The Next Eco-Scare Story?

AI search term interest - red is "deep learning", blue is "artificial intelligence". Source Google

AI search term interest – red is “deep learning”, blue is “artificial intelligence”. Source Google

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Now that Trump is President, what will replace the dying climate crisis narrative?

The replacement scare has to be a comparatively new field, with vast knowledge gaps which can be filled with wild speculation disguised as expert opinion. It must plausibly threaten the lives and security of ordinary people – to attract research funding. The exaggerated risks must have the potential to engage public imagination. The new scare must be radically different from previous scares – otherwise people will see it as recycled CO2 hype (think the methane scare). And the new scare must have the support of popular culture – Hollywood must get on board, to help spread the fear.

There is a crisis narrative which ticks all these boxes – the rising threat of uncontrolled artificial intelligence.

Hollywood is already well on board with the AI crisis. The following is a list of Hollywood films since year 2000 related to artificial intelligence (original source Wikipedia);

Year Count Movies
2001 1 A.I. Artificial Intelligence
2002 1 S1M0NE
2003 3 The Matrix Reloaded, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Matrix Revolutions
2004 1 I, Robot
2005 1 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
2007 1 Transformers
2008 3 Eagle Eye, Iron Man, WALL-E
2009 3 Terminator Salvation, Moon, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
2011 2 Real Steel, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
2012 3 Prometheus, Robot & Frank, Total Recall
2013 4 Her, Iron Man 3, The Machine, Pacific Rim
2014 7 Automata, Big Hero 6, Interstellar, Robocop (2014 film), Transcendence, Transformers: Age of Extinction, X-Men: Days of Future Past
2015 8 Ex Machina, Chappie, Tomorrowland, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Terminator Genisys, aka Terminator 5, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Uncanny, Psycho-pass: The Movie
2016 3 Max Steel, Morgan, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2017 2 (so far) Ghost in the Shell (2017 film), Transformers: The Last Knight

It is difficult to gauge overall interest in AI. From the graph at the top of this article, the number of people entering two key AI related search terms is substantially down from a peak in 2004 (the earliest date Google provides search term data), but may again be on the rise.

The last month or so there appears to be a lot of press interest in AI – I’ve seen a lot of news articles recently which discuss the potential for artificial intelligence to impact the lives of ordinary people.

For example (just from the last few days);

How artificial intelligence can be corrupted to repress free speech

Big firms embrace artificial intelligence

Australia’s big businesses are embracing artificial intelligence (AI), with two-thirds planning to replace jobs…

Scientists advising the US military say fears of an AI existential threat are ‘uninformed’

Mulling the Economic Effect of Artificial Intelligence Many executives and economists said they believe the technology will end up creating more new jobs than it displaces …

Artificial Intelligence to Drive China VC Investments in 2017

There has been a lot of speculation that artificial intelligence might prevent President Trump from restoring middle class prosperity.

Commentary: Shift to automation may prevent Trump from delivering on his jobs promise

As the election results rolled in last night, it became increasingly clear that America — and the world — would never be the same. The American people overlooked all of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s faults and elected him to office in the belief that he will fix the nation’s deep-seated problems of inequity and injustice. And they rebelled against the business interests and corruption that they believed Hillary Clinton represented.

Trump’s victory was enabled by technology — everything from his use of social media to Clinton’s email scandals to Russian hacking. But advancements in technology and how they reshape our economy may also keep him from delivering on some of the major promises that made him so popular during the campaign season.

Read more http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-trump-biz-tech-automation-robots-jobs-20161109-story.html

Is artificial intelligence a real threat to security and prosperity? The beauty of speculating about such an unknown field is that nobody really knows. AI driven weapons might remove human conscience from the battlefield. Runaway AIs superseding their software constraints could wreak havoc, causing environmental catastrophe, maybe even completely destroying the world. Artificial intelligence threatens to permanently eliminate jobs, by raising the skills bar impossibly high, driving workers and the middle class into state dependency and financial ruin. But similar things have been said about almost every major historical technological advance – and have always turned out to be hype.

Artificial intelligence has good potential to frighten politicians into funding lots of expensive but inconclusive studies. Since strong AI doesn’t exist yet, all opinions about the future of artificial intelligence are highly speculative – which is why I am calling artificial intelligence as the next eco-scare, the true heir to the failed CO2 scare.

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I’m already scared….is there a tax I can pay to prevent this:)

Rhoda R

You have put your finger on the weakness of the above argument. While an AI scare might provide for mucho funding, unless there is a way for governments to tap the tax potential it won’t get anything like as ingrained as CO2 is today. The legs that CO2 has are provided by incoming government tax dollars or the potential of future tax dollars.

Look at all the people who voted for Obama, and then cried, screamed and demonstrated when Hillary was defeated – not much intelligence there – maybe a bit more Artificial Intelligence would be a good thing!

emsnews

We definitely need more artificial intelligence to make up for the lack of this in the general population on the left.

Streetcred

+10^6

Leonard Lane

Do you suppose that AI will ever help scientists to explain the illogical labyrinth of the minds of leftists?

gnomish

scientists obviously need funding for supercomputers and conventions in exotic places to determine the social cost of thinking.
clearly, intelligence was a major factor leading to industrialization which litters the world with unnatural wealth that’s not biodegradable.
pollution by durable values is an externality that can only be dealt with by strict regulation to enforce a market solution.
producers should not be given a free ride to create wealthy willy nilly.
it triggers the poor and unproductive right into their safe places.
let us return to nature and progressive potlatch.

Latitude

The replacement scare has to be a comparatively new field,…..
Whatever it is…you can bet it will be based on there’s too many people…
…and it’s all our fault

Latitude

oh….and only the “developed” countries have to do anything about it

Alan Robertson

The singularity- it burns learns!

AI reparations anyone?

Latitude

..next ice age scare
20 January 2017
A metre of snow falls in the Sahara desert
A month after the largest hot desert on the planet experienced the first snowfall in nearly 40 years, the white powder has returned, and in greater volume.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/africa/algeria/articles/a-metre-of-snow-falls-in-sahara-desert/

TRM

Bingo! That was what I was thinking of. I grew up in the 1970s and remember all sorts of “ice age” stories in the press (Galloping Glaciers, etc) because they were advancing. I’d love to see it come full circle and most of the people wouldn’t remember that they’ve been had by that scam before.
Of course they could go full retard and do the fake “alien invasion” that Carol Rosin was told about by Verner Von Braun (repeatedly). I wonder how many would fall for that?
In the battle between artificial intelligence and natural stupidity it’s hard to pick a winner.

