Humans Need Not Apply.
Video essayist CGP Grey
explains why we need to start preparing for a post-human economy.
... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots
. But what everyone's worried about is you
, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net
, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
The robots are here.
George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen predicts that the trend towards automation will squeeze the middle class further still, and compares its effects on American politics to a too-overlooked 1955 short story
by Isaac Asimov.
Trade-offs between inequality, productivity, and employment
- "The poor do not employ one another, because the necessities they require are produced and sold so cheaply by the rich. The rich are glad to sell to the poor, as long as the poor can come up with property or debt claims or other forms of insurance to offer as payment..." [more inside]
Made in America: small businesses buck the offshoring trend
- "For US manufacturing to make sense, factories must make extensive use of automation. That's getting easier, given that the cost of robots with comparable capabilities has decreased precipitously in the past two decades." [more inside]
In a pinch, upgrade the humans or redistribute the robots
- "[S]uppose [as a factory owner] I replace all my workers with machines... This squeeze has many implications, one of them being that here is an important sector of the economy in which more or less all the gains accrue to the owners of capital and more or less none to the working class..." [more inside]
The Soylent Green Biscuit Factory
Are automation, robots, and computers taking human jobs and producing a new class of permanently superfluous ex-workers? (see Robot Nation thanks spazzm
) Maybe the Soylent Green Biscuit Factory can help! Robert Wenzlaff says - "I'm not just the president. I'm also a raw material."