June 23, 2017

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062317)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here



  1. Automation ramp up:

    McDonald’s Shares Reach All-Time High Following Rollout of Automated Ordering Kiosks


    McDonald’s shares reached an all-time high following the announcement that automated ordering kiosks will be replacing cashiers in 2,500 stores across the U.S…

    …McDonald’s plans to replace many paid workers with automated ordering machines and the roll out of mobile ordering in 14,000 stores across the U.S. by the end of 2017 for the increase in McDonald’s share prices…

    …Fast food chains have been moving towards automation for some time now, with chains such as Caliburger even introducing burger flipping robots. Flippy, the burger-flipping robot, was developed by Miso Robotics and began working in Caliburger in March…

    Burger Flipping Robot Replaces Workers At Fast Food Restaurant


    Flippy is slightly limited in its current form; the robot can flip burgers and use built-in cameras and sensors to determine when the burger is cooked before placing the burger on a bun. However Flippy has not been developed to add sauces or condiments, a human worker must be available to perform those tasks.

    This is on top of Wendy’s rolling out self order kiosks.

    Wendy’s Installing Self-Order Kiosks in 1,000 Stores to Cut Labor Costs


    As all of the fast food restaurants race to compete by cutting costs, the numbers of entry level jobs will continue to disappear. The upshot being, there will be zero need for illegal alien labor and therefore as big business sees it as a liability, the Democrat Party will no longer be paid to shill for open borders. This in turn will place a cap on Medicaid expansion, and health insurance premiums, etc.

    Comment by dscott — June 23, 2017 @ 7:57 am

  2. Some personal observations. Posting here for some insights on our recent politics (Hillary lost) and potentially our future economy and politics and culture.


    The ‘glass ceiling women’ are on their wait out. I’ll skip here defining that term, hoping it is somewhat self-explanatory.

    The second wave is disgusted with identify politics (IdP). The blacks are protesting IdP openly. First noticed this with SNL, e.g. the Black Family Feud and other bits by various actors. While channel clicking this week, a family comedy showed this by a Mom’s Birthday skit at a fancy white-cloth-napkins and sparking-water restaurant where the dialogue openly discussed the word “nigger”, encourage use of it to take away its power. That is consistently with our legal philosophy, which recently found unconstitutional the refusal to trademark “Snake” for an Asian band. A related anecdote, we’ve enjoyed the breaking of barriars to let anyone impersonate another, as long as the mannerisms were done well. Looking forward to seeing who is selected to impersonate Trump next season (go Leslie!?!).

    The following generational wave is disgusted with identify politics (IdP). GenX is the stuck-in-the-middle generation, with the Boomers refusing to let go of their exalted Establishment positions despite loss of respect (yes, looking at you, Pelosi, McCain, etc) and Millenials getting all the attention due to their size and their malable, not-yet-brand-loyal purchasing non-habits. GenX is the stuck-in-the-middle generation, not getting all the uber-benefits of over-generous social security and low-cost college while being aware of the tax on our incomes, the hit on our investments from the end of the Bill-Clinton-GOP-house-induced stock market and the end of the artificially-inflated-by-govt-policy real estate bust and just recurring end of this or that cultural safety net. From childhood being sacrificed to Gen-Silent and Gen-Boomer completely breaking the emotional-structure of marriage with their high divorce rates yet without current improvements of Cooperative Shared Parenting, GenX has done its best to adjust themselves and society to the new emotional structures, yet often to provide those new structures to their children and hope they’ve created something new and better even if not able to benefit from it themselves.

    One can never go back, in time that is, as culture change is time-unidirectional. And, with GenX children finishing colleges and entering the workforce, maybe GenX has time to create something better for ourselves? That better may be the emerging dialogue in the workforce, and appearing in our politics and in our comedy.

    Enough of this hierarchy of man-power and woman-power and this-identify power and that-identify power. As the commercial for your DNA History reminds us, we are each of mix of many things.

    So what does this have to do with ‘glass ceiling’ women? Well, that first wave used two strategies: (a) be liked the hierarchy men, such as tell the jokes and belittle subordinates to control them in order to gain power and rise in their career and (b) created their own parallel womens-networks pyramids of coattails people (see Lena Dunham) to use as pawns to prop themselves up via the IdP-card should anyone call attention to the truth of poor performance. It seemed like a wise career technique.

