D&D and the rising pandemic

Hussar

Legend
Well, there's a couple of issues for blue collar jobs. One, obviously, is the Covid angle, but also, the push for a living level minimum wage is also a huge incentive for companies to figure out how to automate their workforce. The whole "Self-checkout" system that is gaining a lot of momentum is a sign of this.

I think we're about to see a lot more of "self checkout" and "self service" style restaurants, shopping malls and stores in the very near future.
 

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J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Well, there's a couple of issues for blue collar jobs. One, obviously, is the Covid angle, but also, the push for a living level minimum wage is also a huge incentive for companies to figure out how to automate their workforce. The whole "Self-checkout" system that is gaining a lot of momentum is a sign of this.

I think we're about to see a lot more of "self checkout" and "self service" style restaurants, shopping malls and stores in the very near future.
Yeah, I think covid just pushed up the time-frame on a lot of inevitable developments in labor (for fair compensation) and in business (for cost cutting). I just hope society at large manages to adapt as quickly as businesses do.
LoL. 😅
 

niklinna

Abstraction is a tool that streamlines gameplay.
Give it time. At least here in the US, sounds like the pandemic has accelerated some companies' adoption of tech to reduce the number of workers in hospitality, retail, transport, agriculture, warehousing, etc. Stuff that's been in the works for years anyway. Won't be overnight, but i suspect the pandemic will end up shortening the life left for blue-collar jobs in at least a few industries.
Oh, I went to a cinnamon roll shop the other week and instead of being able to tell a human being what I wanted, I had to deal with an awful automated kiosk with crap UI, which of course other people had been pawing all over (to put this comment slightly on topic). One reset due to said crap UI, and several inquiries for personal info that should have nothing to do with getting a simple snack later, I walked awy from the kiosk and out of the shop. (I also avoid self-checkout at stores because of multiple hassles and screwups by the oh-so-efficient technology.)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I mention it from time to time, here and there…but there is so much Sci-Fi that takes place in a post-scarcity setting, but I cannot think of one where an author closely examines the process of transitioning into such a world from one like our present day. That period is a bunch of Handwavium.

And we’re living in that glossed over part right now.

In 2012, a robotics company introduced a prototype modular robot that could be configured to do 200 different manufacturing tasks, with a purchase price and 5 year cost of operations equivalent to 5 years wages for an Indonesian factory worker.

A few years ago, medical diagnostic AI programs were averaging about 60% of the accuracy of trained physicians.

Every year, we’re seeing more automation in automobiles, and the big commercial jets pretty much fly themselves but for takeoffs and landings.

Nobody’s job is safe. I mean, we have a long way to go, but the pace of change is accelerating.

(FWIW, I don’t use self-checkout either, mainly because they routinely misbehave for me. Don’t know why, but I seem to be a problem for certain technologies, like fingerprint readers, touch screens and sometimes, motion detectors.)
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
UV light kills viruses, at least the airline commercial showing how they clean the seats between flights thinks so.

Any bar / tavern / restaurant that wants to rig UV lights on the ceiling and run the test (explaining what they are up to and asking for volunteers from the public) could offer sunscreen to the guests and have a Hawaii or tropical theme to the menu.

Sounds like the accepted practice for UV sterilization would be to install it in the ventilation, which would keep it off the patrons. No idea how much that would cost a restaurant, though.

 

nedjer

Adventurer
It's really only a solution for white collar type jobs. A lot of blue collar ones can't wfh.

So yeah I can see that rapidly becoming us vs them(moreso).

True but there are a cluster of causes there and white collar workers with time might contribute either way. Everyone has the climate and Covid to deal with and if we can't make something of the easier ways of transitioning we sure ain't going to make sudden jumps.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Oh, I went to a cinnamon roll shop the other week and instead of being able to tell a human being what I wanted, I had to deal with an awful automated kiosk with crap UI, which of course other people had been pawing all over (to put this comment slightly on topic). One reset due to said crap UI, and several inquiries for personal info that should have nothing to do with getting a simple snack later, I walked awy from the kiosk and out of the shop. (I also avoid self-checkout at stores because of multiple hassles and screwups by the oh-so-efficient technology.)
Yeah, they're pretty janky. (Though I've use grocery store self-checkouts for years now, and haven't had one screw up in quite a long while.) Anyway, the trend I've seen lately is doing it all via smartphone app, even in restaurant. Scan a QR code to bring up the menu, order, and someone brings it out to you. Cuts out the need for shared kiosks.

