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AI Robotics

Jack Ma: In 30 Years People Will Work Four Hours a Day and Maybe Four Days a Week (cnbc.com) 472

There could be benefits from artificial intelligence, self-made billionaire, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma said, as people are freed to work less and travel more. From a report: "I think in the next 30 years, people only work four hours a day and maybe four days a week," Ma said. "My grandfather worked 16 hours a day in the farmland and [thought he was] very busy. We work eight hours, five days a week and think we are very busy." He added that if people today are able to visit 30 places, in three decades it will be 300 places. Still, Ma said the rich and poor -- the workers and the bosses -- will be increasingly defined by data and automation unless governments show more willingness to make "hard choices." "The first technology revolution caused World War I," he said, "The second technology revolution caused World War II. This is the third technology revolution."
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Jack Ma: In 30 Years People Will Work Four Hours a Day and Maybe Four Days a Week

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:10AM (#54661707)

    No one will have full time employment, everybody will be working multiple jobs just to rent some shitty hole in the wall and buy trash food

    Meanwhile Quintillionaires will be jerking themselves off in space

    FUTURE!

    • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:35AM (#54661913)

      No one will have full time employment, everybody will be working multiple jobs just to rent some shitty hole in the wall and buy trash food

      Meanwhile Quintillionaires will be jerking themselves off in space

      FUTURE!

      Highly unlikely that would happen.

      Instead Quintillionaires would hire prostitutes to do that for them.

  • by cellocgw ( 617879 ) <cellocgwNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:11AM (#54661727) Journal

    People said that back in the 1950s too. Then along came this thing called greed, and its enabler called power.

    • People said that back in the 1950s too. Then along came this thing called greed, and its enabler called power.

      Umm, are you really dumb enough to think that greed came along in the '50s or later? If so, I've got a bridge to sell you cheap.

      • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @12:12PM (#54662303) Homepage Journal

        What's new is the MBA. It gives greed the tools to look under more rocks for coins to scrape into their own coffers. Or another way of looking at it, the MBA enhances the ability of the greedy to pull threads out of the fabric of society to feather their own already-opulent nests.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 )

        Correct. Greed was temporarily suppressed from the '30s to '60s. Then it started to creep back in, and finally Reagan opened the floodgates for Greed in the early '80s, and now here we are, most of us massively more productive and just a few of us reaping the benefits of that increase in productivity.

    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @12:31PM (#54662507)
      I so wish I had mod points for you. However, I am sad to say you time frame is off a bit. It was John Maynard Keynes that first made this prediction in the 1930's actually [businessinsider.com]. In the 1950's science and science fiction were both forecasting that technology advances would eliminate our need to work. Jack Ma is a tad bit late to the party. A better question he could answer is: why is it taking longer than predicted?
    • by torkus ( 1133985 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @12:51PM (#54662699)

      One of the better metrics I've seen for the level of greed and money/power consolidation is the ratio of executive pay to average salary in companies. While it used to be ~10x, last I looked it was more like 100x.

      One can also look at the 1%-ers (and even the 5-10%-ers) and the enormously disproportionate amount of the global finances they control.

      The 30 year guess is kind of ironic to me personally. Somewhere between 25 and 30 years ago I 'discovered' robots and all the amazing things they could do in factories...replacing people or at least large parts of their jobs. I was excited and in my naive young mind though 'oh wow, with all these robots to do the work people will get to work less but make the same money because the company can make the same amount of things for less work and people have more time to do things with their family' ... I believe I wrote a short essay about it for some english class even.

      Fast forward almost the 30 predicted years this article mentions and ... we're in exactly the OPPOSITE position (at least in the US). People are working substantially MORE hours and generally being paid LESS. A MUCH larger portion of the country is receiving welfare in one sort or another all while healthcare costs are ballooning and things like pensions simply don't exist outside of government jobs.

      I'm not sure where the cliff in the graph is, but the power consolidation has immensely accelerated in the past few decades to the point that there's zero chance of this prediction coming true unless some great calamity changes things.

  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:12AM (#54661729)

    In Europe we are working on it (35 workweek. 30 days holiday. Sick days are not holidays, maternity and paternity leave, ...)

    In the US, if the current situation is any indication there will be one poor chap working 16 hours a day for 6 days a week for a minimum wage and all the rest will be called unemployed slackers and get nothing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's right. It's a continual spiral down to a third world country for us.

