Max Nova's Reviews > Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future

Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford
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it was ok
bookshelves: automation, economics

Where Ford's first book was a revelation, his second book is a disappointment. He adds very little new to the conversation with "Rise of the Robots" - for the most part this book is a recycled laundry list of popular news articles about cool startups and technologies that are making progress in various areas of automation. If you've read his first book, The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future or Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy, you're better of skipping this one.

A couple interesting points:
- Zero jobs added to the economy from 2000-2010
- Investment accounts for 50% of China's GDP
- Hayek, Linus Pauling, and Myrdal authored the "Ad Hoc Committee on the Triple Revolution" report on weaponry, human rights, and technology/automation as outlined in MLK's final Sunday sermon
- Typical worker pay peaked in 1973
- Ford claims that globalization, "financialization" of the economy, and politics are NOT driving factors in the decline of jobs.
- "The total value of imports from China amounted to less than 3% of US consumer spending"
- "Progress in the human economy has resulted largely from occupational specialization" - and what could be more specialized than a computer program?
- Is opportunity cost an invalid concept for robots/software if they can be "cloned" almost for free?
- We put a lot of effort into securing out southern border to keep out immigrants who could take American jobs, but we leave our digital borders wide open by embracing globalized outsourcing
- The Beijing Genomics Institute is running a study to identify genetic determinants of intelligence - the Western world is very squeamish about studies like this
- Hayek was a proponent of a guaranteed minimum income, as stated in his 1973-79 book Law, Legislation, and Liberty
- Ford suggests that a guaranteed minimum income could result in a revitalization of rural areas where the cost of living is much lower.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 23, 2015 – Shelved
May 23, 2015 – Shelved as: automation
May 23, 2015 – Shelved as: economics
May 23, 2015 – Finished Reading

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