Tuesday, January 20, 2015

the american dream and the quickening jobpocalypse...,


WaPo |  Mercedes-Benz wants to develop a driverless car. Google already has one. This is exceedingly bad news for auto body shops, ambulance-chasing lawyers and others. Soon, truck drivers might be replaced by driverless trucks. What then will happen to the nation’s 3.5 million truck drivers, not to mention truck stops, of which there are 276 in Texas alone? (You can Google anything.)

The conventional answer is retraining. Truck drivers will become something else, maybe teachers or dental hygienists, which is, of course, possible. It’s also likely that many of them will sink into the funk that is the loyal companion of unemployment. Family life will shred, and possibly an army of former truck drivers will enlist with others of the digitally ditched and wreak political havoc. Shippers will sing “Happy Days Are Here Again.” For truckers it will be, “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?”

It’s clear by now that the fruits of automation, computerization and outsourcing are being reaped by the top 1 percent — in this case, shipping companies and not drivers. The old bell curve with the middle class bloating comfy in the middle is being replaced by what’s called the power curve, in which something called the 80/20 rule applies: 20 percent of the participants in an online venture get 80 percent of the rewards. Think Uber. It’s not the drivers who are getting rich. Something new and possibly awful is happening.

Many books have been written about this phenomenon, and in 2012, the Aspen Institute convened a meeting on this topic, with the resulting report bearing the jaunty title of “Power-Curve Society: The Future of Innovation, Opportunity and Social Equity in the Emerging Networked Economy.” One participant was Kim Taipale, a leading thinker in this field. I quote from the Aspen report on its summary of Taipale’s thesis: “The era of bell curve distributions that supported a bulging social middle class is over. . . . Education per se is not going to make up the difference.”

13 comments:

rohan said...

This good man bout to catch straight hell: Staff Sgt. Joseph Hickman, a Marine veteran who reenlisted in the
Maryland National Guard after 9/11, contradicts the military version of
events in his new book, “Murder at Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s
Pursuit of the Truth About Guantanamo Bay.” And he paints a sinister
picture of the government’s use of the prison as a “battle lab” for
cruelly inventive, experimental torture tactics. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/guantanamo-bay-sergeant-claims-cia-tortured-3-men-death-article-1.2082610

rohan said...

Since I'm on this thought, did you ever hear any of this at the time it originally came out? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2483502/Corey-Feldman-told-cops-molested-named-abusers-did-nothing.html

What with Prince Andrew in the news http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-andrew-been-secretly-filmed-4915421 is it me or is the world seriously starting to resemble something out of a Whitley Strieber illuminati nightmare?

CNu said...

WOW!!! The psychic aether is extra-crackly this morning. That's the stuff that the pseudonymous Jack Phillips was talking about yesterday morning on the radio! Tying it to Whitley Strieber, one of the absolute "dons" of liminal awareness, makes it extra crispy with eleven herbs and spices http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2008/07/soul-technology.html

BigDonOne said...

Consider for a moment how unions originally got their power -- the Teamster's Union will not take this lying down. And the Mafia hijackers and high-tech hackers will be licking their chops. Job opening of the future will be for two guys riding shotgun on every computer-driven truck.....

CNu said...

lol, please.., for $15K today, a truck could be outfitted with enough RPV quadrotor drone firepower to take out a platoon. By 2025 that cost to value will have fallen exponentially.

Vic78 said...

Did he just say the Teamsters were going to jack 18 wheelers?

BigDonOne said...

Violence...cause "accidents"...hackers divert computer-steered trucks off the highway, e.g., into the river...
(don't bring a quadrotor to a shotgun fight...)

CNu said...

Name the Goog-all property that has been successfully subverted by hackers here-to-date?

CNu said...

You would've at least appeared vaguely credible if you'd said "gmail" or something, but going to "computer" means you were talking out the side of your neck.

BigDonOne said...

JPMorgan, Sony, Iran/Stuxnet, NSA-Snowden, ***.gov, etc.......
More at http://www.ibtimes.co.in/hacker-group-anonymous-claims-leaking-13000-account-passwords-amazon-walmart-dell-more-618474

CNu said...

lol, you do realize we're joking when we substitute Goog-all or Goo-gol for Google right? Keep right on searching though, pretty soon Goo-gol will want to know why you're so interested in that topic.

John Kurman said...

I see remake of Convoy. We'll call it Fury Road.

Well, right about the robots. Don't have to be smart, just perform smart. Jobs disappear and we humans are forming craft co-ops and organic farming communes to stay alive. Let's hope the professional level creator's jobs disappear first. Oh hi, HAL!

John Kurman said...

All Hail Ood!