Governmental Actions That Should Not Happen

The actions that governments should not be involved are legion. Today I am only going to discuss one of them. The way governments treats the destitute.

This article goes into detail about many of the most common ways local governments and businesses approach the homeless and destitute.

What is the danger in how government treats the homeless and destitute?

The danger is that larger and larger numbers of humanity may well be joining the homeless and destitute. I have covered many articles and my own projections of how AI or codops (computerized doppelgangers – or computer copies of human beings) will employment. Even conservative estimates in the single digits as to the numbers of people to be unemployed in the future are cause for concern – because 7% of the labor force would effectively more than double the number of unemployed people in the United States of America.

Homeless people are demonized in the United States of America – treated as less than human – not having rights to their personal belongings and chased from municipality to municipality in search of a safe place to stay for the night.

I know people in general do not feel they will ever be homeless; however, it is a reality that must increasingly be watched as automation, AI, and codop technologies become realities. The problem is that we don’t treat the homeless the way we would want to be treated if we were homeless.

This is critical to concepts like UBI (Universal Basic Income). This is not unemployment. This is a source of income not tied to work – because the amount of work left for humans to do will be limited by automation, AI, and robotics.

Given the vocal opposition to unemployment, medical benefits, and any income redistribution methods by major segments of the population and particularly vocal members of the Republican party it seems unlikely that UBI will become a part of our society.

Overall, it appears that our society lacks a certain empathy with people who have lost their economic power. It is ironic, that also in our society most families live only a few steps away from financial disaster.

So, what brought this about? Why did I write this article?

This article in particular disturbed me.

To summarize:

  1. A woman gets caught begging in Bath. Gets let off.
  2. She gets caught begging again in Bath violating parole.
  3. She gets sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, pay a fine of £115, and had to take part in a rehabilitation activity requirement.

It is hard to know where to begin with the lack of basic empathy or understanding for an individuals motives or the institutionalization of prosecution of the poor.

Perhaps that is what many of us have to look forward to – prosecution for being poor.

It seems unlikely that prison time will cure the problem causing the begging.

It is even less likely that she will be able to pay the £115 fine. What exactly are the penalties for not paying the fine? Fees? This community service/rehabilitation activity requirement – how does she get there? Does she get provided food while doing this service?

In Six Sigma there is a lot of exploration of root causes of problems in processes. Using Ishikawa/Fishbone diagrams to figure out the root causes of issues. It seems clear that even with a marginal amount of intelligence, empathy, and exploratory reasoning that the root cause of her begging can be determined.

At present, there are probably many jobs that go unfilled in Bath and vacant residences that could provide shelter. With an adviser to provide a connection between the homeless person, employer, shelter and to ensure they have enough food and necessities – this “detriment” to society could be converted to an asset.

In the future; however, jobs may become much more scarce. Government and society may well be as intolerant (or more) the more common homelessness becomes. How will the future turn out with large numbers of homeless people?

Technology Progresses Even When You Are Not Watching

There was a time when I was avidly into building my own desktop computers. My oldest son and myself built his first desktop computer. It was always exciting to me and I saved a few bucks over say buying a Dell and gave the satisfaction of having built a device that does a huge number of tasks (computers, not just for the internets).

Shortly after we built my oldest son’s computer I stopped really paying attention to computer component parts. At some point I’ll build a computer with my daughters and my younger son – but I suspect those will be tablets with Raspberry Pi motherboards.

Today, my hard drive (1TB) is out of space! It is a bit unreal as we always come in to new high capacity hard drives with the attitude “well I’ll never fill that up” even though we know we said that the last time we had multi-gigabyte hard drives, gigabyte hard drives and look at that snazzy 200MB hard drive on that 286.

So, it is not time to buy a new desktop computer, yet. This one is plenty fast enough to crunch through hundreds of millions of records in my SQL Server database that it just doesn’t make sense.

So, I went to Amazon to find a new larger hard drive.

Sticker Shock! Despite me analyzing data and making predictions sometimes you take a step back for two or three years and find…. wow, 5TB hard drives for $125.

I’ll never fill that up.

It just brings to mind the things I have been predicting about Watson level computing in the home, codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) and when it will be achievable, and the idea that one day there may well be billions more codops on Earth than there are physical humans.

If we want to admit it or not – we are definitely in the part of the curve where advances are coming ever quickly and soon to enter the singularity.

Hopefully, I will live long enough to see it.

Hopefully, humanity doesn’t screw itself up before we get there. Whatever that ‘there’ might be.