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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Border Control: a new short story
Old 08-19-2017   #1
Roger Hicks
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Border Control: a new short story

Set in a post Brexit Britain. Next up on the .eu site will however be another photography piece (as was the previous one, about a scrap Linhof).

Surprisingly few people realize that there have been two Anglo-Cornish wars since the late 15th century, and that Cornish armies invaded England. The first time we got as far as London; the second, only as far as Exeter.

The English, of course, label both as "rebellions". But when an army invades your country, calling it a mere rebellion smacks of trying to minimize something more serious.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-19-2017   #2
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If there is a Cornish Passport is it that hard to go to Germany on it? If you want to work in Germany from what we hear here anyone can come in and work even without a passport.
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Old 08-19-2017   #3
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If there is a Cornish Passport is it that hard to go to Germany on it? If you want to work in Germany from what we hear here anyone can come in and work even without a passport.
From whom are you getting this information? Because it's basically nonsense. Also, there is not (yet) a Cornish passport, not least because Brexit hasn't happened yet - if, of course, it ever does. That's somewhat the point of the story.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-19-2017   #4
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That's due to your primary school teachers having you sing "With a good sword and a trusty hand"....
Celtic romanticism at it's finest. The Southwest was conquered finally in 1685, the Union made irrevocable by the Saltash bridge
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Old 08-19-2017   #5
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That's due to your primary school teachers having you sing "With a good sword and a trusty hand"....
Celtic romanticism at it's finest. The Southwest was conquered finally in 1685, the Union made irrevocable by the Saltash bridge
But wait for Brexit... Balkanization beckons. I'm not advocating it: I'm just postulating it as a possibility.

And no, I never sang that at primary school. My mother taught me.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-19-2017   #6
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Then why was this guy wetting his bed over a EU passport?

Two friends of mine, one Turk and the other Croatian, both found it very easy to work in Germany and that was before EU.
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Old 08-19-2017   #7
Roger Hicks
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Then why was this guy wetting his bed over a EU passport?

Two friends of mine, one Turk and the other Croatian, both found it very easy to work in Germany and that was before EU.
Never mind. You're missing the point. It's a STORY! Set in a (possible, fairly near) future, and not in the past, less still a pre-EU past. The world changes. Have you ever heard of science fiction?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-19-2017   #8
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I used to read it but it was always wrong, sorry. It was clever about the city states and regional identities. We have a few city states in the US now; not the future.
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Old 08-19-2017   #9
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Roger, I enjoyed reading your story, thank you! The final statement about Brexit doesn't really fit in. I fully understand that you want to voice your frustration about that, but I think it could be even better if it was less politically charged (although I largely agree with your politics).

charjohncarter, before the EU there were labour shortages in Germany, and guest workers brought in through contracts between the respective countries. Today, EU citizens can live and work in any EU country (with some exceptions). Non-EU citizens cannot work easily, although it depends on country of origin and qualification.
I don't get what city-states you're talking about, Roger's story doesn't have any, and the US, to my knowledge, just one?
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Old 08-19-2017   #10
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Roger, I've been reading more on your excellent website, and something that bothered me, beside the work I should be doing, was the low contrast between the text and background. Just an observation.
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Old 08-19-2017   #11
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"The “will of the people” isn't always what people even really want, never mind what's actually best for them"- that was good...(and proved so many times). Fun reading...
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Old 08-19-2017   #12
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Roger, I've been reading more on your excellent website, and something that bothered me, beside the work I should be doing, was the low contrast between the text and background. Just an observation.
Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, I don't like the lack of contrast either. I'll have to see if they can tell me how to change it.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-19-2017   #13
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"The ďwill of the peopleĒ isn't always what people even really want, never mind what's actually best for them"- that was good...(and proved so many times). Fun reading...
Thank'ee kindly.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-19-2017   #14
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Roger, I enjoyed reading your story, thank you! The final statement about Brexit doesn't really fit in. I fully understand that you want to voice your frustration about that, but I think it could be even better if it was less politically charged (although I largely agree with your politics).

charjohncarter, before the EU there were labour shortages in Germany, and guest workers brought in through contracts between the respective countries. Today, EU citizens can live and work in any EU country (with some exceptions). Non-EU citizens cannot work easily, although it depends on country of origin and qualification.
I don't get what city-states you're talking about, Roger's story doesn't have any, and the US, to my knowledge, just one?
Given that it turns on Brexit, though -- the reason for Balkanization -- I find it hard how to see how else to end it. She has to realize her mistake somehow, and comfort him.

