Another Perspective on Job Loss Due to Automation

AI

Robots – As I have posted before, there is great debate over whether or not Automation and Robotics will cost jobs. I read “The Great Myth of the AI Skills Gap” today and it is in the camp that Automation will create rather than cost jobs. Some of the points that the article brings out:

  • workers most likely to be displaced by technology lack the skills needed to do the new jobs created by that technology
  • the most common worry is that new technology will cause systematic permanent unemployment
  • there is concern that those who get training will stay employed at high paying jobs while those without training will be unemployed
  • new technology does eliminate low-skilled, low-paying jobs
  • the author’s position is that everyone should be able to do a job just a little harder than they are doing now – i.e. everyone level up a bit as automation is deployed
  • 200 years of economic history supports this
  • every fifty years, we lose about half of all jobs, and this has been pretty steady since 1800 
  • wages can continue to rise because technology has always increased worker productivity
  • the nature of technology has always been to create high-skilled jobs and increase worker productivity

While all that is said here makes some sense, I am concerned that the imapact of Robots and Automation will be deeper and more wide spread than prior disruptions caused by technology. While I agree that technology will create new jobs, I fear that they will be too few in number and require too much education/training to absorb those being displaced.

As with so many things the best advice is to plan for the worse and hope for the best.

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macOS New App Release – TurnTable 3.2

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Product Announcements Aquarius Computer of New York, New York has released TurnTable v3.2, an important feature update to the company’s popular music player app for macOS. A music player made for music – and the art, TurnTable is a new Music Player app that replaces iTunes and plays all its music library files. It’s a player for truly jamming, by day and night. Daydream and play music, feel well, cry, have visions, whatever …

Developed specifically for artists, music aficionados, or people who dream by day and night, TurnTable displays your music in grids of artists for a fuller selection of what to listen to. Or nothing but Albums elegantly displayed with their art, your albums in a collection view. Tracks are displayed in a simpler utilitarian jukebox interface.

Since 3.0, including the new Themes feature, and a new Visual Tracks view, this jukebox is now way more usable, pleasurable even, comfortable. Version 3.2 sports a new, elegant user interface that is perfect for someone who is really into music the art, and a dreamier side to life. TurnTable 3.2 includes a new Visual Tracks view, for playing any songs/albums that may appear interesting. See the tracks you may like, that may get you up during the day, and just play one.

System Requirements:

  • macOS 10.13 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 1.6 MB

Pricing and Availability:
TurnTable v3.2 is only $4.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Music category.

Instrumental Music on YouTube: Disney Princess Medley

Music – OK. I know this isn’t an instrumental piece, but I wanted to share it anyway. My son suggested that I take a look at this group. I have four granddaughters and at one time or another, each and every one of them wanted to be a Disney Princess. This video was posted to YouTube in August of 2017 by Voctave. From their website:

Voctave is an 11-member a cappella group from the Central Florida area. Formed in the winter of 2015, the voices that bring their artistic arrangements to life represent a wealth of diverse backgrounds and musical experiences. Group members have professional roots with Walt Disney World entertainment, but their range does not stop there. From gospel music to musical theater, contemporary Christian to barbershop, pop music to choral specialists, Voctave voices have covered it all both in and out of the a cappella realm. Members of Voctave have performed all over the world and can be heard on countless recordings. The group has performed with Grammy, Dove and American Music Award recipients including Sandi Patty, Kirstin Maldonado, Mark Lowry, David Phelps & Jody McBrayer. With multiple #1 songs and albums on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify, Voctave has also ranked in the top 25 on Billboard Magazine’s charts. Between Facebook and YouTube, they have received more than 100 million views on their videos. Voctave currently has 4 albums that are digitally available on all platforms.

If you have some “Disney Princesses” in your life, regardless of age, this will be music they want to hear.

There is a Technique to Remembering What You Read

Books
Reading – I came across the article “How to remember what you read: What to do before, during, and after reading anything” a short time ago and thought it had many ideas worth sharing on how to remember what you read. Among those ideas are:

