Monday, Debtember 15, 2003
Cheap horror flick
I surprised myself by not screaming like a little girl, although I did say “oh fudge” when it happened.
The onion. The knife. I put the blade to the onion, ready to slice it in half. The onion just sat there unconcerned about the eviceration I was about to start. That alone should have warned me, but no, I plunged ahead anyway. Knife. Meet onion skin. Only the knife didn't penetrate the onion skin. That's why the onion was so blasé about the situation—it knew! No knife of mine was good enough to penetrate its skin. Oh no! Good enough to penetrate my skin, but not the onion's.
No severed fingers though. That's good. But a bit too deep to grab a band-aid. I had to wake up Spring to have her get some band-aids as I was too busy keeping presure up on my right ring finger.
Three bandages later (two on my ring finger, a smaller one on my middle finger which also got knicked) and I noticed that I needed to change shirts. Figures that I'm wearing a white shirt. Well, at that point, a white shirt with small red dots covering the right side.
One shirt later, and I'm back in the kitchen. The onion was sitting on the counter, no doubt giggling to itself at the inept human who attempted onioncide. I look up at the cabinets, now adorned in little red polka-dots. I look up further, to the little red polka-dots adorning the ceiling.
Good lord, I thought. It looks like a scene from a cheap horror flick. My second thought was, How the fudge did I get blood all the way up there? That was a mystery to be solved later. First things first.
Muahahahahahaha! Take that, onion!
Some random thoughts on employment
So, the first real wave of robots did not replace all the factory workers as everyone imagined. The robots replaced middle management and significantly improved the performance of minimum wage employees. All of the fast food chains watched the Burger-G experiment with Manna closely, and by 2012 they started installing Manna systems as well. By 2014 or so, nearly every business in America that had a significant pool of minimum-wage employees was installing Manna software or something similar. They had to do it in order to compete.
In other words, Manna spread through the American corporate landscape like wildfire. And my dad was right. It was when all of these new Manna systems began talking to each other that things started to get uncomfortable.
This is the third science fiction story I've come across that goes into depth in a post-scarcity world; a computerized utopia where there are no wants for material items—the others being Prime Intellect and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Perhaps our apparent jobless economic recovery is a harbinger of things to come.
I remember reading a future employment scenario in one of Robert Anton Wilson's works and it was an interesting scenario. If you automate your own job—if you invent yourself out of a job in other words, you get a yearly government salary of $250,000/year. Anyone whose job is elimited because of automation will get $25,000/year. An intriguing idea but one I don't really see coming about.
Another aspect of this “jobless recovery” I've been hearing about is that more and more people are just giving up on being employed and thus a large number of people are turning entrepreneurial, leading to a vast number of now self-employed (which as a figure probably won't show up until the next year or so).
There's a coherent thought in here somewhere … I just have to find it.