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Pearl: For all the cardboard boxes here, there's a weird lack of people working...
Marina: Didn't you hear? Robots took their jobs! Welcome to the future!

"They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine and new technology"
—"Video Killed The Radio Star", Buggles

"Hi and Lois wraps up its nostalgia week on a particularly grim note. 'Remember when you used to be able to yell at people and make them do what you want, instead of just putting a credit card into a machine and seething with ambient, targetless rage?'"

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"We have been through economic revolutions before, but the robot revolution is different. Horses aren't unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they’re unemployable. There's little work a horse can do that pays for its housing and hay. And many bright, perfectly capable humans will find themselves the new horse: unemployable through no fault of their own."
C.G.P. Grey, "Humans Need Not Apply"

"Think of it as a kind of digital social Darwinism, with clear winners and losers: Those with the talent and skills to work seamlessly with technology and compete in the global marketplace are increasingly rewarded, while those whose jobs can just as easily be done by foreigners, robots or a few thousand lines of code suffer accordingly."
Tyler Cowen, "The Robots Are Here"

"Friedman's columns on globalization invariably lavish praise on a tiny start-up IT company in Bangalore which has never been identified, and which is capable of replacing every job in the world through out-of-the-box, connected know-how. In response to the possible criticism that this will result in everyone else in the world being unemployed, his answer is always that people will "need to be more innovative." Thankfully, software is being currently developed to write automated Friedman columns."
Rational Wiki on New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

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"Nerds tend to talk a big game about standing up for the underdog but, I’m sorry to say, don’t seem to really want a leveling of society, a removal of hierarchies. They bristle against hierarchies of physical strength, of inherited capital, and of 'popularity'—but only because those get in the way of a hierarchy of book smarts and technical skill, which is the right and proper hierarchy. The creepy nerd fantasy that remains alive and well in today’s Age of the Nerd Triumphant is not of making peace with the popular kids but taking their throne."
Arthur Chu, "Occupying the Throne"

"No respect, no honor...there is no honor among thieves in the first place! He put hard times on Dusty Rhodes and his family! You don't know what hard times is, daddy! Hard times are when the textile workers around this country, and got four or five kids, and can't pay their wages, can't buy them food! Hard times are when the auto workers are out of work, and they tell 'em, 'go home', and hard times, are when a man been working the job thirty years—thirty years!—they give him a watch, they kick him in the butt, and say, 'Hey, a computer took your place, daddy'! That's hard times!"

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In Stepford, Connecticut the Deputy Controller of Servus Industries strongly denied that their robots were responsible for the world underemployment crisis. "The truth is Earth citizens are no longer willing to do these dull, labor-intensive tasks. We tried using illegal aliens instead, but they kept bursting out of people's chests."

Robots are SMARTER than you
Robots work HARDER than you
Robots are BETTER than you
Poster in Portal 2

And on the industrial front: in the British Leyland robot factory, arm-and-leg fitters have been laid off due to a strike in the tool room.

I thought automation was keen,
Till you were replaced by a ten ton machine.
It was that computer that tore us apart, dear.
Automation broke my heart.
Allan Sherman, Automation (to the tune of Fascination)

"Beep bop boop. No, I'm not union, why do you ask? Bop boop beep."

Majikthise: You just let the machines get on with the adding up, and we'll take care of the eternal verities, thank you very much. Under law the Quest for Ultimate Truth is quite clearly the inalienable prerogative of your working thinkers. Any bloody machine goes and actually finds it and we're straight out of a job, aren't we? I mean, what's the use of our sitting up all the night saying there may...
Vroomfondel: Or may not be...
Majikthiise: ...or may not be a God if this machine come along next morning and gives you his telephone number?


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