Sunday, April 27, 2008

Think about it:

Jen Sorensen is a very talented cartoonist and her website is worth a weekly visit (updates every Monday). One cartoon, The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades, should be seen and contemplated, especially the first two panels. Bottom line: the productivity gains that would have us all leading a more comfortable life have been absorbed by capitalists. None of the gains were shared by labor. For a period of thirty years. That's astounding.

The cartoon will have resonance with those of a particular generation who, in the 1960's, heard about how great things were going to be with the advance of technology. It sounded plausible. It was realized, but the error was in thinking that the distribution of productivity gains was going to continue as it had before.


We're going through the same thing again with this thing called "the Singularity." Kevin Drum blogs about it hopefully from time to time. I'm a little less optimistic that the payoff will be as great as some claim it will. Here's wiki link if you're curious:

By Anonymous e. nonee moose, at 4/27/2008 9:04 PM  

And another...

By Anonymous e. nonee moose, at 4/27/2008 9:26 PM  

This post reminds me that it is time again (5th?, 6th?) to reread Kurt Vonnegut's first novel "Player Piano" (late 1950s?) that looked at the future with its technology advancements whereby most of the goods and services we require can be produced by only a few, with the entrepreneurs and engineers doing all the heavy lifting (and of course getting most of the rewards).

By Blogger Shag from Brookline, at 4/28/2008 2:10 AM  

To quote the Austin, TX band the Uranium Savages, "The future's so bleak, I think I've got Aids..."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/28/2008 11:32 AM  

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