  • the more you’re able to connect the information you get from reading, the more knowledgable you’ll become
  • if you want to remember what you read you need to be specific and intentional
  • remembering what you read comes down to hitting three factors: Impression, association, and repetition
  • There’s simply too much to read if you don’t curate your reading list
  • forcing yourself to read books you’re not interested in just wastes time (that is why I sometimes call a Rule of 50 to quit reading a book)
  • if you’re looking to remember and use what you read, it’s better to know how you’re going to use it
  • skimming and doing ‘pre-reading’ is a great way to solidify what you’re reading in memory
  • use active reading – the process of reading with determination to understand and evaluate how and if to use the information you’re reading
  • a technique such as marginalia (handwriting notes in the margin and marking up key patterns for follow-ups) or sketchnotes (drawing notes and ideas) will make you a more active reader and help lock information in your memory.
  • as you read and come across new ideas, try to associate them with familiar memories as a means of creating a bond between old and new
  • when we connect memories or thoughts to different experiences those moments are stored in our neocortex—a part of the brain that is much easier for us to recall.
  • one of the best ways to remember what you read is to find opportunities to use it
  • if you’re reading to remember and grow either personally or professionally, you need to be more deliberate

Sadly. a study published in Time magazine found that Americans read, on average, just 19-minutes a day. And that number drops to 10-minutes or less for people under 34. According to a University of Michigan Health study, at a minimum, people should be reading for 30 minutes a day.

How much do you read each day? Generally, I try to spend 2-5 hours reading each day.

macOS New App Release – Zippr

Product Announcements – AppYogi Software of Bangalore, Karnataka, an India-based Indi app developer, is proud to announce the official launch of Zippr which is Pre-Ordered 11,000 on the Mac App Store. A-Zippr is a simple, fast and powerful Mac utility that allows users to archive Zip, RAR, 7z, SIT, TAR, IOS, ZX, LZIP, Gzip, BZIP2 and unarchives in 70+ different commonly used file formats. It is handcrafted to make it most customizable to archive and unarchive files on macOS.

Zippr also makes it easier for users to browse contents of the archives without extracting the file – particularly useful while working with very large files. Apart from that, it also allows users to create encrypted / password protected archives. We are sure our users will love the clean and intuitive UI and the unique features of the app which makes working with archives seamless.

Zip and Unzip files instantly:

  • Preview file details before extracting
  • Protect files with strong 256 bit AES encryption
  • Extract only files you choose without having to extract the entire archive
  • Notifies once compression or extract completion

Archive & Unarchive:(Easy):

  • Drag and drop the file to Zipping or unZip
  • Resize file size for faster sharing and to reduce storage
  • Extract major file formats like Zip, RAR, TAR, LHA, 7Z, JAR and 70 more formats
  • Automatically identify to zip or unzip the file when dropped to Floating drop window
  • Set floating drop window to any corner of the screen
  • Compress files in the different method like fast, faster, normal, slow and slowest

File encryption:(Secure):

  • Password-protect confidential files and apply powerful AES encryption
  • Prevent unauthorized access of email attachments
  • Encrypt individual files within a zipped folder

Preview Files:(Safe):

  • Quick look framework to preview files before unarchive (not even in temp file like other apps)
  • Unarchive individual files from an archived folder
  • Get detailed file information individually before unarchive
  • Native user experience to preview files

Now all the archive files you have will automatically open with The Unarchiver and you’ll forget the “Unknown format” alerts and extraction errors forever. Having a RAR extractor for Mac saves you tons of time when dealing with archives.

Supporting file formats:

  • Archive: ZIP, TAR, 7Z, GZIP, BZIP2, ISO, XZ, LZIP
  • Unarchive: ZIP, Z01, RAR, 7Z, TAR, LHA, ZIPZ, SIT, SITX, HQX, BIN, MACBIN, AS, GZ, GZIP, TGZ, TAR,GZ, BZ2, BZIP2, BZ, TBZ2, TBZ, XZ, TXZ, ISO, CDI, NRG, MDF, GTAR, Z, TAZ, TAR.Z, LZMA, XAR, XIP, ACE, PAK, SPK, ZOO, LBR, LQR, LZR, PMA, CAB, RPM, DEB, ALZ, DD, CPT, PIT, NOW, SEA, EXE, MSI, CPIO, CPGZ, PAX, WARC, HA, ADF, ADZ, DMS, F, LZX, DCS, PKD, XMS, ZOM, PP, NSA, SAR, JAR, CBZ, CBR, NDS, PKG, A, SWF, LZ, TLZ

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.10 or later
  • 20.9 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Zippr: RAR & Zip Tool 1.1 is Free download and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category & through Zippr website. The app offers a 7-days free trial of all features and it cost $7.99, Unlock file Preview before unarchiving cost $5.99, archive file with AES 256bit encryption cost $3.99 (USD).

Book Review: “Invisible Heros of World War II”

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Book Reviews – “Invisible Heros of World War II” Book was published in 2019 (May) and was written by Jerry Borrowman. Mr. Borrowman has published a mix of 20 fiction and non-fiction books.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the years of World War II in both the European and Pacific Theaters.