      People know it and instead of electing a leader that could help, we got Trump. We are doing it to ourselves .

      We need to get it through our collective heads that the America we think exists - work hard and you are guaranteed success - is loooong gone thanks to globalization, automation and our aging population.

      The only thing that will help the average person is a European types of policies. Otherwise, we are going to see some serious

      • Thank you for your poor impression of an American, Mr. European Anonymous Poster.

      • The only thing that will help the average person is a European types of policies.

        Yes, it's working so well for them. What makes you think it will work any better here?

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @12:37PM (#54662573)

        Otherwise, we are going to see some serious upheaval - people are going to revolt.

        Instead of revolting, people can just vote for what they want instead of voting for what they don't want. The Libertarian and Green party candidates who promised real change got a collective 4% of the vote. That doesn't seem like a groundswell for change. Somebody too apathetic to vote likely will also be too apathetic to join a revolution.

        And we have guns

        The gun owners voted for Trump.

        Anyway, the current economy is working very well for me, and revolutions have an extremely poor track record of improving living conditions, so I'll just make some popcorn and hope your revolution is televised.

    • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:27AM (#54661853) Homepage

      there will be one poor chap working 16 hours a day for 6 days a week for a minimum wage
      No, there'll be two of them working 8 hours a day, 3 days a week at two different jobs. Full time employees generally expect benefits.

    • by Bozzio ( 183974 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:39AM (#54661955)

      Hear hear.

      I've been alternating between working for 1-2 years and then taking a sabbatical for 1-2 years for a while now and it's great. I can afford this because I don't have any debt. I don't have any debt because I don't own a house, a car, or any other luxuries. I live very frugally. I've chosen this lifestyle because typically after about 18 months in the workplace my mental health suffers.

      I'm not suggesting the entire world adopts this approach, I'm just saying this it what works for me.

      Now, I'm a software engineer so when I work it pays well. This allows me to have a 50/50 work/sabbatical balance. But, I often wonder if other careers could swing this as well but with a different ratio. I believe the key is not living beyond your means.

      I'm fortunate in that, where I live, I can get by without a car or a house. However, where I grew up (North America) this just isn't possible. In order to be part of the workforce you often need a very expensive minimum set of equipment. You can't get to work without a car. There is no affordable lodging near work.

      So, in addition to changing the length of the typical workweek, I think we should also be changing how people access work.

      This isn't the 50s anymore. Houses and cars aren't cheap anymore.

      • by Bozzio ( 183974 )

        I'm jet lagged and haven't had breakfast yet... so forgive me if the above post is complete gibberish.

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        The question is whether your living arrangements are cheaper in the long run. For example, yes my house was more expensive than renting, until I paid it off (particularly since I paid it off before I turned 30, it took a lot of up front money every month to pull that off). Now I merely pay insurance and property tax, and it's dirt cheap. People tend to get in the bad habit of comparing rent to mortgage and presuming both are eternal expenses.

      • If you don't own a house, you have an infinite debt. Anywhere you go, it will be someone else's space, and they will charge you continuously and indefinitely for the use of it. If you're still in that situation when you're too old to work, you will die in the street when you can no longer bribe others to let you stay at their place. The only possible way to be actually debt-free is to own your own land, free and clear.

        • I agree. While there are days when I miss being able to call up my landlord to say "X is broken, fix it", I don't miss my landlord increasing our rent every time our contract ran out because of all of the things he needed to fix. (Like it's my fault the AC unit broke and needed to be fixed. If you're advertising an apartment as having central AC, it should be WORKING central AC!)

          It's a matter of are you going to pay $X one time to fix it on a house you own/pay mortgage on? Or will you pay a smaller $Y extra

        • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @12:40PM (#54662605) Homepage

          If one applies that logic to food, which you actually need more desperately than shelter (in most weather situations) then you are in your concept of "infinite debt" until you own a farm.
          More than a farm, actually; you aren't free of purchasing SOME needs from the rest of society until you have a medieval freehold (house, farm, livestock, smelter and blacksmithery, forest and sawmill, fiber crops and weaving factory...I could go on).
          Your viewpoint is made clearer by your insistence on not just owning a condo or shares in a building co-op, but "your own land, free and clear" which is why I brought up the medieval freehold.
          You are welcome to emulate that with a Unibomber shack and a large garden. Me, I think I can trust society and that a member of it with little pieces of paper that say "actually the world DOES owe me a living, I saved for 30 years and can now pay my rent forever with my pension", has a safer hold on life than the shack-guy.

