Turning coal miners into coders is not the answer to automation

Human value is tied to the job market. Will automation be a full-on crisis?

  • Andrew Yang is running for president in 2020 as a Democrat. In this video, he discusses the greatest challenge of our time: automation and human-centered capitalism.
  • Currently, a person's value is linked to the economic value of their job. So the soon-to-be-extinct coal miner should find new purpose by becoming a software coder, right?
  • That's shortsighted, says Yang. One day soon, even the best coders will be outpaced by AI. We need to prepare for the inevitable future by shifting how we fundamentally think about human value.
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Google underpays men, not women, study finds

It's a "surprising trend," said Google's lead analyst for pay equity.

(PHOTO: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • The recent analysis was for 2018 and it was conducted by Google.
  • The results show that, at least within one large group of software engineers, men received less discretionary funds than women.
  • Google did not release pay information along racial lines or other categories.
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Why do we treat old people like babies? That’s ageism.

The older we are, the less our chronological age may say about us.

  • Elder speak is the condescending language — "Dearie" "Honey" "Sweetie" — many people revert to when talking with people advanced in age.
  • People spoken to in this condescending way, Yale researchers have found, begin to think, act, and even move differently.
  • Ageism is based on stereotypes — the assumption that all members of a group are alike. This bias is particularly ironic when it comes to older individuals because they tend to be more dissimilar from one another — due to increasingly divergent life experiences — than younger people.

Finland’s education system is failing. Should we look to Asia?

Finland's recent decline in international test scores has led many to question whether its education system is truly the best.

  • Finland scored high on the original PISA education assessment, but its scores have slipped in recent years.
  • Critics argue that Finland's success came from earlier education models, not from headline-making features like late start times, lack of homework, and absence of test assessment.
  • Asia's rigorous education system is now eclipsing Finland's PISA scores. Which approach is the right one? Which is truly shortsighted?
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Do industries that kill more people than they employ have a right to exist?

A new study outlines why the tobacco and coal industries warrant "corporate death sentences."

Image source: 1968 / Shutterstock / J Mark Dodds
  • A study developed a formula to identify industries that do more bad than good.
  • The U.S. coal and tobacco qualify as having a net negative value to society.
  • Should we tolerate any industry that makes a profit?
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