Manna

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Rob Lister
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Manna

Post by Rob Lister » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:03 pm

As a professed skeptic I admit to being a bit peeved that I was halfway through the intro before I realized it was fiction.

Still, a wonderful read.
http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm
A tiny sample
"It doesn't matter if you are a hard worker or a slacker -- once you put on the headset, you are going to be working every minute of the day or you are gone. The system has already fired five people."

"What's it have you do all day?" There were something like 50 people working in the supercenter at any given time -- it was a 200,000 square foot store.

"Manna has you moving through the store aisle by aisle. I bet I am walking six or eight miles a day right now. I am constantly straightening merchandise on the shelves. Manna knows where I am, and it knows where everything is on the shelves, so it asks me item by item to straighten them. Manna wants everything on the shelves looking perfect. It is also big on restocking. So it will ask me, 'How many rolls of masking tape are on the shelf?' Whenever anything gets low, it has me go to the back and bring stuff out to the shelves. It knows what is selling through the cash registers, so it knows exactly when to restock everything and it makes sure that every single item in the store is fully stocked."

"That doesn't sound so unusual." I said. "It's not unusual, except that Manna is telling you exactly what to do every second of every day. If it asks you to go to the back and get merchandise, it tells you exactly where to walk to go get it. And here is the weirdest part -- I never see another employee the entire day. The way it makes me walk, I never run into anyone else. I can go for a full shift and never see another employee. Even our breaks are staggered. Everyone takes their breaks alone. We all arrive at staggered times. It's like Manna is trying to totally eliminate human interaction on the job."
The nut of it is that AI is going to kill middle management way before it kills minimum wage employees.

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Anaxagoras
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Re: Manna

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:05 am

First three chapters are pretty interesting. From Chapter 4 it starts to get into what does the government do with all the unemployed people. I'm more skeptical about either the super dystopian society or the utopian one. It's interesting to explore these ideas though.
Spoiler:
One idea is the government just puts them in these massive "dorms" built and staffed by robots as public housing that are little better than prisons. Haven't really had time to read chapter 5 yet, but it sounds like another utopian fantasy.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Re: Manna

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:20 am

What does the government need all those people for?

People cause trouble. :)
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Re: Manna

Post by Pyrrho » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:47 am

Image
The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.

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Rob Lister
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Re: Manna

Post by Rob Lister » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:26 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:First three chapters are pretty interesting. From Chapter 4 it starts to get into what does the government do with all the unemployed people. I'm more skeptical about either the super dystopian society or the utopian one. It's interesting to explore these ideas though.
Spoiler:
One idea is the government just puts them in these massive "dorms" built and staffed by robots as public housing that are little better than prisons. Haven't really had time to read chapter 5 yet, but it sounds like another utopian fantasy.
Spoiler:
Utopian?
Keep reading.

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Re: Manna

Post by Witness » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:25 am

Obligate reference:

Image

By the Master of the gathering of the manna (sic), 1460 – 1480.

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Re: Manna

Post by Anaxagoras » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:46 am

Rob Lister wrote:
Anaxagoras wrote:First three chapters are pretty interesting. From Chapter 4 it starts to get into what does the government do with all the unemployed people. I'm more skeptical about either the super dystopian society or the utopian one. It's interesting to explore these ideas though.
Spoiler:
One idea is the government just puts them in these massive "dorms" built and staffed by robots as public housing that are little better than prisons. Haven't really had time to read chapter 5 yet, but it sounds like another utopian fantasy.
Spoiler:
Utopian?
Keep reading.
Finished it. It's one guy's version of utopia. It's probably a pipe dream although maybe some of the technologies in it, or similar technologies might someday be a reality. Intelligent robots for example.
Spoiler:
The vertabrane system sounds a little far-fetched and more than a little ominous, but I think the author is totally for it. "Utopias" are generally always totalitarian societies. The original one (Thomas More's Utopia) certainly was totalitarian. Dissidents tend to be a problem. People who don't follow the rules for whatever reason.

But the way he describes it, people would be pretty much free to do anything except harm other people. No privacy. Everything you ever do would be recorded. He seems to think privacy is bad because it allows people to do bad things. There's no crime in his utopia because the system (referees or whatever) can tell when you are about to commit a crime and take over your body.

What do you think? If for the sake of argument we assume that all this is possible, would it be worth the trade-off?

The terrafoam dorms, I don't buy that one. I think ultimately robots will make life better for the average person.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

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Re: Manna

Post by gnome » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:11 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:
Spoiler:
But the way he describes it, people would be pretty much free to do anything except harm other people. No privacy. Everything you ever do would be recorded. He seems to think privacy is bad because it allows people to do bad things. There's no crime in his utopia because the system (referees or whatever) can tell when you are about to commit a crime and take over your body.
What do you think? If for the sake of argument we assume that all this is possible, would it be worth the trade-off?
I don't like it. In criminal justice, sometimes innocence results from justification for an act, i.e. something initially thought to be a crime was not. Whatever system exists, I would not trust to prior restraint on that complete of a level -- they will inevitably inhibit freedom by blocking acts that ultimately would have been justifiable in court--and that presumes the tech is always used with good intent. Civil disobedience would be impossible, as well. Even though that is not a legal justification, it is sometimes a necessary act.

A society that had such tech, could as easily use it to become not free at all--when the only restraint is the good intentions of those that control the tech, that is not reliable defense of liberty.
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