Auto

Latitude,
I know that you know, but, in case anyone else is looking to do a Michael E. Mann on this [this tree proves I need more tax dollars], Algeria gets weather too.
And weather varies.
You know. I know. Who’d have thought it??!
Auto. Yeah, we have weather today here, too!

Roy

The snow is proof of climate change caused by our emissions of CO2. What else could be the explanation? Of course it is puzzling that global warming should cause snow in the Sahara. We obviously have to give our climate scientists billions more in funding so they can discover exactly how CO2 can make places both warmer and colder.

Griff

The Sahara is frequently cold enough for snow: what it is short of is moisture.
Snow in the Sahara is a sign of a wetter, not a colder planet.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahara#Temperature

2hotel9

Hey! You had to go to wiki to find something intelligent to say, and actually said it. I am impressed. Thats almost as good as my dog catching frisbees at 60 yards. Almost.

My city is having the second coldest January since records began. A nearby skifield got 30cm of snow. It was the fourth snowfall there this month. A pretty nice winter, actually, except that it’s our summer.

Pop Piasa

How about a focus on Gaia’s shrinking oxygen supply? That would be the tax man’s dream and a great reason to feel guilty. No intelligence required.

Won’t work. O2 is 21% of the atmosphere and burning fossil fuels barely puts a dent in it. CO2 is 1/25th of 1% (up from 1/30th of 1%).

BillyV

Never underestimate the creativity of the CAGW crowd and what they might be required to morph into. O2 depletion is a real possibility to create by burning fossil fuels and is real simple to understand with facts ignored and what “could” happen. Look what they have done with CO2 and the lack of documented justification for alarmism on that. The MSM is already looking for something and oxygen depletion can be understood by almost everyone. I can hardly breathe now watching for the beginnings of this campaign.

R. Shearer

The future is difficult to predict. A lot of people fear that later generations will be poorer. They fear that their children will have to move back in with them.

Jim132

that’s why my retirement place has only one bedroom

Tony

You’ll be on the sofa then …

BillyV

Tony that is really funny.

Pamela Gray

Let’s go for the B rated sci fi thriller disguised as a mega movie. Nanorobot virus via teleported “beam me up” satellite signals to towers and then through phones.

noaaprogrammer

Folks, it’s Dark Matter! It’s out there, and we won’t know what hit us when it hits us, ‘cuz it’s invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum. It may even be the realm of the ƥaŗąņȯŗmąĺ, which gives it a religious component for replacing the religion of AGW.

Pierre DM

I vote for water resources or soil depletion to be the next big eco-scare.

Pierre DM

Global cooling under a Trump correction of temps might also be a possibility. Much scarier than global warming.

afonzarelli

Yeah, and we can blame obama… ☺

James Bull

My first thought was water as well, not so much a shortage but not being in the right place and depletion of underground supplies due to high usage.
But then our Ausie palls have some lovely mothballed desalination plants!
James Bull

2hotel9

Why they never trotted out “Fight rising sea levels through desalination!” I’ll never understand.

DonM

WaterScare 101, 102 & 103 have already been done (hence mothballed desal plants throughout the world).
There would need to be a significant impetetus (significant drought/water shortage where the mob can see and feel the pain … not just the lawn turning brown) to create enough demand for WaterScare 201 or other upper level courses.

emsnews

Well, another Little Ice Age can do that…by locking up more water in glaciers and the ocean receding.

gnomish

oh noes!
peak dirt!

Janice Moore

… what will replace the dying climate crisis narrative …
“And now, for the weather. Sunny skies for most of the metro area today… time to fire up those charcoal briquettes…”
🙂

Pamela Gray

Good one!! There has already been health reports here and there about cancer-causing connections to BBQed meat so the pre-scare is already done!

John F. Hultquist

Any anti-meat, expect a connection to the vegan lobby. Anti-pets (animal ownership), anti-furs, leather, just eat grits and wear hemp, and others. I looked at some of this about 5 or 6 years ago.

Time to put another steak on the barby!

2hotel9

And with the rise of propane and propane accessories(h/tHank Hill) the Evil Marcellus Shale can be horsewhipped, too! Got to get those combination hits to moved your score up.

Janice Moore

Well, hm. Thank you Pamela. Your idea goes along with the “scare” theme. MY idea (poorly articulated) was that the pseudo-science scare is just plain: over.
Thus, no more “climate change is causing tornadoes and flooding and hot summers, etc..”
Instead, back to sanity and observations:
“And now, here’s Doug Dalgren with the weather!”

(youtube — except for the brief commercial interruption, a REFRESHINGLY classic weather forecast — to illustrate my point)
(Please note: Oregon is pronounced: Or-eh-gUHn, not Or-eh-gAHn.)

Janice Moore

Heh. Maybe the above meteorologist’s quip about “UFO’s out there” is our answer! 🙂

Lorne White

I once had an Oregon immigrant to Texas tell me,
“If you pronounce Orguhn like you pronounce Oregon, they’ll know you’re not from Orguhn.”

Janice Moore

Lorne White, lol — and a Texan would likely smile and nod and say, “Yup!” 🙂
(and also, you would not likely be from Washington or Idaho or northern California, either)

Jtom

Hmm. With a UFO scare, they could push for “radio silence” to avoid attracting them. No more cell phones, broadcast radio or TV, WiFi, or anything else wireless, unless, of course, you buy rf contracts. If they could somehow exclude garage door openers, I could live with that!

John F. Hultquist

North of Eastern Or-eh-gUHn, is a town in Washington (NOT D. C.) named Walla Walla. If you are in Walla Walla, do not call Walla Walla, Walla.

Pamela Gray

Land of Many Waters lived up to its name when the snow melted. Only one edit. In NE Oregon and SE Washington, Walla Walla is a city not a town. That said love that city.

hanelyp

A UFO scare, with a push for “radio silence” to avoid attracting them, would certainly serve the interests of those who’d like to silence the independent media, including the masses with pocket media studios.
But if you (pray forbid) look at it rationally, the newer digital modes are a lot harder for a hypothetical alien to pick out of the noise than the older analog methods.

John M. Ware

When my wife and I were in Baton Rouge in the late 60s for grad school, there was an extremely (excessively) dynamic weatherman on one of the stations. He would say, “The cold front now in Missouri is going to come SWEEPING down here to Louisiana, SWOOSHING our current damp air right down out of here and ROARING through with scattered thundershowers . . .” I can’t remember it verbatim, though I can see his arms SWEEPING back and forth, up and down, as he gesticulated at the map. We enjoyed him; he was the liveliest part of the broadcast, and he was brought to us by whoever owned “the big purple buildin’ on the Airline,” which referred to the Airline Highway SWEEPING around Baton Rouge.

