Thursday, December 22, 2016

Phooey! My worries are way bigger than yours

Some friends are very worried about climate change.  Others fear plastics and junk in the oceans.  We can worry about cruelty and human misery in different parts of our country and other places, not to mention running out of oil and drinking water.  The dangers of fracking and disturbing the water table and stirring up geothermal, seismic and earth instabilities can give you nightmares.  


We have begun reading De Waal's "Our Inner Ape" and it inspires me to try an end run around paltry worries of my friends.  I am not a champion-sized male.  I am too little.  I have tried drumming my chest more and strutting but nobody seems to be impressed, let alone afraid of my might.  I have launched a campaign to worry bigger and deeper and more upsetting that you possibly can.  I will worry about all of the problems above and more!  Way more, dammit!


One of the worries us more advanced worriers wave about to terrify and impress is the future of work.  Just as the Luddites realized the advanced mechanical looms were taking away their weaving jobs, some of us have been worried about robots and extra smart and extra fast machines doing all the work and leaving nothing for us to do or to be paid for.  But I have to admit that Prof. David Autor of MIT gave a TED talk that abolished this ace-in-the-hole worry I have been nursing for the big time.  The guy let it out that since ATM machines were invented and dispersed, I'm sorry, 'deployed' is the word we advanced thinkers are sworn to use, since ATM's, there are far more human bank tellers holding down jobs that ever before.  Smarty-pants Autor says that humans are too smart to be put out of work because they can think of more and more things to do and do for a profit.


He is very convincing and I am embarrassed I didn't see this coming.  Another great worry countered by an insightful explanation!  I am still a very fine worrier, one of the best and most impressive you know and don't forget it.


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