$214 million "Dog ate my homework" handout in new patent law

September 16, 2011 · Posted in Intellectual Property · Comment 

There are many things wrong with the concept of patents. This handout to a politically connected law firm further demonstrates the error of claiming ownership of an idea.

Crowd sourcing math, value of life

April 4, 2011 · Posted in economics · Comment 

When speed limits in the USA were raised from 55 to 65 death rates also increased. The economic value of the lives lost amazingly equaled the average lifetime income.

Everyday people choose between ways to spend their time and money. They calculate the relative value of each and decide which best achieves their goals. Individually these choice can seem haphazard, irrational and even counter productive.

An economic decision is a choice that means giving up thing to get another. Another name is a trade off. Depending on the conditions of a particular situation the relative value changes. A man in a hot desert would more highly value a glass of water than a fancy winter coat. The same man would prefer the coat to the water if he were in the arctic.

Poor people often take great risks to earn a living than wealthier people precisely because it is to enable living. When those same people are wealthier they will take less risks. This is the main reason certain industries have moved from wealthy post-industrial nations to less developed nations. As those nations improve economically those jobs will be replaced by technology.

Ideas for further research.

Compare other risk reward ratios to create a formula between maximum loss, dying, and zero loss. This could explain crime and be useful for determining effective deterrents to crime and enticements to other occupations.

Ham boning robot, Abundance Report

February 11, 2011 · Posted in abundance, innovation · Comment 

Meat cutting is a dangerous, physically stressful, and tedious job. Replacing human meat cutters with robots is all around better if the humans have an income.

The representative repeatedly says the robots can cut oddly shaped soft objects. He is making clear that cutting ham is not the only use. The robot can cut a wide variety of foods but also non-food. They’ve likely chosen ham boning as their first task because the size makes it easier than smaller or more delicate food like fish and improving ham processing is higher value than vegetables. Defining the goal properly and finding the best entry to the market is very important for innovation success.

The makers of the Hamdas robotic meat cutting machine, Mayekawa, also make many environmentally friendly energy saving innovations. They are looking at the full range of interconnected innovations. They are using what Predictive Innovation® calls a Future Map. Each of their innovations builds on part of the other thus making each one less expensive and less risky to develop and higher value.

Many of the comments to the video bring up the concern jobs being eliminated. How can human meat cutters have an income when the job of cutting meat is done by machines? The common answer of making or repairing robots is fatally flawed. Repairing robots will not require as many people as the jobs the robots replace. The best way for meat cutters to have an income when robots are doing the work is to own robots. This way the people are still meat cutters, they just aren’t doing the physical work.

Another alternative for displaced workers is to do something else that robots makes possible. This unfortunately will likely displace other workers. Automation replaces people in any task that is done more than once. The solution is to focus on things that can’t be replicated. Personal experiences are one thing that can’t be duplicated. Satisfying those desires will be large growth area over time. In the short term, anything that helps individuals and small groups own the machines that makes things will be a crucial part of making the transition from economics to abundance.

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