Enough is Enough - Saying Good Bye to the J-E-T-S

@nyjets‏@Espngreeny @espngolic

I have been a Jets fan my entire life; 40 years of cheering for the team that Joe Namath led to the Superbowl.  Around the moment of my conception, the Jets actually waived Joe Namath, unceremoniously throwing away their greatest legend.  They replaced him with Richard Todd, yes that's the same Richard Todd that nobody can remember.  That was the start of my life with the Jets. 

In that time, I have seen the Jets rise and fall, up and down, never once getting back to the Super Bowl.  I can handle the losing, but over the past five years a new thought has slowly grown in the recesses of my conscious.  The Jets are a poorly run franchise, both unprofessional and incompetent.  This is just a fact. They are unable to draft good players on any consistent basis, the ownership is repellent and uninterested, the coaches are overwhelmed, and the players don't seem to have any passion for the game.  Their owner, Woody Johnson was born into the Johnson and Jo…

Game of Thrones - End Scene

I just finished watching Game of Thrones season 7.  It was mostly a disappointing season that seemed very rushed (especially the writing) and even silly at times.  One of the great things about the show is that each character gets the opportunity to fully develop, but Season 7 was about moving the plot along and putting the characters in the same location.  I guess it has to be done at some point, but the execution was just average.  
As I watched the last few episodes, it became clear how the show is going to end.  Games of Thrones is a tragedy in every sense of the word.  Beloved characters are tortured and killed (I think every character has been imprisoned at some point).  The last few seasons have provided hope in a world of diminishing returns, but it is false hope. The lesson of the show is not how people can work together to achieve great things, but how people will fight each other to destroy all things.  In the end, the nature of the living will result in their extermination…

Automation - The Dramatic Conclusion

Will your job be automated?  If you know the answers the following questions, you will have your answer.

How many people do  a specific job in the world?
Average Annual Salary of job (including fringe)?
How many years will someone be doing that job (years in demand)?
Research and development cost to create technology to do your job?
Cost to build one robot?
Desired Profit Margin/unit?
How many years with the unit last?
Yearly cost to upkeep unit?

For example, take the job of flight attendant (which I used as an example if the attached document).  There are 95,000 flight attendants (actual number), earning $55,000 per year (with benefits), and each flight attendant works for 20 years.  If it costs $10,000,000,000 (that's $10 Billion) to do the research to design a robot that can do everything a flight attendant can do, and costs $300,000 to build each robot, and $25,000 each year just for maintenance, would it make sense to automate this job.  Not only does it make sense, but the a…

The Future of Your Job

As some point it will be cheaper for a company to automate a vast majority of the jobs in the world. This isn't just sectors like farming, manufacturing, and retail, but almost every sector of employment out there. The combination of flexible robotics and enhanced AI will eventually create a technology that can do your job (and do it better than you).  I am currently reading, Rise of Robots by Martin Ford, which delved into many of these issues.  The book is probably about 10x longer than it needs to be to make the same point, but that point is critically important to the future of our economic system.
One thing the book didn't include (I'm 80% through) is a calculator of when it makes sense for an industry to automate any job.  For example, there is the cost of developing, building and maintaining the technology to replace everyone with a certain job, viewed against the current costs of a human doing that work (salary, healthcare, management).  If you have a common job (s…

Can you bluff somebody with nothing to lose

So many questions and such significant consequences.

Can President Trump preemptively attack N. Korea without prior Congressional approval?  He did this in Syria, but that was different in a lot of ways. We are already in active combat in Syria, the threat Syria posed was not against Americans, and the potential response from Syria is limited.  In N. Korea, we don't have any active troops (although we have tens of thousands nearby), and the N. Korean response may be full on war (and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of deaths in S. Korea).  Congress needs to clarify right now if a preemptive attack is acceptable under the constitution.  This is not something that Trump can do, and than take back.

What if S. Korea expelled all American forces from their country.  There is already a movement to do this.  If they believe Kim Jong-un would attack the South if the American forces were not there, then they clearly wouldn't do this. However, what if they said "Hey N. Korea,…

Losing Vote?

The US Senate is preparing to vote on the future of Obamacare.  Although the Republicans had years to prepare an alternative solution, they had nothing prepared after the election. Both parties have a terrible track record of fighting against something, without a solution ready.  Although the rhetoric of repealing Obamacare was popular on the stump, the reality is that is helped millions of people and the cost was burdened by the rich (Of course, there are problems with Obamacare and it does not address the issue of increasing premiums, or the fact that the companies who provide healthcare make profits by not providing healthcare).  Back to today's possible vote.  The Republicans in the Senate have failed to pass meaningful legislation, but that doesn't mean that can't have a meaningful vote.  Specifically, any Senator that votes to repeal Obamacare (with the vague believe that they would replace it with something better afterwards), can go back to their voters and say &qu…

First 100 days as President

The media is making a big deal that Trump's first 100 days are upon us.  They are evaluating the job he has done so far.  This drives me crazy. Who cares if he does something at day 75 or day 150?  This represents less than 10% of his term in office.  It is utterly and completely meaningless and reminds of companies in the stock market that get obsessed over quarterly earnings.  It artificially puts pressure to accomplish something without the benefit of time and consideration. Replacing the fundamental Health Care legislation in the country should time to deliberate and come up the best possible solution.  Same thing for tax reform, economic policies, and military strategies.

On a related note, Trump seems like he is going to force out a new tax policy to meet the 100 day deadline. Expect huge cuts all around, larger than expected. This will really help his popularity.  He will insist that will boost the economy (which it might in the short term), but the deficit will be the larg…