        • by iCEBaLM ( 34905 )

          If you don't own a farm, you have an infinite debt. Anywhere you o, it will be someone else's food, and they will charge you continuously and indefinitely for the use of it. If you're still in that situation when you're too old to work, you will die in the street when you can no longer bribe others to give you their food. The only possible way to be actually debt-free is to own your own farm, free and clear.

    • No thats not the way it works. My co-workers in the UK work long hours coding just as they do here in the US. You are comparing salary vs wage. Hourly wage is normally 40 hours for overtime, thats 96 hours a week, someone is making bank in OT for a min wage lower skilled job. The normal shift job will work you 9 hours with 1 hour lunch/breaks not including the start/end of shifts on your time.

      The UK gets bank holidays which we don't, but they also don't even get paid the same as their US counterparts, an

    • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:57AM (#54662131)

      The European work week is all over the map. The US, on the other hand, is simply about OECD average, similar to Japan, Ireland, and Italy.

      https://www.usnews.com/news/be... [usnews.com]

      And despite average working hours, US wages are among the top in the world.

      But, hey, don't let facts rain on your anti American parade.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dinfinity ( 2300094 )

        similar to Japan, Ireland, and Italy

        Actually, people in Italy and Japan work 60 to 70 hours less a year according to your own source. If you accept that as 'similar', then the US is also similar to:
        - Lithuania and Estonia (these were Sovjet states less than 30 years ago)
        - Turkey
        - Hungary
        All these places have a minimum wage of below 500 EUR/month.

        Furthermore:
        - Italy isn't doing too well economically. Southern Italy in particular isn't really a shining example.
        - Japan has a cultural problem of overworking: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
        Irela

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:15AM (#54661753)

    Or as it is currently known, "DMV" or "The Congress"...

  • This would only be true if ownership of the automatons is widely distributed. Whoever owns the robots will get more for less work. If that's all of us, then we all get this wonderful utopia. If it's a tiny fraction of us, then they get this utopia and everyone else is disposable.

    • The super-rich will invest heavily in two types of robots: workers and soldiers. They are already getting the first type and as soon as they get the second type they will be able, as planned, to get rid of those who have no money to pay for yachts, working robots and soldier robots (hint: us).
      • by swb ( 14022 )

        I don't think this is nearly as far-fetched as it sounds, but what I'm curious about is if the rich will eventually pursue depopulation strategies to simply wipe out the masses of poor people.

        I would assume that further wealth concentration would be destabilizing. Even if you have fortified zones and robotic soldiers, it's a lot of resources to deploy just to keep the poor at bay. Even if keeping them at bay is wildly successful, there would still be armed factions to contend with and some small existenti

      • Rule #1: Don't build a robot army to systematically murder your customer base. -Adam Smith

        No one ever got "I can afford a robot army"-rich selling a product that only other rich people can afford.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:18AM (#54661771)

    Ever since the middle of the 20th Century, the reduced work week has been a touted benefit of all the automation and technology advances. It hasn't happened yet, but I think it might with this next shift.

    UBI is a good idea, but it won't get implemented in the US until the alternative is the majority of the population living in poverty. Reducing the work week and maybe the societal dependency on a 5-day, 40-hour job that you physically commute to might offer a safety valve. The problem is how you keep business owners from turning this into a gig-economy nightmare where no one has stable income and can't afford to buy anything -- or doesn't feel safe buying things. Consumerism in the US worked previously because people were reasonably sure they would have a steady paycheck to cover expenses, and if they lost their job one would be available at another company. This is a fundamental shift that I don't think we're ready for yet.

    • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:25AM (#54661833) Homepage Journal
      Do you know when the 40-hour work week began? Railroad workers finally got it in 1916; it became a general part of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1937. Most people were working 10-16 hour days.
      • by sl3xd ( 111641 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @01:47PM (#54663243) Journal

        A good article on the subject is at PolitiFact [politifact.com]

        The TL;DR version is that the AFL-CIO started campaigning for a 40-hour week in 1886. There was a workplace explosion three days after the AFL-CIO's announcement, killing several, and resulting in a few trials & executions. That brought the 40-hour work week into international news, where it remained.