This is really a collection of short stories about those who generally did not receive the recognition they deserved for their contributions to the War effort. Each of the ten chapters focuses on a different individual or group. Some I had heard of before, but most I had not. This book gives a very different look at those who served in WWII, whether in the military or a civilian contributing to the cause.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 4.5 hours I spent reading this 208-page WWII non-fiction book. I liked the approach taken with this book. The in-depth personal stories were very good. I like the chosen artwork for the cover. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these two pages of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a collection of more than 190 links to museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

macOS New App Release -ChronoSync Express 1.3

Econ Technologies, Inc. of Casselberry, Florida has announced full macOS 10.14 (Mojave) support for ChronoSync Express. The first thing you’ll want to try is the easy-on-the-eyes full Mojave Dark Mode support! Beyond that, take advantage of the new streamlined access to all the information about Sync Tasks in the ChronoSync Express Organizer that now offers Task Document Tagging, Sorting, Actions and Alerts so you can see what is going on at-a-glance.

The ChronoSync Express Scheduler system menu now offers a view of Running Scheduled Tasks while the Scheduled Tasks Manager offers easy access to Task Document Logs for a quick review of completion status or errors.

These changes are delivered along with numerous bug fixes, tweaks, and improvements. See the highlights of the newest features and capabilities in the ChronoSync Express video series. See the details of all the changes in the “Release Notes”.

Owners of ChronoSync Express can start using these new features today with a free update! If you don’t already own ChronoSync Express, you can find it on the Mac App Store for $24.99 (USD). Or try ChronoSync Express along with over 100 other Apps as part of the Setapp subscription service. ChronoSync Express is designed to work on macOS version 10.10 and newer.

Feeling Anxious? A Cup of Coffee with Satori Might Help

Coffee – Coffee has many benefits of its own as I have posted about previously. While I don’t use creamers in my coffee, the “Vanilla Steamer” from Satori Food Project might be something to think about.

Dr. Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori, while he was pursuing post-doctorate work in pharmaceutical sciences, wanted to find an easy way for people to manage stress and anxiety without prescription drugs. He worked with the startup accelerator Gener8tor and received an award from the National Science Foundation to further his efforts to create foods for mental health. The result is the Satori Food Project based out of the Concordia University of Wisconsin Pharmacy School.

They currently have two products – the powdered coffee creamer mentioned above and a hot chocolate mix. Both are enriched with magnesium, GABA, and L-theanine. They say on their website about their creamer:

You know that feeling you get when you’re painting, writing, or coding. You know. When you’re 100% focused on what you’re making. When you’re in that special place where joy meets skill meets performance…

Well, scientists have figured out the brain chemistry behind that special place, and they call it “FLOW”. And we have turned that discovery into a delicious vanilla steamer that unlocks your brain’s potential to get into Flow – and stay there.

. . . helps you calm your nerves and stay focused on accomplishing your goals. Imagine what you can do at the next level of CONSCIOUSNESS and Clear Thinking…

As for their hot chocolate, their website claims:

RELAX. Imagine finally returning home from a long and busy day. You did a lot of things. And you helped a lot of people. 

Now it’s time to lay on the couch, snuggle under a warm blanket, and watch your favorite shows with your favorite drink.

Satori Hot Chocolate Mix is a gourmet beverage that helps your brain CALMLY UNWIND and detach from a hectic day. Now it’s night-time. Your time.

A Peaceful Mind can be yours with every cup of SATORI Hot Chocolate. It gives your brain the vitamins it needs to relax after a busy day. No Artificial Flavors. NO PILLS. No Stress. JUST CHOCOLATE.

A $25 can of the hot chocolate mix will make eighteen 56 calorie cups of hot chocolate. The $25 can of Vanilla Steamer provides twentyone 63 calorie servings.

Perhaps one or both (you can buy a package with a can of each for $45) is something to help you through your day.

Book Review: “The Gilded Wolves”

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Book Reviews – “The Gilded Wolves” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Roshani Chokshi (https://roshanichokshi.com). Ms. Chokshi has published six novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in 1889 Paris, though in an alternate history – a  timeline that includes magic. The primary character is treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie.

The powerful Order of Babel forces Alarie to help them on a mission. He recruits some well-known associates to help. There is the engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a near brother. They, along with Hypnos, the young heir of House Nyx, must confront other houses of magic, avoid the efforts of a fallen house, and protect the Babel Fragment held in Europe.

I enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 400-page alternate history fantasy. I think better cover art could have been chosen. I liked the plot and the different approach to magic in the alternate universe. The principal characters are an interesting assortment. I give this novel a  4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Observations on SciFi, Books, Space Exploration, Robotics, and Productivity