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An equation to ensure America survives the age of AI
April 10, 2019 | Financial Times | Elizabeth Cobbs.

Alexander Hamilton, Horace Mann and Frances Perkins are linked by their emphasis on the importance of human learning.

In more and more industries, the low-skilled suffer declining pay and hours. McKinsey estimates that 60 per cent of occupations are at risk of partial or total automation. Workers spy disaster. Whether the middle class shrinks in the age of artificial intelligence depends less on machine learning than on human learning. Historical precedents help, especially...... the Hamilton-Mann-Perkins equation: innovation plus education, plus a social safety net, equals the sum of prosperity.

(1) Alexander Hamilton.
US founding father Alexander Hamilton was first to understand the relationship between: (a) the US's founding coincided with the industrial revolution and the need to grapple with technological disruption (In 1776, James Watts sold his first steam engine when the ink was still wet on the Declaration of Independence)-- Steam remade the world economically; and (b), America’s decolonisation remade the world politically......Hamilton believed that Fledgling countries needed robust economies. New technologies gave them an edge. Hamilton noted that England owed its progress to the mechanization of textile production.......Thomas Jefferson,on the other hand, argued that the US should remain pastoral: a free, virtuous nation exchanged raw materials for foreign goods. Farmers were “the chosen people”; factories promoted dependence and vice.....Hamilton disagreed. He thought colonies shouldn’t overpay foreigners for things they could produce themselves. Government should incentivise innovation, said his 1791 Report on the Subject of Manufactures. Otherwise citizens would resist change even when jobs ceased to provide sufficient income, deterred from making a “spontaneous transition to new pursuits”.......the U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to grant patents to anyone with a qualified application. America became a nation of tinkerers...Cyrus McCormick, son of a farmer, patented a mechanical reaper in 1834 that reduced the hands needed in farming. The US soared to become the world’s largest economy by 1890. Hamilton’s constant: nurture innovation.

(2) Horace Mann
America’s success gave rise to the idea that a free country needed free schools. The reformer Horace Mann, who never had more than six weeks of schooling in a year, started the Common School Movement, calling public schools “the greatest discovery made by man”.....Grammar schools spread across the US between the 1830s and 1880s. Reading, writing and arithmetic were the tools for success in industrialising economies. Towns offered children a no-cost education.......Americans achieved the world’s highest per capita income just as they became the world’s best-educated people. Mann’s constant: prioritise education.

(3) Frances Perkins
Jefferson was correct that industrial economies made people more interdependent. By 1920, more Americans lived in towns earning wages than on farms growing their own food. When the Great Depression drove unemployment to 25 per cent, the state took a third role....FDR recruited Frances Perkins, the longest serving labour secretary in US history, to rescue workers. Perkins led campaigns that established a minimum wage and maximum workweek. Most importantly, she chaired the committee that wrote the 1935 Social Security Act, creating a federal pension system and state unemployment insurance. Her achievements did not end the depression, but helped democracy weather it. Perkins’s constant: knit a safety net.

The world has ridden three swells of industrialisation occasioned by the harnessing of steam, electricity and computers. The next wave, brought to us by AI, towers over us. History shows that innovation, education and safety nets point the ship of state into the wave.

Progress is a variable. Hamilton, Mann and Perkins would each urge us to mind the constants in the historical equation.
adaptability  Alexander_Hamilton  artificial_intelligence  automation  constitutions  disruption  downward_mobility  education  FDR  Founding_Fathers  Frances_Perkins  gig_economy  historical_precedents  hollowing_out  Horace_Mann  Industrial_Revolution  innovation  innovation_policies  James_Watts  job_destruction  job_displacement  job_loss  life_long_learning  low-skilled  McKinsey  middle_class  priorities  productivity  public_education  public_schools  safety_nets  slavery  steam_engine  the_Great_Depression  Thomas_Jefferson  tinkerers 
april 2019 by jerryking
How The West Was Won | Slate Star Codex
-- Without an historian's critical approval, this speculation is as good as others... I have no idea whether this well written post is correct.
blog  debates  industrial_revolution  enlightenment  history_of_ideas  cultural_evolution  cultural_history 
january 2019 by rvenkat
The Instant Pot of the 1600s Was Known as 'the Digester of Bones' - Gastro Obscura
May have led to the steam engine. > By 1679, Papin had completed a working model, which he referred to as “the bone digester”—so named because it not only cooked food, but also softened bones for the production of fertilizer. According to David Wootton, author of The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution, the Digester was nothing short of a revelation. A breakthrough in steam technology, it relied on simple but impactful science. “Making the Digester involved understanding that pressure relates to the temperature at which things boil,” he says. “And when things boil, the result is pressure from steam. You’ve got a double process when you put something in a pressure cooker: You’re raising the temperature at which steam emerges, and you’re also producing pressure from the steam.”
technology  history  industrial_revolution 
november 2018 by porejide
Industry and Intelligence - Contemporary Art Since 1820 | Columbia University Press
"The history of modern art is often told through aesthetic breakthroughs that sync well with cultural and political change. From Courbet to Picasso, from Malevich to Warhol, it is accepted that art tracks the disruptions of industrialization, fascism, revolution, and war. Yet filtering the history of modern art only through catastrophic events cannot account for the subtle developments that lead to the profound confusion at the heart of contemporary art.
"In Industry and Intelligence, the artist Liam Gillick writes a nuanced genealogy to help us appreciate contemporary art's engagement with history even when it seems apathetic or blind to current events. Taking a broad view of artistic creation from 1820 to today, Gillick follows the response of artists to incremental developments in science, politics, and technology. The great innovations and dislocations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have their place in this timeline, but their traces are alternately amplified and diminished as Gillick moves through artistic reactions to liberalism, mass manufacturing, psychology, nuclear physics, automobiles, and a host of other advances. He intimately ties the origins of contemporary art to the social and technological adjustments of modern life, which artists struggled to incorporate truthfully into their works."

