“Today, we buy a lot of stuff made in China by Chinese people. Tomorrow, we’ll buy stuff made in America — by Chinese robots.”
I just read this great article in the Atlantic.
80 MILLION Americans have an IQ of 90 or below. What is your first gut reaction about those people when you hear that?
Throughout human history, the most valuable substance on Earth has been… the human brain. Even the dimmest of humans can be taught to do tasks that we still have trouble getting machines to do.
But that is changing rapidly. And just like jobs that require “muscle” (agriculture, manufacturing) have mostly disappeared, jobs that require structured thought (finance, law) are starting to disappear as well.
So that piece of wetware in your skull is going to be scrutinized further and further, as its economic value plummets and your worth as a cog in the GDP falls with it.
Source: The War on Stupid People
It seems more obvious every day that man and machine are quickly assimilating. The transparency that’s inherent in technology will eventually destroy privacy. Automation will eventually eliminate the need for human labor. There’s a short window of time between then and now. We need a master plan for how we’ll manage the disruption that goes along with it.
Although I certainly believe that any member of our highly digital society should be familiar with how these platforms work, universal code literacy won’t solve our employment crisis any more than the universal ability to read and write would result in a full-employment economy of book publishing.
It’s actually worse. A single computer program written by perhaps a dozen developers can wipe out hundreds of jobs. As the author and entrepreneur Andrew Keen has pointed out, digital companies employ 10 times fe
Although there is no question that governments and central authorities will continue to exist and play a meaningful role in the world’s future, much of the current work performed by these governments and other authorities is also needlessly repetitive and mundane.
Just as robots have helped the world reduce menial physical labor, so cryptocurrency technology now gives us the tools to automate the menial labor of bureaucracy. Optimistically, the entirety of humanity will benefit as a result.
Predictions about you (and millions of other strangers) are starting to deeply shape your life. Your career, your love life, major decisions about your health and well-being, and even if you end up in jail, are now being governed in no small part by the digital bread crumbs you’ve left behind—many of which you don’t even know you’ve dropped in the first place.
A majority of Americans – 65 percent – now believe that robots will “definitely” or “probably” take over much of the work we humans do within 50 years – but less than 20 percent see this transformation happening to their current job.
Despite the fact that this is already happening, many more people are worried about being pushed out because of someone else undercutting them, according to a Pew survey of 2,000 people, rather than their role simply being automated out of existence.
Slaves are producing many of the things we buy, and in the process they are forced to destroy our shared environment, increase global warming, and wipe out protected species.
“Over the next ten years, I think we’ll see either a significant movement in that direction, or we’ll be in a bad place,” he says.
And what sort of “bad place” might we expect if Silicon Valley fails to change course?
“Basically everybody working for 16 to 20 hours a day for very little pay, doing repetitive tasks that for one reason or another, computers can’t do,” Rushkoff says. “And these will be the lucky people, because at least they’re employed.”
With all good technologies, there comes a time when buying the alternative no longer makes sense. Think smartphones in the past decade, color TVs in the 1970s, or even gasoline cars in the early 20th century. Predicting the timing of these shifts is difficult, but when it happens, the whole world changes.It’s looking like the 2020s will be the decade of the electric car.