    So the 2nd-wave played along for awhile, as there really wasn’t much choice. One the one-hand, peer conversations lamented the crappy promotion to the person who didn’t deserve it YET when actual verbal-harassment did happen, stay quiet about it to not be pegged as a player of the IdP-card. It was a weird choice for all players: trying to have work generic work relationships, meanwhile all around you is the Establishment News talking about the men versus women, or the white-black-Asian-Hispanic-other race dividing.

    We don’t want to be divided. Should I look the other way when a DRAFT presentation chart says “manpower” or start a brief dialogue for the team-promoting words: staffing, team members, etc. Should the person in the room have NOT coughed when a room leader describe it cool, this “bro network” discussion we’re having, so a friendly dialogue could find better language? The recent “Survivor” season was all about “Game Changers” but the game itself didn’t change: be as two-faced as necessary to each other in order to rise to the top, including to bring along into the final vote only weaker players. Bringing performance-weak women along into the top, letting them think they have some power and a career win; meanwhile, that politically ignorant ‘glass ceiling woman’ doesn’t realize how much her immediate staff is tasked to protect her …but only just enough as long as she is a useful tool.

    The second-wave is beginning to speak out. Beginning to feel its time to find our voice. Those of the ‘Glass Door Generation’ can either change with us to be TRUE TEAM LEADERS or retire and Get Out Of the Way. Everyone should be treated with respect, which means not propping us the selected weak coattails to give oneself hierarchy power. It means MERIT is truly the basis for retention and promotion. There will always be SOME networking involved, but the current manipulation of selection for like-minded personal-coattails if not tolerable to our economy, not tolerable to defend out country, not tolerable to pervert our IRS and our other govt rule-making, not tolerable to look-the-other-way to politic leaks and using govt-time for ‘collection’ on our own fellow citizens. The so-called security need to understand the hacker threat is NOT AN EXCUSE; there are strong rules about who can regularly collect and how and then produce written product for recommendations. There are suppose to be strong rules-of-law about many things, yet this IdP culture distorts those rules, belittles them as ‘inconvenient legalisms’ so rationalize inappropriate actions.

    Hierarchy marriage was permanently broken, and new forms of couple-teams have emerged. Hierarchy work-forces are blended with some good embedded teams, yet more change is occurring towards a mix of formal teams and informal networks and informal communities-of-interest. We don’t know where this change will lead or what it will become, but it is necessary to realize it IS happening.

    Legislatively, the current IdP is (a) first declare oneself in a ‘protected class’ to only then (b) call out bullying in a workplace event or organization. That must change: to flip the two, where (a) anyone can raise a personnel issue of poor leadership rising to inappropriate bullying with (b) an extra punishment endorsement if hate speech is included. Most common is equal-opportunity bullying, albeit picking on the new woman to the team may appear to be the easier target to demonstrate and enforce the org’s current culture paradigm. But the picking on what motivated by Hierarchy retention, not gender animated. Both genders want better teams. The my-network vs your-network dividing is a problem. A boss’s attitude — don’t mention that to me again, let Group-B fail or let Location-C fail (because B and C are not in my hierarchy — are completely unacceptable in an environment that must win a war. We are in this together, and we win together or we retreat together, leaving no man nor woman nor race behind. We leave no teammate behind, to be sacrificed to the enemy.

    The Establishment picking and choosing — and expecting us middle-layer to continue to enforce their political framework — is being challenged and will change.

    It’s a mad, mad, mad world. And we are the change that may enable happier teamwork.
    This was a streaming-thought narrative, so my apologies for any disjointness, clarify gaps, or General weakness to communicate.

    Comment by Cornfed — June 23, 2017 @ 8:11 am

  3. Great points about second wave. Of all the things that are going to drive social justice warriors crazy, it’s the idea of a return to merit-based ANYTHING. If the mindset change you’re predicting happens, it won’t be pretty, esp at places like universities and newsrooms.

    Comment by Tom — June 23, 2017 @ 10:55 am

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