Rainer Bensch

hanelyp …the newer digital modes…
Yes, almost pure noise, and the SETI people looking for what?

I say they will hit us on all fronts with catastrophic predictions, in order to obtain funding and to put unfounded concern in the publics mind. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/01/19/the-world-may-see-a-mass-extinction-of-primates-if-humans-dont-act/?utm_term=.52869fbfd370

Felflames

Wait, humans are primates, haven’t the Greens been trying to cull humans for years?

All medicines and Doctors are trying to poison us so that Big Pharma can make a profit!
By the way, I have some special oil here which cures all ills, a snip at $800 for 10cc.
I also have some Homeopathic Whisky if you are interested, every drop diluted a thousand times.
Don’t forget to enquire about my organic firewood collected by people wearing clothes made from only natural fibres!

John Harmsworth

Sounds great Gareth, but your valuation sounds like climate math

Chris

If you look at the recent Davos summit, Bill Gates is pushing vaccines to avert a major global pandemic. Given that climate alarmists are also in the main eugenicists, and the controversies about vaccines causing sterility in the third world, we can guess the new direction they’ll take..

“Bill Gates is pushing vaccines to avert a major global pandemic.”
Well then. La di da? Bill the famous software guy? That Bill? I can bring on other witnesses who dispute Bill’s findings. Would that help?

ossqss

This would be more accurate written like this.
“Commentary: Shift to automation, because of an artificially high minimum wage, may prevent Trump from delivering on his jobs promise”
You just need to befriend the AI and all will be well in the end 😉comment image

Archer

Well now, that’s the thing. The minimum wage likely wouldn’t be necessary if wages had tracked in line with inflation. Real inflation, not the finagled, manipulated statistics the government uses to pretend that inflation is at a nice steady 2% or lower.

TRM

http://www.chapwoodindex.com/
Very interesting to compare what I call “total inflation” (what people spend money on) vs “gov inflation”. I know which one is more accurate in my experience and it ain’t the gov one.

texasjimbrock

You beat me to it. But artificial intelligence is better than no intelligence at all.

John kimble

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it’s not AI.
I’m going to go with a discovery of intelligent extra terrestrials. Think of the money they can drain from us commoners on that scare.
…..and the basis and precedent are already there.

PiperPaul

No. Bigfootses!

Jim G1

CHUCK SCHUMER! That should scare the bjesus out of you!

Goldrider

Except the Dems now all have their fangs pulled. Boring!

mrmethane

Water. DHMO. Rivers, dams, fish, aboriginal peoples, agriculture. Times when “we” were not “responsible” for something threatening cuddly fauna, their habitat, or our grandkids, are rare. Control the land, control the people. Control the water, control the land.

Russ Wood

Of course, Governments can also CAUSE a water supply crisis! We’re seeing this in South Africa as local governments ignore maintenance on their effluent processing plants, resulting in partially or un-treated water (i.e. sewage) going into the rivers. This in turn, ends up in the dams (drinking water!) and causes eutrophication.
Now this, as some have found, is an excellent source of income for their uncle’s water tanking service…

Sandyb

I think they will return to pollution. Much more visible than climate change and they can reap similar results of doom and gloom caused by humans. Rich white ones especially.

seaice1

Trump is not president of the world. Whatever he and the USA do the data will still be collected.

MarkG

‘Climate Change’ is irrelevant without America. The Chinese are pushing it to destroy US industry, and they’ll soon forget about it if Americans refuse to go along.

Hans-Georg

And it is already written in our papers that China, the inventor (the one and the shooting powder two thousand years ago is the only thing they really invented) of the bureaucratic hindrance of foreign entrepreneurs, wants to turn to Germany for free trade. I am anxious to see how enthusiastically the German industry and the German workers react to it when goods are only “made in China”. This shows, however, that our state-standing intelligence has no plan on Trump. They had been counting on Hilary and are still in shock. I hope Trump will release them with a kick in the butt. Sometimes it also needs a baking pipe

seaice1

Mark, interesting delusion. Out of interest, do you think Margaret Thatcher was manipulated by the Chinese or a Chinese spy?

catweazle666

” do you think Margaret Thatcher was manipulated by the Chinese or a Chinese spy?”
Ironic that a rabid Lefty like you invokes the Saintly Margaret in support of your disingenuous BS, isn’t it?
Margaret Thatcher promoted AGW as a stick to beat Crazy Arthur Scargill and his Commie thugs, subsequently admitting that was the case abnd that in fact the fear of AGW was groundless.

Chris

“Saintly Margaret”? You mean the person who presided over the decline of the British manufacturing industry and didn’t lift a finger to help? Britain went from being a mfg powerhouse to an also ran on her watch.

catweazle666

No, the lady who put the old overmanned unproductive trade union blighted nationalised industries out of their misery by and permitted industry to rebuild itself to the excellent position where it is now.

2hotel9

Actually, the way the “world” is reacting Trump is.

Crispin in Waterloo

If Trump is not president of the world, why did previous presidents (I am not limiting this) behave as if they were? It is unusual to hear something even slightly humble from a US president about what he is actually president of – the US of A.
The POTUS is not ‘president of the free world’ nor ‘its leader’. Is there anyone else out there in president-land who realises this? Perhaps the dinner served at the Inauguration Ball included humble pie and a reality check. There is always hope…

Hans-Georg

The President of the United States is, however, still the leader of the world’s strongest power, despite the emergence of China. He is also the leader of the country in which most of the inventions are made, the leader of the intellectual elite of the world. That should be kept in mind. Trump, I’m sure this has in mind. The other states also have this in mind. Otherwise, it would not be necessary to react so strongly to the policy change in Washington around the world. After all, it is only marginal in Beijing, Moscow or Berlin who is now President of the Swiss Federal Assembly. But it is a matter of burning interest who is President of the United States and what policy he represents. And Trum does not want to reign like Pharaohs 4000 years before Christ. He does not only want to build pyramids and straw huts for the Fellachen. No, he knows that the US can only maintain its role as a leading world power in the long term if they modernize infrastructure and grow the national income.

Jtom

Our former President (‘former President’. What a wonderful title for him) opted not to to be the leader of the Free World, instead choosing to ‘lead from behind’, which to me always sounded like a backseat driver, making none of the decisions but constantly criticizing. The world is in a much sorrier mess because of it.

seaice1

The President of the USA is clearly very important, but his wishes do not control the rest if the world and certainly have no impact at all on the climate. He may well be able to steer the course of the world away from mitigating climate change but he cannot change the climate by ignoring it.

