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How automation creates jobs

by Greg Krehbiel on 17 July 2015

I have worried from time to time that automation (and robots) are going to take jobs faster than new industries can create them, and that people who don’t have the intellectual whatsit to get white collar jobs are going to be left behind.

It still worries me, but I also know that innovation and automation create as well as destroy. Automatic check-out machines are replacing cashiers, but the fact that automation now allows us to process small credit card charges has created lots of opportunities.

Just now I rented a movie on Redbox. The total charge was $2.12. Thirty years ago, that would have been impossible. Credit card transactions had minimums of $15 or more. Those minimums have disappeared because we’ve been able to automate the process. Lots of new businesses are now possible because of that.

It’s anybody’s guess, in my opinion, whether the job-destroying side of automation or the job-creating side will prevail.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-17  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Impeach Obama before he goes to the U.N.

by Greg Krehbiel on 17 July 2015

Congress won’t get to vote on the [Iran] deal until September. But Obama is taking the agreement to the U.N. Security Council for approval within days. Approval there will cancel all previous U.N. resolutions outlawing and sanctioning Iran’s nuclear activities.

Meaning: Whatever Congress ultimately does, it won’t matter because the legal underpinning for the entire international sanctions regime against Iran will have been dismantled at the Security Council. (Source: Worse than we could have imagined.)

I’m completely serious. Impeach this idiot before he gives the world a nuclear-armed Iran.

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-17  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Should men go around rescuing damsels in distress?

by Greg Krehbiel on 16 July 2015

From time to time I check on the boys and see what’s brewing on various manosphere blogs. One of the common themes is that men should no longer feel responsible for women’s safety. That is, men shouldn’t go around rescuing random women on the street who get in trouble. If women get in trouble, that’s their fault.

Traditionally, men have been taught that it is their business to protect women and children. Some men are coming to the realization that it’s a raw deal and a fool’s errand, and they’re not playing along.

Along those lines, boys used to be taught not to hit girls. Some girls took advantage of that and abused boys because they knew the boy couldn’t hit them. Something analogous seems to be going on with women’s behavior.

Women are no longer constrained by the old customs. They insist they should be able to do whatever they want, without fear of consequences. Hence, for example, “slut walks.”

We’re so afraid of “double standards” — e.g., the 12 year old boy can walk to 7-11 by himself, but the 12 year old girl can’t — that we’ve either molly coddled the boys or exposed girls to more danger. Or both.

“I should be able to,” “Why can’t I?” “I shouldn’t have to ….”

The result is that women get themselves (or put themselves) in situations that their mothers would never have gotten into. And then they think it’s someone else’s business to ensure their safety.

Is it right for them to do this and at the same time expect men to come running to their aid when they get in trouble?

It’s somewhat like the problem in public parks, where people go hiking or camping in dangerous places and expect somebody to come rescue them when they break their leg.

As I argued in Eggs are Expensive, Sperm is Cheap, it absolutely is the responsibility of men to sacrifice themselves for women and children. In an abstract, “the way it ought to be” world, anyway.

But in the world we’ve created — of slut walks, where women believe they should be able to go out alone all hours of the night, in a world dominated by women who have a “I shouldn’t have to” attitude …. Maybe not.

See this: On Man’s Duty to Defend the Weak and Vulnerable.

We no longer raise boys to be men. We no longer teach them from a young age that they must not tolerate others preying on the weak and the vulnerable. We teach them that aggression is always and everywhere bad, to look for authority figures to set things right, and thus the single-best thing they can do in a crisis is find someone to tell. We raise people to be sheep, to delegate their bodily security — and the bodily security of their friends and neighbors — to that “rare breed,” the sheepdog.

The fellow is trying to apply the traditional rules in a world gone mad. As a simple example, if men are expected to go around defending the weak and vulnerable, they should be able to arm themselves.

We’ve handed over “protection” to the professionals, and that’s simply ridiculous. There aren’t enough cops to do it, and we wouldn’t want to have that many cops in any event.

OTOH, we’ve trained women to take risks they shouldn’t be taking. Then we’re shocked when people start to shrug, turn away and say, “it’s not my problem.”

I absolutely deplore the idea that a man would stand by and fail to rescue a woman — or anybody — who’s in trouble. But isn’t that the world we’ve created?

You can’t, on the one hand, attack the idea that women should restrict their behavior for the sake of safety and propriety, and at the same time expect average citizens to come running to their rescue when they get in trouble.

The traditional model has two sides to it. Men are taught to be defenders, but people (esp. women) are also taught to take reasonable measures to stay out of harm’s way.

The modern model — teaching kids to “use their words,” that violence is bad, that people have some sort of right to do stupid things, and that the police are there to protect us, etc. — is not sustainable.

-- 8 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-16  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“You should know better”

by Greg Krehbiel on 15 July 2015

I think Obama is a horrible president and I can’t stand the guy.

But I have to side with him in his response to Major Garrett.

The relationship between nations is more complicated than issues about a couple people. It’s an awful thing to say, but the lives of two or three people are relatively inconsequential when you compare them to the stakes of the Iran deal.

