Jobs for Robots

Jobs for Robots ISBN: 9780984972890, Prestige Professional Publishing. The expanding robot deployment is examined here in e-book format by Jason Schenker.

Sub-titled: Between Robocalypse and Robotopia, the book consists of an Introductory brief overview; nine chapters; an extensive number of pertinent references listed chapter by chapter; a list of the author’s degrees and certificates; an impressive compilation of his ‘Forecaster Accuracy Rankings’ with respect to economic indicators and associated factors; a note about his Publishing House (Prestige Professional); short synopses of his other books; and Disclaimers, both personal and for the publisher. The chapters provide details on: Why He Wrote the Book – to emphasize the need for education and for entitlement reform; The Past of Work: What’s in a Name – how they derived from one’s vocations; The Present of Work – current economic and labor market conditions; Robocalypse – advent causing possible loss of work opportunities; Robotopia – the reverse; Unreformed Entitlements – probable results; and three final self-explanatory chapters: Problems of Universal Basic Income; The Future of Education; Robot-Proof Your Career.

Discussion: The author obviously is immensely qualified to expound upon this most timely subject and has set forth some very cogent ideas. He also has accomplished this feat remarkably well in that he has presented the material in a scholarly and well-referenced manner, yet in a way the average reader will find to be most readable and easily understood. The only troublesome feature of the presentation for this reviewer is the considerable amount of repetition that judicious editing would have been able to eradicate.

One feature of the discussion that may disenchant some readers is the use of today’s term of ‘entitlement’ when speaking about Social Security. He begins with the seldom mentioned, and probably little known, bit about Social Security that it is virtually a direct ‘steal’ from Otto von Bismarck’s system established in Prussia and the expanding Germany in the 1800’s. It is granted that even von Bismarck admitted his program was a manner of combatting the rising tide of socialism. However, as admittedly one of the earliest enrollees in the program, this reviewer is aware of much of the program’s history and, as it was explained by Roosevelt, this was not a government ‘entitlement’ as in allowance, dispensation or ‘handout’. Rather it was something the recipient earned by his/her salary contribution plus that of the employer that would be placed in a trust which, with the number of contributors and the interest accrued, would continue to provide sufficient monies for the retirees. This was an extremely sensitive matter in 1935 when the population that had been a self-reliant group with a strong work ethic and pride in ‘being able to take care of themselves’ were still struggling with the devastation wreaked by the stock market collapse of ’29. There still are many who believe this and probably this could well have sufficed if the original program had continued. HOWEVER, in 1954 disability coverage was added, then Medicare in 1965, a few additional ‘coverages’ in the ‘90’s and finally in the past several years innumerable and diverse individuals additionally seem to have acquired a ‘piece of the action’. So, I heartily concur with the author that with the decrease in workforce, longer living retirees, the huge number of recipients and other factors, there is a pressing need for addressing the matter of an increase in the financial supply to ‘entitlements’ or whatever name that should be assigned. I also believe that the author has missed a golden opportunity to be number 1 in another predictive area. He has valiantly presented a solid base for Robotopia and I believe he seriously believes that education, along with large changes in the government programs, can keep us from Robocalypse. Regrettably, and although my degrees and credits are nowhere near his most impressive numbers, I believe my list is credible enough to allow me to humbly disagree. Perhaps because my activities have been in science rather than economics, it has caused me to become quite pragmatic. Furthermore, one of my degrees is in Clinical Psychology where professional interaction with individuals has caused me to differ from his belief that individuals will willingly seek constant new educational opportunities. Today’s generations do not seem, generally speaking, to embrace the strong work ethic of earlier generations. Thus regrettably, I fear most, or at least a large portion of today’s population of average intelligence will take the easier road. Granted, boredom may set in, but they will find another electronic game to play. With respect to the government making the necessary moves to counteract the advent of robots, again my pragmatism makes me wonder if it will be possible for human beings, such as compose our congress, to make such adjustments. (And PLEASE do NOT infer any political meanings in the following – it simply is a statement of fact.) When the admittedly greatly divided country can elect a president (unquestionably greatly flawed and totally disliked by many, but still the person elected) presents an agenda full of change and the majority leader of the senate, a member of the same party, states that the president is a newcomer and doesn’t understand how political matters work, there is a BIG problem. The president is proposing a change. BUT it is ONLY a change that will accomplish a reform that that ‘political’ leader and all of the rest of his party has been clamoring for over an eight year period. It would seem that the people’s elected representatives main function is to have as their mantra an old adage that will insure their reelection regardless of accomplishment. The adage, of course: “When all is said and done, much has been said, but little done” or perhaps more bluntly: “Talk it to death (to let your constituents know you are working) but don’t bother accomplishing anything”. A jaded view of the situation, no doubt, but it ‘is what it is’.

