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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Knots landing

By Tom Toles

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***

Outsmarting ourselves

Suppose you came to work one day and somebody else was sitting at your computer! This is a ridiculous, outmoded fear. Because what you should really be concerned about is that NOBODY will be sitting at your computer because your chair is gone and your computer is running itself.

This is one of those perennial type of apocalypse jobs stories that seem like they must be true and simultaneously seem like they won't be true, because they rarely are. Still, it's hard to spot the obvious flaw in the logic. Kids in school don't seem to be getting any smarter, but computers sure are. What's that formula, again? Computing power doubles every two years and doesn't leave crumbs at its desk? It's not that computers are going to outclass us someday; they already have, but we haven't realized it yet because of our slower processing capacity.

So, yes, one day machines will do our work for us, but we never figured out that little paycheck wrinkle. Slow processing capacity, again. -- Tom Toles

***

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By Tom Toles  | March 8, 2011; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Comments

dave...perhaps I am ignoring 'your' perception of realilty....
however, I am not really ignoring reality am I?

Posted by: bertzel | March 8, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

DAVE!! you cannot blame one political party for the entire collapse of the us economy!! wake up man!
oh that's right...it isn't all that bad...
STILL!!
Posted by: bertzel

BERTZEL; Why??? Why Should I blame the Democrats for what the Republicans have done and are doing?
I am awake! You are ignoring reality.
DAVE

Posted by: OchamsRazor | March 8, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Pdog

I am conservative and others like me think,

Tax high net worth one or two percent of worth say after 5 million.

Tax everybody some thing on all earned income instead of 40% appx that pay nothing. Skin in the game so to speak.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 8, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

bertzel:

Actually, I work for a publicly traded utility company. If I did work for a technology company, it would probably be a consulting company with no physical product, only services.

About me automating myself out of a job, how do you think I got my current job? I automated the job I was hired to do!

Posted by: will12 | March 8, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

DAVE!! you cannot blame one political party for the entire collapse of the us economy!! wake up man!
oh that's right...it isn't all that bad...
STILL!!

Posted by: bertzel | March 8, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

~~The good news is that things will sort themselves out. The bad news is that we need to run our collective selves out of fossil fuels first.jon~~~

Survival of the fittest?

As for your change the oil question...not a clue as to the cost : )

And touche on your last sentence.


Posted by: bertzel | March 8, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's the funny part...said that the Fish & Game officials 'believe' the fish to be anchovies and sardines. They 'believe' them to be....strange. I would think they should know what type of fish they are looking at. Maybe I'm expecting too much.
Posted by: bertzel

Right Bertzel...
You would think people would understand that they are being made a fool of by the Republicans too.
But like dead fish; they continue to float down stream into the pits of hell.
The Republican Party is not based on Plato's Republic because they are not based on what is good nor are they "conservative" because they squander money on their rich contributors and malicious wars.
To make things worse, they are destroying our manufacturing capacity and leaving people without jobs to support their families.
There is no joy to poverty; it is demeaning and corruptive.
Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor | March 8, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The good news is that things will sort themselves out. The bad news is that we need to run our collective selves out of fossil fuels first.

Meanwhile, some of us are still able to change our own oil and fix our own appliances and do our own carpentry. Has anybody else noticed what people are willing to pay for an oil change?!? THERE is some easy money to be made.

Funny, we castigate the Chinese for their lack of wisdom in creating as many jobs for their citizens, while we castigate ourselves for allowing predatory capitalism to result in high unemployment. Kinda hard to have it both ways, is it not?

Posted by: jonroesler | March 8, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

will...am happy for you...now if you could have the computer company you work for see about having the hardware manufactured and put together in the states...well then you could and would have something to brag about.
If what you say is true, you are only adding to the artificial intelligence that will continue to replace humans in the work force. Just my personal take, will.Course you will still have your job...until you have succeeded to do what your employer has hired you to do, at which point you, too, will be of little use, thanks to your 'special'skills : )

Posted by: bertzel | March 8, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

speaking of illusion and delusion pdog...
I was reading an article @ forbes awhile ago...did you know that millions of dead fish are currently in a southern California Marina?
The report claims that in some areas the dead fish are so thick that boats couldn't get out of the marina. Here's the funny part...said that the Fish & Game officials 'believe' the fish to be anchovies and sardines. They 'believe' them to be....strange. I would think they should know what type of fish they are looking at. Maybe I'm expecting too much.

