Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting Online

Tyler Durden's picture

As the Chinese transition from healthy working individuals to couch-potato-like consuming-monkeys, we wonder just what the China of tomorrow will look like. To wit, Shanghai Daily reports that the world's largest online game-maker Blizzard Entertainment (World of WarCraft and StarCraft II) just announced that the number of Chinese online game players has surged to a new high after the upgrading of China's broadband services.

There are 120 million online game players in the country, up 4.6% from last year, of the 538 million internet users in mainland China.

What will the marginal wage for an iPhone-maker be now that leisure time is becoming more valuable?

And what will the average weight and BMI of the young Chinese male be in five years time? We suspect higher than the current 145lbs.

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CPL's picture

Go long Chinese gold farming!

prains's picture

USA vs CHINA mud wrestling match coming to a pay per view soon

TruthInSunshine's picture



"What will the marginal wage for an iPhone-maker be now that leisure time is becoming more valuable?"


It won't matter. Foxconn, which makes the iPhone and dozens of other companies' gadgets, is planning on automating 50% of the tasks now done by humans within a year. How much longer until another 50% of tasks are automated, then another 50%...and so on?

tickhound's picture

Yes... Thank you.  Technology would've already replaced the majority of human labor if human consumerism WASN'T SO FUCKING VITAL to the modern day economic equations.

lolmao500's picture

Unlimited credit can replace people working. And robots can replace people working.

/great success!

I'll vote for someone promising 100% unemployment.

GetZeeGold's picture



Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting


Wow...those cats are fast as lightning! Duck and cover bitchez.

knukles's picture


Regardless of this or that, there was a telling "news" piece today. 

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7405692n&tag=api   Hint for anybody whose missed it.
His Messiah His Very Self took a Dive in the first debate He is not a boring man, disinterested, shallow, slow or unintelligible. He Threw the moment on purpose. His handler, those of Wealth, Power and Prestige of Unimaginable Scope and Depth have decided he will not be President again.  There will be No Second Coming.   Charlie Rose is not an unimpeachable, fair source.
He has attended every Bilderberg meeting for the last umpteen years.
He is an Official Mouthpiece, an Official Organ of that so called thing that doesn't exist, the New World Order.
Who had just happened to have been recently "promoted" (more like placed) in a significant position on the Morning "News" on CBS?
Coincidence, my ass.
On CBS, one of the stalwart neo-leftist statist MSM managed Directed "News" Agencies?   Charlie Rose, a man of great credibility....  supposedly   Winds up on the Lowly CBS BS-a-thon and Preaches the Divine Goodness of Mittens Romney.   Romney is being directed into the White House by those who want him there and that ain't you or me, and it ain't being done for our benefit. Directed History real time in front of our very eyes    


RSBriggs's picture

Nope. Sorry.  Not buying it.  He actually IS a dumb fuck - one that can't speak coherently unless he's reading it off a teleprompter.

Harbanger's picture

It's dated April 17, 2012 ???

BigJim's picture

See? These guys... they're so powerful, they can warp time itself.

I can't remember who said it here first, but I'm inclined to agree the FSA (Free Shit Army) has reached a tipping point in US politics. If you ain't promising them mo free shit, you history, sucka. And Romney isn't liked much by the FSA.

To be fair to the denizons of the FSA - one of the reasons they're unemployed (and unemployable) is the result of the chronic misallocation of capital from the corporate socialism benefitting guys like Romney, so you can see why they want to get on board with the handouts - it's the aspirational thing to do!

It also means they might not starve to death, shivering under a 'Vote Romney' emblazoned bridge someplace in The Land O'Plenty. 

The Malamute Kid's picture

Cyborgs, cell phones implanted in your ear, computer screens in a contact lens (read google glasses), I have seen the future and it is ugly.

Harbanger's picture

You must have read Obama's Healthcare Bill, because the "future" is already here, Americans may be implanted with chips as soon as 2013.


jeff montanye's picture

now now, don't get hysterical.  obama gives monsters a bad name but the language cited in these rile 'em up articles refers to medical devices like pacemakers being registered to keep track of recalls.  and that language never made it into the final signed version of the bill (bad legislation for many other reasons but not this one).  i realize snopes is not as good a source as, say, stormfront, but here it is for those who care:  http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/microchip.asp

BigJim's picture

Thanks for doing the research.

Prometheus418's picture

The truth is, "TruthInSunshine," that that is my personal goal.

