Archive for the ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ Category

If We Can Somehow Bring Ourselves To Take the Long View, We Probably Should….

Revised from a recent comment of mine on this Crooked Timber thread: A sort of Marxist point about our present distempers: the conditions of existence have changed, probably irrevocably, for the Scots-Irish coal miners of West Virginia, the libertarian ranchers of the West, and the industrial workers of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and they’re not happy about […]

The Evolution of Noblesse Oblige

Andrew Carnegie: We’ll buy a lot of books, and build a lot of places where working people can go and read them. This will help them better themselves, and in the process provide a more civilized future for all of us. Bill Gates: The country is not producing enough of the kind of people we’ll need for […]

Sorry, Tim

The future is not apps, the future is functionality. The sooner you guys get done fighting over the money, the sooner Siri, Alexa, Cortana, etc., can be addressed as fully rational creatures, and we guinea pigs consumers can get on with sorting out the blessings and curses of this new symbiosis you’ve been threatening us with promising us.

From 1994: The Future of Our Discontents

This essay appeared here and there on the Web in the mid-Nineties in slightly different versions — at one point it was even published in translation by an Italian Blade Runner fan site. There are things in it that I’d change if I were writing it today, but since the only point in re-jiggering the parts that […]

A Cold Day in Hell

Today Paul Krugman has discovered that, gasp, technological unemployment is really real! And it’s really, finally here! And it really, really will result in a permanent transfer of wealth from labor to capital, no matter how many college degrees laborers go into debt to acquire! (and, coincidentally, of course, this also seems to imply that Marx might […]