3* Actually 3 ½* Fascinating, rightfully respected author’s view with suggested caveats.

Make Your Own Rainbow

Make Your Own Rainbow, sub-titled you need never again be a victim of your emotions. Library of Australia ISBN: 187562783. This new edition published 2014 (previous editions 1990, 1996) by Leonard Ryzman.

A prologue opens the book with an excellent example of the power of positive thinking and other components of the author’s program. It is a short recounting of what was once a well know story. Ed Furgol, a golfer with a withered left arm that was eight inches shorter than the right one as a result of an accident at 12 years of age, went on to attain the height of golfing success – the 1954 U. S. Open Golf Champion. Following this short prologue, THE END is presented with the following introduction that explains the author’s distinct admonition: “I want you to stop and realize something powerful. For you this is the end – the end to thinking “I do not know how to lead a more fulfilling, successful life’.” From this point on, the author presents his Dynamic Emotion program that “provides you with alternative ways of viewing your life and offers simple techniques for improving it in a dramatic and permanent way”. Thus, you can experience “the thrill of living and achieving” and “become a happier and more successful person at home and at work”. Twelve individual chapters follow with suggestions on How to Unlock your Abilities; explanation of How the Mind Works; Ways to Use Your Emotions; Benefits of Worry – an amusingly blank page chapter of obvious significance; Breaking Free of Fear’s Stronghold; Creating your future; Gain Support of Your Greatest Ally (self-suggestion); Add Years to Your Life; How to Understand Your Problems; How to Get from where you are to where you want to be and finally; Wake Up! to your potential because “Your potential is vaster than you know”. Each of these chapters contains a host of exemplary persons who provide specific examples to illustrate the effectiveness of the point being made within the chapter. They range from prominent persons well known to all such as violinist Arthur Rubenstein, Albert Einstein, comedian George Burns, Olympian Wilma Rudolph to other lesser known individuals such as a former gang member who became a prominent juvenile judge, a paraplegic who managed huge farm sections in Australia and many more fascinating individuals who so perfectly buttress the author’s Dynamic Emotion program.

Discussion: The number of ‘self-help’ books that are appearing in the recent past is reaching a sizeable number. The occurrence seems to coincide with a seemingly growing fear of failure that has become a dominant part of every one’s life. Whether it is achievement in one’s business, love, or even other aspects of life such as the simple matter of attainment of pleasure appear to cause some level of apprehension ranging from a low ‘free-floating anxiety’ to advanced stages leading to depression. The author has set forth one of the better programs this reader has examined and he has written it in the same manner motivational speakers are able to ‘get their message across’ successfully. He has devised a path and shown how individuals can proceed to attain their desires. And, he has provided examples how individuals from numerous walks-of-life have been able to overcome often unimagined physical and/or mental problems by similarly realizing that a negative attitude or worry would only compound their problem. Instead, by thinking clearly and positively about their situation, they were able to understand it, harness their emotions, define what they wanted to accomplish and persevered until they were able to reach their goal. The author ends his presentation nicely, as follows: “Happiness is not in the surroundings. The only thing matters is you, because happiness is not in the surroundings. It is in the view you choose to have of these circumstances. This is why it is not what we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness. So make your own rainbow.”

5* Highly motivational presentation of positive thinking and associated factors.