James Bessen: "Learning by Doing: The Real Connection between Innovation, Wages, and Wealth"

Interesting video by the Author of "Learning by Doing: The Real Connection between Innovation, Wages, and Wealth", which largely comes down to "it's complicated". Sometimes automation replaces jobs, but sometimes it increases jobs, especially when there was pent up demand.

ATMs actually increased the number of bank teller jobs, because it led to needing less people needed per branch, and banks openned up new branches to meet pent up demand. It's also why manufacturing jobs are never coming back, we've met the demand on consumption, and most industries making goods are in the optimizing phase.

What's also really interesting is the idea that new skills are always undervalued, because there is no reliable basis to understand how valuable they are. The transition from typesetting to digital publishing was a huge skill shift, but was pretty stagnant on wages.

Fluidity of Language

Having a toddler definitely makes you realize how fluid our brains are for mapping and adapting to language changes. And, how quickly those language changes can become a dialect that breaks up understanding.

Things I never considered before being a parent, what is the difficultly level of you child's name for them to say. Because it turns out that if you give you child a name with both a W and an R, those are pretty late on the sound acquisition timeline. So they are not going to use their name as a token for themselves during early speech development, because they physically can't pronounce it.

So, my daughter latched on to the other token that was constantly being used in her direction: "you". When I first saw that emerging it was completely confusing until I figured out the logic of how she got there. The first week I even tried to stamp it out. But, you know what, language is organic.

So, we're living with pronoun inversion for the moment. After two weeks of it, my brain rewired to make it normal, and I don't miss a beat any more. The only time I really realize it's a thing is when friends come over that haven't seen her in a while and she talks to them. And a "You have mama bear" is interpreted as gift giving instead of statement of fact. And the misinterpretation brings scowls.

A lot hinges on a single word some times, and the assumption that we are all using these tokens the same way. But even in normal adult interactions, we aren't. It gives me a finer appreciation of how even if you think you understand people, you need to double check.