Same as It Ever Was

Belief in “the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us,” as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby, is a characteristic American trait. But hope in a better future is not uniquely American, even if it has long been a more potent secular faith in the United States than elsewhere. The belief has older roots. It was the product of a shift in the temporal location of the golden age from a long-lost past to an ever-brighter future.

That shift was conceived and realized with the Enlightenment and then the Industrial Revolution. As human beings gained ever-greater control of the forces of nature and their economies became ever more productive, they started to hope for lives more like those of the gods their ancestors had imagined.


The link above came from a Globe article – How our coming ‘robot dystopia’ is changing the future of work

  • Jay Currie

    Between robots and AI the world is going to change radically. Add nanotechnology and we will not recognize the place in a couple of decades.

    Our super smart politicians are still fixated on the non-problem of “climate change” instead of the real problem of what happens when production can be achieved without “workers”.

    So, of course, being super geniuses, they keep immigration levels up to ensure there will still be workers to do the jobs which are rapidly becoming technologically obsolete.

    • Frau Katze

      The Atlantic has a long article about a future where many people cannot find work (I read it there a few days ago).

      They were trying to put as positive a spin on it as possible. There was a long description about a project in some U.S. city that was badly hit by off-shoring of, I think it was the steel industry. People went to this place and could do crafts, using all this equipment some foundation or rich person had bought.

      The article was very sketchy about how these unemployed people would support themselves. Essentially it came down to massive tax hikes on the well-to-do.

      Immigration wasn’t even mentioned at all.

      • Dana Garcia

        Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was interviewed for an hour on the Hannity show this week. She used to be CEO of H-P, so is presumably very plugged in to current tech, but chattered on about jobs as if no earthquake was coming. Disappointing.

        Also the left-wing press seems more engaged on the jobless future than others.

        • Frau Katze

          I’m not impressed by what I’ve heard of her. She apparently doesn’t know much about high tech — hence her dreadful performance at HP. I wonder if she was a token female?

        • Frau Katze

          Zero tech education. I doubt she even could write a computer program.

          Fiorina attended Channing School in London. She later attended five different high schools, including one in Ghana, graduating from Charles E. Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and medieval history from Stanford University in 1976. During her summers, she worked as a secretary for Kelly Services. She attended the UCLA School of Law in 1976 but dropped out after one semester and worked as a receptionist for six months at a real estate firm Marcus & Millichap, moving up to a broker position before leaving for Italy, where she taught English.

          Fiorina received a Master of Business Administration in marketing from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1980. She also obtained a Master of Science in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management under the Sloan Fellows program in 1989.

  • Dana Garcia

    Robots are not restricted to factory floors. Today’s job destroyer: the robot brick layer.

    • Frau Katze

      It might be harder for robots to build wooden houses, that are the norm in North America.

  • Exile1981

    Can we replace the progressives with robots? The robots are smarter, worker harder and demand less free crap. Besides we all know the liberals are all trying to figure out how to have sex with the robots.

  • terrence

    The bozos (usually union goons) DEMANDING $15 an hour for unskilled jobs are making the robots a certainty.