Wednesday, March 20, 2019

It's Good If We Have A President Who Is Grounded In The Current Century... Unlike You-Know-Who


John Oliver: "The truth is, from employers' point of view, a big selling point for automation is that it increases productivity and it maximizes profits. And, for displaced workers, that has caused immense main throughout history-- and not just in factories. For instance, in the 90s, as voice recognition technology improved, phone company operators were rightly worried for their jobs... A job automated is not necessarily a job lost. Frequently, machines don;'t replace jobs so much as tasks... Fear of [ATM-related] job losses turned out to be completely overblown; bankteller employment actually increased over the next 30 years. What happened was, ATMs took over the job of dispensing cash and tellers were then freed up to do sales or other work. Jobs didn't go; they changed. And when automation does lead to job loss in certain sectors, historically, it also actually created jobs... Fifty years from now, people will be doing jobs that we can't imagine right now..."

But he also warns that "it might not be easy for displaced workers to transition into them. For instance, right now our economy is creating lots of jobs in the tech sector. At the same time, we have 3 and a half million truckers possibly facing unemployment due to driverless technology... So the big question is, how do you harness what is good about automation while minimizing the damage to those hurt by it? Well, the best thing would be, if America were in the hands of someone nimble and forward-thinking."

That, of course brings us back to Trump, who is neither nimble nor forward thinking. Oliver goes on to discuss what a luddite Trump is and how he's doing none of the things he could and should be doing to help displaced workers. He obviously doesn't understand what's going on around him, nor, more fundamentally, does he or the people around him understand the role of government in these kinds of upheavals.

Just yesterday, Jonathan Swan wrote for Axios that Trump hates "crazy" driverless cars. In his view, "self-driving cars are a menace to society. A skeptic of cutting-edge technology-- as his tweets about Boeing's 'complex' planes emphasized-- Trump has privately said he thinks the autonomous vehicle (AV) revolution is 'crazy' and that he'd never let a computer drive him around.

Why it matters: Most Americans share Trump's view: 71% of U.S. drivers would be afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, per AAA. Yet his own administration is encouraging AV development by removing barriers and issuing voluntary guidance instead of regulations. And we see no evidence Trump has imposed his personal views on the policy process... In conversations on Air Force One and in the White House, Trump has acted out scenes of self-driving cars veering out of control and crashing into walls. He's said he doesn't think autonomous vehicles make sense, according to four sources who've heard him discuss the subject. 'You know when he's telling a story, and he does the hand motions,' said a source who has heard Trump talk about hypothetical accidents involving self-driving cars. 'He says, Can you imagine, you're sitting in the back seat and all of a sudden this car is zig-zagging around the corner and you can't stop the f---ing thing? He's definitely an automated car skeptic,' the source said. Another source said Trump told him self-driving cars 'will never work.'"
In one of the early 2017 meetings with CEOs in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Elon Musk and Trump shared a lighthearted exchange about Tesla's "Autopilot" technology. Trump told Musk he preferred traditional cars, according to a source who was in the room.

And in the summer of 2017, at his Bedminster golf club, Trump was chatting with club members when one raised the subject of AV technology. The club member was "excited" about a new Tesla he bought, recalled a source who was part of the conversation. "And [Trump] was like, 'Yeah that's cool but I would never get in a self-driving car. ... I don't trust some computer to drive me around.'"
The world is moving forward, even if Trump isn't. Relatively saner elements inside his administration are trying to keep up, even if Trump is gumming top the works wherever he can. Swan wrote that "A source who has discussed autonomous vehicles with Trump says he thinks it wouldn't take much for the president to rapidly reverse his administration's hands-off approach to hands-free vehicles. Trump already calls self-driving cars out-of-control death traps, so any news fueling that fear could jolt him into action."

So which candidates are way, way, way more forward-thinking and nimble than Trump? The obvious ones are Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Beto, Tulsi, Kamala, Cory Booker, Mayor Pete, Andrew Yang, Julian Castro, Marianne Williamson, Jay Inslee... In fact, most anyone other than Status Quo Joe-- who might be a little less of a luddite than Trump... but not enough to qualify as a 21st Century president.

Labels: , , ,


At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) trump is not grounded at all. he's a malignant narcissist. He cares nothing about anything that does not make him money or make oral contact with his ass. He is incurious and basically dumber than shit. He's also delusional, especially about his own expertise and insightfulness. He's extraordinarily suggestible, as his retwitting and parroting of what he consumes on his favored media sources proves. But he always thinks it's all his own idea.

2) each and every one of the "other" candidates shares at least a few of these traits. biden shares the most. If I were to guess, I'd say Inslee shares the fewest. don't know him well.

In general, the older the candidate, the less well informed he/she will be to the 21st century. Again, Inslee might be the notable exception due to his understanding of climate concerns.

all that said, if we have only the choice between a Nazi party hack and a democrap party hack, and will be encumbered with a congress of a majority of either and nobody else, nothing will ever change so the opening declarative is purely academic.

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's asking for self driving cars on a political level? People actually are quite good at driving cars and most actually like it. The whole thing is driven by venture capitalists to increase their 1%-ness up to .01%-ness. Because Uber and Lyft subsidize rides with investor money, to displace the Taxi industry (& now publby saying once we go driver less we will no longer have to pay drivers and they we are going to make all this money for you dear shareholder. Don't believe the Hype!
excerpt from above link

“[Humans] are the best autonomous systems I know of.”

So says Dr Maarten Sierhuis, chief technology director for Nissan, and the man charged with guiding the manufacturer’s autonomous driving technology into the future.

But the NASA veteran, who oversaw and designed autonomous technologies for the US space agency, has joined a growing number of voices in believing fully autonomous vehicles may never happen, certainly not in the way they've been touted in recent years.

At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"to displace the Taxi industry (& now public transportation) by " edit

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Oliver ignored the real goal of automation: the complete elimination of workers and their costs from the bottom line.


Post a Comment

<< Home