Posted by: bertzel | March 8, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

bertzel:
From my graduating class, the people that were great coders were snapped up quickly. Even in this bad time, people with valuable skills should be able to find work.

Posted by: will12 | March 8, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Tom, regarding the sketch toon, haven't you heard? The rich getting a bigger slice of the pie is a GOOD thing! This is what conservatives keep telling me anyway. They have yet to really explain it, but they sure do defend it with great amounts of enthusiasm. And when I pester them with questions trying to actually get them to explain it with any sort of facts or logic, they seem to grow more aggitated, and then fall back to, "the rich really aren't getting richer! That's a liberal lie!"

Don't you see? You, much like me, are delusional and wrong. You must reform your thinking. Come with me to the Ministry of Love, and we'll both get straightened out.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | March 8, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

~~~The future is now. A significant portion of my job consists of automating white collar, computer-based tasks.

(And I'm a recent college grad, too! Looks like I learned a useful skill after all.)Posted by: will12 | March 8, 2011 11:21 AM

Yet, how many more are there with your same skills and education who will not find job placement...

Posted by: bertzel | March 8, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The future is now. A significant portion of my job consists of automating white collar, computer-based tasks.

(And I'm a recent college grad, too! Looks like I learned a useful skill after all.)

Posted by: will12 | March 8, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@planet...
yaaawwwnnnn...

Posted by: bertzel | March 8, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey PTG

compare the data from this temperature graph

http://www.global-warming-and-the-climate.com/mann%27s-hockey-stick-climate-graph.htm

To this one from NCAR in 1975

http://denisdutton.com/newsweek_coolingworld.pdf

and tell me the 'overwhelming preponderance of evidence' for man made warming is not fabricated or distorted.

It is interesting how the temperature data presented in 1975 has been sanitized in 2009 to fit the 'scientific consensus' of today

Dont you think it is funny that the language used in this Newsweek article on global cooling is the same as present day articles on global warming.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 8, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

~~~Then there is confirmation bias. Belief based on faith ("science kills") becomes stronger, more fervent in the face of contrary evidence. We have strong, compelling evidence of AGW caused by CO2. But belief in the opposite seems to become stronger because deniers engage in selective thinking. I believe that those of us who take a more science-based approach have little problem changing our minds when faced with compelling evidence, precisely because our beliefs are not based on faith. People with a strong confirmation bias can be made to believe impossible things, such as that increased solar radiation is causing global warming. [Solar radiation has been declining since about 1960.] Another impossible belief is that people were riding around on dinosaurs a very few thousand years ago. Or--try to imagine this if you can--that the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility. Or that Scott Walker must eliminate collective union bargaining rights for WI public employees. Or that the Tea Party ( "the Constitution,Founding Fathers) has something going for them other than mindless anger and some slogans. And the Tea Party isthe perfect example of those who group-think and are subject to confirmation bias. Science, empirical data, critical thinking do not support their agenda. But they believe.
Posted by: ptgrunner | March 7, 2011 8:22 PM~~~~

runner, at first glance it would appear that you have an intriguing post.
After a closer look, however, one can only conclude that you suffer a great deal from Confirmation Bias.Therefore, no reason for further discussion.
Just sayin'...

Posted by: bertzel | March 8, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Krugman has just proved to be one of many who refuse to remove their blinders.

~~”We’ll have to go about building that society directly.”~~

Really… And he thinks unions are the answer? If one were serious about building a more positive society, wouldn’t one use fresh ideas instead of relying on the old ways, which have been proven to fail? Is his article meant to be taken seriously? cuz I am refraining from posting a big ‘ole LOL (oops)!