As for the second para, yes, I was a bit confused about the American "city-states" too. In fact, technically even DC is not a city-state, 'cos it ain't a state. Then again, on another thread charjohncarter appeared to conflate universal basic income (UBI) with unemployment benefit and welfare.

He seems however blessed (or cursed) with an uncommon degree of certainty about what the future holds. I love the idea of science fiction being "wrong". I'm just re-reading (for the first time in about 50 years) The Weapon Shops of Isher, set thousands of years in the future. As are indeed the Stainless Steel Rat books.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-19-2017   #15
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If there is a Cornish Passport is it that hard to go to Germany on it? If you want to work in Germany from what we hear here anyone can come in and work even without a passport.
It is much harder to find work as a illegal immigrant in Germany than in the US. By percentage, illegal employment in Germany (an estimated 600.000) is negligible compared to the 11 Million in the US.

It is arguably easier to enter Germany at a official border without papers (something plain impossible in the US), as the German legal system grants admission regardless of the state of your papers, provided that you plausibly apply for asylum at the border - but the asylum process will leave you stuck for years in some assigned district (and camp), without a work permit (and with - see above - little to no opportunities for illegal employment).
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Old 08-19-2017   #16
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It is much harder to find work as a illegal immigrant in Germany than in the US. By percentage, illegal employment in Germany (an estimated 600.000) is negligible compared to the 11 Million in the US.

It is arguably easier to enter Germany at a official border without papers (something plain impossible in the US), as the German legal system grants admission regardless of the state of your papers, provided that you plausibly apply for asylum at the border - but the asylum process will leave you stuck for years in some assigned district (and camp), without a work permit (and with - see above - little to no opportunities for illegal employment).
You and your damned FACTS! What's wrong with good, old-fashioned, uninformed prejudice?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-19-2017   #17
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Given that it turns on Brexit, though -- the reason for Balkanization -- I find it hard how to see how else to end it. She has to realize her mistake somehow, and comfort him.

As for the second para, yes, I was a bit confused about the American "city-states" too. In fact, technically even DC is not a city-state, 'cos it ain't a state. Then again, on another thread charjohncarter appeared to conflate universal basic income (UBI) with unemployment benefit and welfare.

He seems however blessed (or cursed) with an uncommon degree of certainty about what the future holds. I love the idea of science fiction being "wrong". I'm just re-reading (for the first time in about 50 years) The Weapon Shops of Isher, set thousands of years in the future. As are indeed the Stainless Steel Rat books.

Cheers,

R.
Oh, I didn't read it as Balkanizition as much as a regionalist/communitarian utopia. All a matter or perspective or preconceptions I suppose. Not a lot of negativ things about what happened after Brexit outside of the rump state England in your story to make me think of Balkanization. It doesn't seem too plausible to me that much after Brexit, having voted for or against it would be considered a huge dividing line. Why would she even be sure that the protagonist didn't vote for Brexit himself?

Right, I had heard before, but forgotten that D.C. isn't a state at all. Although de facto in many ways it is. Still not a sovereign state of course, which your story talks about.

Yeah, I love that fun fact about science fiction, too! Will look into the books you mentioned, don't know them.
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Old 08-19-2017   #18
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Roger, I enjoyed reading your story, thank you! The final statement about Brexit doesn't really fit in. I fully understand that you want to voice your frustration about that, but I think it could be even better if it was less politically charged (although I largely agree with your politics).
For this reader at least, there is no reason for Roger to write this story if that last sentence on Brexit was not included.

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Old 08-19-2017   #19
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As for the second para, yes, I was a bit confused about the American "city-states" too. In fact, technically even DC is not a city-state, 'cos it ain't a state. Then again, on another thread charjohncarter appeared to conflate universal basic income (UBI) with unemployment benefit and welfare.



R.
San Francisco, Chicago, LA have all but seceded from the Union. They just don't obey the federal law. But of course the want the money from the feds for dole (UBI).
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Old 08-19-2017   #20
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San Francisco, Chicago, LA have all but seceded from the Union. They just don't obey the federal law. But of course the want the money from the feds for dole (UBI).
UBI is quite different to a "dole" (traditionally an unemployment benefit). The UBI has no employment tests or time limits. It is paid as a right, to every citizen.
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Old 08-19-2017   #21
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UBI is quite different to a "dole" (traditionally an unemployment benefit). The UBI has no employment tests or time limits. It is paid as a right, to every citizen.
You sound like a Euro-Socialist, welfare in our country is four or six generations old and the same families are on it. Therefore, I will assume there are no tests or time limits. UBI is just (US) welfare in PC talk.

