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The slightly uncertain, maybe scary future. That’s why I read Fred – he makes dissecting the unsettling a form of entertainment.

Economists are puzzled by this because they have no grasp of economics. They think the solution is to retrain displaced workers to do higher-tech things. This happy talk ignores that many of the replaced blue-collars are not smart enough to become IT managers and neurosurgeons, even if we had enough brain cancer, and that the jobs for which they would be retrained are rapidly being replaced themselves. Your can’t retrain fifty replaced clerks as programmers because the company already has programmers, and anyway only needs five.

Meanwhile our patriotic businessmen want to bring in millions of prefabricated unemployables to help us be out of work. See? Robots and humans working together. Cooperation is a key to success in almost every thing. Question: How much unemployment is needed for things to get ugly? When does it boil over?

He starts by discussing a new computer that writes better than any Barnard graduate. A little unnerving for those living off ink and keyboards.

My solution for the future? Professional Robot Killer! My services will not be cheap but you’ll gladly pay them. Give it a few years – or until next week…

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