“The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence”

This piece in the Harvard Business Review has a four-part argument, with a cautiously optimistic conclusion:
  1. Machine intelligence is essentially about prediction
  2. As the price of such prediction drops, demand for it will go up (e.g., predicting very early-stage diseases)
  3. The ‘complement’ (in economic terms) of prediction is judgment — done by humans.
  4. Thus, demand for human judgment will also go up [e.g., decisions about medical treatment], and this is good for human employment prospects.

How should we educate, in the age of automation?


In the Guardian, George Monbiot cites arguments that the dominant mode of education in the West may have been well-suited for an industrial age, but not for a post-industrial, increasingly automated one.

While reading, I thought of a few other institutions that have long sought to de-regiment, de-mechanize, and genuinely humanize education: the Montessori tradition, and St. John’s College.

Article: “In an age of robots, schools are teaching our children to be redundant.”


Aristotle: True leisure is not relaxation.


The Noble Leisure Project” gives a clear explanation of how Aristotle’s concept of leisure — far from being mere passivity — is an activity, in which one finds one’s greatest fulfillment.  And not just any activity, but rather the activities that are the most properly human.

In general, then, the hierarchy goes something like this:

relaxation -> (for the sake of) -> work -> (for the sake of) -> leisure