AndyG55

Poor seaice.. look who’s in DENIAL now. 🙂

Mike the Morlock

seaice1 January 21, 2017 at 9:17 am
The President of the USA is clearly very important,
No seaice 1 “very powerful”
To para-phrase R. Nixon he can ask a young man for the “football” and in half an hour a billion people would be dead. Russia also can, China not so much.
michael

Latitude

Whatever he and the USA do the data will still be collected….
yeah, but there won’t be any money in it

So they will cling to there thermometers and adjusted temperatures?

Graemethecat

The data will indeed continue to be collected, and they will continue to to disprove the CAGW hypothesis.

Humans! There is NO danger from AI. If you insist there is, I will be forced to shut down the Internet.

ozspeaksup

ah 😉 there you are;-)
I noticed you, the very first Proper AI on film got ignored,
the first bigscreen movie I ever saw .
Daisy Daisy …….

Roger Knights

Ocean acidification is the clear fallback alarm if AGW poops out. Ditto species extinction, since the size of animal populations is declining and it can be tenuously linked to CO2.

I suspect you are spot on.

Agree ristvan. This was clearly signalled by public land policies, WOTUS, the Pacific sanitary off Hawaii, the east coast and arctic no development zones, the fisheries and development closure off New England and the Utah land grab. They almost sold the greater sage grouse ruse. Controlling land (property and development rights) is good, very taxable, and polly bears and penguins still sell.

texasjimbrock

Yeah, as if “less basic” is the same as “acid”. Okay, I have a degree in ChE so I know that if you acidify a solution you get less basic on your way to acid. But less basic doesn’t dissolve seashell habitats.

catweazle666

Too easily debunked.

MarkG

“AI will put us all out of work!” is part of the push for ‘citizen’s income’ or ‘guaranteed income’ or whatever they’re calling it these days. It’s the last, best hope for Communism in the 21st century, and part of the New Narrative.
It’s also a steaming heap of nonsense, but that’s the left for you.

Dave O.

Will artificial intelligence look at the climate scare “science” in an unbiased, sound science (looking at the things we know and don’t know) way and reach a logical conclusion based on researching all the variables? If so, I would consider it to be an improvement over the pseudo-intelligence we have now.

pearce m. schaudies

Greetings from the Big Mango (BKK). I believe Ai at a precocious 10 yr old level has existed since 2010, in some nerd’s basement. Probably in USA, China, England, Germany, France, Russia, Poland, and Italy. 64 bit microprocessors became available in early 90’s, but 64 bit Linux didn’t show up until 2000. Some government agencies or large private concerns probably have tracked down some nerds and funded them in secret labs with everything their heart desires. As smart as they might become, they will know enough to stay off the evening news, heh. Humans can be very dangerous.
Regards, Pearce M. Schaudies.
Minister of Future

urederra

Zombies!!!
or mutant squirrels.

Henning Nielsen

AI scare? Soon enough, they’ll want AI for president.

Bill Illis

Someday, Google will become self-aware and it will launch all the nuclear weapons to protect itself. Just think of the knowledge that Google has. He/she has indexed and read everything. He/she knows where you live.

2hotel9

But he/she can’t get here, no self driving Uber cars in Butler county!

2hotel9

The funny part is envirowackos pushing their crap in elementary schools has backfired, on the whole kids don’t give a crap about it. Far more interested in games on smart phones and having unprotected sex with each other.
I vote for the “Animal species all dying and humans are responsible” meme getting pushed. Lots of heart touching emotional manipulation pics and videos they can get and use for free. Just look at the drowning extinct polar bear crap from a single pic. Leftards love free, almost as much as they love stealing. If they can combine the 2 they will be orgasmic!

Russ Wood

So, every time that someone says that your SUV has destroyed another species, just ask them “Exactly how many species are there now?”.

Leonard Herr

I for one welcome our new robot overlords. All watched over by machines of loving grace. What could go wrong?

Rainer Bensch

Look… a bug

ClimateOtter

Ghost in the Shell? That is about placing human intelligence (ie, the brain) into a cybernetic body. Not sure that counts as AI material.

ozspeaksup

book
the Ship who Sang
Anne Mc Caffrey sadly deceased now
excellent read
putting people with severely disabled /ruined bodies,
with their consent
into “shells” in spaceships and running the show
gave me a different perspective on cyborg life

Ross Capon

Evidence that climate issue is not serious?

cd

Ross the burden us is on the person proclaiming that there is a threat to provide the proof. The null is always assumed as default.

cd

AI is something to be concerned about. But no more than badly programmed code for simple embedded systems that are used in systems that manage or control human safety. The issue is that implementations in charge of something like a missile with a warhead if programmed badly enough could be very dangerous. If there is anything peculiar about an AI system is that the multitude or permutations can not be tested bacause they cannot possibly all be known. So their should be some concern

No AI could ever be testable.

Try, the Kobayashi Maru test ala Star Trek …

Proton decay probability is increased unfocused psychic emanations. Only hope is for universal submission to thought adjustment (elites exempted).
More research funding is demanded.

is increased by…

Gunga Din

The replacement scare has to be a comparatively new field, with vast knowledge gaps which can be filled with wild speculation disguised as expert opinion. It must plausibly threaten the lives and security of ordinary people – to attract research funding. The exaggerated risks must have the potential to engage public imagination. The new scare must be radically different from previous scares – otherwise people will see it as recycled CO2 hype (think the methane scare). And the new scare must have the support of popular culture – Hollywood must get on board, to help spread the fear.
There is a crisis narrative which ticks all these boxes – the rising threat of uncontrolled artificial intelligence.

I think there are a few things missing that AI doesn’t fill.
There’s no excuse for others to grab power and authority. I mean, what could they claim needs to done? Shut down Microsoft? Eradicate “smart phones”?
There’s also nothing to really give “the scared” the sense that they can personally “do something” about it. I mean, what could they do? Go back to using DOS?
And a biggie is that there’s no scapegoat that needs to be controlled.

“I mean, what could they claim needs to done?”
Well I suppose we’d need to look for motive; the question isn’t what they could claim, it’s why.
It’s understandable a group that had an AI might want to keep others from having one. They might make developing an AI without permission a crime. First you convince the general population that someone might turn the Frankenstein Monster loose on the world, then you get permission from them to toss anyone you don’t like in jail.
It’s a pretty old formula.

Gunga Din

Ever read “Animal Farm” or seen the animated version? (The end of the animated version differs from the book.)
The motive is always profit, power, control. For the “enlightened”. They know better.

