Technotopia And Politics-Jonah Goldberg At The National Review Online: ‘Minimum Wage And The Rise Of The Machines’

Full piece here.

As Goldberg notes, Applebee’s has installed tablets at each table.  Self-driving car technology is coming along nicely (2020?).  Drones have lots of applications.

‘The robot future is coming no matter what, and it will require some truly creative responses by policymakers. I don’t know what those are, but I’m pretty sure antiquated ideas that were bad policy 100 years ago aren’t going to be of much use. Maybe the answers will come when artificial intelligence finally comes online and we can replace the policymakers with machines, too.’

Say your HAL9000 State U.S. Representative has indicated that it wouldn’t raise taxes this half-cycle to a probability of 99%, but then you get your tax bill and it nearly killed you!  Time to decommission:


Our politics is way behind many of the changes going in our society on right now, and public opinion of our public officials is at all-time lows.  Technology is changing private and public institutions, including bureaucracies, of course, but at obviously differing rates with different technologies, and according to different social and political arrangements (current political promises notwithstanding).

We’ve already seen some of these changes come to Wall Street, our workplaces and to our personal lives.  Clay Shirky has been thinking about how the internet is going to change government.

Have you as a citizen ever had so much individual freedom that political philosophies and political parties wishing to control government must compete for your business?

Is all that freedom a good thing in your life?

What are you doing with it?

***Clearly, one solution would be to pay low-skilled workers to sit inside of ATM machines and manually handle money and make beeping noises if necessary.  The job will come with a living wage and union membership.

**If you want to fund a good piece of satirical fiction, here’s my pitch: A technotopian playboy flits around the global village with a pack of journalists in tow.  Old-world money & politics meet new technology & ideas…with a nihilist twist.  Today, he claims to have negotiated a peace-deal with Somali pirates.  Tomorrow, he’s off delivering a TED talk in San Francisco.

Next Tuesday, our protagonist turns up at Christie’s buying a Warhol for $100 million in NYC.  By next Wednesday, he’s rumored to be at Art Basel in Miami, paying nine nude models to destroy the painting while staring directly into the sun.

A publicity stunt?  An international plot…or something much darker?

Find out what happens to this intellectually brilliant but morally undecided man, as he begins hearing the voice of his late father into the night, muttering thick, tactical German which echoes in his ears.

Is anything as it seems?

Related On This Site:  You’ve been gerrymandered: Repost-Francis Fukuyama And Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest: ‘None Of The Above’

From The American Interest: Francis Fukuyama Interviews Peter Thiel-’A Conversation With Peter Thiel’

Why Do People Move To Cities? From Falkenblog: ‘The Perennial Urban Allure’Megan McArdle At The Daily Beast: ‘The Technocratic Dilemma’

Are these the enemies of the future?: Virginia Postrel At Bloomberg: ‘How The Elites Built America’s Economic Wall’

Can economic freedom and free markets reconcile the moral depth of progressive big-State human freedom?:  Milton Friedman Via Youtube: ‘Responsibility To The Poor’A Few Quotations From F.A. Hayek’s: ‘Why I Am Not A Conservative’…libertarians share a definition of liberty

Kevin Williamson, at the National Review, and his new book:  ’The End Is Near, And It’s Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave American Richer, Happier, and More Secure.’

Walter Russell Mead’s theory, in part, posits that liberalism 4.0 needs to become 5.0 and start to creatively solve the problems we’re faced with, including globalization, the decline of manufacturing and industry, and the rise of technology.  The ‘blue’ model is behind the times:

From HyperAllergic Via The New Criterion: ‘At the Internet Archive, Saving Data While Spurning the Cloud’

Full piece here.

Brewster Kahle is building an Internet Archive which aims to offer universal access:

‘…a Library of Congress for the 21st century built through private philanthropy and sweat equity…’

…How libraries endure was on Kahle’s mind when I visited the Archive in San Francisco’s Richmond District earlier this year. “What happens to libraries is that they’re burned,” he said. “They are generally burned by governments. The Library of Congress, for instance, has already been burned once, by the Brits. So if that’s what happens, well, design for it, make copies.”

You can’t step in the same river twice, and much of our stored knowledge can be gone in the blink of an eye.

Cloud computing seems poised to shake things up, but backup plans are welcome, and Kahle seems motivated to think about where technology and library science are meeting.  He discusses his scanning centers and bookmobiles which are getting books cheaply into the hands of people who may never have held them before: