Saturday, April 13, 2024

It is impossible to predict the future

I recently attended the funeral of a coworker. He was 93 when he died. He was a life-long believer and I have little doubt that he ended up in a good place.

One tiny bit of his life's story is worth sharing.

He was in his fifties when his wife informed him that she found him irritating and though her life would be better if he was not under-foot. That would be in the late-1980s/early-1990s.

She had been taking classes and was about to embark upon a new career. He was not as supportive as she wanted, perhaps because he was critical of the amount of time and money that she was spending on classes and on "gear" she would need for her new business.

She filed for divorce.

He eventually remarried.

She did not.

At the funeral, she was sitting way off to the side. It was awkward. They had been married for more than 25 years. Their shared children wanted her to be there. She consented because it was about their loss, but there was no defined place for her.

Very sad.

The career she dumped my coworker for never materialized. In retrospect, it was the 1992 equivalent of an aspiring Instagram Influencer or Rapper or Cyber-currency trader.

She was going to make her fortune in photographs. You know, on 35mm film.

She was not alone. Another one of my other coworkers dreamed of retiring and opening a camera store in Hawaii. Photographs, film, cameras...all seemed viable and tangible and reasonable in 1992. Who knew that smartphones and digital cameras were about to destroy the entire "film" and photographic industry?

What advantage does a human offer vs AI in the universe of Influencers, Rap Music and Cyber-currency trading?

Why do you need a human photographer to sweat the details of getting great photos of a house that is being put up for sale when you could take 30 mediocre pictures and direct AI to clean them up?

If you ran a marketing campaign, wouldn't you hedge your bets by buying AI content at less than 5% of the cost of human influencers like Dylan Mulvaney (transgender Bud Light shill). Frankly, how could they have worse outcomes?

Given the repetitive, primal, simplistic content of rap "music", could AI do worse?

I am just trying to point out that some of the legs of the "new economy" might not be very sturdy.


  1. For a spell there back in the day I worked for a subsidiary of a big company you all know that rhymes with crisco.
    We hit the warehouse to get our load and I pointed out to the other guys there was a robot pulling part of the order... this was 5+ years ago!

  2. History is rife with people who lost their means of support thanks to "progress". Those who can't or won't adapt to change seldom do well.

  3. Also, if your office job is boring and repetitive, from coding to HR, you will be replaced. IBM just laid off 80% of it's HR team. Those would be the ones who answer dumb everyday questions and field complaints. Human generated code is full of mistakes, just like AI code. You have to test and debug, you might as well get the first stage cheep. Whether from a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years or AI!

  4. Feminism kills another marriage.


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