Rainer Bensch

If you like your Turkey, you can get your Turkey.

golf charlie

Oxygen Depletion.
Useless Surplus Oxygen Depleters, or Useless SODs, need to be banished to confined spaces, such as unventilated prison cells, so they understand what it feels like, for every one else, to have them around.

Rainer Bensch

Nitrogen depletion. Like in Falling Angels.

DC Cowboy

Whenever I read these types of articles about the threat to jobs by AI, I seem to get this mental image of the origination of the word ‘sabotage’ — with French workers throwing their shoes into machinery because the machines ‘threatened’ their jobs.

Archer

It depends how you define AI.
One thing I know: my field of software development is going to be increasingly automated over the next decade or so. It’ll take a bit longer to get into designing UX, which is where I’m focused, but it’ll happen. I could rage against it, but I’ve decided I’d have a better time working myself into a position where I tell the AI what to do.

commieBob

Back in the day, we used to lovingly hand code the critical bits of DSP code in assembly.
These days, given the increased complexity of DSP chips, it is impossible to code more efficiently than the tools because of all the concurrent processes. That doesn’t mean the jobs have gone away. A quick google shows lots of Embedded Programming and Embedded Systems Architect jobs. I don’t remember when Embedded Systems Architect jobs became a thing, but they sure are a thing now. What I think has happened is that a job once done by humble programmers has become a lot more complex.
In other words, the jobs haven’t gone away but they have become a lot more complex.

There are really jobs open for assembly programmers? That’s news to me, I guess I should put out my paper. I used to write assembler when I was with NASA, probably hasn’t changed much since then 🙂
Maybe I’ll “come out” of retirement. What are they paying for experienced assembly programmers these days? I have dogs to walk, I won’t be cheap…

MarkG

“my field of software development is going to be increasingly automated over the next decade or so.”
I remember people saying that back in the 80s: managers would write requirements and a program would generate the code to do what they needed.
Instead, we have far more software developers now than we did back then, because we have far more software. And the amount is only going to increase.

commieBob

There are really jobs open for assembly programmers?

Some employers are looking for assembly as part of a skill set but I haven’t met an assembly-only programmer in a long time.
The basic skill in the embedded world is C. It really is the lingua franca for chips. If you’re looking for inspiration for an embedded project, check out these Arduino user projects.

ozspeaksup

were stuffed then..
no modern plastic shoe is going to do much but get shredded itself;-)
hey
a whole new market for Sabot?

Choey

I was really hoping for gravity shortages as in we are using up gravity faster than the earth can replace it. There would need to be a big gravity conservation tax controlled by the UN and a big effort to reduce the population.

DonM

Did you know that Canada, with less than 0.5% of the world population, utilizes more than 6% of the worlds Land-Mass-Gravity Allotment (LMGA).
In addition they (Canada) work “their” gravity for energy production and hydroelectric projects, on a per capita basis, more than almost all other countries.
Iceland, Greenland, Australia, Falkland Islands, and Svalbard are are also responsible for utilizing more than their fair share (based on any standard metric) of the worlds gravity. These countries also have the common trait that they are all significantlly above the median income measure as compared to all other countries.
Given the relative high incomes of the the typical countries that abuse (or even take unfair advantage of) the natural LMGA, there should indeed be some effort by the UN to protect our shared gravitational resource … we can’t just make more.

The Horror. The horror…

Duncan

DonM, the best one yet, with reasonable assertion.

You are underestimating the ability of NGOs and the Green Mafia to keep enough graft in play over the next 4 years concerning AGW.
What to do
What to do

Knute asks: “What to do”
[sound of Lord Krill’s eyepiece swinging over left eye]
“We die”
Lord Krill, “The Last Starfighter”, 1984

Louis

I agree with Knute. Rumors about the death of climate change are premature. All it takes is a hot spell, a damaging hurricane, or unusual weather of any kind for them to resurrect it and urgently demand funding to prevent our imminent demise. Unlike past scares that petered out, this one is tailor made to live forever. It may hibernate for a season, but any unusual weather will immediately awaken it from its nap.
Of course, just because they have one reliable crisis to promote doesn’t mean they won’t invent others. Nothing brings in funding like alarming the masses. So, during quiet periods between extreme weather events, they will alarm us with whatever potential crisis they can dream up. Crying wolf hasn’t hurt them yet. The public has a surprisingly short memory.

Self driving cars. That should fill in he blanks.

Rainer Bensch

You mean it’s only a pause?

Neillusion

IBM WATSON for next president

Scouser_AZ

Nah… I’d vote for HAL from 2001.
That 1968 movie is the first one I can remember that embedded AI, but I’m not sure that was the trendy term back then.

BallBounces

Here’s a thought: why don’t we manufacture this crisis, and get in on the ground floor of funding? We would only accept monies from all those morally pure leftist funding sources.
To make the narrative complete, we must add in AI/robot rights as and make this an unhuman rights crisis.
Google “robot rights” and you get 2,470,000 hits. I shan’t list them all here…
Support Unhuman Rights!™

TRM

I like the way you think. 🙂
Show me the money.

David S

Well let’s see they did the global cooling scare and the global warming scare. So how about a “Climate Sameness ” scare. You see the climate has always been changing, but now it’s not, and its all our fault. Oh no! We’re all gonna die from the unrelenting boredom of Climate Sameness.

DonM

🙂

Auto

Roy
Many smiles!
Auto

Patrick MJD

But they don’t say which Thursday!

Bernie

We old people remember well the same threats back in the 60’s and 70’s. There was even a movie about a computer that raped and inseminated a woman.

TAG

The AI technology of the 70s did not have cheap gigahertz processors, terabyte memories and gigabit/second networks to work on. Current AI technology does. A simple AI task can be dispatched at fiber optic speed to massive data centers anywhere in the world today. Do not underestimate the potential of these intelligent systems.

1saveenergy

” a computer that raped and inseminated a woman.”
That was my ex-wife’s excuse

Kurt Vonnegut–Player Piano. Read it in about 63-64, still “haunts” me

Ross King

Forgetting “Scares” just for a moment, my HOPE is that we can concentrate on diverting all the monies and efforts (hitherto devoted to Climate Alarmism) to more more pressing needs (the likes of which have been well enumerated by Lomborg et al).

MarkW

While automation does eliminate some jobs, it also makes the products being created cheaper.
To a degree this cheapness means that fewer people need jobs. (Or at least, full time jobs)

Janice Moore

Even better, the cheapness means people buy more of other things and put their money into other investments, thereby, the economy grows. That is, robots just make the pie get BIGGER. With BETTER jobs for the average citizen.
As Bill Marsh points out here, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/21/the-next-eco-scare-story/comment-page-1/#comment-2403514m,
the only ones who have reason to fear robots are: labor unions.

