There are some things that drive me up the metaphorical wall. Especially concerning discussions of automation and jobs. I’ve contemplated this issue for years. Lately there was an issue of the Axios Future newsletter. I rather like the editor, Steve Levine, even if he is an economist turned journalist. But there are times when he stops at a macro level with no understanding of underlying facts. That’s a common problem with both economists and journalists.

The things:

  1. Confusing robots and automation
  2. Not understanding the jobs that were replaced
  3. Advances in manufacturing that greatly enhance the quality of jobs
  4. Confuse correlation with causation

Unlike people who grab high-level statistics, run the numbers through a variety of mathematical equations, and then show some sort of correlation, I started at the factory floor. First working on the line. Then figuring out ways to build better machines and put robots in places to take on physically debilitating or drudgery work. I tend to be inductive rather than deductive in my approach.

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