Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 15, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

THE END OF WORK?....I almost forgot, but Marshall Brain (of this website) had an op-ed in the LA Times this morning on a subject that I've been meaning to blog about one of these days: what happens when semi-intelligent robots become available on a wide enough scale that they put lots of people permanently out of work?

This isn't a crazy idea, and it's probably not all that far off a few decades at most. And unlike previous mechanical revolutions, this one will leave the displaced workers with no other industry to go to. What then?

I'm probably still going to blog more about this someday, but in the meantime go read the article to get a flavor for the scope of the problem and the scope of the opportunity. It's not going to be science fiction for much longer.

POSTSCRIPT: And by the way, this is one (among many) reasons that I never worry about things like Social Security bankruptcy beyond a 40-50 year time scale. The world will be so fundamentally different by 2050 that it's pretty pointless to speculate that far out.

Kevin Drum 10:16 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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