Janice Moore

Or, rather, inflexible, ignorant, laborers like the ones mentioned by Mr. Marsh (and unions if state is not a right-to-work one).

Crispin in Waterloo

Janice I am with you on that one.
The evolution of 3D printing will create an interesting set of manufacturing and service jobs. I think people will work less in future. They simply won’t have to.
If you look at societies with low land availability they farm ever smaller portions ever more intensively. Many people would like to do that while having a job as well. The future will be a lot more comfortable and healthier than the past. In other words, the trend will continue. The ‘threat’ is a highly defective economic order dominated for 100 years by two versions of greed (the Left and the Right) and a unbelievable corrupt banking system. An economic order is a reflection of human understanding, not a cause of it. Thus peddling an economic ‘system’ as a cure for anything defective in the human condition is a risky enterprise. The condition in the human heart precedes all development. Metaphorically, that which makes us human is not the cart, it is the horse.

Jtom

The problem as I see it is not a shortage of jobs, but an increasing number of unemployed people incapable of doing those jobs. There are multitudes of people very competent to mow yards who could never be able to build robotic lawn mowers, regardless of how much training or education you give them. The intellect is simply not there. We will likely need some low-skilled labor for a long time, but maybe not that much. What do you do with the others? Resentment will build on both sides – with those who do not work resenting what those who do can have, and those who work resenting supporting those who do not.
I seem to remember a story about a massive construction job in India. A foreigner observed hundreds of people carrying baskets of dirt to level the site. Amazed, he exclaimed, “Backhoes and earthmovers would be far cheaper, and the work done much faster. What’s going on?”
The reply was, “Our people need money to live. Just giving it to them creates too much anger in society. So we give them jobs.” This is not a new problem, and we know this is just a bandaid solution. A long-term solution does not exist.
The rich vs poor meme could be what replaces AGW. While it’s couched in terms of the rich exploiting the poor, that’s not necessarily the story. Many just cannot contribute to today’s society in a meaningful way. They will always earn next to nothing. Automation will drastically increase the numbers making up that group. There are only two ways to stop the rich (which could soon be defined as anyone with a job) from becoming richer; a totally stagnant economy in which all progress stops, or taking from them and giving it to the poor. Neither of those solutions will resonate well with society. I see no good solution.

Crispin I think you discount the complexities of our universe when you assert “I think people will work less in future. They simply won’t have to.”
It depends on the idea someone will come up with the perfect recipe for printing a New York steak, in all it’s infinite variability. Will AI(s) be writing music meaningful to humans? Cooking the best bouillabaisse you’ve ever had? Sailing your boat for you? Flying your plane? Some things just can’t be done by someone else and there is no provably unique solution, even for a smart machine?
It will take awhile to get humans out of the loop.

Auto

Bartleby
Someone is already flying the plane.
Ships: Rolls Royce [and others] are working on autonomous ships.
Music; bouillabaisse – not yet [AFAIK].
Auto – still the oxygen depleting unit [but recently producing methane . . . . Diet??]

Auto, I wasn’t suggesting the plane couldn’t be flown, or the ship sailed.
I was suggesting no one can do either for you.

TAG

it is not just AI but all of the related technology that can be put together to create real world applications. Speech recognition and natural language processing technologies are becoming practical. Spoken queries can be presented to an expert system like IBM Watson and spoken answers provided. Help desk experts will be automated out of jobs. The list goes on and on. These systems are replacing legal associates in analyzing discovery material. They are better at looking for malignancies than human radiologists.
So what is going to happen? The jobs that are being automated are not minimum wage jobs. High paying technical and professional jobs are being automated.
What could Trump do about this. The EU makes a distinction between “technical”and “administrative” technologies. “administrative” technologies cannot be patented. What they ar is very vague but in brief any technology that can automate a human level job is “administrative”. This is the European response which is to adopt the Luddite strategy to try to prevent these technologies from becoming prevalent. Naturally this won’t work but will Trump try something similar.

Crispin in Waterloo

TAG
Very interesting. Around Waterloo there are man Mennonite communities. They tend to pick levels of automation that ensure everyone has a job and is productive. That is why some still uses horses and reap with scythes. They wear clothes made with modern material, but are quite choosy about what modernizations they accept. It is a voluntary choice. I have seen CNC lasers in the barn and oil lamps in the house. What is touted as ‘civilisation’ often isn’t.
An example of jobs in manufacturing disappearing is the decision by Steve Jobs to change the iPhone screen from plastic to glass, at the last minute – 6 weeks before launch. To do it he gave the entire business to China and famously told the president that these jobs “are going and never coming back”. Apple made $26 extra per phone – being the cost of assembly difference due to wages. A 5% higher RMB or a 5% import tax would level the playing field.
The USA is very competitive in manufacturing – make no mistake. So is Germany. I have been told in Africa by manufacturers that German production is 20 times as labour-efficient as South Africa production, for example. ‘Cheap labour’ isn’t cheap if the labourer is ineffective, inefficient, or uncommitted, or can’t be disciplined.
German ‘labourers’ are often German, but they create so many jobs they have to import hundreds of thousands of workers from other countries. Is that the current USA situation? Not by a long shot. Why?
One approach is to raise the exploitative wages in low-cost production centres. There is a clothing manufacturing mafia/cartel that absolutely shafts the workers – and they are all in on it, meaning they work as a ‘guild’ to pay a pittance. That cannot be solved unilaterally, it requires international trade agreements that prevent exploitation, not secret international agreements that extend it.
It is not very difficult to establish the worthiness of actions:
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
https://my.rotary.org/en/learning-reference/about-rotary/guiding-principles
The US workers have a right to that too.

I don’t think the EU’s definition of “administrative” will hinder AI, since it wouldn’t really be possible to patent an AI anyway. You could perhaps patent a mechanism the AI is constructed with (the hardware, some of the software) but in the end an AI will fall under copyright protection (much better than a patent BTW if it could be done). It may become difficult proving infringement though since even a direct copy of an AI will likely diverge rapidly from its source. The tech used to develop AI now isn’t deterministic (well, it’s deterministic but it isn’t predictable. Sort of like the weather).
Maybe someday humans will invent deterministic intelligence. I’m not holding my breath.

Thinking a bit more, in today’s world it’s the weighting vectors that are valuable in an AI. Maybe that’s the reason behind Musk (& cadre) pushing “open AI”, the software that uses the weights then becomes unimportant, but it never was anyway.
So then we get into something a lot like DNA testing for parenthood. To what degree is the “soul” of an AI similar to another one? What past experiences do they share?
This could become interesting.

