PARDON the DISRUPTION: The Future you NEVER Saw Coming. (Book review.)

Jan 1, 2014 by

51hwr7Zl9HL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Clayton R.Rawlings, James Randall Smith, and Rob Bencini have written a book that if it doesn’t affect your thinking about the possible future – well you’re in lalaland. On one hand the immediate future looks bleak with millions unemployed and unemployable nationally and worldwide. However, after a deflationary period new science and technology will make everything less expensive and improve living standards like never before. As a talk show host I read dozens of books, but seldom one that keeps me awake at night thinking about the earth shaking possibilities (good and bad) of the consequences of the discoveries, trends, and forecasts of what they’re saying.

I have believed that every social organization is hierarchical and its structure militated anything except minor cosmetic changes. From birth we are led to believe our leaders from our parents to presidents know what’s best for us. We live our lives in quiet submission rather than challenge whatever isn’t working in each institution. We exchange a illusory sense of security rather than think for ourselves.

In “Pardon” the two lawyers dissect the entire judicial system with brilliant analysis and gusto. With personal experiences and careful research they spotlight the many weaknesses in the system and show how the “structure” of it as well as human weaknesses cause the injustices and failures of it. They bring to our attention how current and emerging technology is mildly changing, but could overhaul the entire system until it is something vastly more efficient and just. One example is brain scanning that makes it impossible to lie. What will that do with the need for defense attorneys and prosecutors and the time and money spent on trying to prove innocence or guilt? Robotic mediators with all legal information in their computer brains could quickly resolve civil claims. Those involved could hire a robot to evaluate and prepare their case at a fraction of today’s costs. Robots could examine our laws and suggest those that should be eliminated or made more fair and clear.

Rob, the futurist, offered many reasons why our economic system is not working. As Clayton and James did with legal issues he shows how things like the Net and Bitcoin have drastically changed how businesses are run. Whereas historically, great upheavals (like assembly lines) destroyed the need for many types of jobs, but created new jobs. This is not happening. Robotics and robots are replacing workers creating fewer new jobs that take knowledge and skills that most displaced workers do not have.

Self serving machines replace cashiers. Robots replace factory and warehouse workers. Robotic cars replace bus drivers, taxi drivers, all types of truck drivers making the roads safer and more efficient. All service industries, especially fast food ones that are entry level experience for teens and early twenties people are being replaced by machines. Robots could replace firemen and police officers as both are dangerous jobs. Robots don’t need expensive retirement plans, medical insurance, and can go places and do things that humans cannot. Already new factories and farms need fewer humans. I repeat – what are we going to do with millions of unemployed and unemployable people who need and are willing to work?

I warned my teaching colleagues decades ago that emerging technology would replace their ability to transfer knowledge as efficiently. With my Self Sustaining Classroom I proved that at any age students could become self aware, self motivated, self confident and could take responsibility for their actions. Beginning in 1962 on I kept improving my abilities to individualize and to interact with each student. I refused to develop unthinking consumers or voters, but tried to prepare them for an unknowable future. College was not the only answer. I wanted them to understand that all knowledge is only part of the process towards the wisdom to make better choices. They needed to examine what was best for them, their families, and increasing the steps to better decisions for the planet. I failed since I was fighting most of social institutions that use types of fear to control their minds.

I haven’t even touched on humans becoming more complete cyborgs or using brain implants to make any human a repository of all knowledge – constantly updated without effort. More people would make wiser application of knowledge.

Is our time on earth as species on a path to our own created extinction or are the authors crying “fire” with a misreading of evidence available to any of us? Or as they also say, will we create a world of such “abundance” and safety that everyone will enjoy a more fulfilling life? Read the book and see for yourself.

You may enjoy our conversation on–future-you-never-saw-coming

Dr.Robert Rose, CREATING YOUR GIANT SELF: Best Self Help Book – Ever!

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1 Comment

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    We should have had a 3-day work week by 1990. The planned obsolescence that economists don’t talk about have created unnecessary work and depreciation for decades. Double-entry accounting should have been mandatory in the schools and most homes should be paid for already.

    Instead we created a useless work machine to keep most people on a treadmill. So now the technology makes eve that make work obsolete.

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