Candelia was doing well. Its revenue that week was outpacing expenses, even counting taxes and salaries... but in this case the entire business is fake. So are Candelia’s customers and suppliers, from the companies ordering the furniture to the trucking operators that make deliveries. Even the bank where Candelia gets its loans is not real. More than 100 Potemkin companies like Candelia are operating today in France, and there are thousands more across Europe... All these companies’ wares are imaginary.
On highways, vehicle fires declined 64 percent from 1980 to 2013. Building fires fell 54 percent during that time. When they break out, sprinkler systems almost always extinguish the flames before firefighters can turn on a hose. But oddly, as the number of fires has dropped, the ranks of firefighters have continued to grow — significantly. There are half as many fires as there were 30 years ago, but about 50 percent more people are paid to fight them.
Here lies the greatest obstacle to human progress — the longstanding connection between work and income.
This ended up being a discussion Google had no interest in, and so Boston Dynamics is now up for sale. To be fair, Google already wanted to sell BD, but leaked emails do show the concerns of negative PR as a direct result of advanced robotics:
In yet more emails wrongly published to wider Google employees, Courtney Hohne, a spokeswoman for Google X, wrote: “There’s excitement from the tech press, but we’re also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans’ jobs ... We’re not going to comment on this video because there’s really not a lot we can add, and we don’t want to answer most of the questions it triggers.”
Putting humans out of work should be a public relations win, not a loss...
No longer did you need a trained anesthesiologist. And sedation with the Sedasys machine cost $150 to $200 for each procedure, compared to $2,000 for an anesthesiologist, one of healthcare’s best-paid specialties. The machine was seen as the leading lip of an automation wave transforming hospitals. But Johnson & Johnson recently announced it was pulling the plug on Sedasys because of poor sales.
Sedasys was never welcomed by human anesthesiologists. Before it even hit the market, the American Society of Anesthesiologists campaigned against it, backing down only once the machine’s potential uses were limited to routine procedures such as colonoscopies. The Post’s story back in May provoked an outpouring of messages from anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetist who claimed a machine could never replicate a human’s care or diligence. Many sounded offended at the notion that a machine could do their job.
As humans drive forward into the future, they may just have their foot on the brakes and the accelerator at the same time.