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Technology and Work

From Mauldin, J. (2017, March 1). Tax Reform: The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly—Part Four.

"The problem is that at least 80% of manufacturing jobs were lost not to companies moving factories to China or Mexico but to increased automation. Some estimates run as high as 90%. Those jobs are never “coming back.” They are gone. And that trend is going to continue and accelerate. I fully understand that if we do get corporate tax reform, along with some other reforms, it is quite possible that Apple, for example, would move its iPhone 10 factory to the US. But iPhones are increasingly assembled by robots, and in a few years those and other such products will mostly be made on largely automated production lines, whether in China or the US.

That said, if Foxconn does set up a flat-screen display factory in the US, it would create 30,000+ jobs. Of course, they are asking for US government help and subsidies. Note that Apple has 766 suppliers, of which just 69 are in the US. Manufacturing iPhones in the US would be more about the logistics of getting just-in-time components from those other 700 suppliers, which are all over the world. The additional cost for US-based labor would not be all that much.

And that situation is playing out over hundreds of industries. Much of what we buy today is absolutely reliant on a complex, seamlessly functioning global supply chain. Did you know that an Apple iPhone contains about 75 elements, as in periodic table elements? There is iron, aluminum, carbon, and silicon, of course, but also a host of exotics. Most of those aren’t mined or refined in the United States."


Posted on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 06:32AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Schools and universities will have to do more to educate students to be better consumers of information.

Shafik, M. (2017, March 1). Restoring Trust in Expertise. Retrieved March 1, 2017, from https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/restoring-trust-in-experts-by-minouche-shafik-2017-03
Posted on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 06:43AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Things That Make You Go Hhhhhmmmmm

The title was likely inspired by John Mauldin.

"Imitation is a stronger force in cultures than innovation. Everything goes more easily if we imitate rather than innovate – so we buy our clothes at the same department stores and eat out at the same chain restaurants. And when we imitate people – wearing their jerseys, singing their music, repeating their ideas – we are doing what most cultures do, copying people with prestige and status. For example, reporters rarely innovate when covering science, that is, they rarely come to their own opinion about difficult material. Rather, they establish a set of ‘go-to’ experts to cite. And those sets are populated largely by Ivy-league professors. There is nothing wrong with that. I simply point out that it is common. It saves one from the excruciating work of original thought."

Emphasis added.

Source: Everett, D. (2017, January 10). Why Language is Not Everything that Noam Chomsky Said It Is. Retrieved January 14, 2017, from https://aeon.co/essays/why-language-is-not-everything-that-noam-chomsky-said-it-is

Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 05:44AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment


"The overall process outlined in the course provided us with a new perspective on academic research. Admittedly, most of us had trouble understanding how the deliverables would contribute to the overall course in the first few weeks, but by week 3-4, we began to uncover the merits of the systematic approach. Throughout this graduate program, we have never been asked to develop a methodology in conjunction with the research process. After learning both the challenges and rewards of this undertaking, we would be remiss if this approach wasn’t replicated in our professional careers. The remaining portion of this paper will be dedicated to describing our process throughout the project, what we came away with, and the lessons learned along the way."

TMGT 9100-02 Fa16 Capstone Students

Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 05:47AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | Comments1 Comment

The Mark on the Mind

It occurred to me, while reading and grading term papers, that writing about something, however poorly, helps to etch, however faintly, the material on the mind of the writer.

Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 09:32AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

A Changing World?

"As I think about Italy, one point nags at me. Trends all over the globe point away from centralized power. We don’t see much in the way of new economic or military alliances among nations. The trend is the opposite, as we see in the UK vote to exit the EU, Trump wanting tough negotiations on trade, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership falling apart. We also see regions within nations trying to claw back authority from their national governments."

Mauldin, J. (2016, December 2). A Big Swirling Italian Mess.


Posted on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 06:44AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

The Cause of the Effect

"In his 1987 book, The Last Intellectuals, Russell Jacoby argued that the generation of writers and critics who came to political consciousness in the 1960s had been absorbed into the university and disappeared from public life, precipitating 'a withdrawal of intellectual energy from the larger domain to a narrower discipline.' For Jacoby, the implications were dire. 'The transmission belt of culture — the ineffable manner by which an older generation passes along not simply its knowledge but its dreams and hopes — is threatened,' he wrote. 'Younger intellectuals are occupied and preoccupied by the demands of university careers. As professional life thrives, public culture grows poorer and older.'"

Goldstein, E. (2016, November 13). The New Intellectuals. Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-New-Intellectuals/238354/

Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 01:42PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment


"In other words, the computer, Campbell said, accelerates the calculation and preparation that can lead to draws. Thanks, computer."

Roeder, O. (2016, November 19). Are Computers Draining The Beauty Out Of Chess? Retrieved from http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/world-chess-championship-game-6-carlsen-karjakin/

See also The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence. (2016, November 17). Retrieved from http://www.digitopoly.org/2016/11/17/the-simple-economics-of-machine-intelligence/

Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 07:04AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Harvesting the Web

Early in the mornings of Friday through Sunday I pour a cup of coffee, put my feet up, and harvest the web.  I go through my Morning Read (seven sites), NetNewsWire feeds (38 of these), and personal e-mail looking for items of interest.

Items of interest include those that simply strike my fancy or pique my curiosity, or that I think may be useful to me in my day job.  I am invoking the SIDAL loop,

and being mindful of the Eighth Law, "Old dogs that don't learn new tricks end up dead dogs."

I am a victum of that desease pointed out by Dorothy Parker in, "The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity."

Posted on Friday, November 18, 2016 at 07:55AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

George Gilder’s great insight is that knowledge...

...is the currency that has real value, a fact that he derives from Claude Shannon’s information theory. Knowledge is the signal in the noise that lets the markets know how to respond and helps each of us to decide what to buy and sell, whether to go to work or to stay home, every day.

John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline, September 14, 2016

Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 07:46AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment