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quote:
Originally posted by billhike:
Kinda sucks.

Not that they were a quaint independent bookseller, but I enjoy reading actual physical books.
Can Barnes & Noble be far behind?


I agree it sucks. Our local Borders closed a couple months ago and now the closest dedicated book store is 15+ min away.

I was also a fan of the physical book and a nice hardback is still hard to beat, but my wife recently purchased a Kindle and man is it nice. So light, so portable and so convenient. This is a few years after my uncle who is constantly reading told me the same thing a few years back and he's not one of those techy guys.

IMO the problem with Borders had more to do with the same issues as other B&M shops trying to compete with the internet than with eReaders. It reminds me of Blockbuster's struggle with upstarts like Netflix a few years ago. The streaming aspect was just the nail in the coffin.
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
I was also a fan of the physical book and a nice hardback is still hard to beat, but my wife recently purchased a Kindle and man is it nice. So light, so portable and so convenient.



I resisted the Kindle for a long time, but I gave in when I got tired of trying to keep books open on the treadmill. The Kindle just sits there nicely on the ledge of the treadmill - no muss, no fuss.

I also love the free samples and have read several books after trying the sample. This would not have happened before the Kindle for me.

As for those who want color, the B&N Nook has a color model with touchscreen and is back-lit. Not much of a battery life though.

I do have a used-book store nearby that I still like to frequent, if for no other reason than the nostalgic smell when I walk in the door.

As for Borders, there is (was) one about a mile from my home, and I never went there. I won't miss it.
I hope B&N doesn't have the same fate. I do like being able to go to a store and check out a book before buying. However in my case, I just like the idea of having a cup of coffee, read several magazines, and walk out with one of them, none of them, or something else. I do think that B&N needs to continually think and reshape their business model if it were to survive in the long run.
W+A:
It does illustrate an issue with employment/unemployment.

Internet business requires fewer employees. You don't need many locations, with cashiers, shelf stockers, security. You don't need as many people to clean the parking lot of snow, to paint the walls, etc.
These days many businesses do not have human employees who answer the phone. "Press 1 for X, 2 for Y, etc.). Grocery stores have automatic checkout lines. Toll booths have electronic passes instead of toll booth operators. Some surgery is robotic. Due to improvements in word processing, there are fewer typists and secretaries. Soon there will be no newspapers (no delivery people, etc) and no magazines ( fewer photographers). Everyone has a digital camera, so no film developing people. You never repair anything that is broken (except a house or a car), you just get a new one.
All of these "labor saving" devices are not saving labor, but killing it off.
Irwin -
You think it's a disturbing trend that the menial jobs are being eliminated? I think it's the opposite. I know it's painful to be unemployed, but people (in particular, kids and parents) should realize this trend as soon as possible. I don't think this is any different than the blacksmiths, streetlamp lighters, chimney sweeper jobs that were wiped out when the electricity and cars were invented.
quote:
Originally posted by Wine Sparty:
I'm with DoubleD here. I don't like seeing another Michigan based company go out of business, but think it's just a sign of technological advancement.

I think we will be fine with people developing the skill sets to match the jobs that are out there. At least until the machines take us over.


I deal all day with people who don't have the skill sets to do anything but menial jobs. They can't think. They can't reason. It would be great if everyone was a good student, but that just isn't reality.
I'll take the blacksmiths.
quote:
Originally posted by irwin:
I deal all day with people who don't have the skill sets to do anything but menial jobs. They can't think. They can't reason. It would be great if everyone was a good student, but that just isn't reality.
I'll take the blacksmiths.
Irwin, I'm not trying to attack you, but I think that statement is a copout. Although there will always be menial jobs and these jobs have their place in the economy and society, I don't believe that one can't reason and think through a problem unless someone is truly mentally handicapped. You don't need a college degree to learn plumbing, fix a car, or create an electrical outlet -- all services that I have paid an arm and a leg for in the past couple of weeks! Leave the menial jobs to the college and high school students, new immigrants, and retirees versus the 35-year old, fourth generation father/mother trying to support their 3 children.
quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
quote:
Originally posted by irwin:
I deal all day with people who don't have the skill sets to do anything but menial jobs. They can't think. They can't reason. It would be great if everyone was a good student, but that just isn't reality.
I'll take the blacksmiths.
Irwin, I'm not trying to attack you, but I think that statement is a copout. Although there will always be menial jobs and these jobs have their place in the economy and society, I don't believe that one can't reason and think through a problem unless someone is truly mentally handicapped. You don't need a college degree to learn plumbing, fix a car, or create an electrical outlet -- all services that I have paid an arm and a leg for in the past couple of weeks! Leave the menial jobs to the college and high school students, new immigrants, and retirees versus the 35-year old, fourth generation father/mother trying to support their 3 children.


DoubleD - You seem like a nice fellow, but your statements in this thread indicate a certain disconnect from the real world. A single mother of 2 who is holding down a job at Borders and a night shift cleaning floors often can't learn to be a plumber or to fix a car. She's trying to feed her kids and keep the power on. Not everyone has the support system to stop working and learn a trade. The loss of this kind of job is a lot different for the people holding them than losing a position in a law firm would be. There are considerably less options for the menial worker.

