Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Yet another example of the wrongness of our current system

Musing with my hands under a hot air hand drier the other day, I considered whether they are better overall than paper towels or roller towels. Of course replacing towels is work for someone, and so the objection to "electric towels" could include doing people out of work. My thoughts went to the problem of optimising a subsystem (getting an electric towel) yet sub-optimising the system - depriving someone of work. But of course, depriving someone of work should not be sub-optimal in any sane system. This is a simple example of where automation reduces human labour - so why is this not good?

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