        The Ford Motor company famously introduced the policy in 1914, but wasn't the first company to do so. A couple of years later, a strike by railroad workers crippled the nation's commerce, so the government mandated they get overtime pay in 1916. (This is not unlike strikes by longshoremen in recent years).

        Overall, the labor unions deserve most of the credit, for doggedly pursuing the idea and seeing progress for nearly sixty years.

        • Yep. It came into fruition sixty years after it came into the political mind; that's still actually pretty recent--a century ago.

          Every technological advancement reduces the labor required to produce things. This can only do one of three things: increase unemployment; increase individual wealth; or decrease working hours. It can blend those things--go half in on one and another--but it can't do other things in regard to wealth.

          So on the unemployment front, we went into a labor force participation rat

    • "Ever since the middle of the 20th Century, the reduced work week has been a touted benefit of all the automation and technology advances. It hasn't happened yet"

      It has happened: you need to earn very little money to live a 1950's lifestyle, with 1950's health care, housing, safety, transportation, etc. People simply want more than that.

      "UBI is a good idea, but it won't get implemented in the US until the alternative is the majority of the population living in poverty"

      Between welfare, social security, and E

    • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @12:38PM (#54662589)

      Indeed, in 1930 John Maynard Keynes famously predicted [slashdot.org] that by 2030 we'd by working 15 hours days.

      Keynes predicted that this would be accomplished through a 4- to 8-fold increase in worker productivity. Well, we're basically on track to the 8-fold productivity goal by 2030, but everyone is still working 40-hour weeks. Why?

      It's easy to say (as some posts here already have) that from a practical standpoint our cost of living has increased. if we all wanted the kind of lifestyle from 1930s tech, we'd likely to be able to survive on a lot less money.

      But that's a facile argument: even if someone wanted to live a 1930s lifestyle, how many employers really want someone who will only work 15 hours/week? Sure, there are plenty of part-time jobs, but they're generally minimum wage or not much higher. Unless you're a senior person who can dictate your own hours or have a long-established career that allows you to "consult" for only 15 hours/week, it's not really feasible in American culture to even make that choice.

      So where did the productivity go? That's the real question. Keynes assumed that the profits from the excess productivity would be distributed throughout the workforce, thereby making it feasible for workers to gradually reduce the worktime from 40 hours to 15 hours each week. Instead, the vast majority of the excess productivity profits have gone to benefit the owners and executives of companies. And to live a normal "middle-class" lifestyle of the 2010s, one still has to work 40 hours/week (or more). CEOs in the mid-1900s made perhaps 20 times the average worker salary. Today they make over 300 times the average worker salary.

      So, no offense to Jack Ma, but what exactly does he think will happen in the next 30 years that will break the trend of excess productivity and profits going to the upper classes, rather than being distributed more evenly and allowing less worktime?

      • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @01:47PM (#54663239)
        Predicted the phenomenon that is 'stigginit' or an entire class of people who would consistently vote against their own best interests. In particular he didn't forsee how easy it is for the owner class to put the working class at each other's throats. The concept of a "Welfare Queen" didn't really exist and the southern strategy was a few decades away.
  • by tylersoze ( 789256 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:18AM (#54661773)

    Hey I'm already doing that! I mean I really only do about 16 hours of effective work a week, but get paid for the full 40. Is that different than most people really?

    • Hey I'm already doing that! I mean I really only do about 16 hours of effective work a week, but get paid for the full 40. Is that different than most people really?

      I think that's true of many people. Cut the number of hours they have to work and they end up actually working a greater % of those hours.

  • BS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:22AM (#54661805) Homepage

    In 40 years....

    1. People will work 50-60 hours a week if they want a job.
    2. Most other people will work at call, via apps that will post x number of people needed for said task. It will be cheap work. No benefits. People will fight for it. More niche work will follow the Rover & Uber app model. Workers will be able to take jobs, earn reps. And hirers will post listing that will require a certain rep/xp level.

    It will suck....

    We will have transitioned to the neo-Feudalism economy.

    • Re:BS (Score:5, Funny)

      by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:40AM (#54661981)

      Fortunately, in 40 years I'll be almost 80, and only 20 years away from being able to finally retire.

    • In 40 years....

      1. People will work 50-60 hours a week if they want a job. 2. Most other people will work at call, via apps that will post x number of people needed for said task. It will be cheap work. No benefits.

      That's a mistake to extrapolate linearly based on the recent past years. The trend is more communication and more attention to people. The current situation buried in the old system (eg Trump) is only a trampoline to access a complete new society (universal income is one example). Will take less than 15 years imho.

