It’s Not Just Humans

So it’s not just humans who are being replaced by technology.

The most interesting (saddest) part of the deal Trump made with Carrier is the company will use part of the taxpayer money to modernize the plant.

The company’s deal with President-elect Donald Trump to keep a furnace plant from moving to Mexico also calls for a $16 million investment in the facility.

But that has a big down side for some of the workers in Indianapolis.

Most of that money will be invested in automation said Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, Carrier’s corporate parent. And that automation will replace some of the jobs that were just saved.
—-Carrier to ultimately cut some of jobs Trump saved

Automation and artificial intelligence are causing big upheavals in workers’ lives. Trump managed to capitalize on the problem, but what happens when/if he can’t keep his promises? As usual, keep your seat belts fastened.


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Two Different Cartoons

Nick Anderson thinks Obama should be shown as the overpowering one. He (according to Anderson) has done a lot more for the economy than Trump did when he recently persuaded/bullied/bribed Carrier to keep some jobs in the U.S. But as yesterday’s post pointed out, Obama’s statistics are meaningless to people who weren’t helped by them.

David Parkins’ cartoon in The Economist is just the opposite of Nick Anderson’s. King Donald is all powerful. The Economist is worried that businesses will try to curry favor with the Trump administration and will try to do anything to avoid annoying him. In the long run that will hurt the economy and the workers he’s claiming to help.

As usual, we will just have to see.


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Let’s Not Be Part of the Problem

When I took over “The Daily Show” from Jon Stewart in 2015, I was surprised to learn that my job as a late-night comedy host was not merely to entertain but to eviscerate — to attack, crush, demolish and destroy the opponents of liberal, progressive America. Very quickly, people from some quarters — mostly those same liberal progressives — criticized me for not maintaining the minimum acceptable levels of daily evisceration that were established by my predecessor.

The truth is that Jon never liked being labeled the Great Eviscerator. He didn’t think it was healthy, and he always tried to think about the details of issues with a healthy dose of skepticism before going on air and putting his ideas out into the world. But through the lens of the internet, that’s not what people saw. In the early days of the blogosphere and YouTube and social media, people took Jon’s most strident commentary and made it go viral with clickbait headlines, blowing those segments way out of proportion, compared with the more thoughtful segments that made up most of the television show. And, unfortunately, when we look back today, the evisceration (and exasperation) is what most people remember.

The experience of stepping into Jon’s shoes brought on enormous culture shock for me. In South Africa, where I come from, we also use comedy to critique and analyze, and while we don’t let our politicians off the hook, we don’t eviscerate one another. If anything, my stand-up shows back home are a place where we can push away the history of apartheid’s color classifications — where black, white, colored and Indian people use laughter to deal with shared trauma and pain. In South Africa, comedy brings us together. In America, it pulls us apart.
Trevor Noah: Let’s Not Be Divided. Divided People Are Easier to Rule.

Amen to that. Noah’s column is short, and I encourage you to read the whole thing.

I also urge you to try to understand why a lot of people voted for Trump even though they didn’t like him or his tactics. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Tim Duy, in Desperately Searching For A New Strategy points out that economists and pro-globalization politicians can no longer afford to ignore the people who have been left behind and are hurting, and the ones who aren’t too bad off right now but are worried about the future:

The dry statistics on trade aren’t working to counter Trump. They make for good policy at one level and terrible policy (and politics) at another. The aggregate gains are irrelevant to someone suffering a personal loss. Critics need to find an effective response to Trump. I don’t think we have it yet. And here is the hardest part: My sense is that Democrats will respond by offering a bigger safety net. But people don’t want a welfare check. They want a job. And this is what Trump, wrongly or rightly, offers.

Clinton lost the election because too many people said the existing system wasn’t working for them. A lot of them knew electing Trump was risky, but something needed to be done. If we’re not willing to try to listen and understand them, we’re part of the problem.


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What Fools….

Lord, what fools these mortals be!
—William Shakespeare


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The Downside of Electric Cars
Click on picture for higher resolution.

This post is for Kaitlin and Torben, who love their quiet car. Does anyone else think this cartoon is funny?


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Speaking of Being Adaptable…

I received this email from Kaitlin yesterday:

It is a snowy day so we were going to set up tree, etc this afternoon. Then we starting thinking about Tempi’s philosophy of life, namely: everything is hers, and therefore rightly belongs in her mouth.

So, well, we got a bit more decoration for the front outside and will leave inside decorations to the windowsill above the kitchen sink. Will give her a challenge to see if she can get up there.

In her latest post Tempi shows us a recent adventure with books.



Fortunately (1) we don’t have to be perfect to be lovable, and (2) humans are adaptable.


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It Pays to Be Adaptable

That does sometimes happen.


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The Key to Happiness?

I think Rat has something there. The Danes have consistently been declared the happiest people on earth, so I read several books to see why that might be. One answer was they didn’t expect much from life, so they were never disappointed. Not quite the answer people might have expected.


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A Wild Ride

Fasten your seat belts, guys and gals. We’re part of history in the making.


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Click on picture for higher resolution.

I sympathize with Koko and his human, but down here in the Southwest we love rain. I still remember taking a visitor up to the land for a picnic years ago. It rained. Not so nice for him, but Andy, Kaitlin and I were thrilled. What more could you want for a perfect evening?

How do you feel about rain?


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