Jamais Cascio – An Optimists Guide to the Next 10 Years

Spoiler… the title is a little tongue in cheek.
Cascio likens the future problems to a metaphorical flotilla of asteroids coming our way:
– Asteroid 1: Stranded Assets – the kinds of resources that we put enormous amount of money into that will in a very short amount of time become effectively valueless.
– Asteroid 2: Blockchain Architectures – encryption (bitcoin is a prime example) – it’s more than just a currency to use in the dark net. It can be used to essentially translate the legalities of a contract into a self-executing algorithm – quite interesting implications for micro-payments etc
– Asteroid 3: The End of Advertising – go adblock! increasing support in handheld devices like iphone6 to block certain content
– Asteroid 4: Digital = Hackable – social and economic hacking possible as a result of expanded use of digital technology
– Asteroid 5: The Transformation of Labor – many manifestations:
– Gig economy – moment by moment task based jobs with shaky future, people can be easily swapped out for cheaper options
– Semi-automatic labor – both customers and machines doing the labor (ATMs + customers replace bank tellers, automated supermarket checkouts + customers replace checkout staff) – where the end user supplies the input that a computer can’t yet do easily

Because of the rise of automation we have a dilemma – how do you a) increase efficiency, while b) maintain a livable lifestyle when you don’t have reliable jobs?

Perhaps the most difficult human trait for machines to replace is empathy – the kinds of jobs that have sometimes been considered to be less critical (often done by women).

“How do we deal with a world where the kinds of jobs that have been historically good strong middle class jobs are increasingly easy to automate … and the kinds of jobs that persist have historically not been given respect?” – Jamais Cascio


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