      • "The trend is more communication and more attention to people."

        Where do you see this?

        I see the following...

        - Reduced Benefits, a vast number of employees find their current jobs offer less benefits, and less vacation/personal time than what they had 20 years ago.

        - Increased healthcare, sure Obamacare yada yada...but the truth is, we are now paying thousands of dollars more for healthcare. And rather than the small co-pays we had 20 years ago. We have huge deductibles plus high co-pays.

        - Corporations are det

  • Today's "modern" technology was supposed to do something like that too, right? Washing machines, dishwashers, et al can all do the job faster than hand washing, and databases can cross-reference information much faster than sifting through filing cabinets, and networks allow for almost instantaneous transference of data, but people are working just as much, overall, as they did 70 years ago, it's just the duties have changed. Granted, we don't have have 16 hour days in a coal mine anymore, but that's prob

    • Granted, we don't have have 16 hour days in a coal mine anymore,

      Never fear, POTUS and fiends are working on that.

    • Today's "modern" technology was supposed to do something like that too, right?

      I would argue that what modern technology did was raise the standard of living for the average person. Middle-class folks have, to some degree, the ability to live in a manner which formerly was reserved to people rich enough to hire a staff to take care of their menial chores.

  • by clonehappy ( 655530 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:26AM (#54661843)

    There is no fucking way any employer will EVER let someone work 16 hours a day and pay them what they're currently paying them to work 40. It's not so much greed (well, it is) but the view that downtime=loafing=slackers. And slackers don't deserve more money or raises or perks, they need to shape up, get to work, or find some busy work to do. Also, it's the people who are so terrible at their job that it takes them 60 hours a week to do what I can do in 15, but they always look so busy and "persevere" through those tough times (that they caused through their own incompetence and mismanagement) that they get all the raises, bonuses and promotions.

    No, it would be nice, but it's a pipe dream that automation will ever do anything except destroy jobs and the middle class.

    We've been hearing about this shit since the 60s, and in the meantime the productivity of the average American worker has skyrocketed, while their pay has stagnated or been on decline since some time in the late 70s I believe. What does this trend tell you?

  • by ToasterTester ( 95180 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:28AM (#54661857)

    This was all predicted decades ago by many futurist writers, but what they didn't foresee is the greed of the 1% saying no we want it all screw everyone else. That's what all this global far right movement is all about. the rich trying to get the commoner to kill each other off, reduce burden on natural resources. It's the 1% form of population reduction.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Markets don't exist independent of consumers. The 1% are allowed to exist because consumers decided that it was ok to sell their neighbors down river as long as they got a pair of jeans for two dollars less by outsourcing the means of production to countries where some fish with their rice was still considered the high life.

      You people who act like the 1% was just born out of thin air and wall street policy are likely feeding the 1% instead of voting with your dollars. If all you anti-1%ers would vote with y

  • "The first technology revolution caused World War I," he said, "The second technology revolution caused World War II."

    Can someone clarify this statement to me? Did people start fighting because they had cars, or what?

    • story headline should be "Jack Ma threatens WORLD WAR III"
    • Rhetoric from a mold. Those are false statements but they fit the writer's narrative. If there's any answer to your question forthcoming at all it will be something along the lines of the technology available to the aggressor allowed it to start. Ignoring of course all the political and social crap which actually started it and the fact that the aggressor(s) had no problem starting things with lesser technology previously.

      'Cause, narrative.
  • I swear to God if those clowns had to put in an eight hour day they'd be in tears from the exhaustion.

  • "I think in the next 30 years, people only work four hours a day and maybe four days a week...if people today are able to visit 30 places, in three decades it will be 300 places."

    Oh really? People who are 100% disabled or on welfare work less than that, so they must be visiting over 500 places, right? Talk about your bullshit delusions that we would all be world travelers if we just didn't have to work.

    "...the rich and poor -- the workers and the bosses -- will be increasingly defined by data and automation unless governments show more willingness to make "hard choices." "The first technology revolution caused World War I," he said, "The second technology revolution caused World War II. This is the third technology revolution."

    Given the fact that we had a second World War for the same damn reason, it sure as shit doesn't demonstrate an ability for mankind to make smart choices the next time around.

    Greed is ultimately creating this, and has never given a shit about what it creates or destroys.