A little caveat here- I'm not going to go all Obama on ya and claim that you didn't build that, but my intention is to eliminate as much senseless muppet torture as possible.

To understand this, here's my pedigree, cur stock that it is.  My first full-time summer job, at 11 years old, was as a "lumper."  For those who haven't had the pleasure, a lumper is a guy who picks produce up off the bed of a truck and loads it in a gayloard (translation: big ass cardboard box.)  Got paid in cash, and worked with undocumented immigrants.  Lunch was usually uncooked taters and onions that didn't make the cut at the produce wholesaler.  To be fair, most of the job was idle time, with an average wage of $18/hr+ for the actual time worked.  Not exactly abusive for a guy too young to legally hold a job,so I don't have a real bitch there.

After a few years of that, my uncle took me in as an apprentice in his grinding shop for minimum wage.  Five years of precision grinding in an old garage left me with no assets, and a lifelong case of heavy metal (cobalt) poisoning.  Evidently, OSHA was not working for me when I was 14.  I left when I turned 18 without a paper degree and started off in a "real" machine shop as a deburrer.  Because I am a big guy, I was quickly "promoted" to material handler and sawyer.

It was over eight years before I got moved up to engineering, and only with a heavy burden of proof, and a whole lot of bitterness over the patents that were stolen from me.  In those eight long, painful years, I had the dubious honor of mastering almost all of the jobs that I have personally slated for obsolecence.  

I know that it's easy to point at robots and turn a scornful eye in thier direction, but the reality is that those robots still need humans to tell them what to do.  When a junkyard dog like myself courts FANUC to get rid of some of that drudge work, it's not always to turn a profit at the expense of others.  As often as not, it is to allow those others to sit down once in a while, and get paid more to do less.  I'm not the only guy with my story- there are plenty of men who took the same path I did, and feel the same way.  Some of those stubborn monkeys even live in China.

We built those robots for a reason, and I'm sorry if that ruined your plans of becoming a master cartwright, but that's how things roll sometimes.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help myself and others figure out how increasing automation can be distrubuted with some kind of evenness, rather than concentrating wealth in the hands of amoral Oligarchs.  That's a far better deal than simply dismissing technological advancement- If you don't believe me, I'd be happy to impose my own scars on you, and you can take on my stitch-count for yourself.

Personally, I'd rather see "Joe Six-pack" with a three-day work week and a month or two of vacation every year- with the same compensation he gets of a 50 hour work week today.

fourchan's picture

tell me about it, i used to made vhs tapes, by the millions.

Prometheus418's picture

And did you see what I saw?

Good chance you did, really- I've known literally thousands of men and women whom I can only describe as having souls like gray and worn-out dishrags.  Fuck that kind of work, it's better given to the machines.  

TruthInSunshine's picture

And yet the odd thing is that hundreds of millions of Chinese migrated from rural areas rich with farms to dirty, grungy cities, and even waited in long lines and paid bribes (representing a good chunk of their families' savings in many cases) to be hired in factories doing manual work under worse conditions than that which you described.

Now, the same trend has formed in other southeast asian nations, where some Chinese manufacturers have re-located to escape the "high cost" of Chinese labor and "red tape" back home.

I'm not making a moral judgment on the matter of automation, but pointing out that it's increasingly leaving more people either unemployed or laboring under (pun?) an unknown future, since the "knowledge economy" predicted by so many economists and theorists hasn't exactly turned out to be the world of milk & honey that they conjectured.

The Chinese ruling elite don't fear the U.S., or Japan, or any military or economic competitors. The Chinese ruling elite fear that there won't be enough jobs available domestically to keep their citizenry employed, leading to mass social unrest.

This is why China will never float its currency (in our lifetimes); waaaay too many jobs need to be created and maintained, no matter the counter-costs. They'll wave a big bird to Geithner or Bernanke any and every time the issue comes up.

If a great wave of joblessness washes over China, their worst fears will be vindicated.

jeff montanye's picture

prometheus brings up the salient point of capitalism: how can the rising productivity of technology and a growing population, not to mention more intensively employed natural resources (okay so the last two are becoming obsolete but still there is technology -- moore's law, etc.) be distributed to the mass of humans when the nature of capitalism is to direct profit to the owners of capital who themselves battle so as to further steepen the pyramid of wealth, thus preventing the workers from having the means to purchase what they and the capitalists make?   

democratic government is the only force anywhere near as powerful and, as we see, fairly easily captured by those controlling great wealth.  this is a legitimate conundrum and what produces depressions in capitalism.  

in socialism one gets inflation and further encroachments on personal liberty.  as the greeks said it's a golden mean but boy are those hard to juggle in the hegelian dialectic of human history.

