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Statik Statik (@Statik) on
I just read that a study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40% of American workers would be independent contractors... This is wow!
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Psychologist Psychologist (@Psychologist) on
From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.

Given our current attitudes, the riddle might be better described as religious. Data show that 51 percent of us shop for "all natural" food — shelling out some $40 billion a year on these products. We even choose natural over organic, market analysts have found. Natural has become the nondenominational version of kosher, and orthodoxy is on the rise.

The religiosity is apparent in the 4,863 public comments that have already been submitted to the FDA online. Natural and unnatural read like Manichean synonyms for good and evil. Some comments are explicitly theological: "Natural should be limited to those ingredients that have been created by God." Others refer to violations of Mother Nature's intentions. Behind virtually all of them pulses an intense desire for salvation from modernity's perceived sins: GMOs, pesticides, chemicals, artificiality, synthetics. We ate, greedily, from the tree of scientific knowledge. Now we are condemned to suffer outside of Eden, unless we find a natural way back in.
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Kargar Kargar (@Kargar) on
Here's another informed article about our “techno-feudalistic" future.

"...we are headed toward an era of “techno-feudalism.” He imagines a plutocracy shut away “in gated communities or in elite cities, perhaps guarded by autonomous military robots and drones.” Under the old feudalism, the peasants were exploited; under the new arrangement, they’ll merely be superfluous. The best we can hope for, he suggests, is a collective form of semi-retirement. He recommends a guaranteed basic income for all, to be paid for with new taxes, levelled, at least in part, on the new gazillionaires."

OUR AUTOMATED FUTURE
How long will it be before you lose your job to a robot?
www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/12/19/our-automated-future
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Kargar Kargar (@Kargar) on
A partial solution to this conundrum of the new "unworking class" is the notion of a Guaranteed Basic Income, which is not mentioned at all in this brief article.
Some countries have already begun to experiment with this method.
Below is the link for an European network dedicated to Basic Income.

Basic Income European Network (BIEN)
basicincome.org/

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TheDale TheDale (@TheDale) on
Casinos are a great way to voluntarily siphon money out of your state. Locals play...lose....and some company somewhere else makes the money. It's a basically a scam.
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Jumper Jumper (@Jumper) on
There are a lot of taverns on this list. It's pretty cool that they've remained open so long and proof that alcohol is timeless!
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said Saïd Amin (@said) on
Oh yea, Trump's BS meter is on a whole new level and the only thing worse than a liar is a liar who is also a hypocrite. Conveniently ignoring facts is not limited to a segment of Trump supporters; I've certainly seen my fair share of Clinton & Bernie supporters repeatedly bury their head in the sand when faced with unpleasant truths #confirmation-bias

Personally, I'd rather be hurt by the truth than protected/comforted by a lie.
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) replied to Saïd Amin (@said) on
This whole Caste system is another significant point to keep in mind while discussing India's transition into 21st century.
In ancient Persia we also had a Caste system of our own, which some claim was basically another import from our Indian brethren.
Another 'import' from India that had very significant ramifications on Iran's history was when Khomeini's grandfather was imported as a Shia clergy from India to the area around Isfahan, which is called today Khomein.
Incidentally with advent of Islam in Iran our ancient Persian caste system was abolished in favor of another caste system: the ruling caste of Shia clergy.
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said Saïd Amin (@said) replied to ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) on
...as an addition to your last point, India will never truly be democratic (or unified) so long as its inhuman and immoral caste system denies people of equal rights -- equal rights irrespective of caste, creed or color.
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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) replied to ashianeh (@ashianeh) on
Sobering reminders, while we're at it let's not forget that India surpasses England and most of the world also in:
- Defecation in the streets
- Femicide
- Rape and sexual harassment
- Child hunger
and a number of other very disturbing social pathologies.
India is on trajectory to become a world economic power, in terms of its annual GDP and other economic macro indices. But how much of this economic growth is going to actually translate into social harmony and equality is an open question.
What is undeniable is that Narendra Modi's hyper neoliberalism will further polarize social and class inequalities in India. His latest "currency" fiasco is a stark reminder.

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ashianeh ashianeh (@ashianeh) on
So does poverty. So does income inequality.
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Kargar Kargar (@Kargar) replied to Saïd Amin (@said) on
"Is capitalism sustainable? (no, most likely not)"
We underestimate Capitalism at our own peril.
As a mode of production Capitalism has proven to be an incredibly dynamic and resilient mode of production, and as long as it is able to accumulate capital and generate profit it will be able to sustain itself.
In recent years global environmental crisis and advent of AI assisted automation are once again raising the prospects of Capitalism's demise, but it's not inconceivable that both these crises won't be able to resolved through a Capitalist approach, without any major, qualitative disruption into process of capital accumulation or profit generation.
Hypothetically speaking Capitalism could be overcome through a global, long-term, protracted war of attrition by a working class organized on an international scale, but the international working class is years away from initiating such a campaign.
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PersianReporter PersianReporter (@PersianReporter) replied to Saïd Amin (@said) on
When you get to work and realize that the end is near!
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said Saïd Amin (@said) replied to Kargar (@Kargar) on
Is capitalism sustainable? (no, most likely not)

There was plenty of Internet ridicule when Elon Musk recently said that "There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation." Well, that sure doesn't sound so far-fetched to me.

The speed of technological advancement is moving faster than 'The Flash'. Research shows that every 12 to 18 months, computers double their capabilities, and so do the information technologies that use them. That's crazy, or more to the point, disruptive.

What is low-skill/entry level labor to do? As you said, their jobs will soon disappear. Forever. So as to make ends meet they'll need a college education (unaffordable to many) or will need to teach themselves skills that are in demand (albeit at a disadvantage when competing for jobs against people who have the same skill AND a college education).

The irony is that as companies jump on the latest innovations/tech advancements to help them achieve greater efficiencies and profits, they are contributing to a shrinking middle class. A shrinking middle class is not only bad for the health of the economy at large, it's also bad for businesses that will eventually find themselves with less customers able to afford their goods and services.
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Kargar Kargar (@Kargar) on
Not only this is true for many other cities across the US, but it is also true for ALL OVER the world.
The big news which not too many people are talking about right now is that even most of these service sector, low-skill, entry level jobs will be gone forever is a decade or so (mainly due to AI and automation).
If it's hard right now (which is pretty challenging) just imagine what the circumstances will be in an economy inundated with AI and automation.
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Dakho Dakho (@Dakho) on
Expansion of automation is nothing new, the novelty of this latest round of automation is how it's combining with AI, on a global scale, leading to elimination of many low-skilled positions.
This is the future and to a large extent unstoppable and unavoidable.
The same way automobiles replaced horse-carts in the beginning of 20th century, AI will replace our current cars with self-driving cars of the 21st century.
According to an "Economist" report, in a decade or so 15% to 25% of current low-skilled positions will be eliminated due to advances in AI and automation.

The Solution: Guaranteed Basic Income.

Basic Income European Network (BIEN)
basicincome.org/
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john John Skorick (@john) on
I've commented on Theranos before but each time more news like this comes out, I can't help but feel disappointed. What looked like such promising technology, with the potential to help multiple millions, was mostly smoke and mirrors.
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ashianeh ashianeh (@ashianeh) on
Hopefully, this ruling will encourage other uber drivers across the world to go after the company and win against exploitation.
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