Will the Future Economy Bring Abundance or Machine Servitude?

Just as automated assembly lines have replaced manual labor, the looming question for future economies is that of the labor market. How many of our current jobs will be replaced by machines? 

What's the Latest?


The economy of the next ten years is likely to remain recognizable, says Andrew McAffe, associate director of the Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Beyond that, however, the world could look as strange to us as the present-day would to a 19th century citizen. Crucially, the pace of technological innovation is increasing the rate at which structural changes occur to the economy. And just as automated assembly lines have replaced manual labor, the looming question for future economies is that of the labor market. How many of our current jobs will be replaced by machines? 

What's the Big Idea?

The jobs that many of us now have were unimaginable just fifty years ago and surprisingly, many traditional jobs will stand the test of time, says Johnathan Rothwell, an associate fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. "He believes jobs for nannies, home health workers, and food-service providers may never go away. Auto mechanics, plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and similar trades will stick around, even if they end up employing fewer people in the future." An entirely automated future is unlikely because only a small industry exists to support that vision.


Read more at Fast Company

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less