The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Open the POD door, HAL

I keep reading about, and watching news clips of, Watson. "He" is a computer and he is kicking butt and ignoring names on Jeopardy. And the thought came to me... "Could he (or something like him) be tapped to be president?" Just think of all the knowledge a President-Computer could have available to it. Think of the ability to study a proposals and strategies, easily discarding distracting and wasteful proposals in favor of cost-efficient and useful ones.

It would be like Utopia.

But perhaps we are not ready to turn over control to a machine on that level. We should maybe try it on a smaller scale first. Google and Facebook and so on could do it first. Replace their CEO's with super-computers. Steve Jobs could even design his replacement at Apple. Or could have.

In the 50's, as I was growing up, there was a lot of fear about automation coming in and displacing workers. The fear was real. The dreamers all painted beautiful pictures of automated houses, automated highways, flying cars, and lots and lots of leisure time. The average worker saw the nightmare of having all that leisure time because he had no job. No way to enjoy the utopia the dreamers envisioned. They could have sold it if the automation would replace the bosses first.

Think how much it costs to hire a CEO, overpay him for a year or two while he destroys the company (or seemingly tries to) and then pay him to go away while the company recruits yet another over-rated replacement at a higher pay and greater benefits and Gold Umbrella to do the same thing.

And then think about that computer on your desktop. Does it cost more than it did 10 years ago or less? Does it do more and faster or less and slower? Yeah, that's right. The quality and efficiency of computers has gone up while the price has gone down. Just the opposite of the average CEO.

So I want to start a movement here. A "Let's Automate More Executives" movement. It's silly to waste these expensive and complex machines to do jobs any schmo who snuck across a border can do. Let's get rid of the CEO's, the COO's, and the CFO's, dump the company boards, and start a Brave New World!

Then we could start electing digital mayors and councilmen then replace governors. Eventually working our way up the food chain to replace the entire Congress and the President.

I see a great future ahead.


Neo said...

I remember an episode of Twighlight Zone...
Be careful what you wish for.

Sightings said...

Brilliant post! ... altho' in many ways don't we all already work for the computer? I get my work assignments by computer; I get paid electronically; I'm about to e-file my taxes. If I don't answers the questions correctly, the computer will simply sit there impassively and not respond -- just like my old boss.

But maybe, as you say, we should "go all the way" and replace the ceo with a computer. The only other alternative I see is to outsource the ceo job to Bangladesh -- they couldn't be any worse, and as you suggest, they'd do the job cheaper.