I by the way get a government welfare check we call it Social Security which I paid into since I was 13 years old. But I still have received way more benefits than I ever paid (even if you include compound interest) into SS. I also am penalized because I have too high retirement income. So, if it is a right why am I penalized.
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Old 08-19-2017   #22
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San Francisco, Chicago, LA have all but seceded from the Union. They just don't obey the federal law. But of course the want the money from the feds for dole (UBI).
This is simply nonsense. As is a willful refusal to understand what UBI actually means. Which bit of "universal" don't you understand?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-19-2017   #23
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For this reader at least, there is no reason for Roger to write this story if that last sentence on Brexit was not included.

Tin
Thanks. It hadn't occurred to me to read it any other way than as Balkanization, but as Retinax said, there are cultural assumptions involved.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-20-2017   #24
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Never mind. You're missing the point. It's a STORY! Set in a (possible, fairly near) future, and not in the past, less still a pre-EU past. The world changes. Have you ever heard of science fiction?

Cheers,

R.
Liked it. Reality is often stranger than fiction. Reminded me quite a bit of Harry Harrison. But that's a good thing.
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Old 08-20-2017   #25
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This is simply nonsense. As is a willful refusal to understand what UBI actually means. Which bit of "universal" don't you understand?

Cheers,

R.
The part where I pay for it.
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Old 08-20-2017   #26
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********The UNITED KINGDOM voted to LEAVE the European Union and it should be carried through*********
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Old 08-20-2017   #27
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Sorry to burst your bubble, but the empire is no more. You can be part of the EU or become the 51-th state. The other option is to become a third world country. The global economy is a fact whether you like it or not. Britannia doesn't rule the waves anymore. You got an aircraft carrier without planes, the class 45 (or what's left of it) isn't much either. The aircraft industry is gone. Railway... same, stuck in the 19-th century. Automobile industry was never much good after the initial peak (anyone recall the reliability of Lucas parts? Came from the wettest part of the western world and wouldn't work if it was a tiny bit wet).

The day you realise the mistake and want to come back, we will impose the euro, metric units and driving at the right side of the road, no exceptions at all. All to be implemented in 1 month.
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Old 08-20-2017   #28
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Old 08-20-2017   #29
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I am a U.K. citizen,aged 77 years, born and bred in England and I have fully detailed English family history going back to the 15th Century.
Cornwall is an English county,not a separate country, and will remain so.
When the recent referendum was put to the people of the U.K. the peoples choice was that we should leave the European Union.
It's no use and very unhelpful for non-domiciles like Roger Hick's living in France or anyone who has chosen to live in the E.U.rather than the U.K., like Roger Hick's, to keep harping on and hoping Brexit doesn't happen.
I can assure him that should the peoples choice not be carried through then there will be a great backlash which could damage the peoples idea of "democracy" completely.
The Nation voted to LEAVE the European Union and it should be carried through.
We can return the U.K.to the country it was before we joined the "Common Market" (which was not then a "European Union"), a country that residents loved, protecting our own borders, making the English Parliament's law supreme, and trading with the rest of the world without having to ask a (Federal) European Unions permission.
You mean, it's unhelpful to your agenda, which is pretty much as Spanik described it. The world changes, even if a few old men refuse to recognize the fact (I'm old, but 10 years younger than you). I presented an admittedly emotionally biased short story pointing up possible results of xenophobic anti-Europeanism.

Please present either an emotionally convincing counter-fiction or (better still) a list of the concrete advantages of Brexit, which so far has grievously devalued the pound and which wants to strip me of my European citizenship.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-20-2017   #30
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The part where I pay for it.
All on your own?

Or perhaps in concert with others who have a little more compassion?

What is your alternative to welfare? Starvation for the poor? And of course their children?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-20-2017   #31
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Liked it. Reality is often stranger than fiction. Reminded me quite a bit of Harry Harrison. But that's a good thing.
A VERY good thing in my book: thanks very much. I'd much prefer to write stuff that people want do read, as distinct from Great Modern Literature that nobody reads.

Cheers (and thanks again),

R.
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Old 08-20-2017   #32
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A VERY good thing in my book: thanks very much. I'd much prefer to write stuff that people want do read, as distinct from Great Modern Literature that nobody reads.
Help me out here. How do you define Great Modern Literature? I may be reading the wrong stuff. I just finished the second volume of Solzhyenitsn's The Red Wheel and am taking a breather with a couple of murder mysteries before I tackle volume three. I don't watch much television so I am able to read two to three hours each evening.
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Old 08-20-2017   #33
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Old 08-20-2017   #34
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Roger,
The easy answer for you is apply for French citizenship.
Also you don't live in England, so you will be using the dreaded EURO in France so why are you worrying about the devalued pound.
My pension and my earnings are NOT in Euros.

