When AI eats your job, and you're a professional complainer.
"And the AI programs get better from one year to the next, while human beings stay pretty much the same."
In fact, I think journalists are getting dumber every year.
I just subscribed as a Founding Member. I’ve read Instapundit almost every day for over 20 years (2001) and while I occasionally donate and send you commission revenue I thought subscribing at this level better reflected your past, and now future, influence and impact on me. Thank you!
I also subscribe to Taibbi and Greenwald thinking it’s always a good idea to read sane members of the opposition — at least they are loyal opposition. But it’s a bit annoying to have all these individual subscriptions. At some point perhaps they could offer a premium subscription, say at $400-$500/yr and let you choose 5 or so writers.
ChatGPT has been a fun toy to play around with for the past several weeks. It can seem clever enough (“write a 100-word response in the style of Snoop Dogg [or Robin Williams] to XYZ”), but I haven’t had it create anything worthwhile enough to post on social media.
What I did like was this: when I asked both Google and ChatGPT this question:
“What is the area of a rhombus with a side length S = 1, and angles of 22.5 and 157.5 degrees,”
the ChatGPT answer was far superior and easier to implement than the confusing Google ones. This should make Google nervous. It’s going to change the search game!
Made to care if they still have any political clout and that will go away as soon as the politicians figure out they aren't useful anymore.
My own analysis is there will always be jobs for secretaries. They call them other things, but they're basically secretaries -- Personal Assistant, Admin Asst, Exec Asst., office manager. Secretaries don't type as much now as they used to when Selectrics were sexy, but there will *always* be a need for The Gatekeeper. The person who can use their spidey-sense either in person or on the phone to determine who gets to see The Boss, and if there's someone else who fits the request better, to pass that along seamlessly. The secretary also needs to keep secrets (like who's being fired and whether they're likely to Go Postal, and what's being audited by whom and what they'll need to see). It's helpful of they can also get along with spouse-units and children. Secretaries perform other functions like making reservations, skimming suitable resumes for new hires, attending meetings to make sure things run smoothly, and even writing notices and marketing material. But the main function -- which will always be needed and can NOT be performed by a robot no ,matter how polite -- is to act as a gatekeeper, and decision maker on what's important to The Boss and what can wait.
Glenn - Another great article. Have been an Instapunditeer for decades, including running a blog inspired by yours. Glad to have you in the Stack so I could subscribe (did so this a.m.). Wishing you great success!
Best regards to you and Helen.
Dr. Don Bosch, CAPT USN (Ret)
Hampton Roads, Virginia
since their complicity in the 1992 Denver election night riots, i've considered mainstream journalists to be worse than demons. if "the poor you will always have with you", then every damned last one of them should be starving under a bridge!
I'm retired now, but I worked for years as in construction--mostly as a remodeling contractor, but some new housing. I never worried about robots taking over my field--there is too much that has to be known for any programmer to be able to set one up. Plus there are regional variations in methods, and variations in methods over the years (I have worked on houses ranging from built in the 1860s to brand new).
But this also touches on an issue that has been a concern to me for a while. A year or more ago, I read Peter Turchin's book "War and Peace and War." Turchin identifies a recurring problem for societies throughout history--"overproduction of elites." Periodically, a society ends up with too many elites (and near-elites and wanna-be elites!). Usually this problem is alleviated by wars and revolutions. For instance, French elites were reduced by the Hundred Years' War in the late Middle Ages, and later by the French Revolution in the late 1700s. Likewise, English elites were reduced by the Wars of the Roses of the late 1400s and the English Civil War of the 1600s.
I am a life-long student of history, and I agree with Turchin's concept. But I have been wondering how we were going to deal with this round of elite overproduction--because since the end of the draft, our elites and their offspring mostly no longer fight in our wars! But it is beginning to look like our elites can still find ways to damage themselves.
I’m in a well-compensated trade. I have two kids in college in STEM majors and a third starting in the fall.
I frequently wonder if I’m wasting their time and my money. I figure the degrees won’t do them any actual harm and I can swing the tuition, so hopefully it will work out ok.
I saw an article in the Daily Mail that showed Pilot is the most sought-after career in much of the world, including the US.
In experimenting with ChatGPT, I've gotten some impressive responses and some very non-impressive responses. For example, I asked it: "How did the Mig-15 fighter get its engine?”
It said that in 1948, a Rolls-Royce Nene engine was obtained by espionage and shipped to the Soviet Union. This is just plain wrong. The engine was obtained thru the agreement of the British minister of trade, Stafford Cripps.
In some word problems and simple logical problems, it has sometimes seemed to have problems connecting two facts that it apparently knew but did not put together.
How about those 87,000 new IRS agents? They did an electronic audit on my business every year. Sometimes I owed more and sometimes I got a refund, all completely amicable, and all those audits were probably never seen by anybody but me and the IRS' computers. What would actual live agents do that these computer can't? Besides pay SEIU dues of course.
If the illegal immigrants flocking to the country were all well-spoken leftist journalists, angling for jobs in the MSM, the MSM would outraged over immigration. Same if they were well-credentialed college professors, etc. But, since they are overwhelming unskilled and largely illiterate, since they are competing for jobs among the poor peasants, the aristocracy doesn't care.
Wonderful insight as usual, blogfather.
We really don’t have many journalists. I would quote Ben Rhodes: “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change.”
The layoffs are well underway due to pre- AI economic factors. The good ones will find their following on Substack or it’s successors. The others were nothing more than transcribers for the establishment with no understanding or apology for their extreme leftist bias.
Now it’s a question of who parameterizes the AI. God help us.
Concerning professional complainers:
I asked chatGPT what leftists will complain about next. The bot replied that--as a language program--it can't predict the future, but then it gave me a fairly complete list of all the things leftists complain about today.
Interestingly, it did not list the complaint about people unvaccinated against Covid, and it apologized when I pointed it out, saying it is important to many on the left, and it would expect them to complain about it. If the program was a person, I would say it got a little flustered, when I asked why so many leftists hate any inquiry into the Wuhan origin of the virus. It said it is not accurate that "all leftists hate" it, but then it "opined" that "some" view it as an attempt to "undermine trust in science and public health institutions", given "misinformation and conspiracy theories".
When asked, why so many leftists think that trying to find the truth undermines science, it beat around the bush quite a bit, but it phrased its response in a way that admitted that science and politics are intertwined.
At least, the thing agreed that a scientific inquiry should be guided by evidence and data, rather than political motivations.
Tell those laid-off journalists to “learn to finish concrete”. Been there, done that, it's backbreaking work in the hot, hot sun, but 'life at hard labor' is really what they deserve.