Future Industry

A new Industrial Revolution

The third industrial revolution has begun, slowly — almost invisibly. Start preparing now for what’s to come, based on our experience with the previous two and reasonable guesses about the future. This requires us to more clearly see the world than we do today. And to act together, coherently and more wisely than we do today. We can do this.

Robot hand holding the 21st Century world

These posts link to a wealth of information and speculation, helping you to prepare for what is to come.


  1. Strategic issues.
  2. Dynamics of the robot revolution.
  3. First signs of the robot revolution appear.
  4. New technologies.
  5. Corporations build the future.
  6. Will it boost inequality?
  7. Guesses about the future.
  8. About artificial intelligence.
  9. About the Singularity.
  10. About solutions.
  11. Are we exhausting our natural resources?
  12. Studies about automation.

(1) The big picture

  1. Good news: a new industrial revolution has begun!
  2. Good news: the singularity approaches!
  3. Preparing for the future: should we be precautionary or proactionary?
  4. Looking at technological singularities in our past & future.
  5. Watch other nations build infrastructure for 21st C prosperity. We can, too.
  6. Must our population grow to ensure prosperity? — Spoiler: not as the new industrial revolution destroys jobs.
  7. America isn’t falling like the Roman Empire. We’re falling like the Roman Republic.
  8. Welcome to ClownWorld, the final meme for America – It is the next phase of the “crazy years”, long ago predicted by Robert Heinlein.
  9. A new, dark picture of America’s future – our institutions are falling like a line of dominoes.
  10. The new industrial revolution will change everything.

(2) Dynamics of the robot revolution

  1. The coming big increase in structural unemployment.
  2. The coming Robotic Nation.
  3. The coming of the robots, reshaping our society in ways difficult to foresee.
  4. Economists grapple with the first stage of the robot revolution.
  5. The coming big inequality. Was Marx just early?
  6. Economists show the perils and potential of the coming robot revolution.
  7. The coming Great Extinction – of jobs.
  8. Why Japan can become an economic star of the 21st century — Fewer people are the solution to several 21st century challenges.
  9. A Timeline for the Extinction of Jobs by Machines.
  10. Let’s prepare now for the job apocalypse.

(3) First signs of the robot revolution appear

  1. 4GW: A solution of the first kind – Robots! — Military applications.
  2. In Friday’s job report you’ll see early signs of the robot revolution!
  3. Krugman discovers the Robot Revolution!
  4. How do we respond to the Robot Revolution?
  5. 2012: the year people began to realize the robots are coming.
  6. Journalists reporting the end of journalism as a profession.
  7. The next step of computer evolution: becoming bloggers.
  8. Journalists warn us about the coming revolution, but we don’t listen.
  9. The next industrial revolution starts. Beware the Pied Pipers who lull us into passivity..
  10. At last economists see the robot revolution. Here’s why they worry.
  11. Automation hits the professions. Most remain delusionally confident, so far.
  12. How Robots & Algorithms Are Taking Over.
  13. Tech creates a social revolution with unthinkable impacts that we prefer not to see — About sexbots.
  14. The new industrial revolution has begun. Research shows more robots = fewer jobs.
  15. Book and video rental stores show the coming singularity. Let’s prepare now.
  16. See warnings of the coming machine revolution.

(4) New technologies

  1. Hype about 3D printing & dreams of American reindustrialization. Hope is more fun than reform. — From March 2013, at peak hype about 3D printing.
  2. Potentially horrific effects of drugs and machines making people smarter & stronger.
  3. China takes the lead in supercomputing while America sleeps.

(5)  Corporations build the future

  1. The new American economy: concentrating business power to suit an unequal society.
  2. About Amazon: One graph that says much about America, and our future: the growth in jobs vs. food stamp use.
  3. For Thanksgiving, Walmart shows us the New America.
  4. Nike swooshs us into a future of fewer jobs, low pay,
  5. The CEO of Boeing enjoys the sight of his workers cowering. Let’s feel their humiliation.
  6. Happy Meals: now with 20% less people! — McDonalds automates.

(6)  Will it boost inequality?

  1. Well-meant minimum wage increases will accelerate automation.
  2. The battle of institutions vs. technology = rising wage inequality.