~~We need to restore the bargaining power that labor has lost… blah, blah…so that ordinary workers as well as superstars ( he is worried about SUPERSTARS?) have the power to bargain for good wages.~~~

Superstars bargaining for “good” wages! WOW. And ‘ordinary’ workers? What is an ordinary worker? One who is not a ‘superstar’?
My point, and I am trying to make one, is that the job market in the states is steadily shrinking and while I agree that a college education, has indeed, lost its pizzazz in the market place we should be concentrating on the improvement of how one does business in this country. The ‘old way’ has not proven to be effective over time.
We need to REFORM our Corporate Structure not age old unions. We, the working class (what is left anyway), should not have to pay someone else for our protection from thugs. Sound familiar to anyone? Anyone??

~~ So, yes, one day machines will do our work for us, but we never figured out that little paycheck wrinkle. Slow processing capacity, again. -- Tom Toles

Welcome to the rest of the world Toles…you would be wise to invest in a nice sturdy toilet brush : )

Posted by: bertzel | March 8, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

There will come a time when businesses discover that, having dispensed with all the help, they lack customers because all the other businesses have been doing the same thing.

Posted by: Capn0ok1 | March 8, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Come on, Tom!!

No computer will ever come up with your ideas.


Not ever.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 8, 2011 7:50 AM | Report abuse

With what Charlie Sheen and the Wisconsin and DC Democrats are doing there could be enough material for a new show called "Democrats do the funniest things."

Posted by: jornolibist | March 8, 2011 6:34 AM | Report abuse

@ptgrunner

Fascinating how you were able on 7 March at 8:22pm able to answer definitively the comments addressed to you in the following hour! Or did those comments respond not to what you said but to what the writers believed you might have said (and hence had no need to read your post)? Thereby demonstrating exactly the point you were making!

Posted by: askalib-CA | March 8, 2011 2:04 AM | Report abuse

@Phyvyn

Correct in substance, eloquent in manner, and poetic in diction.

A detail re the poison pill: prior to the 2008 election, one of the very wealthy, on learning the gist of what was happening Sept-Oct '08, commented "So maybe this would be a good time for a Democrat to be in office for a while."

Posted by: askalib-CA | March 8, 2011 1:56 AM | Report abuse

@ptgrunner

---------------------

I can see you now, raising your hand at basic training, querying to your drill sergeant as to why was he referring to you as being slow as pond water when you were just trying your best....? So yeah, Gomer, I am wondering why you are such a frail flower petal, 'tis true.

Claiming climate change theory is a purely scientific discussion is a TOTALLY myopic stance on your part and indicative of the your close-minded responses to every debate point. Claiming 'you' engage in scientific discussion within the blog is amusing: a real scientist would surely shake his/her head at that notion. Real scientists aren't participating in this blog and surely aren't named 'Dr. Toles.' Laymen such as folks in this blog, can debate the logic of climate change theory without falling into the trap of confirmation theory.

There are incredibly diverse and hotly contested international and domestic policy positions on climate change theory. Nations and political parties have all staked out positions that seek to control or assume more power using climate change theory as their means to an end.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 8, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's time.

Rhetoric and spin aside we know what happened. I got an award. Month later a pink slip. Things did not get real bad until the pres election.

And then when it was over, it was over.

Anyone knows what a poison pill in business is.

Now we all know what the previous administration's poison pill looks like.

I can harp on what a bad thing it has become but does anyone see the even bigger picture??

The plan takes away jobs, homes, benefits and lives. Liquidate those 401k's. Sell high, sell even more. Embarrass anyone who would oppose.

Pit the religious against the prolifer's and anyone who has a different belief or culture.

Tear at the seams that were once strong and enduring. Strategically rip, shred and tear at the fabric of our constitution and willingness to work together.

And then lay low and bide your time to await a time to buy-low and gain substantially more.

If this is was our last chance to for sincere goodwill then we have blown it and any gains at all will surely be lost.

If the damage can ever possibly be limited then the loss of lives and lively-hoods might be chalked up that we are weak deserve more education by trial by fire.

However, when can you know it's your last chance?

When do look around and realize it is getting late?

It was never about who is sitting at my desk and will always be about the test we have all been taking since being given the keys to the planet by our (father.)

Can we learn how to drive or will we all crash and burn like we allow some of our teens to do?

There will always be plenty until there isn't and apparently even when you grow up there are still bullies admired for their ruthlessness.

Posted by: Phyvyn | March 7, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

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