For all I know, it could exist for haircuts too.
> Wait, is this a real company? What employment agency (sort of) promotes their service by showing how easy it is to ditch their workers and visualises that by shooting them down?!
The buff guy wearing the mask and cape is supposed to shoot the cheaters, not the honest workers. On the other hand, at your command, he will shoot the second guy who is clearly filling in the correct answers. In other words, if you just want to see the world burn, he will be your willing henchman.
And this gets semi-positive coverage from the same press who gladly calls for erasure of individuals from the digital society based on the notion that any "incorrect" opinion can potentially constitute grave societal harm. Hah.
Obviously, the solution isn't to delete automation. It is to make AI algorithms into tools directly usable by average individuals. What is happening right now is kind of the other way around.
It’s competition is daytime soaps not a 9-5 jobs. It’s still flexible and a little extra spending money makes themselves feel better.
Plenty of examples in Cuba of luggage handlers making more money than doctors.
Cuba.... Cuba... isn't that the country with the best healthcare system in the world? Don't they send thousands of doctors to the USA on humanitarian missions, because the USA doesn't give healthcare to its people? .
Now, you'll laugh at this because of decades of anti-Cuban propaganda (the luggage handlers!), but your anecdote of a Cuban doctor dissatisfied is very cute in the face of what is actually the best healthcare system in the world.
Hard to believe that an industry runs better when a handful of individuals aren't a huge, profitting strain on its resources.
From the Wikipedia link you posted:
> According to Luis Zuñiga, director of human rights for the Cuban American National Foundation, Cuban doctors are "slave workers" who labor for meager wages while bolstering Cuba's image as a donor nation and "the Cuban government exports these doctors as merchandise".
And the reason it's luggage handlers and not other kinds of laborers is because luggage handling specifically puts you in contact with wealthy foreigners whose seemingly small tips are big money in the local currency.
In order to make any kind of real money in Cuba, you must find yourself in a position to interact with foreigners. The local economy will never provide that opportunity.
Cuba is desperately poor, like most post-colonial countries. Despite this, Cuba has: 
- a greater life expectancy than the usa.
- more hospital beds per capita than the USA.
- more than double the number of physicians per capita than the usa.
The list goes on. Communism works in theory, but in practise the CIA spends trillions of dollars making sure it doesn't. And even then it puts them to shame.
The only way Cuba's way of doing things, not their embargo-induced circumstances, is sub-par is if you toy with the fascist idea that not everybody deserves basic human rights like healthcare.
BTW, this is across industries like healthcare, education etc. The war on Cuba is the same one waged on the poor in America.
The US has enough soft power to make Cuba's life difficult on the international plane but it can't render Cuba impotent. If Cubans need to flee to the US for a chance at a better life that's the fault of Cuba's atrocious institutions and politics making opportunity impossible to find.
The CIA is an organization with tens of thousands of people in it and Cuba is a country with millions. The CIA has to spread its 15 billion dollar budget all over the world, while Cuba is free to spend its 50 billion dollar revenues on whatever she wants.
You seem to be missing a whole portion of the story. So all I have for you now is, you are wrong.
I don't even know what point you're trying to make here. Cuba does not have a world-class medical industry, it's not a better place to live than the US, people do not flee the US to live in Cuba.
Do I think the embargoes should end? Yes. Do I think the US interfered with Cuba's politics? Yes. Am I going to play a weird shell game with where I try to figure out what point you're trying to make? No. Cuba's a hellhole, we didn't make it that way, Castro was more than capable of doing that all by himself. He certainly was capable of resisting hundreds of assassination attempts, if indeed Escalante's 638 number referred to actual attempts.
Britain, the U.S., a selection of European countries, Russia , Israel and allies have fucked the world for the benefits of their elites. But, please, another anecdote about how people don't flee the USA (despite the glaringly obvious ramifications of wealth distribution on infrastructure). I conjecture that your inability to fathom my point is not my problem.
Working for a good healthcare system doesn't imply good pay.
Getting tips in dollars instead of castro monopoly money really helps your salary in Cuba.
Your last comment tells me who I'm speaking to. Fly your eagle, man. Fly!
I don't know. Is it?
If you get a surgery, you have to bring your own basic supplies, like, say, sutures, or they don't have them. Expect regular power outages too.
Most of the lights were off, and there was a single receptionist at the desk. My mother explained the situation, and…
Receptionist: Oh, well if you want to borrow the desk phone you're free to do so
Receptionist: You know, to call your doctor
Receptionist: We're happy to let you use a room and our supplies, but all of our doctors are on vacation. It's Semana Santa.
So in my desperation I tried mechanical turk.
I worked very hard for 8 hours tagging stuff, correcting text and selecting things with boxes. It was horrible, repetitive, mindless grunt work. And I earned like 5 dollars. That was not going to work.
I am very thankful that I had some coding knowledge because I don't know what else could I've done.
(I also tried 99designs, which paid better while still being dehumanizing, but that's a story for another day)
Basically the process went like this...
