Category Archives: future

facts?

“We all know that robots are making it impossible for people without a college degree to get jobs. That’s a basic fact about the economy known to all right-thinking people. And, just like most of the other “facts” about the economy known by right-thinking people, it happens not to be true.”

Data Refuses to Cooperate with Mainstream Education Story
Dean Baker
Sunday, 08 March 2015 07:52
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/data-refuses-to-cooperate-with-mainstream-education-story

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Filed under college, contrarian, future, person: Dean Baker, work

Knowledge-based work not safe from computers and globalization

Yet another article about this topic:

Automation hits the professions. Most remain delusionally confident, so far.
http://fabiusmaximus.com/2015/03/03/industrial-revolution-automation-professions-pilots-79845/

Already happening: pilots, doctors (anesthesiologists, radiologists, ophthalmologists), lawyers, editors, musicians,

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Filed under future, globalization, work

The next internet is TV

Sounds mostly right…. http://www.theawl.com/2015/02/the-next-internet-is-tv

See also: http://www.marco.org/2015/02/16/google-and-blogs-shit

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Filed under computers, erik-web, future, television

Links

“Myra Blackmon, who writes for the Athens (Georgia) Banner, poses a question. What if Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, came up with an idea for a drug? Would we skip clinical trials and the FDA? Would we just dispense because he said so? That’s what Bill Gates is doing to our children, she writes, and we shouldn’t stand for it.”
http://dianeravitch.net/2014/11/30/myra-blackmon-our-children-are-not-bill-gates-guinea-pigs/

In this next article, Jaron Lanier is saying (I think) that if there were micropayments and microattributions (ala Ted Nelson) then middle-class white-collar “factory” workers would get paid better and we wouldn’t have a 99%/1% situation. Not sure I am buying that because I don’t think a huge percentage of people would be *content creators* in a bell-curve sort of way. It probably does make sense at some level that it is closer to a zipf distribution, not bell-curve, like his idea of what it might be on social networks. And his language-translation example seems cherry picked. Maybe I’m wrong. I’d need to see some stats, not anecdotes.

Even if it worked $-wise, millions/billions of people getting paid by faceless millions of micropayments is not going to be satisfying in a purpose-of-life/happiness standpoint. Local sounds much much better.

http://techonomy.com/2014/11/jaron-lanier-says-transparency-path-sustainable-high-tech-economy/

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Filed under artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, future, person: Jaron Lanier

The fear of freedom

Seth Godin writes:

What will you do next?

What can you learn tomorrow?

Where will you live, who will you connect with, who will you trust?

Are questions better than answers? Maybe it’s easier to get a dummies book, a tweet or a checklist than it is to think hard about what’s next…

It’s certainly easier to go shopping. And easier still to buy what everyone else is buying.

We live in an extraordinary moment, with countless degrees of freedom. The instant and effortless connection to a billion people changes everything, but instead, we’re paralyzed with fear, a fear so widespread that you might not even notice it.

We have more choices, more options and more resources than any generation, ever.

LINK: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/11/the-fear-of-freedom.html

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Filed under freedom, future, person: seth godin, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

The World is Fast

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/05/opinion/the-world-is-fast.html
“In sum, we’re in the middle of three “climate changes” at once: one digital, one ecological, one geo-economical.” Thomas Friedman

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Filed under alternative education, climate change, computers, future, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

AI is problematic

Artificial intelligence (AI) is problematic. I mean, well, it just builds on the basic problem of computers in general. It allows people to do amazing things. So when someone is clever at using them to make money in one way or another, it can make them A LOT of money. Hence huge inequalities in income and wealth (and hence power and freedom).

By…

1) eliminating the need for expensive human workers doing boring work
2) analyzing data in ways that we couldn’t before

and more and more…

3) And AI can/will allow for even fancier ways of doing more of 1 and 2.

THE PROBLEM is that these computers (and the AI) also can do cool stuff for individuals — computers can be used by individuals in many many amazing ways. So it seduces us into thinking we are getting a good deal. But the reality MIGHT be that on balance they (computers) are doing more harm than good when one looks at the overall picture. This is JERRY MANDER’s “limitation of the personal view” which he applies to all technologies. I personally think the jury is out on that. We might swing from one extreme to another, or we may not. I recognize we might look back and realize it’s rather obvious one way or the other.

So anyway, it’s funny that David Brooks is questioning and paints 2 scenarios since his final sentence answers his own question.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/opinion/david-brooks-our-machine-masters.html?_r=0

ASIDE:
This sorta connects to a “PRETTY GOOD HOUSE” article I just read over at greenbuildingadvisor.com. Point being that Passive Houses (kinda high tech/complicated to build) can be pretty amazing, but even more amazing is probably building a small and simple house that can get to maybe 90% of a passivhaus (depending on climate) but for a much lower price and complexity — meaning available to be built by more people, more local people, local matericals, etc. etc.

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Filed under computers, erik-green, future, passive house, person: Jerry Mander