Re: Science and Unemployment...

Mathew Shember (
29 Jun 1995 23:15:24 GMT

In article <3snjp4$>, (Madhudvisah dasa Swami) writes:
|> There are so many issues in this... Firstly I would like to say I am not
|> against science... It's natural, we have questioning minds so we want to
|> discover and utilize the things around us to improve our lives... We can't
|> stop it...

That is not what your previous posts said....

|> (Andrew Christy) wrote:
|> > (Madhudvisah dasa Swami) writes:
|> >>[follow-up set to science groups only]
|> >>
|> >> (Kevin Sterner) wrote:
|> >>
|> >><snip>
|> >>And why is that? Because science has produced so much wonderful advanced
|> >>technology and abolished the jobs they used to do... If the society
|> >>provided jobs they could do these people [who are now unemployed] would
|> >>work and be fine upstanding citizens... They would be paying tax, they
|> >>would be consuming... they wouldn't be a burden at all. But how can they
|> >>be productive? Your machines are doing all the work! It is a great
|> >>paradox... you are making "advancements" but your "advancements" are
|> >>putting people out of work. You then have to pay them social security
|> >>[which comes out of your own pockets] As you "advance" more and more so
|> >>many more become unemployed as a result... Thus science destroys the
|> >>society...
|> >>
|> >Madhudvisah, you are (as usual, I'm afraid) talking out of the
|> >wrong orifice.
|> It is a little strong perhaps, but the paradox is there, you can't deny
|> that. All the scientific advancements come with a cost attached...
|> But science is working to make jobs easier as well. Once one would have to
|> know some basic arithmetic to work as a shop assistant... But now one just
|> waves things at the scanner and takes the money and gives the customer
|> back what the computer tells him to... Almost anyone could do it...
|> >'Science' (to which you seem irrationally opposed) is simply the pursuit
|> >of deeper understanding of nature through observation and hypothesis-
|> >testing.
|> "Science" is the natural quest of knowledge by man. I am not opposed to
|> it. It is quite natural. I am opposed to the efforts of some of the
|> scientists who are using science to try and prove there is no God...

Please offer some names....

|> I
|> know there are many scientists who believe in God... But science is the
|> "religion" of the athiests...

Science is not a Religion. It is a tool. Thus it is a tool to the athiests.

|> I am opposed to the idea that science
|> generally won't consider the possibility of the existence of the soul, a
|> spiritual force whose symptom is consciousness.

It is not sciences job to prove/disprove God.

|> I'm not suggesting
|> everyone has to "believe" in the soul, but just that such a theory is
|> valid and should be considered.

You have that right.

|> I am also opposed to the fact that science
|> tends to be hostile toward theories that include God... I propose one can
|> state a scientific theory that includes the acceptance of God and the
|> eternal spirit soul and such scientific theories should be considered,
|> scientifically, on their merit, alongside any other scientific theory...

Ahh now the problem. You should say Scientists, not science. Scientists are
hostile to the dogmatic assertions made by Religious beliefs. They are opposed
to the censorship that many Religious types try to execute when their "morals"
are offended. Scientists are opposed to people who try to argue things they don't
really understand or make false assertions.

These are just a few of my opinions I am sure the others have their own.

|> < snip >
|> >>
|> >>You [the scientists (BTW I was a computer systems analyst before so I did
|> >>a fair share of it myself too)] are forcing them into poverty and
|> >>oppression by taking away their jobs.
|> >Elephant's testicles.
|> > I could argue that basic research *creates*
|> >jobs for bright 'overqualifieds' and takes them out of competition with
|> >others for less specialised jobs.
|> >>Not many people want to be
|> >>unemployed. Mostly they are ready to work at something, but many people
|> >>are not super-intelligent, they are suited to manual laboring, farm work,
|> >>etc... But where are the jobs for them now... You have the tractors and
|> >>the computers doing it...
|> >Funny thing to say for someone who claims to be an ex-systems analyst.
|> >Computers need programming, operation, and maintenance. Plenty of
|> >jobs for humans there. Left to themselves, computers don't 'do'
|> >anything.
|> That's true to a certain extent. But once the programs are written you
|> don't need programmers.

Ah? you forgot maintenace.... Hardware and OS changes....

|> With todays tools anyone can "program" most
|> things... You don't need a programmer to set up a data-base, install a
|> business package, or even to set up a server on the Internet [of course
|> it's still a little tricky but someones bound to release a foolproof
|> self-configuring automatic package you just have to plug in...]

You have combined the Data Base Administrator, a systems administrator, a
network adminstrator with the programmer.

Even if the self configuring approach does occur, that will still have to be
updated as the hardware and OS changes.

|> Operators are still common at big sites but this is more or less because
|> they haven't caught up with the technology yet. We are living in an
|> increasingly "distributed" world.

True, when considering mainframes.

|> Everyone wants control over their own
|> data, their own processing,

Knowledge is power....

|> so the "operators" are becoming displaced. The
|> operators traditionally mounted tapes for backups and for archives... Now
|> there is lots of disk space so you keep the archives on-line and you have
|> a robot to mount the tapes for the backups.

But it still requires operators to put tapes in the robot and take them out for
off site storage. Disk is still expensive when considering the amount of data
companies want to keep. Your "displacement" is more of a lessor need. I was
an operator and it took a staff of 12 to run a shop. With the new computers,
I believe it is not 7. Anybody that wants a career out of being an operator...I
just don't know....

|> The operators used to mount all the different forms on the printers and
|> "burst" the multi-part reports... But there are not so many reports [of
|> course some sites still print them out of habit... but you don't need them
|> usually because everything is on-line] and you don't need to change the
|> forms because the lazar printers print the forms as well!. Anyhow whatever
|> printing has to be done mostly the users do it themselves...