- put up description of what I want
- declare how much I am willing to pay
- have people submit proposals
- ask designers I like it iterate on design as needed
- pick a winner
I wasn't comfortable asking people to do work and have no money change hands if I rejected all the designs, so I committed to selecting a winner so that at least someone got paid. I was OK enough with this part of the process, as it felt a bit like people applying to a job and hiring one of them, and I was doing my best to make the job not crappy.
The part that got under my skin was that I got so many submissions. Like 50. I was paying like $400 for what I had originally thought would cost $99 (paid more to attract more submissions, so not sure why I am surprised). It hadn't really registered with me how much work I'd be creating for other people by through this process.
In the end, I am OK with the platform as a tool for finding designers I like. I have since hired the designer who won for more work, so in a sense it's a recruiting platform for me. But I can see how many would put in a lot of work and never get paid at all. Kind of like real life :P
I may have getting used to working on 99designs eventually, but I'm just not wired to that staggering amount of rejection and sense of uselessness.
The killer is spending 20 minutes to get 60 minutes of work, so 8$/hr only nets 6$/hr
A dollar an hour can be a good income in some parts of this world, believe it or not. If you can't compete on price like that, don't bid.
Know who hasn't disregarded this? The wealthy people exploiting it, who pointed it out to you in the hope that this level of depth on the matter was all you needed.
Nobody on HN is a participant in a race to the bottom. Don't advocate it as a career strategy.
So? What's the alternative, then? You can complain all day about how people are exploited and that exploitation is bad. I don't disagree on that part.
The question is, are you making the situation better by preventing exploitation "per decree"? Let's say you raised the minimum amount of compensation for clickworking, what would happen? All the work that remains economical is compensated better, but all the work that isn't economical at that rate just disappears.
What also happens is that no worker gets the opportunity to compete on price. Let's say people from country A are poorer on average and therefore can offer better rates, but the quality is lower on average than in country B. People from country A can still get work by offering lower rates. If rates were forced up, there's no reason to purchase from country B anymore, because price is the same but quality is worse.
You have given country B an unfair advantage and you have worsened the economic prospects in country B, even though it is already poorer. This is trade protectionism. If you think it is "good", you can just go shake hands with Donald Trump and praise the China tariffs.
> Nobody on HN is a participant in a race to the bottom.
A lot of people on HN are on the "Those poor people! We need to regulate this!" bandwagon. Their intention might be right, their comprehension might not.
> Don't advocate it as a career strategy.
I'm not, that would be ridiculous. Clickworking is not a career. Most people don't have a career. Clickworking might not be a great opportunity for most people, that doesn't mean it should be taken away.
There's also the fact that people who are affected, who slip out the bottom of whatever calculation is going on, are going to have more opportunities locally if their peers are still employed doing more profitable work.
I see a lot of people fall for the argument that starvation wages are an alternative to no wages, and it's not true now any more than it was when the industrialists tried it in the 19th century. Standard of living, wherever it may be, is better off when money is in the hands of ordinary working people.
They're not happy to pay that much, they just need to pay that much because that's the rate for programmers in the area. You can easily get far cheaper programmers from abroad, but then you'll need to manage that. You can also move your whole company abroad but then you're further from venture capital.
Also, with programmers there's this meme that a bad programmer will ruin you, so you need to get "good programmers" at all costs. A programmer can't really go out and say "I'm not that good, but I'll make up for it by charging less!". Unlike clickworker output, programmer output is not fungible.
> The difference between a dollar and hour and five is negligible to these organisations at the levels most of them are using this sort of labour.
That's your uninformed claim. A quadrupling in compensation is a quadrupling in cost. Whether that cost is negligible depends on the amount of work relative to all other work. If you have a company working on AI solutions, the cost of labeling can easily be one of the most significant positions.
> This is rarely a choice between paying subsistence wages and none at all - instead it's a choice between subsistence wages and making a decent living.
These people are not paid wages, they are not employees, they are directly compensated for what they produce. To pay wages, you first need a company to pay those wages, which implies that these companies are compensated for what they produce. Companies don't get a guaranteed minimum compensation, they need to go by the market rate. For the same reason, clickworkers need to go by the market rate.
> There's also the fact that people who are affected, who slip out the bottom of whatever calculation is going on, are going to have more opportunities locally if their peers are still employed doing more profitable work.
How is that a "fact"? If you're doing clickwork, that means you're at the bottom in terms of earning potential. It means every conceivable opportunity around you is worse, be that financially or in terms of working conditions. Why would they suddenly have more opportunity?
> I see a lot of people fall for the argument that starvation wages are an alternative to no wages, and it's not true now any more than it was when the industrialists tried it in the 19th century. Standard of living, wherever it may be, is better off when money is in the hands of ordinary working people.
What does that imply? What are you actually saying should happen?
No, individuals without any kind of “company” can and do pay wages to employees, e.g., domestic staff.
There are for-profit companies employing click workers and those workers are indeed employees, but if you work on the platforms like mturk directly, you are not an employee and you do not receive a wage. As a result, you get to keep more of the money, not less.
Nobody cares about fixing this though. They just think throwing money at poor nations will somehow bring people above the poverty line.
Many countries in Africa are a good example of this not
We also perpetuate the issue through massive donations because local industries can't compete with free and the citizens become endlessly dependent.