[p2p-research] Do watch the robotic video if you can...

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Mon Aug 24 21:33:38 CEST 2009

Ryan Lanham wrote:
> 3 minutes long...well worth it.
> http://www.hizook.com/blog/2009/08/03/high-speed-robot-hand-demonstrates-dexterity-and-skillful-manipulation

That robot hand is now doing some stuff that a human hand can not do (it is 
faster and more precise on some tasks.)

Say goodbye to a lot more jobs.

The question is, who gets the benefits of all this consolidated innovation? 
A few at the top of a social pyramid, or every human (who all have some 
claim on the commons)?

Anyway, that is why I think it is silly in some ways to think indigenous 
craft businesses can competed. These hands could make endless fake crafts. 
They might soon produce blankets or dream catchers at much lower cost than 
people. Sure, peers might eek out a subsistence income at the edges of a 
global economy, but how will they pay the taxes on their land? Essentially, 
this hand shows that many people will soon be homeless unless we change 
social policy to reflect changing technology.

Solar panels, robot hands, Asimo, 3d printing, genetic engineering -- our 
social policies designed around scarcity and an income-through-jobs link to 
motivate production are getting more out of date every day as we move 
towards a potentially post-scarcity world.

This is happening even *faster* than Marshall Brain predicted:

Anyway, here are robot chefs with simple grippers. Put these hand on those, 
and add a sense of smell and better vision, and much of the food industry 
will not require humans:
   "Robot Ramen Chef"

"Robot nose given keen smell sense "
As artificial noses have fewer sensors and, until now, no mucus to sieve the 
arriving molecules they were able to discern far fewer smells.
But the new work at the University of Warwick and Leicester University has 
found that applying a 10 micron (one thousandth of a centimetre) layer of a 
polymer inside the sensor significantly improves the performance of the nose.
"We can separate milk from cream, for example," said Dr Covington.
The team believe the enhanced electronic nose could be on sale in two years.
"We're thinking about healthcare applications to diagnose eye infections, 
skin diseases and urinary infections," he said.

Our scarcity-based social policies and mainstream economic planning (like 
estimates about social security and healthcare costs, as well as who will 
have jobs to pay for that) are totally out of touch with such emerging 

--Paul Fernhout

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