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Posts Tagged ‘Rotary

“The gods keep livelihood hidden from men. Otherwise a day’s labor could bring man enough to last a whole year with no more work.”*…

 

Ind Rev

Upheaval more than a century into the Industrial Revolution, and more than 100 years ago:
An International Workers of the World union demonstration
in New York City in 1914. Credit: Library of Congress

 

As automation and artificial intelligence technologies improve, many people worry about the future of work. If millions of human workers no longer have jobs, the worriers ask, what will people do, how will they provide for themselves and their families, and what changes might occur (or be needed) in order for society to adjust?

Many economists say there is no need to worry. They point to how past major transformations in work tasks and labor markets – specifically the Industrial Revolution during the 18th and 19th centuries – did not lead to major social upheaval or widespread suffering. These economists say that when technology destroys jobs, people find other jobs…

They are definitely right about the long period of painful adjustment! The aftermath of the Industrial Revolution involved two major Communist revolutions, whose death toll approaches 100 million. The stabilizing influence of the modern social welfare state emerged only after World War II, nearly 200 years on from the 18th-century beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.

Today, as globalization and automation dramatically boost corporate productivity, many workers have seen their wages stagnate. The increasing power of automation and artificial intelligence technology means more pain may follow. Are these economists minimizing the historical record when projecting the future, essentially telling us not to worry because in a century or two things will get better?…

We should listen not only to economists when it comes to predicting the future of work; we should listen also to historians, who often bring a deeper historical perspective to their predictions. Automation will significantly change many people’s lives in ways that may be painful and enduring.

Get a start on understanding that history at “What the Industrial Revolution Really Tells Us About the Future of Automation and Work.”

* Hesiod, Work and Days

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As we hum “Hi Ho, Hi Ho,” we might send ink-stained birthday greetings to Richard March Hoe; he was born on this date in 1812.  In 1847, he patented the rotary printing press.  Hoe had invented the press a couple of years earlier and improved it before submission. His creation greatly increased the speed of printing, as it involved rolling a cylinder over stationary plates of inked type, using the cylinder to make an impression on paper– thus eliminating the need to make impressions from pressing type plates, which were heavy and difficult to maneuver.  In 1871, Hoe added the ability to print to continuous rolls of paper, creating the “web press” that revolutionized newspaper and magazine printing.  His first customer was Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune.

Hoe’s “web perfecting press,” with continuous feed

source

 

Written by LW

September 12, 2017 at 1:01 am

“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all”*…

 

Hot or iced, drip, French press, espresso, Chemex or Keurig, each of us downs about 23 gallons of joe a year on average. It’s in our blood. It’s also on our streets, where Starbucks outposts outnumber hospitals and colleges. And even on our resumes: 161,000 people list “coffee” as a skill on LinkedIn.
But the truth is, our cup is half empty. We could be drinking a lot more coffee and, in fact, we used to. In 1946, when America’s thirst for coffee peaked, each of us swallowed about 48 gallons a year on average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture — more than twice current consumption. “We’d drink coffee with breakfast, coffee with lunch, and coffee with dinner,” says John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest. “And mostly, we’d drink it at home.”

The whole dark-roasted story at “America’s coffee cup is half full.”

* David Lynch

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As we reach for another soft drink, we might recall that it was on this date in 1905 that Paul P. Harris, a Chicago attorney, met with three friends– Gustave E. Loehr (a mining engineer), Silvester Schiele (a coal merchant), and Hiram E. Shorey (a tailor)– to found The Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.  It was so named, as the friends intended to rotate the site of their meetings among members’ offices.  Now known as Rotary International, the organization has 34,282 local clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide.

[coffee photo sourced here; Rotary founders, here]


                                     

Written by LW

February 23, 2013 at 1:01 am

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