In 1984 my dad built a robot....

Why does he currently get paid under $17 an hour, in a job with no
retirement packages?
http://www.sergeantlewis.com/build/mekidmainpage.htm

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Steve Walz is gonna love this one...

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Who is Steve Walz?

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Cool looking robot :)
You get paid according to how much people a willing to pay you for fulfilling their needs. No one pays you for having brains if those brains do not produce anything that anyone else needs.
John Casey
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JGCasey wrote:

This is true, but I note the dad also built a boat with his family. Reminds me of those Mastercard commercials:
Hourly wage at a go-no-where company: $17 Building cost of a medium-size robot in 1984: $1,200 Being able to pursue your dreams and build a sailboat with your wife and sons: Priceless.
I'd gladly exchange my (relatively) high-priced job for this kind of freedom. We can't judge quality of life just by an hourly wage. That's my opinion, anyway.
-- Gordon
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An opinion I share. The pursuit of happiness and all that but hopefully at nobody else's expense.
I had this dream that one day all the mundane repetitive boring jobs would be done by robots so that we could all live a nicer life.
Mind you some people like boring jobs. I know someone who thinks weeding her garden after a week of board meetings is therapy!!
-- John Casey
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JGCasey wrote:

----------------------- In other words you get paid for your popularity. We need to do away with that, and we can with Majority Democracy and People's Democratic Communism.

------------------------ Sure. If you don't produce anything people need, but people who do produce what people need are paid less simply because WHAT they produce just isn't that popular!
Farmers aren't popular, and so they have to produce food at firesale prices while the rich grocers get it all because being a rich person in the city with a big car who control s prices with a price gun is more "popular"!
People who care for your sick, elderly and children are paid shit because they aren't "popular", and yet there's an ENORMOUS market for them, but they AREN'T PAID SHIT!
Go figure that out someplace and get back to us. It needs to stop!
-Steve
--
-Steve Walz snipped-for-privacy@armory.com ftp://ftp.armory.com/pub/user/rstevew
Electronics Site!! 1000's of Files and Dirs!! With Schematics Galore!!
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If there is no upper class, how do I know which way to climb? It's kind of a selection process. The smart ones figure out how to make money, and therefore gain power. It's the reward for being smart and for working hard. When I eventually pull down my $200K I don't want to give it to some greasy slob who thought sitting in front of the TV with a bag of pork rinds was a good way to spend his time. I will, however, give it to some kids who lost their daddy and don't have any way to get what they need. From each according to their ability, to each according to whether I judge them to be a useless slob or not.
This coming from someone who doesn't even currently have a job.
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You say that money and power are the reward for being smart and working hard (a very idealistic, capitalist view of the world), but also noted that there are some who don't start off on equal footing and therefore can't "get what they need". These are incompatible views, IMHO. If you happen to never get that $200K job and get those kids what they need, they might never end up anywhere no matter how hard they work.
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Correct. Which is why I'd prefer that people be allowed to provide help where it is most needed and will have the most positive results. If you give equal help to the widow's-kids and pork-rind-guy, neither will have very much. If you give much more to the widow's-kids, they might be able to use it to help themselves, while pork-rind-guy will just continue to sit there no matter what.
It's very difficult to quantify and develop policy around such principles, which is why I would prefer it to remain a matter of personal judgement rather than forced participation as Walz desires.
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Garrett Mace Wrote:

This seems to be a particularly pervasive philosophy in the US - the American dream writ large - anyone with talent and a willingness to work hard can be rich and successful.
Individually admirable, but at a population level it can cause trouble. For example, if most of the popluation firmly believe that they too could one day join the wealthy elite they will tend to be a lot less critical of their current situation. Why? because subconsciously they don't want to screw it up for when they get there. It makes the popluation easy to manipulate because their optimism makes them accept situations that really aren't in their best interests.
Examples:
Tax breaks for the rich: Damn right, I'm gonna be there one day.
Free Health Care? What for? when I'm rich I'll be able to afford the best.
A recent survey indicated that Americans always overestimate their position on the economic scale. 20% believe their earnings to be in the top 5%.
Just my $0.02 V
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You can check for yourself here: http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/histinc/h01.html
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- Alan Kilian <alank(at)timelogic.com>
Director of Bioinformatics, TimeLogic Corporation 763-449-7622
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That's very interesting!! I had always suspected as such, but I never heard that figure before. Thanks much, V.
Mark
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mehaase(at)sas(dot)upenn(dot)edu
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Doesn't democracy work on precisely the same principle, ie how popular something is?
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Sort of, not exactly.
This is true to some extent with most modern forms of democracy, which are essentially representative democracy.
But representative democracy isn't the only kind of democracy possible. Arguably, this is probably the most "practical" one we have found so far.
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What do farmer's produce that isn't popular? Food? Personally, I think food's pretty popular. I'm a big fan of it myself.
Your definition of "popularity" seems somewhat vague. These problems can be understood through simple economics. The reason jobs like nursing and teaching have such low wages is because there's not a large immediate monetary return for their services. I agree with your pessimistic outlook, but lumping these inequalities under some banner of "unpopularity" is foolish and shortsighted.
I think we can all easily agree that health care and education are important for our society. However, the trick is overcoming the short-term cost analysis, which is why such markets are usually regulated by government. Unfortunately, even governments have limited funds and can't always afford to gamble on long-term benefits.
So the moral is, you don't get paid by being popular. You get paid by offering a product or service that people will pay money for. Some times, in the case of movie stars and rock gods, these things become intertwined, but the moral remains.
Chris S.

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Chris S wrote:

Lima beans? Ever liked them much.

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. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is
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C T wrote:

Because his robot a) Did not kill people with great efficiency b) Did not have sex with people
If your father had managed to build a robot that did either of these two things...he would be rich.
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I commented it was a cool looking robot. Does it do anything apart from looking cool?
JC
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Mekid is short for mechanical kid.
She has a 8086 processor.
Her locomotion is programmable. Bumpers around the base allowed her to find her way out of a corners. She could also be operated manually with Atari game controller.
Her arm was programmable, with shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand movement. She could also be operated manually with Atari game controller.
She had a programmable LED eye, and programmable voice module.
She was built out of spare parts from the garage.
The top of her head is a salad bowl.

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