Showing posts from November, 2016

A short thought about automation and cultural bubbles

My brother and I were talking about the fears of automation and it led to him searching for articles arguing against those who were concerned.  Among them he found this one: "Opinions: The robots aren’t threatening your job" [Washington Post].  It offers the general dismissals of a journalist living in Washington DC in 2015. The Great Robot Freakout of 2015 has begun, and it looks a lot like the robot freakouts that came before it.   In a new survey by CNBC, Americans were asked how concerned they were, if at all, that their jobs could be replaced by technology in the next five years. The level of automation angst was astonishing: About 1 in 8 workers indicated was worried about being displaced. Among those earning less than $30,000, it was a whopping 1 in 4.    ...  Then, as now, such premonitions embraced the so-called   Luddite Fallacy : that technological developments would permanently reduce or even eliminate the need for human labor. But again and again su

Global Warming: It is too late to stop us from stopping it

Recently I've read several articles that excite me regarding climate change. If you know me, you probably know that I have a pet peeve for climate alarmists.  There is a famous scene in Aaron Sorkin's show "The Newsroom" in which a scientist informs the protagonist that the literal apocalypse has occurred, and we are now living in the brief delay between when it happened and when the events foretold in the Book of Revelations unfold.  The concept of the scene is clear: Sorkin is trying to shock his audience with the knowledge that global warming is not something which is coming, it is something which has come.  And that's true.  It's effects have already begun, and by all projections it is too late to shift course before we see catastrophic weather events that may kill thousands.  Which sucks.  But 1.25 million people died in car accidents last year, so lets not confuse what's coming with the literal end of humankind. Panic among those concerned a