The Luddites were a 19th century anti-industrialisation movement (and militia), who believed that their jobs were at risk because of the industrialisation of manufacturing. They proceeded to try and destroy mechanical looms in a vain attempt to turn back the rising tide of industrialisation. These days anyone seen as a “Luddite” is perceived to be backward and anti-technology.
I just finished reading the Kindle book Race Against The Machine, a book I thoroughly recommend. This was the driver of the NPR article I blogged about recently.
The book is mostly oriented towards the US, although the issues they discuss seem to be prevalent across all major economies. The authors make the case that technological improvements are severely impacting every job market except those for highly-skilled individuals.
I have been meaning to blog more for ages. I have had a blog on the internet since early 1990 in one form or other, but I just tend to do sporadic blogging. Every so often I get fired up with communicating and write some blog posts, and then my enthusiam wanes for a while, and my writing tails off.
I’ve just read two blog posts on creating written content programatically. The first was the article How I automated my writing career by Robbie Allen. This article gives a brief description of how the author’s company generates web-site content automatically using the quantitative analysis of data.
NPR has a story about How Technology Is Eliminating Higher-Skill Jobs. It features IBM’s Watson System, that can beat the world’s best human Jeopardy competitors. This technology is currently being used to automate the fields of law and medicine, so a lot of very technical jobs will disappear from some quite high-paying and respected professions.
Over at EconBrowser, James talks about Geography and Income. He talks about the question of how much economic activity is dependent on geographic location. When you look at a map of GDP density – GDP per square kilometre – it’s fairly obvious that the bulk of economic activity in densely populated areas which are near coastal regions.
There was an interesting article in the Guardian yesterday about Peak Stuff: Why is our consumption falling?. The Office of National Statistics in the UK publishes statistics about how much stuff is used – the sheer weight of the materials we consume. Currently the UK consumes the equivalent of 30 tonnes for each individual in the country!
I read the post “Don’t Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career Advice” on the weekend. It is mostly aimed at permanent employees at companies, although I thought there were some useful takeaways for contractors as well.
Below is my summary of the points that resonated with me:
Interesting post here summarising Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report. Basically to be in the top 1% of the global wealthy, you need to have $712,000 USD in net assets. To be in the top 10%, you need to have over $82,000 in net assets.
One percent of 7 billion is 70 million. So basically there are 70 million people in the world with $712,000 USD or more in net assets.
[EDIT] Actually, having just read the report, the results are expressed in terms of the global population of adults, 4.5 billion in 2011.