Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Daily Thoughts 03/01/2016

Annual Exhibition, Guild of Book Workers, 1917

Daily Thoughts 03/01/2016

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I also checked the gift books and the displays.  March is Women's History Month.

I spent some time working on Directors Station generating reports today.  I also spent some time looking through the Westchester Library System statistics on electronic resources.  Overdrive is doing well, so is Indieflix.

I am going to be spending some time entering this months computer classes into the new calendar system.

I started reading Black Box Thinking Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes-- But Some Do by Matthew Syed.  The book starts with a critique of the United States hospital system.

I spent some time working on Event Keeper putting in the dates for computer classes for this month.  I also checked on the computer lab.  There is a Fundamentals of Computers Class tonight as well as a Microsoft Word class.

There is a Special Mount Vernon Public Library Board Meeting today at 5:30 p..m.

On the way home I read some of Failure Why Science is So Successful by Stuart Firestein.  This is about how failure moves science forward.  In science it is as important to track things that don't work as the things that work.  The author reminds us to "Fail Better" as Samuel Beckett suggests.

I finished reading Postcapitalism A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason.  There is a vitriol against the 1% in this book as well as financialization and austerity.  In some ways this is misplaced. Automation also eliminates jobs in finance and white collar work.  The traditional trading floor for stocks has ended. End of an Era as CME to Close Almost All Floor Trading on Futures.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/end-of-an-era-as-cme-to-close-almost-all-floor-trading-for-futures-1423100335  Automation does not discriminate on who it will eliminate in the white collar workforce.  Lawyers are as likely to lose their jobs as clerks.  Lets Automate All the Lawyers  http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2015/03/25/lets-automate-all-the-lawyers/

The things being described in this book affect everyone.  The use of leftist language is often misplaced.  The author correctly identifies the networked individual as not identifying as being part of a working class, or proletariat.  People are increasingly identifying themselves as being part of a network more than a class.  This changes politics in unusual ways.

Our economy is changing, near zero margin production is becoming a standard practice, there is a growing digital marketplace based on information where sharing is more important than market transactions.  Wikipedia demonstrates this.   We are seeing mass automation which eliminates jobs and makes work less relevant.  The term work smarter not harder is beginning to be more important.

There is a growing information technology infrastructure which is based on ephemeral, digital transactions.  Digital currency is growing.  Soon, with the internet of things, information technology will be even more prevalent.  This will feed nonmarket transactions like Wikipedia and peer to peer networks and make near zero margin production even more prevalent.  The cost of producing things will be about energy and resources, less about labor and capital.

The world is changing and there is conflict between austerity like in Greece and incredibly cheap abundant production of goods with automation.  State socialism and capitalism are based on scarcity of resources something which is changing.  There is no answer right now for this.  I have a mixed reaction to some of the solutions suggested at the end of the book.  The book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis does an excellent job of explaining the concepts behind technological abundance.

This book is useful for showing us what is happening.  I find the political analysis to be irksome in some points, but the trends are here.  The book is a good read for what it says about the future, less so for its analysis of politics.

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