Monday, May 4, 2009

Gunman shoots 13 dead at US immigrant center

Read the headline:  Gunman shoots 13 dead at US immigrant counselling centre

Government response: “We’ve got to figure out a way to deal with this terrible, terrible violence,” Mr. Biden said.

President Obama, who is in France for a NATO meeting, issued a statement saying he was saddened to learn of the “act of senseless violence.”

Note this: in March IBM fired some 5,000 U.S. workers

Big Blue is shifting work to India, where labor and production costs are significantly lower. And despairing gunmen are shooting innocents at random in the world's most affluent societies. What of the 5,000 Indians who must be delighted to enlist on IBM's payrolls? Soon they too will be replaced by ... whom? 

Here's what's going on:

55 years ago the cybernetic pioneer, Norbert Wiener wrote in The Human Use of Human Beings:

"Let us remember that the automatic machine, whatever we may think about any feelings it may have, or may not have, is the precise economic equivalent of slave labor. Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor.

"It is perfectly clear that this will produce an unemployment situation, in comparison with which the present recession [in the 1950s - RL] and even the depression of the thirties  will seem a pleasant joke. This depression will ruin many industries."

Now, in 2009, we have already seen the destruction of many industries. Where have all the telephone operators gone? They've been replaced by voice recognition devices. Where are all the bank tellers? They are cemented into the walls of banks in the form of ATM machines.

"No problem," say our public intellectuals, our economists, our politicians, "let there be new jobs, new industries, new opportunities. We'll fine-tune the interest rates, screw around with taxes, hold international conferences, get our best brains to fix the matter. The magic of the zeitgeist will settle everything."

So much optimism gushes forth as the jobs, the intellectuals and the accountants are all in their turn swallowed up by the clever machines, and replaced by silicon brains that demand no pay packets. This isn't science fiction. It's the firm earth dissolving under our feet. Last to vanish into the cybernetic maw will be the bureaucrats and politicians themselves.

The lights will go out and then we will all starve.   

It's inevitable. It was foreseen in the 1950s, and before. The prophecy has been made again and again, yet no one of influence dares to face it.

"Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic conditions of slave labor."

That's the problem. And there's no solution at all to be found within the present philosophy of our civilization. Our elites have run out of philosophy.