For simplicity's sake, £100 @ 1.5€ = 150€

£100 @ 1.10€ = £110

I'm sure you'd love to see your income drop by 35% or more as a result of vindictive and partially witted thinking.

Yes: I am applying for French citizenship. Unfortunately for you, it is impossible to apply for all your UK imports (especially oil) to be denominated in the fast-falling pound instead of a reasonably stable free-market currency such as the euro or US dollar.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-20-2017   #35
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Help me out here. How do you define Great Modern Literature? I may be reading the wrong stuff. I just finished the second volume of Solzhyenitsn's The Red Wheel and am taking a breather with a couple of murder mysteries. I don't watch much television so I am able to read two to three hours each evening.
Well, quite. But have you ever TRIED reading Arundhati Roy?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-20-2017   #36
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Nice story, Roger.
A bit surprised to see "UBI" coming up again in this thread as this story doesn't seem, to me, to have anything to do with that...

It has, though, so I will post this here instead of the other thread.

I see one ubiquitous assumption from most folks objecting to UBI: the idea that they will still be working while everyone else will be living off their labor.
Kind of misses the point. Which is that effectively all jobs will be automated/computerized/robot-ized. People have this idea that "my job is so complicated or important" that it can't be automated. So, I will be working while all "you other" people with "lesser" jobs will be out of luck.
I do think we are a little bit ahead of what will happen but, sooner rather than later, there won't be any work for pay--the employers are and will be looking to replace all of us as quickly as they can. The machines will be self repairing and self designing. What we will be able to do, I fervently hope, will be to have the means and will to use that freedom from wage labor to explore and improve how we treat each other. To find that(or those) thing that does make us each happy, and that will add to our shared world.

Rob
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Old 08-20-2017   #37
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Border control.....the old, long story, no matter where you live :] NSFW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIQeG8izfBc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qapwZMDGA8k
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Old 08-20-2017   #38
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Well, quite. But have you ever TRIED reading Arundhati Roy?
No, but then again I don't usually associate Great Modern Literature with winning a prize. Lots of crap of all kinds wins prizes. Think photography, for example. I think it is more about holding up over time than who won what this year. Something about the difference between modern and contemporary.
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Old 08-20-2017   #39
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I see one ubiquitous assumption from most folks objecting to UBI: the idea that they will still be working while everyone else will be living off their labor.
Kind of misses the point. Which is that effectively all jobs will be automated/computerized/robot-ized. People have this idea that "my job is so complicated or important" that it can't be automated. So, I will be working while all "you other" people with "lesser" jobs will be out of luck.
I do think we are a little bit ahead of what will happen but, sooner rather than later, there won't be any work for pay--the employers are and will be looking to replace all of us as quickly as they can.

Rob
But in order to pay an universal basic income, or whatever you call that, there has to be a way to tax the robots, now that the majority of the population will not have an income to be taxed.

I'd say that one of the major issues for the next few decades will be related to the question of taxing the robots.

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Old 08-20-2017   #40
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Nice story, Roger.
A bit surprised to see "UBI" coming up again in this thread as this story doesn't seem, to me, to have anything to do with that...

It has, though, so I will post this here instead of the other thread.

I see one ubiquitous assumption from most folks objecting to UBI: the idea that they will still be working while everyone else will be living off their labor.
Kind of misses the point. Which is that effectively all jobs will be automated/computerized/robot-ized. People have this idea that "my job is so complicated or important" that it can't be automated. So, I will be working while all "you other" people with "lesser" jobs will be out of luck.
I do think we are a little bit ahead of what will happen but, sooner rather than later, there won't be any work for pay--the employers are and will be looking to replace all of us as quickly as they can. The machines will be self repairing and self designing. What we will be able to do, I fervently hope, will be to have the means and will to use that freedom from wage labor to explore and improve how we treat each other. To find that(or those) thing that does make us each happy, and that will add to our shared world.

Rob
I think that indeed it will be a "Brave New World" and I strongly recommend everyone go and read that nearly century-old book to get a feel for it. Though of course in the book they do have some systematic work on people to make them fit the environment.

Frankly, the things being talked about are not helpful over the longer term - just look at the multitude of discussions here about who can fix your 50+ year old Leica versus the repair (if available) of your more recent one.

Which is more likely to be working in 20 years - your M8 or your M4?

I'm not sure I want to be working (or sitting in the park) in an M9 world - one that works extremely well on paper, provided I know and use the work-arounds, and provided nothing corrodes...
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