One of these Days, Alice...
By Amy Willis
Asteroid mining, space elevators, and augmented reality. These are just a few of the “Soonish” technologies that are discussed in this week’s episode, in which host Russ Roberts welcomes Kelly and Zach Weinersmith.
1. What did you find to be the most salient economic concept throughout this week’s conversation? How did it manifest itself, and how was it significant to the conversation?
2. Which of the technologies discussed did you find to be the most far-fetched, and why? How about the least? Which one (or ones) would you be most concerned about, and why? 3. To what extent do you think technology has the power to lower the cost of artisanal labor? Zach uses the example of woodworking in this context; what other examples might be pertinent here? (You might revisit last week’s episode with Matt Stoller here, in which he claims it’s harder than ever for individual humans to be creative…If he’s correct about the cause, is technological innovation, rather than monopoly, the cause?)
4. Talking about Pokemon Go, Russ notes how hard it is to stop technology once it’s there (42.31). Is this a net advantage or disadvantage of new technology? If (and/or when) the latter, what’s the best way to stop it- by refraining from using the technology or be regulating it?
5. Lots of you have commented on social media how fun this week’s episode was, and how you wish you could hear from Kelly and Zach again. So… If they were to come back, what would you most like Russ to ask them?
And just for fun…If you’re not familiar with Zach’s cartoon series, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, make sure you check it out!