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Jobs of the Future
The Shape of Things to Come

As President Obama desperately tries to re-animate the mid-20th century manufacturing economy, a completely different industry is taking off right under his nose. The Economist has an excellent special report on the growth of new startups in high-tech industry:

Today’s entrepreneurial boom is based on more solid foundations than the 1990s internet bubble, which makes it more likely to continue for the foreseeable future. One explanation for the Cambrian explosion of 540m years ago is that at that time the basic building blocks of life had just been perfected, allowing more complex organisms to be assembled more rapidly. Similarly, the basic building blocks for digital services and products—the “technologies of startup production”, in the words of Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School—have become so evolved, cheap and ubiquitous that they can be easily combined and recombined.

The metaphor that the Economist is using, a prehistoric explosion of new life forms, is apt. For a long time the biggest bottleneck to change has been the slow development of software and business models. Hardware capabilities have been expanding faster than we could integrate those capabilities into daily life. That finally seems to be changing. We’re going to be making better and better use of those hardware capabilities from here on out.

Be sure to read the whole thing at some point this weekend (and not just the leader essay).

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  • Pete

    So, that’s how the neo-Darwinist are now trying to explain their way past the Cambrian explosion. Ha!

    That’s almost as rich as their fantasies of infinite explain away the mathematical improbability of macro-evolution.

    • Andrew Allison

      Pete, I assume from your comment that you are a creationist. Everybody is entitled to their belief system of choice, but the Cambrian explosion had nothing to do with macroevolution, which can be defined as environmentally-forced (
      Let me give you a concrete example: the difference between a mole and a bat is the single gene which controls the length of their fingers (bones rule because flesh grows over them to provide sustenance). In other words, the modification of just one gene can turn you from an underground burrower to a flyer (both, you’ll note, essentially blind).

      • Boritz

        This is an undramatic example. I’m more impressed by the fact that the human genome and the yeast genome are 80 percent in common.
        Psalms 139:14. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

        • Andrew Allison

          Sorry, but no. It’s clear that the genetic differences between all form of post-Cambrian life are very closely linked. The point which I think Pete was making is that Darwinism doesn’t explain the gaps in the fossil record, which I refuted by pointing out the gap which is created by modification of a single gene.

  • Boritz

    This identifies an opportunity to redistribute wealth. Call it a hardware capability tax and use it to fund steel, automotive, and other smokestack industries. This is similar to the relationship that already exists between brown energy and green energy. With these new taxes that punish the unfair advantage of technology on top of the burden of ObamaCare also be sure to add a battery of new regulations that require lots of time and money to demonstrate compliance. Pretty soon it will be the tech start-up that “desperately tries”.

    We’re going to be making better and better use of those hardware capabilities from here on out.-TAI
    Depending on who “We” is ya got that right. Heh heh.

  • Andrew Allison

    I’m disappointed that TAI still fails to recognize, as a brief examination of revenue/employee would demonstrate. that high-tech is not, and will never be, a significant source of jobs for residents of the USA. The future is personal services.

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