jfcarr t1_jdirjot wrote

The pandemic supply chain crisis and the Ukraine conflict are already causing a shift in trade towards local/regional sources when possible. Mexico and parts of the Southern US are posed to take over a lot of mid-level manufacturing from China so far as North American markets go. Closer to home substitute raw materials are being sought out. Then there's the rapid demographic collapse in China and other countries that will also push this trend. Also, the US is trending towards being less inclined, perhaps even less capable, to maintain/enforce the globalization status quo militarily.

Tourism outside of one's immediate region was already becoming a rich persons' game. I do think that we will see an increasing income inequality divide here where "climate taxes" and other similar techniques will be used to restrict tourist travel by low and middle class people while the wealthy continue to fly private jets to Gstaad or Fiji with impunity.

The demographic collapse will drive some immigration that will be needed to fill in worker ranks at all levels of education. Canada and Australia are examples of this trend as are some countries in Europe. Countries, like China, that restrict immigration in the face of demographic collapse will suffer. In the US and Mexico, immigration issues may be resolved by finding equitable and agreeable ways to end the drug and human trafficking trade along the border (ie not a wall or military force).


jfcarr t1_j9y10iy wrote

I'm not a fan of subscription type services for products like your idea 1 would entail.

I would like to see a return to a greater degree of reparability and longevity in consumer products. There used to be appliance repair shops everywhere. Today, broken appliances are often tossed in a landfill or poorly, partially, recycled. Building them to be repaired, upgraded or recycled easily be useful on many level.

The problem is that most people don't want this. They want to newest and shiny thing that's out right now and don't care if it can't be repaired and has planned obsolescence baked in. I recently got into a very heated discussion on a hobby forum on this topic. I was critical of a hot new product from a company that had been around since the 1940's. I have their products from the 1960's and 70's that are still operating fine, only needing some maintenance over the years. The hot new product has SMD circuit boards and chips that will be unlikely to last more than 5 to 10 years. But, people got really offended when I brought this up.


jfcarr t1_j9w3wty wrote

Have you seen the Amazon TV show Upload? It's an interesting, kind of satirical comedic, take on this subject where people about to die "upload" to a virtual reality. It explores a lot of the topics you mentioned, especially the creation of a digital avatar and interaction with living people.

I suppose the real question is will this digital representation of the person really be that person or just a clever, partial, AI copy?


jfcarr t1_j95pjcy wrote

It's linear algebra all the way down.

And, yes, fewer and fewer young people these days are taught complex mathematics. Some barely know simple math. It's no wonder the AI chat bots look so amazing. It's kind of like someone from the 19th century seeing a 747.


jfcarr t1_j76nssg wrote

Neither of these jobs will go away any time soon. What will change is the use of AI assist tools to speed up work and improve performance and quality.

For example, when I first started doing software development 35 years ago I had to do a lot more manual work. There were no automated testing tools, syntax hints and code suggestions. As a result, code would have undetected bugs that could be difficult to figure out. Today, I have AI assist programs that let me know if my code might have a potential problem and it can make suggestions on improving a section of code. It isn't always right though but it helps by presenting alternatives.


jfcarr t1_j6wm6eg wrote

To quote from the movie The Right Stuff...

Gordon Cooper: You know what makes this bird go up? Funding makes this bird go up.

Gus Grissom: He's right. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

Large scale technical projects almost always get funded to achieve a political goal. From that initial funding, culture will tend to take that in other directions, especially if there is enough freedom and lack of corruption in a society to allow and encourage innovation.

Politics, which includes war, is one of the biggest drivers of cultural change. Many of the 20th centuries technical innovations were driven by the wars, WWI, WWII and the Cold War. We also see innovations being driven by political currents other than war, for example, electric vehicles.

The downside is that politics is typically driven by violence or the potential of violence. This can be outright, as in full on war, or simply oppression of a disfavored or disadvantaged group. Conflicts often arise as power shifts from one group to another, typically over competition for resources.