Wednesday, December 11, 2013

David Brooks Welcomes Our New, Robot Overlords

And appoints himself head of their HR Department.
Thinking for the Future

We’re living in an era of mechanized intelligence, an age in which you’re probably going to find yourself in a workplace with diagnostic systems, different algorithms and computer-driven data analysis. If you want to thrive in this era, you probably want to be good at working with intelligent machines. As Tyler Cowen puts it in his relentlessly provocative recent book, “Average Is Over,” “If you and your skills are a complement to the computer, your wage and labor market prospects are likely to be cheery. If your skills do not complement the computer, you may want to address that mismatch.”

So our challenge for the day is to think of exactly which mental abilities complement mechanized intelligence. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few mental types that will probably thrive in the years ahead.
Actually, considering that Mr. Brooks' insipid, repetitive, Centrist cant could be replaced by the New York Times tomorrow with a couple of dozen lines of code and no one would ever notice the difference, if he wants to hang onto his vast spaces for entertaining, he may want to write a more permanent job description for himself into The Matrix's personnel manual.

Perhaps Manor Farm Visioneer?   After all, somebody gotta get in there and sell-sell-sell the rest of the barnyard critters on the idea that "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

And anything would be better than letting this fatuous idiot shoot his mouth off even one more time on a serious subject about which he knows absolutely nothing:
To the Editor:

It’s hard to know where to start in responding to David Brooks’s column. Is it his simplistic statement that people who attempt suicide need “an idea or story to bring them to the edge of suicide and to justify their act”? Is it the offensive comment that “suicide is an act of chronological arrogance”? Or is it his approval of Jennifer Michael Hecht’s idea that “suicide is delayed homicide”?

What is most disturbing to those of us who work in the field of suicide prevention is that he is perpetuating the myth that suicide is a rational and selfish act carried out by the weak. It’s another example of misunderstanding the reality of mental illness.

The causes of suicide are complex, and often a result of anguish driven by mental illness. Suicide is a tragedy and one that we are working to prevent by funding research on the brain, partnering with public and private organizations to design effective interventions, and supporting those who have suffered a loss.

There is nothing ironic about suicide.

Chief Executive, American
Foundation for Suicide Prevention
New York, Dec. 6, 2013


wiley said...

How about changing diapers? We gonna have machines do that? Feeding children? By now, any liberal with a brain and an actual grasp on what human survival and health requires should see the patriarchal capitalist structure of the evangel of "intelligent machines" doing all that is meaningful and anything shy being worthless. The gospel of economic rentiers is bullshit.

RossK said...

Awww Geez.

And here I thought the real problem is that our Robot Overloards (or, at the very least, their lackeys) are holding, if not Christmas itself, then the cherubbie/teletubbyish Papa himself hostage inside a small, tight advent calendar-type prison cell-like enclosure.

Or some such thing.


Strider said...

"Computer-driven data analysis"? That reads like he's about to tell them damn kids to get off his lawn and then rant about how them fancy calculatin' boxes is fixin' to take over.

Kathleen said...

Dear. God. Words. Fail. His column is evil. Just evil.

SamS said...

"And, as our friend Nietzsche observed, he who has a why to live for can withstand any how."

He also said,
"It is always consoling to think of suicide: in that way one gets through many a bad night."

Leo Tolstoy said,
"Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal."

CM said...

Seem Brooks watches a few TED talks over the weekend and puts together his own simplified understanding of those talks into two columns for nytimes.

MRjonz54 said...

Mr. Brooks on Suicide of course brings to mind the classic Monty Python line (delivered by Graham Chapman,) "After all, a murderer is just an extroverted suicide."

Anonymous said...

It won't be so bad if Kelly Freas is designing the robots. Probably have the three laws built in. Just don't let Jack Williamson near them