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Andrew McAfee
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New post is up: "Recent Trends in Labor Intensity. Or, the History (and Future?) Of Steady Jobs in the US."
Feedback is always much appreciated...

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to bring back and maintain the once-popular #andyasks. It's a daily question I ask via Twitter on whatever topic springs to mind.
I usually ask once in the morning to get East Coast US and European folk, then again in the afternoon once our West Coast colleagues have woken up and joined us.
The fun and learning are in the answers much more than the questions, so please don't just lurk: join in. When you do, it'll be better if you don't simply reply (if you do, only people who follow both you and me will see your response). Start your replies either with #andyasks (preferred) or with a period -- .@amcafee.
I look forward to hearing from you...

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SO true (heard via +Tim O'Reilly )

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"The Rebound that Stayed Flat"
Here's a new post comparing at data about growth in GPD, profits, and investment since the Great Recession ended (good news) with data about employment (bad news).
Feedback very welcome.

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Because +Erik Brynjolfsson and I know your holiday shopping isn't done and you're struggling to find the perfect gift for that economics / technology / policy geek on your list, we've marked down "Race Against the Machine" to the absurdly low price of $2.99 . You'll never forgive yourself if you pass this opportunity up...

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Lots of people think that the Cloud will cause a competitive shakeup among enterprise IT vendors. Will it also shake up 'old economy' industries -- those that buy IT instead of selling it? In a new post, I argue that if history is any guide, this will in fact be the case.

If I could carry around only one Christopher Hitchens quote with me, it would be this one:

"We have the same job we always had: to say that there are no final solutions; there is no absolute truth; there is no supreme leader; there is no totalitarian solution that says if you would just give up your freedom of inquiry, if you would just give up, if you would simply abandon your critical faculties, the world of idiotic bliss can be yours."

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Great column by Rahm Emanuel in WSJ about Chicago's new partnership between community colleges and employers. Favorite quotes include:

"The Chicago area has near 10% unemployment, but more than 100,000 unfilled jobs."

"at a time of high unemployment, more than 80% of manufacturers say they can't find skilled workers to hire."

"Recently I met a young student at a public-transit stop who was commuting from Harold Washington Community College, where he goes to school, to his night job at a department-store warehouse. Riding from downtown to the Southside, studying along the way, that student, like millions of Americans, is doing his part to ensure he has a shot at a good job. But those of us in government have not been doing our part to meet him halfway. We need to guarantee that the diploma he earns has economic value. I want that student to worry only about doing well in his classes, not about whether the skills he gains in those classes will earn him a job."

"I hope that cities across the country will follow Chicago's model. If we revive and modernize our training programs to match the needs of our high-growth industries, our community college system can catapult millions of people into employment and into the middle class, as it has done for generations of Americans."

Let's hope this initiative succeeds and is a model for other communities...

"Seek the company of those who search for truth. Run from those who have found it." - Vaclav Havel

I can't think of a better motto.

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‎@jameswilsdon pointed me to a story at the Singularity Hub site saying that Hon Hai, the huge Asian contract electronics manufacturer -- corporate parent of iPad assembler Foxconn -- plans to replace 500,000 of its workers with robots over the next three years, and to build a robot-making factory. Since its workforce is currently somewhere around 900,000 people, this represents a huge commitment to automation.

If this kind of move makes financial sense in China, is there anyplace where it doesn't make financial sense?
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