BigJim's picture

Luddism - the fear that technology will render human workers obsolete.

Much as I respect and enjoy your other contributions here, you guys are falling into the 'lump of labor' fallacy. People in Ludd's time couldn't imagine how workers would find something to do if machines displaced  them from sowing and reaping.... They were wrong. Eleanor Roosevelt opined that the technological progress she was witnessing around her was only good so long as it did not render humans obsolete... back in the 1930s. She was wrong. They've all been wrong. Human desires are near infinite. Look around you - you telling me you got everything you want? No, but you've probably got everything you want that you can afford. And machines bring down the cost of production, making more stuff affordable. People are still needed to do all the stuff that machines can't.

And please stop conflating our present monetary system with 'capitalism'. Capitalism doesn't produce business cycles - cheap credit via fractional reserve banking produces business cycles through misallocation of capital and debt overhang.

Yes, we have a real problem with how the wealth produced by people winds up going to the 1%... but again this is the result of the 'financialisation' of our economies, which, again, is the result of our monetary system.

But people are a lot better off now than they were in the 1800's when there was 100% employment. You want full employment again? Get rid of regulations like minimum wage, so that people who are incapable of making an employer a profit at minimum wages can be employed at a wage where they can.

TruthInSunshine's picture

The reason people have it better now, on average, than in the 1930s, or Charles Dickens' era, for that matter, is multifold.

Technological and scientific advances have contributed to a higher quality of life, as have many other key differentials.

But one thing you forgot to mention was the existence of the modern, massive, deficit/debt spawning safety-net, where a massive percentage of developed nations' citizens live on direct government transfer payments. Take this safety net away and the full extent of the hollowed out economy that's due, in large measure, from automation, will become far more "in your face" than it is at present.

The only reason we don't witness massive soup lines in America right now, stretching across many city blocks, is because the politicians team up with the farm lobby (Carghill, etc.) and Wall Street (JPM, etc.) to ensure that 50 million Americans get their EBT cards on time, and many millions more get their SSDI, Social Security, Medicare, and multitude of other transfer payments, so as to keep the full extent of the desperation as hidden from public view as possible.

BigJim's picture

I hear you.

But it's the financialisation of the economy that allows the 1% to suck out capital via their skimming regimes, that means the companies that would employ most of those 50 million Americans are unable to raise the capital to do so, or are too heavily indebted to consider taking them on, or whose customers are too up to their eyeballs in debt to afford to buy their products.

Add in the minimum wage and what you see is burgeoning un/underemployment. Rolling back the robots won't stop that - it'll just make us even poorer, and even less competitive against the Chinese.

Prometheus418's picture

@ BigJim-

I know that this thread is a little stale, and now that it's off the front page it may never get read again, but you are correct.

A few years ago, I may have fallen into the "lump of labor" fallacy- but I did run across a fine story that, although fiction, allowed me to continue on.  I won't claim it is a panacea for all the world's ills, but at least it's an idea worth attempting.  The story was "World set free," by H.G. Wells.  Now, I've always liked stories like The time machine, because I'm a geek like that- but this particular work was probably Wells' masterwork, even though it is not the most popular.

The gist of it was that if most people had nothing that they were forced to do, they could focus on either their art or their passion- and the ones who cared for nothing really did not count.  I've met a lot of crazily gifted individuals in industrial settings who let their talents decay because they had to show up and punch a clock to keep their kids from starving- from time to time, when I can't find a movie worth watching, or a painting to inspire me, I wonder how things could be if we let people follow their own muses- without the threat of death if they do not conform.  I know that there would be a lot of crap- that's inevitable- but there would also be rare and precious gems buried in said crap, and those are the things which would survive for posterity.

The entire idea is anethema to a site like Zero Hedge, because it is predicated on the idea that automation can produce enough for all humankind to have a basic baseline standard of living even if they do nothing (Yes, FOX News viewers, I am talking about your dreaded socialism- get back on your free Rascal scooters and run along now) That *is* a moral hazard when people are forced to labor for the benefit of others, but becomes a far more interesting question when machines provide the standard of living.  In that case, the support of the idle can lead to a vast enrichment for all men when it comes to art and culture.