--- Dr. Giedion, Dr. Sigfried Giedion, please call your office. (Despite my everything old-is-new-again snark, this book does sound interesting...)
to:NB  books:noted  industrial_revolution  modernism  art_history 
may 2018 by cshalizi
The Slave Trade and British Capital Formation in the Eighteenth Century: A Comment on the Williams Thesis* | Business History Review | Cambridge Core
"Professor Engerman constructs estimates of relevant data in order to test the assertion that profits from the slave trade provided the capital which financed the Industrial Revolution in England."

--- The last tag is tentative, but AEO has convinced me to at least explore using the Williams Thesis as a teaching example in the new class...
to:NB  to_read  industrial_revolution  capitalism  slavery  economic_history  time_series  to_teach:data_over_space_and_time 
april 2018 by cshalizi
This Day in Labor History: March 11, 1811 - Lawyers, Guns & Money
On March 11, 1811, the Luddite movement began in Arnold, Nottingham, England, when textile workers destroyed the machines where they worked as a protest against…
Luddites  19thC  labor_history  technology  Industrial_Revolution  unemployment  labor_standards  Evernote  from instapaper
march 2018 by dunnettreader
DAUDET, Alphonse – Jack | Litterature audio.com
Donneuse de voix : Cocotte (2013) | Durée : 20h 20min | Genre : Romans
De nombreuses œuvres d’Alphonse Daudet sont déjà sur le site. Voici aujourd’hui Jack, un roman touchant, qui dépeint la vie quotidienne au début du 19ème siècle, aussi bien celle d’un un internat, que les dures conditions du travail dans les usines, qu’une noce champêtre dans la banlieue parisienne.

Jack est l’enfant naturel d’une charmante demi-mondaine. Ida est affectueuse, gaie, chaleureuse, mais insouciante, égoïste, superficielle. Jack aime sa mère passionnément, malgré ses défauts. Malheureusement, Ida est plus « femme » que « mère »…

Ceux qui ont aimé Le Petit Chose apprécieront également, j’en suis sûre, ce jeune garçon, ce jeune adolescent, qui lui ressemble comme un frère.
social_order  audio-books  Daudet  novels  French_language  cultural_history  Industrial_Revolution  19thC  working_class  social_history  French_lit 
june 2017 by dunnettreader
Chomsky: The System We Have Now Is Radically Anti-Democratic | Alternet
"What's the new paradigm for resistance? You know, how do we learn from the old and confront the new?"

Noam Chomsky talks to Chris Hedges about labor, capital, and manufacturing consent.
social_order  noam_chomsky  capitalism  labor  historical_revisionism  industrial_revolution  censorship  manufactured_consent 
february 2017 by perich
(URL is a pff) Greg Clark & Neil Cummins - Surnames and Social Mobility, Human Nature (2015)
Surnames and Social Mobility
Gregory Clark1 Neil Cummins2
To what extent do parental characteristics explain child social outcomes? Typically, parent-child correlations in socioeconomic measures are in the range 0.2-0.6. Surname evidence suggests, however, that the intergenerational correlation of overall status is much higher. This paper shows, using educational status in England 1170-2012 as an example, that the true underlying correlation of social status is in the range 0.75-0.85. Social status is more strongly inherited even than height. This correlation is constant over centuries, suggesting an underlying social physics surprisingly immune to government intervention. Social mobility in England in 2012 is little greater than in pre-industrial times. Surname evidence in other countries suggests similarly slow underlying mobility rates.
KEYWORDS: Social Mobility, intergenerational correlation, status inheritance
Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
status  Europe-Early_Modern  article  downloaded  surnames  statistics  17thC  British_history  16thC  mobility  Industrial_Revolution  19thC  inheritance  demography  21stC  20thC  18thC  medieval_history 
february 2017 by dunnettreader

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