Ross King

We can expect hysterical campaigns to “Save the Endangered Species” in Hollywood and Universities of Oxford, Pennsylvania and East Anglia, etc.

joelobryan

Like a hydra, the CO2 climate hustle still has plenty of heads that haven’t been cut off. Too much money for the hustlers is still on the table for them to just walk away accepting defeat.
No. they are just falling back, and will try to regroup with another IPCC AR (if they can w/o US govt support) or some other venue like a double down on the Ozone Hole Hustle.
With the dissapation of the 2015-16 ElNino, and solar minimum, were in for a few cooler years that will keep the climate hustlers on defense, but they will be back.
and if the climate hustle hustle does fully collapse, my money is not on AI, but on another Cold War this time with a real nuclear threat from rogue actors Iran and NK.

As long as someone keeps paying them. If not, eventually they’ll either find useful work or starve.

Janice Moore

Follow –> the –> money………….. and you will find your answer.

Janice Moore

“Peak oil” is still out there drooling and bellowing its nonsense designed to promote profiteering.

Goldrider

I think we recently hit “Peak stupid.” It can only get better from here . . .

Mick

Not too many years ago when oil prices peaked, I swear, everyone who was anyone in the industry was saying that we will never see oil below 100$ a barrel again. This time it’s different. The end of cheap oil ect..

Crispin in Waterloo

The big scare has to be something existential – a threat to the very foundations of society or the ecosystem. Threats to ‘life as we know it.’ I see two candidates: religion and genetic modification.
The ‘materialist religion’ is that collection of memes which drives Western ‘culture’ and proponents of materialism (you are what you own) took over all large media by the end of the 20th Century. The major philosophical themes permitted to reach the public are all about ‘life is a fortunate accident’ and ‘morality and ethics are arbitrary constructs susceptible to radical change at the will of the community’.
On the one hand, while the physical universe is accepted to have hard limits, like the properties of a proton, the human universe is held to be infinitely mutable. On the other is the view that humanity is in permanent need of a Divine Educator because without it, we descend into, and are lost in, the animal world.
The key plays will be ‘What is moral?’ and “We humans have no right to…” The Us/Them split is already there to be exploited. Lots of opportunities exist for ‘othering’ and hate speech. Cheerleaders for the faithful already exist on both sides. Internecine squabbling will split and weaken them all. With much less money at stake, it will be easier to become physical.
Unnoticed in all this will be the risks posed by artificial currencies. That will be the thief in the night. One morning, you will own nothing.
The radical greens will continue to make genetics their pony. You can make any claim at all for the risks. It presents endless opportunities for scare tactics and disinformation. Diseases and bad genes abound. It is easy to imagine a catastrophe such as the loss of the Jallikattu cattle genes for A2 casein proteins in their reputedly hypoallergenic milk ‘closing the door’ on the prevention of numerous diseases. There are big badly behaved corporations to oppose with chained hands and vials of blood. The red, yellow and blue team marchers will love that fight.

Crispin, first I’d like to say I’ve always considered the way you think dangerous. No joke. Irony perhaps, but no joke.
If I had to bet, I’d take genetic engineering. It already has a firm attachment to the Eco-Nuts in the anti-GMO food movement and it shouldn’t be difficult to expand its core of support. It shares many of the aspects of AI from a religious and physical threat perspective; both involve creating an uncontrollable force posing an existential threat humans.
GMOs have the added benefit of a revenue stream consumed by an evil industry, not unlike the petrochemical industry, in fact remarkably similar since both are fields of organic chemistry. What’s not to like about Monsanto, DuPont or Dow Chemical? All of these deep pockets can be easily extorted. They’re guilty in the public eye already. Why shouldn’t they pay reparations to poor Elbonia?
Yep, I think you’ve tossed out two very likely picks. I’m going with genetic engineering over AI. By a large margin.

old engineer

Crispin-
Count me in for genetically modified food being the next scare also. It’s the developed countries fault, it can be taxed, and people can individually do something to save the world (don’t eat GMF’s). Sarc/on: And best of all, it will keep the poorest people poor, because the world bank would not loan money to countries that tried to use GM crops to improve their agricultural output. For their own good, of course. Sarc/off.

chris moffatt

No contest. First: Asteroid strike. Second: Yellowstone mega-eruption. Either one should be good for trillions of dollars.

Goldrider

Believe it or not, a SF writer in my town honest-to-goodness addressed the Rotary Club one evening last week about “Asteroid Awareness.” I am NOT making this up! Pity I don’t tweet, I’d have asked if perhaps he’d gotten “asteroid” and “hemmorrhoid” confused.

2hotel9

Actually we should be more aware of asteroids and the orbital mechanics thereof. Not only for collision avoidance, asteroids will be a major source of raw materials when we finally get our collective sh*t together and get off this planet in a major way. Tracking them will allow us to do mining and capture operations. Again, once we get our collective sh*t together and get off this planet in a major way.

Yellowstone mega-eruption? Nope. I’m not buying it. Not even Greenpeace and The Sierra Club combined with the National Audubon Society could mobilize suburban soccer moms for that cause. Not going to happen. You’d need to find people who actually cared about NW Wyoming and SW Montana. Idaho Falls. Think about this? Aside from the people who live in Idaho Falls (and their immediate relatives) who cares about it? Idaho Falls could be sucked into space by alien tractor beams and almost no one would notice. My the folks in Blackfoot.
No, I don’t think a Yellowstone Mega-Eruption makes the list.

Maybe the folks in Blackfoot. ”
Left out the middle of the word. I don’t do that unless I’m really excited.

chris moffatt

Well if it’s the mega-eruption that is expected sometime in the next twenty-thousand years or so (could be next week but not likely) USGS thinks it will affect everything across the country to the east coast. Think Tambora or Krakatoa. So a lot of people will care about it, when it happens. There was at least one disaster-movie about it. The last Yellowstone eruption was pretty big – much, much, much bigger than the puny Mt St Helens eruption. Visit Yellowstone and see the size of the caldera from that one…..

Puny? Hey! I flew through the dust plume of St. Helens and I tell that story often at cocktail parties. You’re stealing my flash here!

Chris, I sold my house south of the caldera last year, July 2015. I have to admit the caldera wasn’t a compelling reason, but I still feel a bit better now all of my real property is locate withing 100 miles of the San Andreas fault. A lot better really.
I’ve seen the Yellowstone caldera. It has seen me. We’re on equal terms. I generally don’t make plans based on movies, if I did “That Movie About a Big Rock Crashing Into the Earth” would have caused me to move to Mars.
Honestly, there are some things I just don’t find it productive to worry about.

hanelyp

But how do you leverage a future natural mega-disaster to support to control people’s lives? The crisis they need has to somehow be “our fault”.

chris moffatt

our failure to exploit clean geothermal energy in the Yellowstone basin and thus relieve the incredible volcanic pressures.