Most people are not lazy parasites- we have tens of thousands of years of genetic imperatives that have allowed us to climb to the top of the food chain, and the lack of artificial struggles does not change any of that.  At worst, we have billions watching Judge Judy and eating Cheetos all day long- but that is a small price to pay if it allows even two Teslas to florish in a hundred years, rather than the one we get today.

I know, it's not in line with the approved talking points here at the hedge, and that's fine by me.  I won't change my opinion, because frankly, to do so is to commit suicide- I don't want to return to olden times, or to move any further down the path we're on.  Unless a new direction is estabished, all I have to say is that I'd rather not participate. 

Parrotile's picture

With improvements in data management (software and hardware infrastructure), developments in many areas of electronics, electromechanics and biomechanical system understanding, the ongoing effort to miniaturise (for resource, speed and energy consumption needs), and the continuing evolution of "smart" and fuzzy - logic based "Expert Systems" we have long ago been pressented with the concept of "Machines designing Machines, to be built by Machines", one of the proof of concept / execution examples being the now ancient IBM PS-2 - designed from the outset as a machine-assembled device.

Fuzzy logic software and firmware platforms are becoming pretty ubiquitous in consumer durables / white goods. Washing Machines and Dishwashers all seem to sport some form of fuzzy logic programming, and even cheap, bottom-of-the-range automatic gearboxes have this as a standard element - my Kia Rio auto has a fully "intelligent" transmission which adjusts itself to reflect outside conditions, and my driving style - no more "sport" mode or "Icy" mode buttons - it "does it, itself".

Just how long will it be before the machines really DO start to develop a degree (maybe subtle at first) of true autonomy? At what stage of system interconnection, transfer speed and net distributed processing will the first spark of self-awareness emerge - and will we be too engrossed with our "Smart Media" to even notice?

How long before we realise that the Turing Test standard of AI was passed "some time ago" but we were too self-absorbed to even notice.

What happens then . . . . . .

Parrotile's picture

In the year 2525,

Your arms will hang limp at your side;

You'll laze, nothing to do -

Some machine's doing it for you

ZFiNX's picture

Doesn't matter, Apple is starting to catch the scorn of their hipster faithful, this fad is near over. Go to imgur.com, 9gag.com, etc. where this trend is easily visible to the internet-addicted such as myself. Just look up "iPhone 5 sucks" on google trends.

Eireann go Brach's picture

Isn't that Larry Summers child from his mail order Taiwanese wife?

A Nanny Moose's picture

As if /Trade wasn't bad enough with outright trolling.

AUD's picture

But they weren't as fast as lightening!

AynRandFan's picture

You wasted a great opening sentence.  I'd use it again if I were you.  Self-plagarism is sorta ok if nobody complains.

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

exporting americastuff will slow them down

prains's picture

wow 3 years 4 weeks and that's all you got


the avatar is satirical right?


and what all you can do is clutch your panties in a ball and summon a junk

Agent P's picture

Finally...proof of the Buddha's reincarnation

otto skorzeny's picture

wow- chinese kids can become pencil-necked, worthless, socially inept nerds that can't even change a tire just like US kids.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Thanks Tyler for this one!  I am sending it to my Tai Chi instructor.  One less reason to worry about China...

Jim in MN's picture

This whole global Tshit Tsunami is getting into shallower and shallower water.

Magnum's picture

Reminds me of that stupid "earth is flat" book by the shill NYT reporter who phony intellectuals like to quote.  What's his name?  He was a big cheerleader for bombing Iraq before writing this idiotic book.  

He was saying years ago that Asian students were all going home after school to study mathematics and beat their US counterparts in academics, but I don't think he's ever been invited into any Asian home or know anyone over there.  Because where my family lives in Asia, the biggest business when that book came out was internet game cafes which were packed with every kid on the block.  It's even worse now, because when not playing games on their PC they ALL stare at phones.  Parents don't do a thing either.  Kids 3 years old ++.  

I don't know where they find kids to do good on test scores but it's no doubt rigged, the smartest few are doing good at tests but I'm sure the vast majority are just getting fat staring at their phone.

Parrotile's picture

I don't know where they find kids to do good on test scores but it's no doubt rigged, the smartest few are doing good at tests but I'm sure the vast majority are just getting fat staring at their phone.

Seems you've accurately described Outer Melbourne residential suburbs and shopping malls during Weekends / School Holidays. (Except we seem to be missing the "Smartest few").

Nassim's picture

Here in Altona, I keep my kids well away from gadgets. They read a lot and play a lot (real play). Also, they have tennis, swimming, dancing and singing. However, you are right, and we are the exception.