Main point is just that, yeah, tech is always screwy, at first. Then it gets fixed, and becomes the norm.
Remember when laser scanners were first used in grocery stores? Those things never worked! But now they're everywhere, and no one thinks twice about them.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
One of the middle schoolers in our virtual d&d game announced he had tested positive today. Hoping his family all stays healthy!
It's tearing through schools right now.

 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
It's tearing through schools right now.


Several of the local middle schools are closed (or just re-opened), along with a grade school or two and a high school or two. :-(

Our district of just under 9,000 students just had two middle schools and a grade school come out of shut-down iirc. It currently has 153 positives and 756 in quarantine. This district, and one of the cities in its boundaries just teamed up to put in a mask mandate and a funding mechanism that should get around the state law blocking them (by disallowing any state funds to be used).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Several of the local middle schools are closed (or just re-opened), along with a grade school or two and a high school or two. :-(

Our district of just under 9,000 students just had two middle schools and a grade school come out of shut-down iirc. It currently has 153 positives and 756 in quarantine. This district, and one of the cities in its boundaries just teamed up to put in a mask mandate and a funding mechanism that should get around the state law blocking them (by disallowing any state funds to be used).
I live in California and it's unfortunate, but none of the schools will even think of shutting down before the upcoming election. :(
 



If white collar workers think they are safe they are in for a big shock.

We've already seen how easy it is to outsource to countries that have lower salaries and no benefits. Just wait until some of the AI systems currently in development come online. Skynet is fiction, these intelligent systems that will replace everything from editors to lawyers even to doctors so far as diagnostics are concerned are real and we are on the cusp of deployment.

The reality is that corporations and society at large is going to have some tough decisions to make about how we go forward because the days of earning a wage in any discipline are numbered. Office workers can very easily be replaced, probably even easier than blue collar workers were in the nineties.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
UV light kills viruses, at least the airline commercial showing how they clean the seats between flights thinks so.

Any bar / tavern / restaurant that wants to rig UV lights on the ceiling and run the test (explaining what they are up to and asking for volunteers from the public) could offer sunscreen to the guests and have a Hawaii or tropical theme to the menu.

UV light intense enough to have a significant impact is actually unsafe to expose human skin to.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
If white collar workers think they are safe they are in for a big shock.

We've already seen how easy it is to outsource to countries that have lower salaries and no benefits. Just wait until some of the AI systems currently in development come online. Skynet is fiction, these intelligent systems that will replace everything from editors to lawyers even to doctors so far as diagnostics are concerned are real and we are on the cusp of deployment.

The reality is that corporations and society at large is going to have some tough decisions to make about how we go forward because the days of earning a wage in any discipline are numbered. Office workers can very easily be replaced, probably even easier than blue collar workers were in the nineties.

If everyone is screwed would they vote for parties making automation illegal?
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Here's MY (admittedly first world) pandemic problem:

I bought a preconstructed three-bedroom condo (four years ago) to give my kids their own rooms (they were sharing, and they're teenagers now). Delay after delay hit our build before the pandemic, and the pandemic has made it worse. And worse. Anyway, they said they'd be done by the end of July. So we sold our two-bedroom. They missed the end of July, but told us "for sure" they'd finish by the end of August. We were able to push-up our move out day until August 15. Well...

As you know THAT came and went. They now say "Maybe October?"

The hold-up is apparently some parts for one of the elevators. They can't source it, for whatever reason, and in spite of 99% of the building being finished, the City won't sign-off on occupancy until it's done-done.

So... I have been living (plus wife, two-teenagers, and golden retriever) in the back of my Comic Store. One room. No shower. No kitchen. (We have an instant pot, a toaster, and a microwave, and a beer fridge).

I think I might go insane in a week or two. We'll see.

(I admit, as far as problems go, and what with people dying in the world, my troubles are lightweight. Privileged, even. I recognise it, absolutely. Still sucks, though!)
 



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