The robot future is coming, and helping human laborers will require creative responses
Jonah Goldberg writes: After you heard President Obama’s call for a hike in the minimum wage, you probably wondered the same thing I did: Was Obama sent from the future by Skynet to prepare humanity for its ultimate dominion by robots?
But just in case the question didn’t occur to you, let me explain. On Tuesday, the day before Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage, the restaurant chain Applebee’s announced that it will install iPad-like tablets at every table. Chili’s already made this move earlier this year.
With these consoles customers will be able to order their meals and pay their checks without dealing with a waiter or waitress. Both companies insist that they won’t be changing their staffing levels, but if you’ve read any science fiction, you know that’s what the masterminds of every robot takeover say: “We’re here to help. We’re not a threat.”
But the fact is, the tablets are a threat. In 2011, Annie Lowrey wrote about the burgeoning tablet-as-waiter business. She focused on a startup firm called E La Carte, which makes a table tablet called Presto. “Each console goes for $100 per month. If a restaurant serves meals eight hours a day, seven days a week, it works out to 42 cents per hour per table — making the Presto cheaper than even the very cheapest waiter. Moreover, no manager needs to train it, replace it if it quits, or offer it sick days. And it doesn’t forget to take off the cheese, walk off for 20 minutes, or accidentally offend with small talk, either.”
Applebee’s is using the Presto. Are we really supposed to believe that the chain will keep thousands of redundant human staffers on the payroll forever?
Oh No, Not Again: White House Marks Mandela’s Death with Another Obama Selfie, Barry Photo-Op in Mandela’s CellPosted: December 5, 2013
On Thursday, in the aftermath of South African iconic leader Nelson Mandela’s death at age 95, President Obama’s White House account tweeted a tribute to Mandela – a picture of Obama in Mandela’s Robben Island prison cell, along with a quote from Obama about Mandela: Even in paying tribute to a historic figure, President Obama couldn’t help but make it about him.
America’s Pacific Allies Right to Worry
Charles Krauthammer had harsh words Wednesday night for American foreign policy when it came to China’s establishment of a zone of control over the East China Sea.
“We had one strong response, which was to send American warplanes into that zone without obeying the Chinese demand that you check in with them”
Krauthammer said on Special Report, lauding the pair of B-52 bombers that flew through the airspace. However, he lamented that the U.S. has ordered its civilian airlines to comply with the Chinese rules even as Japan has told its airlines to ignore them.
Two weeks ago, the liberal Center for Media and Democracy kicked off a national campaign to reveal the identities of anonymous contributors to conservative groups in an effort to unseat the GOP governor here.
Now the group may have to answer embarrassing questions about its own finances.
Some thoughts on the celebrity of Sarah Silverman.
Kevin D. Williamson writes: ‘I saw my father’s penis once. But it was okay, because I was so young . . . and sodrunk.” Thus one of the important cultural voices in modern American liberalism explores what our credulous Freudian friends would call her Electra complex. If, somewhere in this or another galaxy, an advanced alien race is monitoring the broadcasts of Sarah Silverman, we can be sure that they will not be much tempted to visit.
Silverman is a model American of the age, whose craft consists of taking a very old tradition, Jewish ethnic humor, and making it embarrassing. Barack Obama is a fan — it is not mere cultural accident that their careers are contemporaneous — while semi-serious intellectual salons host her, to their occasional regret. This is an age of infantile politics, the motto of which is: “I want!” It is only natural that this would be matched by an equally infantile popular culture — it is the infantile culture that brings about the infantile politics, not the other way around — and that one of the more significant evangelists for Barack Obama and Obamaism would be a woman who starred in a faux French New Wave film called Féte des Pets (Fart Party) and published Eat, Pray, Fart: Life Lessons from the Sarah Silverman Program.
Freud’s triune description of the human personality may be useless as a model of the mind, but it works as a method of classifying comedians. There are practitioners of the comedy of the superego, rare birds such as Bob Newhart, whose main subject, stated or not, is social convention. More common are the comedians of the ego, such as Richard Pryor, whose main subject is the comedian himself and his personality. Miss Silverman, with her fascination with all things squeamishly infantile — her father’s genitals, and her mother’s, too — is the reigning queen of the comedy of the id. Her career is considered in some quarters groundbreaking, on the theory that she has advanced the cause of feminism by demonstrating that women can be as gross and tacky as men, as though there were people to whom this fact needed to be demonstrated.
Bashir vs. Breitbart: Disgraced (Former) MSNBC Host Martin Bashir Interviews the Legendary Andrew BrietbartPosted: December 4, 2013
MSNBC’S BASHIR RESIGNS
On Wednesday, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir formally tendered his resignation from his daily show. Bashir had been absent from his show since November 22, prompting rumors from inside the network that he had been suspended; MSNBC had maintained that he was merely on vacation. Bashir was under heavy fire for his comments in which he stated that someone should “p*ss” and “s***” in Sarah Palin’s mouth. He issued an on-air apology, but criticism of MSNBC never waned, especially given the fact that his monologue suggesting such misogyny was backed by the network itself. MSNBC is expected to release its own comment shortly.
A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface or crust, which allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases to escape from the magma chamber below the surface.
They are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging. A mid-oceanic ridge, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has examples of volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire has examples of volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates coming together.
Margaret Eby reports: Playwright David Mamet, a longtime critic of President Barack Obama, had harsh words for the POTUS on an appearance on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”
“He’s a tyrant,” Mamet, 65, said. “I give him great credit. He’s always said that his idea was to reform the United States. And, you know, like many tyrants, like Wilson and like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he believes that his way is the right way and that he’s going to implement his vision of the world, and many agree with him.”
“He’s acting in concert with his conscience. And I applaud him for it,” Mamet continued. “I just disagree with everything he’s done.”
He connected some of his dissent with the current administration with Obama’s foreign policy.