ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON Q&A LAST NIGHT

 

The ABC’s ‘QandA’ with Tony Jones on Monday 2 October 2017, “Drones, Robots and The Future” [Hey! It’s not playing, ABC! Fix it! We’re in the 21st century now!] was stimulating, entertaining – and frustrating.

OK, so our kids will all have to study coding? Not just how to use applications? Really?

With AI, drones, and industry-led disruption, where’s all the employment to come from? (Was I wrong to recall the damaging Luddite protests at this point?)

Ah, a couple of universal basic income tweets took some of the potential fear and despair out of the argument. (Didn’t get another mention on the program, though.)

“No Latin”, Adam Spencer? Why not? Only maths? What about the humanities?

It was you, too, who said we might some time in the future turn around and wonder “Where’s all the money gone?

Yes indeed! But we may very well ask that question right now, Adam! A great part of it is going to what Karl Marx called the ‘surplus product‘ and what Henry George nominated as the ‘economic rent‘. It’s the unearned income owed equally to all of us, but which is currently being largely privatised, stolen, by the banks and the 0.1%. It’s the unearned one-third of the economy which represents the income from our natural resources which is neither earned wages nor profits.

No matter where we are headed in the future, we need to understand that rent, the surplus product, the glue that holds society together, is currently being stolen, and this must end if democracy, and economic justice, is to prevail.

Was there even one person on the panel or in last night’s QandA audience who understood that’s a key part of what our children need to learn: surplus product, economic rent – because it represents humanity; it represents us.

GRASSHOPPERS AND ANTS

The Ant and the Grasshopper

I believe we don’t need to delude ourselves, but many of us choose to do so.

Maybe that’s to conform with the narrative being disseminated by the mainstream – because it’s pretty difficult to admit you’re being fed bullshit all the time? Easier to go along with the story and, for your own protection and survival, assume the mantle of this alternative reality.

So you accept their ‘truths’: that the US land and share markets are not in impossible bubbles which have been fed by the Federal Reserve; that you can make up for your inadequate wages by borrowing to live; that all the private debt owed to the banks can be repaid; that banks are merely intermediaries between ‘lenders’ and borrowers – because it’s much easier this way. And wouldn’t the media surely tell you if it was otherwise?

You wouldn’t want to join those nay-saying doomsters quoting facts and figures at you about the crass stupidity of central banks and the financial regime – because there is nothing to see here!