I'm here. I'm fine. I've been pretty busy, and blogging is not high on the priority list at the moment. I think of or notice something, and I think, "Oh, I could write about that when I have time", and I make a note of it, and then later I look at the note and think, "Ho hum. Boring."
Scary things are happening in Africa and in the Middle East. The US and world economy is all over the place. The country is becoming more and more uncivilized. So I've been reading a lot. One link leads to the next.
You know, when people look for someone or something to blame for unemployment, they all seem to miss the obvious. Many if not most of those jobs will never come back. They've been taken over by technology and robots. People worried about that a few decades ago, when the first robots appeared on factory assembly floors, but they were soothed by the platitude, "Well, the jobs just change. Somebody still has to make the robots." Uh uh. Now robots are making the robots.
Technology is nearing the point where it can not only replicate itself, it can improve on the previous generation all by itself. Even in the service sector, where growth was predicted to replace lost manufacturing jobs, jobs are disappearing instead. Does your local grocery store have those self-checkout scanners? Uh huh. Those jobs are gone forever. An effect we are seeing now is that employers can dictate the terms of employment as never before, so the salaries for remaining jobs will be lower, leading to the demise of the middle class.
I've never been a big fan of unions, and there seems to be a huge groundswell to kill unions off - but we may need them in the future even more than in the past. (One of my biggest complaints is that people seem to forget WHY things like feminism, social security, financial regulation, medicare, unions, etc. exist. Those movements fixed severe problems and inequalities, and people look around and don't see the problems any more, so they want to want to blow up the dam. Idiots. Funny how the people who wanted to privatize Social Security shut up when the market crashed in 2008. Oh, yeah, that's why.... Oops.)
Look up "technological singularity" some time.
I had the Super Bowl on in the background Sunday. I wasn't interested in the game or the halftime show, but I wanted to watch the commercials. Unfortunately, my mind is trained to ignore commercials, so I didn't see much. Oh well, they're on YouTube.
I did catch the Budweiser Clydesdale one on Sunday. That's always been my favorite. Again, it was pretty good, but it annoyed me. Budweiser cheated. Apparently the starring horse had a sex change between birth and joining the hitch team.
The horses that pull the wagons are always male, because they are larger and flashier than the mares. They are gelded, so they tend to be calmer in crowds than mares. When foals are born, they are raised and trained, and if they pass the appearance and temperament tests, they "join the team". Some are not gelded, and stay at the breeding farms. Young males who flunk out are sold. Amazingly, their price is unbelievably low.
The best of the young fillies stay at the breeding farm(s). Excess are sold.
My complaint is that the baby in the commercial was female, but ends up on a hitch.
Uncool Budweiser. You could have pretended it was male. Like, no one was going to look under its tail.