(7)  Guesses about the future

  1. Is America on the road to zero growth?, 29 November 2012
  2. Why America’s growth is slowing, and a solution, 28 January 2013
  3. Ben Bernanke sees the great slowdown in technological progress, 20 May 2013
  4. Will 21st Century USA have a surprise boom, as did the 19th Century UK?, 23 October 2013
  5. A book about one of the trends shaping the 21st century: the next industrial revolution (robots), 29 December 2013
  6. The promise and peril of automation, 6 January 2014
  7. Looking at America’s future: economic stagnation, or will computers take our jobs?, 7 January 2014
  8. 50 years of warnings about the next industrial revolution. Are we ready?, 12 January 2014
  9. Experts see that the 3rd Industrial Revolution is upon us. How many jobs will be lost?, 21 January 2014
  10. A look at the wonders coming from the Third Industrial Revolution, 25 February 2014
  11. Techno-utopians keep us ignorant of the past so we cannot see the future, 23 June 2014
  12. A warning about the robot revolution from a great economist.
  13. The robots are coming, bringing hope of a better future.
  14. Do we face secular stagnation or a new industrial revolution?
  15. Three visions of our future after the robot revolution.
  16. Our future will be Jupiter Ascending, unless we make it Star Trek.
  17. Potentially horrific effects of drugs and machines making people smarter & stronger.

(8)  About artificial intelligence

  1. Robots are the solution to our problems, if we enslave them — The different economies of Star Trek and Jupiter Ascending.
  2. Will we enslave robots? If so, prepare for their inevitable revolt.
  3. AI will reshape the world. Films show how.
  4. Lessons for us about AI from the horse apocalypse.
  5. Stratfor explains why self-driving cars won’t rule soon.
  6. Jasun Horsley takes us on a tour of our AI future.

(9)  About the singularity

  1. Good news: The Singularity is coming (again).
  2. The Singularity is in our past.
  3. Has America grown old, and can no longer grow? Or are wonders like the singularity in our future?
  4. Looking at technological singularities in our past & future.
  5. Good news: the singularity approaches!
  6. Films show us how smart machines will reshape the world.
  7. Machines take another big step to superintelligence.
  8. The fast rise and fall of two industries show the coming singularity. Let’s prepare now.
  9. Prepare for the next singularity. It will change everything.

(10) About solutions

  1. Education, the glittering but fake solution.
  2. Steps to make the tech revolution boost America, not just the 1%.
  3. Well-meant minimum wage increases will accelerate automation.
  4. Matthew Yglesias tells us not to worry about the new industrial revolution.
  5. A guaranteed minimum income: faux solution for the new industrial revolution.
  6. Why a guaranteed minimum income will not defend us from the coming automation wave.

(11)  Are we exhausting our natural resources?

  1. Peak Oil Doomsters debunked, end of civilization called off , 8 May 2008
  2. From the 3rd century BC, Polybius warns us about demographic collapse, 11 June 2008
  3. Is global food production peaking?, 13 January 2010
  4. Bad news for India, probably for China, perhaps for the US as well, 11 September 2009 — Water!
  5. Leadership in action: when resource constraints meet conspicuous consumption, we just ignore the problem, 17 September 2010
  6. Recovering lost knowledge about exhaustion of the Earth’s resources (such as Peak Oil), 27 January 2011
  7. A look at forecasts for peak oil – and the end of civilization, 13 July 2012
  8. Looking at natural resources as limits to growth, 8 January 2014

(12) Studies

The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market” by David Dorn and David Autor in American Economic Review, August 2013 — How jobs and wages changed in America from 1980-2005.

“The adoption of computers substitutes for… workers performing routine tasks — such as bookkeeping, clerical work, and repetitive production and monitoring activities — which are readily computerized because they follow precise, well-defined procedures. Importantly, occupations intensive in these tasks are most commonplace in the middle of the occupational skill and wage distribution. … We evaluate numerous alternative explanations for the pronounced differences in wage and employment polarization… including deindustrialization, offshoring, … and growing low-skill immigration. None of these alternatives appears central to our findings.”

The Global Decline of the Labor Share” by Loukas Karabarbounis and Brent Neiman in Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1 February 2014. Gated.

“We document, however, that the global labor share has significantly declined since the early 1980s, with the decline occurring within the large majority of countries and industries. We show that the decrease in the relative price of investment goods, often attributed to advances in information technology and the computer age, induced firms to shift away from labor and toward capital.”



3 thoughts on “A new Industrial Revolution”

  1. Pingback: - The 3rd Industrial Revolution has begun | The...

  2. Obviously, humans will be improved by the incorporation of technology and control over our own genome. There will be jobs in unimaginable fields as human beings will be able to mutate at will.

    1. Jay,

      I agree that genetic engineering will open new frontiers. I doubt that we can say more than that, let alone if we will use this tool wisely.

      The history of nukes provides a cautionary note. We had several close calls with atomic war. We were lucky, not wise.

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