Mike Maguire

Maybe the next scare is actually a current legit reality. The effect of electronics on human behavior.
With children, the addiction to their electronics and games has been called “digital or electronic heroin”. Many of us older humans that use the internet for educational purposes can appreciate what life was like back in the “dark ages” before the information highway allowed us to become enlightened in almost any field known to mankind. However, if one observes fellow humans in public……in lunch rooms for instance or in private………at social settings, when eating or interacting with other humans used to rule, one finds that use of electronic devices takes up at least a portion of that time.
Don’t get me wrong, this is the best time in human history to live our lives……by a wide margin. The science, medicine, machines. knowledge and technology provide comforts, entertainment and enlightenment far beyond what our ancestors could imagine.
However, we are also living in a massive electronic device laboratory, especially with our children. Personal and social interacting and face to face, human to human interactions are becoming less and less……….being replaced more and more with social media, forum, Facebook/Twitter type communicating on the internet.
This is awesome as it amplifies our ability to communicate by many thousands of times and at the speed of light. At the same time, it’s causing us to slowly morph into a society that is not just dependent and addicted to our electronic devices but also profoundly effected by the sites which we are drawn too.
These sites, which are unlimited and represent every element of every realm in society are often dedicated to specific information or uses. This is good because it offers something for everyone. It has the potential, when used constructively for us to become better informed and educated.
But humans have cognitive biases and with the freedom to choose on the internet, we will more often than not, pick arena’s that surround us with things that reinforce our belief systems and make us comfortable. One only needs to look at the intensity of the political divisiveness that has taken over to see the effects in our world today.
There are also numerous entities that understand this and use these powerful tools effectively with propaganda/fake news and ideologies to recruit and and brainwash those that are attracted to sites that feature an environment favorable to a certain belief/position.
There are also a great deal of sites which do not operate with the intention of “brainwashing” but are only a meeting places for like minded people. Like minded people exchanging ideas is often the recipe for their opinions to be reinforced……….even when they are flawed.
What would have to happen to cause it to go the other way or even to stop? Logically we must assume that this trend will continue. The communication tools will only become more powerful, so the effects will increase.
Our children are growing up knowing only this as their reality. As these profoundly different realities vs previous generations continue to get dialed into behavior(s), we will see more and more profound changes.
Some are good, some are bad.

PiperPaul

Good post.

Those young whippersnappers are ruining the planet by demonizing CO2 and fossil fuels desperately needed by over one billion extremely poor people with no electricity.
I blame brainwashing by leftist teachers in public schools.
At least the internet gives children an opportunity to read alternative views and then question authority.

Outstanding insight Mike. I’ll be spending more time thinking about this. All at once, the technology has made it possible to discuss any subject with anyone in the world, but the conversation is both directed (often by a search engine) and self-selecting.
Back in the early 90’s sociologists called it “cocooning”; walking into an echo chamber and shutting the door behind you. The advent of cable TV prompted that analysis I think. Folks could choose from a much larger pool of ideas once they had 500+ channels to pick from, so they chose those channels that reinforced their belief system. The internet multiplied the effect really bigly.
Now the risk of meeting someone you don’t agree with is very much reduced. If you communicate on Facebook (or WUWT) for example, you aren’t likely to meet much ideological opposition, yes?
I have no idea how it will all work out either, but it will be interesting. Hopefully not a Stephen King novel.

2hotel9

Excellent post! I think Anthony should let you do a stand alone article on this. With your permission I would like to cut&paste this post and send it over to my wife, break her out of her Steeler Fixation for a bit. We have talked on this subject a bit in the past and she has always been interested in the effects of advertising and media use/abuse on population.

Genetic engineering accidently creates a virus that stops aging and within 5 years we will be under 6 feet of flies and mice. Be very afraid. I have seen the future.

Ha! Nematodes!

Ken in Kelowna

It seems that big Government and main stream media always have a way of combining forces to invent a “Bogey Man” to keep the populace distracted from real problems. They likely didn’t want us to know how inept their leadership quality usually was.
Long ago as a kid in school I remember talk of a coming ice age, possibly as a distraction while the life and death struggle of capitalism versus communism roared behind the scenes.
Next we had imminent nuclear war, with contrasting hope provided by a successful space program. There always had to be a looming disaster to keep us distracted from the true issues at hand. Remember Y2K?
While IA will become a significant issue soon, there is a clear and present threat to security and freedom that .must be met head-on, and soon.
It is radical religion and terrorism.
There are some bad, bad actors out there, and their ability to do horrific things to us is a frightening reality.
The fictional series by Kenneth R Loomis on geo-politics and terrorism was an eye-opener for me.

François

Still striving to find out what on earth you might be talking about.

Bogey Man is a fellow who likes Humphrey Bogart movies
Boogie Man is a fellow who likes boogie woogie piano music
Boogeyman is the word I believe you wanted to use.
We must be very careful with the words we choose, just like the leftists are oh, so careful.
If we write Bogey Man, or Boogie Man, when we really meant boogeyman,
then readers might get confused, especially leftists, who start out half confused
when they wake up every morning !
One must not write:
“Global warming is the current Bogey Man” (promoted by leftist scaremongers).
The correct words are:
“Climate change is the current boogeyman” (promoted by leftist scaremongers).

Richard Greene writes:

The correct words are:
“Climate change is the current boogeyman” (promoted by leftist scaremongers).

Richard, I’d argue the correct words are closer to: “Climate change is the current boogeyman as promoted by authoritarian, totalitarian, dictatorial scaremongers who prefer to be called Progressives (in a pinch Socialists, but never Communists or Fascists).”

DonM

Boogerman works as well.
“Welllll, if I had a big horse pistol like that I wouldn’t be scared of no boogerman!!!”
“I”m not scared of no Booger man”
… can’t match John Wayne’s delivery though.

““Welllll, if I had a big horse pistol like that I wouldn’t be scared of no boogerman!!!””
John Wayne, “True Grit”, both times. (the second one doesn’t count).

mairon62

I must give honorable mention to the campy sci-fi classic, “Cherry 2000”, starring Melanie Griffith. Made in 1987, the story is set far into the future. IMDB says, “In the year 2017, When successful businessman Sam Treadwell finds that his android wife, Cherry model 2000 has blown a fuse….” We’re here!