Thursday, November 6, 2014

I'm hip, I'm no square

I'm alert, I'm awake, I'm aware.
I am always on the scene.
Making the rounds, digging the sounds.
I read P[rogressive] Magazine. 

And I worry about conservativesLike Hayek did, man.
 ...most of Hayek’s assessment was scathing. Too often, he argued, conservatives foolishly object to novelty as such, because they “lack the courage to welcome the same undesigned change from which new tools of human endeavor will emerge.” And he complained that they are far too fond of established authority. “The conservative does not object to coercion or arbitrary power so long as it used for what he regards as the right purposes.”
We thank Scott Sumner for the pointer to Cass Sunstein's latest. But we think he doth protest too much in the wrong direction. If there is a group uneasy about the future that Larry Page's Google, say, sees;
“I think people see the disruption but they don’t really see the positive,” says Page. “They don’t see it as a life-changing kind of thing . . . I think the problem has been people don’t feel they are participating in it.”
A perennial optimist when it comes to technology, he argues that all that will change. Rapid improvements in artificial intelligence, for instance, will make computers and robots adept at most jobs. Given the chance to give up work, nine out of 10 people “wouldn’t want to be doing what they’re doing today”.
What of people who might regret losing their work? Once jobs have been rendered obsolete by technology, there is no point wasting time hankering after them, says Page. “The idea that everyone should slavishly work so they do something inefficiently so they keep their job – that just doesn’t make any sense to me. That can’t be the right answer.”
Nor can you waste time worrying that someone, somewhere, somehow might be getting rich. That's a tune for sticks-in-the-mud like Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, Kshama Sawant and Elizabeth Warren to hum.

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