    Greed will e

    • I'm sorry, if I invest my capital in automation to make my employees more productive, I should give them some of the proceeds of those productivity gains [epi.org]? Hah.

      Maybe after I exhaust all other better ideas of what to do with the money.
  • by i_ate_god ( 899684 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:41AM (#54661993)

    World War 1 was started by an assassination that was used to impose unrealistic ultimatums on other countries, that triggered a cascade of mutual defence treaties to kick in and then everyone was fighting.

    World War 2 was started because Germany wanted a chunk of land that was predominately German and no one wanted to give it to them so they took it by force, which made everyone angry, and the Japanese used this brouhaha as cover for its own imperialist agenda.

    • World War 2 was started because Germany wanted a chunk of land that was predominately German and no one wanted to give it to them so they took it by force,

      I think you're being highly generous to Germany there. The war actually didn't start as WWII until they invaded Poland which they had split with Russia.

      That's much more than just claiming land that was predominantly German.

    • by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @11:58AM (#54662139)

      World War 2 was started because Germany wanted a chunk of land that was predominately German

      I'm pretty sure Poland was not predominantly German. You are thinking of the Sudetenland, which western powers were all too happy to hand over to Hitler on a silver platter (along with the rest of Czechoslovakia).

    • "The first technology revolution caused World War I," he said, "The second technology revolution caused World War II. This is the third technology revolution

      Yeah, this was sort of "when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor" statement. The first technological revolution was more coincident with the Civil War than anything else. World War II was started in every conceivable by Word War I -- they're basically one big rolling wave of political and economic turmoil.

    • Yeah, I was trying to wrap my head around what the dude meant there.

      If "technology" caused World War I, it was probably the development of gunpowder. If that's the case, it took its own sweet time arriving!

      And World War II? All the technology used in that war was many decades old, at least (with, again, gunpowder playing the central role).

    • You are only looking at the immediate causes, not the big picture

      There have been major European wars in every generation going back to time immemorial. Before WWI, there was the Franco-Prussian war, before that there was the Napoleonic War, before that the Seven Years War, before that was the War of Spanish Succession, before that was Thirty Years War etc. etc.

      But it was the technological advances that made the world wars uniquely devastating and changed that political landscape to specifically avoid fu

    • Technically there was only one World War, from 1914 to 1945, with a large ceasefire in the interim.
  • 4 hours a day to care for a vast tribe of geriatrics? 4 hours a day to flip burgers? 4 hours a day to cut hedges? 4 hours a day to service aircraft? 4 hours a day to write/debug AI?
  • Give them something to dream at night while the factories keep churning.
  • Shifts constantly changing, sometimes you'll get told when you work at the last minute and you get zero benefits, and the GOP will find some way to make it legal to pay less than the minimum wage if you don't work x hours a week.

    Gig economy... that's where the companies gig you the same way you would a large fish you caught, with a hook up your guts.

    But we don't need unions....

  • Lots of jobs already do 4 hours /day, 4 days a week. My boss for example (Joke). Not to mention a ton of people being screwed out of healthcare (you are part time, so I only giv eyou 24 hours a week ) But at the same time, lost of jobs already do 60 hour The question of 'normal' is silly. People have different needs.

    The real question is will the legal definition of 'full time' change to 4 hours/day and 4 days/ week, thereby requiring some offer of healthcare/401k for what is now considered part time w

  • My grandfather worked 16 hours a day in the farmland and [thought he was] very busy. We work eight hours, five days a week and think we are very busy.

    We are no longer rural societies. In rural societies, we worked on our farms side-by-side children and relatives. We ran our farms including taking care of the family and home as well. Today, because of the industrial revolution, we commute from our homes to our jobs and those things are separate. We work far more than eight hours when you take into con

  • by sombragris ( 246383 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @01:07PM (#54662859) Homepage

    Now: eight hour workdays, one hour commute in each leg. Total: 10 hours.

    The Future (TM): four hour workdays, three hour commute in each leg due to greater distances from home and increasing traffic congestions: Total 10 hours.

    So, I'd say it could even be worse.

  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2017 @01:12PM (#54662895)
    If I work less than 30 hours a week I loose my working train of thought. I become completely useless. 3 day weekend and I can work the day I come in. 4 day weekend and it takes me 3 days to get back into my projects. I suspect I might be on the extreme end but most non-repetitive jobs have a tipping point where if you take to long away from them you have a significant amount of time required to get back into the routine.

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