Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Daily Thoughts 01/30/2013

Smyth Casing-In Machine, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911, Volume 4, P.220

Daily Thoughts 01/30/2013

This morning on the way to work, I read some more of Children of the Sky.  I am enjoying it because it has a mix of adventure, intrigue, and politics on an alien world.  I especially like the way Vernor Vinge describes the Tines who are both pack creatures and group intelligences.  It is enjoyable light reading.

I checked the displays and the social media for the library this afternoon.  I also checked to make sure that a program was posted on the website.  The Women's Enterprise Development Center is at the library on February 6,7, and 13 to do a program on small business entrepreneurship from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the community room.

I finished reading the latest copy of Forecast by Baker and Taylor.  The book, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Eric Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee has come in for me to read.  It is a  short book of 92 pages.

This article reminds me of Ray Kurzweil's book How To Create A Mind.  New $1.6 Billion Supercomputer Project Will Attempt to Simulate the Human Brain.

On the way home, I started reading Race Against the Machine.  I am about halfway through the book.  I have read about many of the premises in this book before.  The book is putting together ideas in a new way.  An important theme is that digital technology changes the entire structure of an economy.  It is not simply a short term change.  It is much like a move from an agricultural society to an industrial society.  People who work smarter and are more capable of working with digital technology tend to reap the rewards and have more wealth.  The short term practice of borrowing massive amounts of money to keep the economy the same will not work in the long term. Moore's law that the processing power of a computer doubles every year is becoming exponentially large.

There are numerous quotes in the book, one from John Maynard Keynes is especially important, "We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come--, namely technological unemployment.  This means unemployment due to our discovery of means of economizing the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for Labor", 1930.

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