jerryking + constitutions   11

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  diadaptability  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
Opinion | The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know
Feb. 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

A few years ago, the leaders of the College Board, the folks who administer the SAT college entrance exam, asked themselves a radical question: Of all the skills and knowledge that we test young people for that we know are correlated with success in college and in life, which is the most important? Their answer: the ability to master “two codes” — computer science and the U.S. Constitution......please show their work: “Why these two codes?”

Answer: if you want to be an empowered citizen in our democracy — able to not only navigate society and its institutions but also to improve and shape them, and not just be shaped by them — you need to know how the code of the U.S. Constitution works. And if you want to be an empowered and adaptive worker or artist or writer or scientist or teacher — and be able to shape the world around you, and not just be shaped by it — you need to know how computers work and how to shape them.....the internet, big data and artificial intelligence now the essential building blocks of almost every industry....mastering the principles and basic coding techniques that drive computers and other devices “will be more prepared for nearly every job,”....“At the same time, the Constitution forms the foundational code that gives shape to America and defines our essential liberties — it is the indispensable guide to our lives as productive citizens.”......“Understanding how government works is the essence of power. To be a strong citizen, you need to know how the structures of our government work and how to operate within them.”
African-Americans  civics  coding  constitutions  education  engaged_citizenry  foundational  high_schools  indispensable  individual_agency  life_skills  op-ed  public_education  questions  SAT  show_your_work  students  Tom_Friedman  women 
february 2019 by jerryking
Constitutional reform pressure group formed; members free to get into active politics
July 5, 2017 | Demerara Waves | Denis Chabrol.
Jainaraine Singh, Marcel Gaskin, Renatta Chuck-a-Sang and Terrence Campbell.

Reform, Inform, Sustain Educate (RISE) Guyana, a newly-formed non-profit organisation, on Wednesday announced that it would be embarking on a countrywide push for reforming Guyana’s constitution over the next two years, and said its members are free to engage in active politics with any party of their choice.
constitutions  Guyana  nonprofit  BHS  alumni  RISE 
july 2017 by jerryking
The Enlightenment Project
FEB. 28, 2017 | The New York Times| David Brooks.

Enlightenment thought. The Enlightenment included thinkers like John Locke and Immanuel Kant who argued that people should stop deferring blindly to authority for how to live. Instead, they should think things through from the ground up, respect facts and skeptically re-examine their own assumptions and convictions.

Enlightenment thinkers turned their skeptical ideas into skeptical institutions, notably the U.S. Constitution. America’s founders didn’t trust the people or themselves, so they built a system of rules, providing checks and balances to pit interest against interest.

....Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements don’t think truth is to be found through skeptical inquiry and debate. They think wisdom and virtue are found in the instincts of the plain people, deep in the mystical core of the nation’s or race’s group consciousness.

Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements believe less in calm persuasion and evidence-based inquiry than in purity of will. They try to win debates through blunt force and silencing unacceptable speech.

They don’t see history as a gradual march toward cooperation. They see history as cataclysmic cycles — a zero-sum endeavor marked by conflict. Nations trying to screw other nations, races inherently trying to oppress other races.

These movements are hostile to rules-based systems, multilateral organizations, the messy compromises of democratic politics and what Steve Bannon calls the “administrative state.” They prefer the direct rule by one strongman who is the embodiment of the will of the people.

When Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people” he is going after the system of conversation, debate and inquiry that is the foundation for the entire Enlightenment project....
David_Brooks  grand_strategy  history  Yale  John_Locke  Immanuel_Kant  rules-based  Abraham_Lincoln  multilateralism  De_Tocqueville  the_Enlightenment  skepticism  checks_and_balances  Stephen_Bannon  worldviews  zero-sum_games  strongman  constitutions 
march 2017 by jerryking
The PNC when in power did not amend the constitution to protect African Guyanese should it ever lose office - - Georgetown, Guyana
JUNE 25, 2011 | Stabroek News | M. Maxwell.