The idea that the president would condition a deal with Iran on a dispute over a couple people seems incredibly naive to me.

I’m not saying the deal with Iran is good. What I’m saying is that there are bigger issues, and the president is right on this one.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-15  ::  Greg Krehbiel

I finally understand …

by Greg Krehbiel on 15 July 2015

… why Iran needs a nuclear program. Energy resources aren’t evenly distributed around the world, and … it’s just such a shame — so unfair — that they don’t have a cheap, abundant source of energy in their country.

-- 9 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-15  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The new definition of bigot

by Greg Krehbiel on 15 July 2015

I just saw a story that Angela Merkel is against same-sex marriage. Of course she’ll be called a bigot for saying that, because the new definition of bigot is to hold a view that was acceptable of “right-thinking people” in America a year or two ago.

Out of curiosity I googled “bigot.” The second search result, from Merriam-Webster, says what I expected.

a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people

But the first result, apparently from Google, says this.

a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions

Very interesting. So in the same-sex marriage debate, exactly who are the bigots?

-- 8 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-15  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Writing the press release for the Iran deal

by Greg Krehbiel on 15 July 2015

Last night I heard that windbag John Kerry talking about the new Iran deal. I suspect that it’s awful, but … of course I don’t know yet. I’ll have to wait to hear the details from somebody who’s not trying to sell it.

As Kerry was praising the agreement, with its “guarantees” and “sizable reductions,” its “appropriate limitations,” “around-the-clock monitoring,” and, of course, “transparency,” he kept insisting this was all in keeping with Iran’s “peaceful nuclear program.”

We know this because the Iranian leadership is quite sane, and they have demonstrated their peaceful intentions for decades. (/sarcasm)

I was picturing the PR guy at his laptop, trying to write Kerry’s speech based on the notes he took, listening to the negotiations and reading the agreement.

“Webcams mounted in empty offices somewhere in Iran” becomes “around-the-clock monitoring by highly qualified experts.”

“Iran’s decades of conflict with the U.S.” becomes their “peaceful intentions.”

“There’s no way to verify this one,” becomes “no part of this agreement relies on trust.”

The fact that the inspectors can’t see all the facilities they want, whenever they want to, becomes “thorough and extensive transparency and verification measures.”

IOW, of course the agreement sounds good when Kerry describes it. He has trained PR people to spin it the way he wants.

We can also be certain that it will sound like a first-class ticket to Armageddon when Netanyahu describes it.

We’re going to have to wait a few days and let sensible people review this thing. My initial reaction is that it can’t possibly be a good deal because Obama wanted a deal as part of his “legacy.” He says he was willing to walk away, but I don’t believe it. And I don’t trust diplomats (except Scotty’s type — a fully armed phaser bank).

OTOH, the fact that other nations signed on to this thing makes me wonder. I have absolutely no trust in Kerry or Obama, but there had to be somebody in the room with some sense. So … who knows. Maybe it’s not too bad.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-15  ::  Greg Krehbiel

El Chapo shows why capital punishment is often a good idea

by Greg Krehbiel on 14 July 2015

When you put a dangerous man in jail, it’s not as if you’ve eliminated the threat. You’ve simply moved it. When he’s in jail he’s a threat to other inmates, and to the guards. That’s better than being a threat to the general population, but it’s not insignificant. Prisoners and prison guards are people too.

And if the guy you’re locking up has a posse — if he’s a drug kingpin, or a terrorist leader, or if for some reason he has a group of miscreants who are willing to do dirty deeds to break him out — he’s an even more serious threat.

There are some people who are dangerous as long as they’re alive.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-14  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The clash between sexual liberty and sexual identity

by Greg Krehbiel on 13 July 2015

This is somewhat interesting. Born This Way? Maybe Not

If a homosexual orientation is a choice, then you can choose out of it, right? That was the gist of conservative reaction to homosexual rights propaganda a couple decades ago. Homosexuals responded by de-emphasizing choice and insisting they were born that way.

“Born that way” is often taken to mean there is a “gay gene,” but that doesn’t necessarily follow. There are lots of other alternatives.

The larger issue is one of choice. Sexual choice is not the same thing as sexual identity — as if a person has some fixed orientation that’s beyond their control.

As we move into a “whatever” view of sexuality, the whole question of “sexual identity” will probably fade into insignificance.

-- 8 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-13  ::  Greg Krehbiel

An interesting test for the left

by Greg Krehbiel on 13 July 2015

So “El Chappo” — a mexican drug lord who has escaped from prison — has allegedly threatened a U.S. candidate for president.

How will the left (that is, the media) respond?

1. This is an outrage, and the U.S. government should take strong measures to protect Trump against this threat.

2. Trump was asking for it.

-- 25 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-07-13  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2015-07-11 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Bringing them out of the shadows
2015-07-11 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
The way of the Facebook fascist
2015-07-10 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
With cropdusters full of holy water, maybe?
2015-07-09 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Fascinating take on “privilege”
2015-07-09 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
97% of climatologists say …