This is bad? Online data saves trees....

|> And maintenance... Things don't break down so much now... Of course there
|> are still heaps of things to do to try and get things to work at big sites
|> but that's bad hardware design more than anything else. Look at the mac.
|> How much maintenaince is required there? How many operators? and How many
|> programmers?

You live in a sheltered world. I am a systems administrator. My site has over
350 workstations from all vendors, as well as servers, pcs, and macs. The
hardware is stronger than in the past but there is still a need to help users.
Not every user is an adminstrator. Many programmers think they are and they are

I don't know the count of our programmers but it is well past 50 at this site
and we are looking for more. There is much maintenance involved....

|> I am a computer programmer but I have Microsoft Works. It has a nice
|> spreadsheet and a simple database and I haven't had to write a program
|> since....

For small purposes yep. But like in my companies products, lets see you design
a chip on a pc kit. Not gonna happen(yet). Still requires programmers. There
is always one more bug....

|> There is not the momentum in the computer industry that there used to be.

You forgot multimedia, the "superhighway", to name a few....

|> We have 100mhz+ processors in the pc's... That's fast enough!

For pcs maybe..

|> We have
|> System 7 for the mac's... It's perfect, who'd want anything else.

Tell that to a pc person.

|> Even
|> Windows 3.1 is quite satisfying... I use Page Maker for publishing and
|> there is very little one could wish for...
|> In the "good old days" I used to work with Vaxes and we'd go along to the
|> DECUS conferences with our "wish lists" for improvements to the operating
|> system, etc...

Vaxes?!? ewwwww. Try the Alphas...

|> But now I am quite happy... Page Maker 5 does everything I
|> want for publishing, Adobe photoshop 3.0 is so nice, and my good old
|> Microsoft Works, simple as it is, keeps me satisfied for databases and
|> spreadsheets.

Ok so whats your point. Before the pc revalution there was only mainframes.
A few guys said "hey wouldn't it be neat to have a computer in the home?"

|> I have seen at our university here they just have a big sun system which
|> is really just a big file server and internet machine and they have
|> mac-labs everywhere... I think that's the future. Big file servers and
|> distributed pc's and macs...


|> The big fileservers will become just as simple as the pc's and the macs
|> and installing and operating them will be no more difficult than
|> installing and operating a photocopier... So where's the DP industry?

DP is mainframe and it is dead. There will always be the need of a specialist.
Just ask how many people want to learn the ins/outs of unix. They don't. But
they will ask me when something goes wrong. The same is for pcs and macs. We
have roughly a 100 and only 9 of the community can be considered a high level

|> >It is true that there are less unskilled manual jobs than there used
|> >to be. All the more reason for people to learn new skills (which
|> >doesn't require 'super' intelligence).
|> Yes. I'm notticing it more and more. My point [that there are less
|> unskilled jobs] is really not valid. Actually most jobs are becoming
|> unskilled jobs... It's the skilled jobs that are vanishing!

That falls under money again. Managers want the highly skilled for an unskilled

|> >All the more sickening that
|> >the education systems of the developed world seem to be churning out
|> >an *increasing* proportion of innumerate illiterates.
|> Because thats all we need... Nice face, nice smile, and an ability to wave
|> things in front of a scanner and say "Have a nice day."

No it is because education is viewed as a necessary evil. People don't want
to give money to the states to produce proper schools. People don't go after
school districts for wasting money.

|> Also the students are too distracted to actually learn anything. They're
|> too busy chasing sex and reading the pornography on the net and talking
|> about sex on IRC...

Please...... I would have got the snot beat out of me if I wasted my parents
money. Besides it is the parents fault if they did not instill proper study
habits in children. Given a child a choice of doing math homework or going to the
movies what do you think they would do?

|> >It may be very economical but it's destroying
|> >>the society...
|> >>
|> >Nope. More destructive factors include the replacement of the neighbours+
|> >extended family network by the false ideal of the nuclear family and paranoia
|> >about the (unknown) neighbours, the
|> >destruction of even the support , trust and communication within the nuclear
|> > family by TV , subcultural distinctions between generations
|> >enhanced by advertising pressures, t he need for both
|> >parents to work long hours ... etc..etc..
|> I agree completely. Extended familes are the way to go... But it's not
|> good for consumption. They want everyone to live in their own personal
|> house, with their own personal car, their own personal lawn-mower, their
|> own personal microwave oven and their own personal 12 hour-a-day job... It
|> boosts the economy!

Again people are to blame. My mother liked to read. She read to me all the time
when I was little. Helped me learn to read and did things like go to the library,
buy favorite books etc etc. Guess what I like to do today?

The governement(which is what I assume you are refering to) may want all of what
you said are wanted. But like granny used to say "if Johnnie jumped of a bridge,
would you do it?"

|> >Unfortunately, we can't return to the 11th century, and even if we could,
|> >most people wouldn't like it very much. The main thing is to pinpoint the
|> >*real* problems with society rather than attcking scapegoats. Once we
|> >know whatis really wrong, we can work on changing it.
|> I also agree. Most people don't want to live simply and we can't turn the
|> clock back. We have to use things for the proper purpose though. The real
|> purpose of life is spiritual and all these material things can be used to
|> help people advance spiritually...

True. Every man dies, but not every man lives.

|> Thank you. Hare Krishna!
|> Madhudvisah dasa Swami
|> (
|> Quotes from His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
|> (c)Bhaktivedanta Book Trust