"Political power in this country is a zero-sum game thanks to the PNC and more pointedly to Forbes Burnham, who replaced a good (not great, but good) constitution with a monstrosity in 1980. ....The PNC had sufficient opportunity from at least 1985 with his demise to before the election of 1992 to implement constitutional and institutional reform that would protect African Guyanese and other minorities in the future following free and fair elections where ethnic voting would put the heavily Indian-supported PPP into power for a long time. ....However, the PNC failed African Guyanese in particular and Guyanese in general. A great opportunity to rewrite the constitution to benefit the minorities of this country of minorities was missed. The presidency continues to destroy this nation. ...Instead of beneficial change to protect its constituency and the Guyanese public in general, some charlatans who sat atop the PNC heap in 1992 ran for the hills leaving the African masses with no constitutional or institutional protection against exactly what they complain of today. It was a classic act of the shallow thinking, missing foresight and ineptitude
Afro-Guyanese  constituencies  constitutions  Guyana  failure  foresight  history  ineptitude  letters_to_the_editor  LFSB  minorities  minority_rights  PNC  zero-sum_games 
september 2014 by jerryking
A distinctly Canadian oath – I’ll swear to that - The Globe and Mail
ow can swearing allegiance to a little old lady on another continent mean that? Because, through the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Quebec Act of 1774, Confederation and the Constitution Act, 1982, we progressively transformed the monarchy into a secular symbol of our democracy and respect for the rule of law. One can swear allegiance to the Queen (as a symbol) and argue for the abolition of the monarchy.
Konrad_Yakabuski  oaths  Canada  Canadian  constitutions  constitutional_monarchies  Confederation 
august 2014 by jerryking
Sandra Day O'Connor and Jeff J. Curley: Founding Principles in the Digital Age - WSJ.com
April 21, 2014 | WSJ | By SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR And JEFF J. CURLEY

The College Board and Khan Academy—a nonprofit digital education platform—will partner to provide "free, world-class test prep" for the new exam.

These changes may sound unrelated, but they represent a fascinating paradox in education today: What is old in education has never been more important, but it may take what is new in education to truly prepare students for success in college, career and civic life.

Teaching the Constitution and the nation's other foundational texts is as old as public education itself. America's public schools were founded on the idea that education is vital to the success of democracy. But these texts are demanding and complex. Understanding them takes hard work and concentration. The effort is invaluable, though, not least because it instills the discipline that will equip young people with the knowledge and the habits of mind necessary to become powerful actors in civic life.

Millions of students taking the SAT will now encounter texts like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as well as the writings of individuals from James Madison to Martin Luther King Jr. But old test-prep methods like flashcards and rote memorization will not be sufficient. Students will need more sophisticated tools to help them understand the material and engage with it. Digital technology will be essential to achieving that goal.
civics  SAT  Khan_Academy  high_schools  students  tools  digital_media  standardized_testing  engaged_citizenry  public_education  constitutions  hard_work  foundational  education  paradoxes  platforms  judges  lawyers  Sandra_Day_O'Connor 
april 2014 by jerryking
Book review: Reading Law - WSJ.com
August 28, 2012 | WSJ | By DAVID B. RIVKIN JR..

The Triumph of the Text
In "Reading Law," Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and legal writer Bryan A. Garner argue for paying close attention to the original meaning of the words in the Constitution and other legal documents.
book_reviews  law  U.S._Supreme_Court  constitutions 
august 2012 by jerryking
WSJ.com - The Problem With Patents
When the patent sys. works, it rewards entrepreneurs &
inventors, encourages innovation & serves as a bulwark of property
rights. The Founding Fathers considered patents important enough to
provide for them in the Constitution, granting Congress (via the U.S.
Patent & Trademark Office & the courts ) the power to protect
the rights of patent & copyright holders "for limited times" &
to "promote the progress of science & useful arts." Patent rights
are good insofar as they are useful...A patent sys. is only as good as
the quality of patents that issue from it. If bad or dubious patents
proliferate, they can have the opposite of their intended effect, which
is to promote & reward innovation...the USPO is vulnerable to the
usual failings and perverse incentives of any other govt.
bureaucracy...What's broken with the patent sys. is that "it’s the
patent office, not the rejection office." The USPO gets paid when it
grants a patent, creating pressure on the staff to keep the $ coming in.
patents  USPTO  Founding_Fathers  incentives  constitutions  property_rights  innovation  innovation_policies  revenge_effects  perverse_incentives  Gresham's_law 
december 2009 by jerryking

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