The Oracles Of Our Time

I read with interest the predictions of Isaac Asimov on the year 2014 written back in 1964.

He has been prescient to a flaw, foretelling of LCD screens, Skype, robots and more technological wonders that only someone from 1964 would appreciate and that we have come to take for granted.

Like I said back in March this year.

“I believe that in every generation, there are always people born out of their “time”. Far ahead into the future, slightly ahead, or behind.

Jules Verne imagined us trawling the ocean depths but H.G. Wells did not live to see the space shuttle….”

Some are lucky to become film makers to be able to share their vision like George Lucas did. Others just become filthy rich, people like the Elon Musk and Peter Thiel who are part of the Silicon Valley mafia, a loose term used in reference to the boys (then) who founded Paypal and make a fortune from that and their subsequent investments in Youtube and Tesla and more.

That is why it has been nagging me that 2 of these outspoken persona, Peter Thiel and Elon Musk made remarks recently. Remarks that have struck a chord in me because all of us only listen to the wildly rich and successful.

Peter Thiel

The soon going to be very much richer billionaire when Palantir, the former CIA big data company, gets their IPO going next year (where I am hearing that the ultra high net worth private banks here have already gotten their hands on), has just written a book, Zero to One, not quite an economics text as it would be a business book.

Peter Thiel mentioned in an interview that he felt that the world’s monetary system is flawed.

“And I think there’s a strange counterpoint where the same thing happened with our currency, where the real value of money became separate from the virtual in August of ’71 when we went off the gold standard. And so, you know, whatever you think of the gold standard, it had the virtue of connecting the real with the virtual.”

“We’ve been in this world where people have been printing money at the Fed for six years and it is a very strange question of what happens when it ends … I think the thing that is most distorted is the bond market and fixed income, and perhaps less on the equity side, but we certainly are back in a government bubble of massive size.”

Elon Musk

Robots could delete humans like spam and “with artificial intelligence, we’re summoning the demon.”

Now that is interesting because Tesla super charger stations will be manned by robots in the future as was his vision in the past. And as the IS war in the middle east is fought with drones, the UN comes out to warn of the rise of the “killer robots” and how it contravenes with international and humanitarian laws.

This is just as Amazon gets serious about drones for delivery.

And studies show that 33% of British workers will be replaced by machines over the next 20 years.

Banks are leading the way with a digital shift seeing thousands of branches closed across the world and even the Fed’s Dennis Lockhart acknowledges that machines are changing the outlook for employment and the labour force.

But not all jobs are lost. In Goldman Sachs, the number of high level programmer/banker roles has risen 43% since 2009.

Another filthy rich visionary, Larry Page of Google think the future is in job sharing. Yes, good idea except that discontentment will perpetuate – half wages but he still remains CEO, of course.

We have written about this quite extensively and I still cannot see anything good coming out of it.

The future is inevitable and there is nothing 1 person do about it.

Not all the world’s population will enjoy the gadgetry world of the future to the full. A larger portion than today will be deprived and although they may be better off, materially, than today, they will be further behind.Isaac Asimov