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November 21, 2018


We are currently in the process of transitioning from an Industrial Age into an Information Age and, as transitions between the old and the new (See Dickens, Marx, Luddites et al. in the uproarious 19th century transition to the Industrial Age) always involve friction between the old and the new, so it is now, with finger-pointing by framers and counter-framers seeking scapegoats in this chaos of transition claimed to be the culprits, socioeconomic culprits ranging from abortion to AI takeover to capitalist overkill in search of profit.

Unlike many who blame the messenger, I do not believe that more information via social media is in the long term bad; I rather think that the way we manage such information for the common good is the real issue, and to this end I believe that an educational curriculum should emphasize more critical thinking and less MBA-ready coursework that computers can manage. .

I also (and this will be a radical thought for some) think that it may be time to scrap a Constitution that by its political interpretation and reinterpretation has given us Dred Scott through Roe through Janus through Citizens United, adopt a new Constitution to suit the times (social, economic, political), and adopt a parliamentary form of governance that is more responsive to solution of issues of the day etc.

The foregoing are just a few of the random thoughts that occur to me in thinking about management of our current transition into an age where we are certain to have socioeconomic upheaval on a massive scale as AI products supplant human effort. Expect Luddites, who would be well advised to accommodate rather than resist inevitable change. Thus robots, like the looms of Manchester and Leeds in 19th century England, are here to stay (until, perhaps, they become obsolete).

We are not helpless in the face of currently practiced greed, ignorance and rule by narrow interests during this interim of transitional change, but I think we must persuade the voting public to vote for change in their social, economic and political institutions to mirror changes that are going on in other areas at breakneck pace, and quickly, if we are not to suffer the transitional disorder of the 19th century Europe of Dickens and Marx and our first Gilded Age.

Government (collective action) is not manna falling down from heaven; it is an agreed means of doing things (or not) by a society that are deemed to be in the public interest, and when the public interest is hijacked by special interests not representative of the common good but rather for the good of the few, our task is clear. Win the next election, the one after that,  and the one after that         GERALD           E

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  1. Niel Johnson permalink

    Jerry – Your ideas are a bit radical, but maybe that is necessary to spur some creative thinking about how to make a better transition to a new age of AI, social media, cyber issues, etc.  I have heard it said that we now are getting a mountain of information (and misinformation) via the internet but only a molehill of understanding.  Even Facebook has been accused of being a conveyor of misinformation and other ills.    

    • Perhaps my ideas by contrast with the post-Enlightenment ideas of Madison and Jefferson are not so radical as they went from colonial status to a form of Athenian democracy. ‘Scrapping the Constitution” probably sounds far out and seditious. Perhaps I should have just written heavy amendment, but I am not good at framing or complex nuance. My theory is that everything and everybody ages and needs tweaking from time to time, including systems of governance. Right now we are subject to a Constitution fashioned by judges of political bent, predictable votes on issues of the day since their prejudices are known. My idea of scrapping the Constitution is in the hope that we will get a better one, perhaps one that is more immune to ideology etc. Dee Jaye and I are going to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes today, the big salad bar place where you once ate. 81 predicted today – come on down. Jerry Gerald E. Read my blog at: and follow me at @GeraldKnows on Twitter

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