PH
First of all, Double D, it's ok to attack me. I get attacked all day long by people on the other side of my cases, my clients, judges, etc. I am used to it.

You know, the population of the US has more than doubled since I was born. Of course, we need more service people to service more people, but a good bit of our manufacturing is overseas now. It's actually pretty hard to get something made in the US. (the other day we got carry out Chinese food, and I noted that the chopsticks, ironically, were made in the US).

So, we got all these people. We have lost manufacturing jobs. We have lost alot of other jobs too. Johns Hopkins Hospital just laid off 160 clerical folks in the medical records department because they are going to all electronic medical records. Now, that is good for alot of reasons, but what are those 160 people supposed to do? Anyway, with technology you create the jobs to make the technology and to maintain it, but I have my doubts as to whether these 160 folks care much about that.
I am not advocating a return to handwritten documents and regular typewriters. I like technology. I just wonder sometimes if we can survive this prosperity.
I don't think my statements are disconnected from the real world. This is the way an economy and society evolve. Certain jobs do go away eventually, whether it goes to another country with a cheaper workforce or it is automated. Spending resources to keep these jobs in the country or in existence is fruitless. Fifty+ years ago, having a college degree meant that you were pretty set for life. I don't think that's the case anymore today.

I don't have a good solution for the mother of 2 working at Borders during the day part-time and another part-time job at Burger King. I do know that the solution isn't to raise the minimum wage to $20/hr, or to continue to invest in Borders so that it has a brick and mortar presence in some street corner, only to lose your investment in the next quarter.

The only solution that is tried and true for many who have arrived into the US with very little to their name is to have your kids get good grades in school and to work hard.
I look at the problem in this way.

You have globalization and great leaps of technology happening in a very short time frame, however your population mobility is still very much localized and certainly has not kept up with technology.

There will be pains for the current generation that hasn't realized that this timeline is a truly global one and that unfortunately, technology will move faster then your population.

You could do a few things in the meantime.

Hermit, the US closes all contact iwth the out side world. We have all the resources, the man power and knowledge to do such. There will be a major drop in wealth as businesses will be less efficient and have a smaller market to sell to, but your citizens will find more work again.

The workers could revolt and force a regime change. As more and more workers become unemployed, this will potentially be likely as these out of work people have alot more free time on their hands. Crime goes up as people realize that the only difference between being rich and poor is whether or not someone can protect his property.

Go back to the roots, get a cheap plot of land in middle america and work on farming. Give up technology so that when the world goes to hell, you'd be sitting on a bucket iwth a shotgun and a pile full of vegetables.
quote:
....... I don't believe that one can't reason and think through a problem unless someone is truly mentally handicapped.

You don't need a college degree to learn plumbing, fix a car, or create an electrical outlet....... .

....Leave the menial jobs to the college and high school students, new immigrants, and retirees.....

.....The only solution that is tried and true for many who have arrived into the US with very little to their name is to have your kids get good grades in school and to work hard......


Sorry, DoubleD. This all sounds a little out of touch. Look, I'm not saying that Borders owes anyone a job. If the business model failed, it would be silly to continue pouring money into it. Unfortunately in many businesses, a bulk of the budget involves people and not things. It's one thing to cut back on office supplies to find some black ink. It's totally another for even one hard working person to be let go.

I am an employer, and have been for over 30 years. I work in a "for profit" field and have always had to either earn my keep or not get paid. I'm a big proponent of hard work and the rewards it can bring.

You don't have a solution for my hypothetical mother of two. Neither do I. I find this very sad. Her kids may have been getting good grades, and she was probably working hard. We'll all probably be supporting her when her unemployment checks start.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:

You don't have a solution for my hypothetical mother of two. Neither do I. I find this very sad. Her kids may have been getting good grades, and she was probably working hard. We'll all probably be supporting her when her unemployment checks start.

PH


isn't that how a socialist leaning government with a capitalistic agenda works?
btw, did any of you ever think that if technology was so advanced that it'd be able to handle our every need, you could technically do away with money then human's as a whole can finally work on the things they truly cared about instead of worrying how to make money.

If technology can replace humans in labor, you truly would have no reason to work for money, instead you could paint, or do anything that makes it worthwhile to being human.

Isn't that the real goal of technology? To ensure that any material need is soo cheap (as in free) that there'd be no point in having someone work for it. At that point, you would have no need for any exchange of goods as it'd be so readily available to you.

We are just currently in a transition phase towards human transcendence
I'm sorry to hear about Borders because I have ties to Ann Arbor, but changes in the employment landscape have been going on since ancient times.

The challenge is not just providing people something to spend time at in order to make a paycheck, but rather having them do something useful with their time. I can look around and see plenty that needs to be done, and not all of it involves advanced skills and higher learning.
Borders were done in from their own blunders. They never reinvented themselves within the last 20 years and thus the consumer changed their purchasing habits and thus Borders never adapted. This spells disaster from a business viewpoint.

The second thing was that Borders either sold or gave away their online books to Amazon, why give away or sell your lifeline to a competitor?

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