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Tom Toles
Posted at 02:20 PM ET, 07/15/2013

Robot invasion! cont’d

The only thing you can say about vacation is: MORE. And then, of course, comes ‘Be careful what you wish for.’

It’s always surprising, when you begin a vacation, when you rediscover, ‘Oh, NOW I REMEMBER WHO I AM!’ I remember that the high-efficiency grind person that I wake up as every working day isn’t really me, even if the grim, determined image in the mirror looks familiar. And what do you know, pursuit of art, music, dancing and discussion in a completely relaxed state of mind really IS possible! I could use some more!

However! The American economy is hard at work trying to put us all on permanent vacation and so far the evidence is that it won’t be on  favorable terms. And today I have more evidence for my love/fear relationship with the robots of the near future who will be taking all the jobs. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/agricultural-robots-could-revolutionize-fresh-market-fruit-veggie-production-ease-labor-woes/2013/07/15/b86f6b76-ed29-11e2-b46e-f15eec37b46c_story.html Robots now can do that awful farmwork now. That is on the low end of the jobs spectrum. On the higher end, computers can fly airplanes now too. In fact, the computer on the recently crashed Korean airliner was busy trying to tell the human pilot he was screwing up. Computers could be flying planes all by themselves already if people weren’t spooked by the idea. This spooked-ness is just another example of ‘human error,’ which is the one thing humans still can do best.

But back to the farm robots. This will solve the ‘work Americans won’t do’ problem. And it will also eventually settle the immigration debate, when American employers realize they don’t need any immigrants after all. Then there will be a moment’s respite before they realize they don’t need the rest of us either. This all could be great, unless, of course, it’s a disaster.

By  |  02:20 PM ET, 07/15/2013

 
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