and out and about (and try flirting with a kiosk).

I don’t go out to regular restaurants a lot but not too long ago I was at a chain restaurant and I had offered to pay the whole bill. The others suggested I use the kiosk to both order and pay the bill. I demurred. I hate having to use machines or computers for a lot of things and only do when I am forced to, which is quite often in this modern world — well of course I have grown up using machines for a lot of things — but I just meant all those new things like smart phones and apps and so on. Yeah I’m using a laptop to write this and I enjoy the experience. I began writing as a living back in 1973 on an old manual typewriter for a newspaper. I never was a good typist. We used to peck away and x out our mistakes. I always had a lot of x’s and pencil marks on my copy. And I loved the word processors when they came in, except the pre-personal computer types had quite a learning curve for me.

But as usual, I’ve gotten off track here.

But maybe I can make this work. The video display terminals and then full-blown personal computers sure made typing and editing a lot easier and quicker. And it made newspaper production a lot faster and more efficient. We wiped out the whole back shop — push a button and it went from computer terminal to a plate ready to put on the press (actually some of this happened after I got out of the business). No more fighting with gruff old guys (or gals) in the composing room (but then again, there goes some of the color).

And then the next step was that newspapers were all but replaced by online stuff on the internet.

I suppose you really can’t stop progress. And maybe you should not want to.

But the idea of advances in technology has been for the most part to make life easier and more comfortable for humans. People who used to dig ditches by hand for the most part use machines now. I recall my dad seeing a ditch digging machine when I was a kid and he repeated something he had heard when younger — “that machine took the bread out of the mouth of a hundred Irishmen”.

I’m rambling somewhat, I know. But I took a photography class in college and at one time considered myself a fairly good news photographer — I learned all about f stops and film speed and various techniques to use with flash attachments and with available light. And now with a cell phone or other device with a digital camera anyone can make perfect photos effortlessly. I think there is still an art to framing photos as you shoot them or using more conventional cameras in the old way, but really it’s hard to beat those digitals. My own father for a time made a living taking photos of houses for real estate companies using one of those old Speed Graphic press cameras you see in the movies with the plates that have to be shoved in and out of the thing between shots. But like I say, anyone, the homeowner himself or herself, could do the same now with a cell phone, and they show houses online — everything is online. They even have on-line cattle auctions. What fun is that? The thrill of being there and listening to the rapid-fire delivery of the auctioneer, the smell of cow and horse dung, and fear of innocently scratching your nose and buying a pen of steers…

A lot of jobs are just plain drudgery. And many would welcome a machine to replace their own slavery. But what then?

We’ll all be left with no way to make a living and those with assets will have nothing to invest in.

We will have managed to completely take the humanity out of humanity.

And what happens when the power goes out?

I’ve often wondered what would happen if through some natural or un-natural calamity all or most of the people with technical knowledge were wiped out (in my case, the boys down at the truck shop).

Back to the stone age.

I think that is how it all might end, that is to say it will just end or we will have to start over.

And maybe then we could do it right.

(well probably not)

p.s.

I had another thought here but just wiped it out via the technology of this laptop. But I can abbreviate it all and be more succinct that way. In the food service industry the idea of automated service began I guess way back in Germany in the late 19th Century and then here in the U.S. in the early 1900s with the Automat. You put your nickel in a slot and open a door and grab your sandwich or other food item. And then I guess, somewhat ironically, fast food outlets kind of put the appeal of the Automat to an end. But now maybe what with the impending raise in the minimum wage basically Automat technology will reappear.

And I will say it again. Depending upon a raise in the minimum wage is not future for anyone.

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