David Brooks views the economic/political future with the aid of Tyler Cowan and well worn cliche. A comment by Political Cynic

Gather round children Mr. David Brooks is about to spin a rather complex political fable with the assistance of Professor Tyler Cowen, of George Mason University and the Koch funded The Mercatus Center, and author of ‘Average is Over’! Be still for a moment as Mr. Brooks begins his little tale:

We’re living in an era of mechanized intelligence, an age in which you’re probably going to find yourself in a workplace with diagnostic systems, different algorithms and computer-driven data analysis. If you want to thrive in this era, you probably want to be good at working with intelligent machines. As Tyler Cowen puts it in his relentlessly provocative recent book, “Average Is Over,” “If you and your skills are a complement to the computer, your wage and labor market prospects are likely to be cheery. If your skills do not complement the computer, you may want to address that mismatch.”

So our challenge for the day is to think of exactly which mental abilities complement mechanized intelligence. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few mental types that will probably thrive in the years ahead.

Mr. Brooks and Prof. Cowan are of like mind, the Market is the ultimate arbiter of all things, so as a worker one must adapt to the ‘mechanized intelligence’ one must become a symbiot, not a mere  appendage but the human driver of that mechanism. This sets Mr. Brooks into a veritable flurry of platonic ideas, his passion, his first and last resort. Here, in miniature, are the offspring of that passion. Here are the personality/managerial types that will flourish and/or decline in the New Economy.

Freestylers: It’s the skill of knowing when an individual case is following predictable patterns and when there are signs it is diverging from them.

Synthesizers:The synthesizer has the capacity to surf through vast amounts of online data and crystallize a generalized pattern or story.

Humanizers:Humanizers take the interplay between man and machine and make it feel more natural.

Conceptual engineers:They are looking for the ability to come up with creative methods to think about unexpected problems.

Motivators:Managers who can motivate supreme effort in a machine-dominated environment are going to be valuable.

Moralizers:A company without a self-conscious moralizer will reduce human interaction to the cash nexus and end up destroying morale and social capital.

Greeters: Cowen estimates that perhaps 15 percent of workers will thrive, with plenty of disposable income.

Economizers: The bottom 85 percent is likely to be made up of people with less marketable workplace skills.

Weavers :There will be jobs for people who combat the dangerous inegalitarian tendencies of this new world.

The news that the Free Market is failed and that Capital is, in the present moment, simply another name for robbery, plunder and ill fated propaganda campaigns, such as this, is the business of propagandists like Mr. Brooks and Prof. Cowan.This attempt to steer the national conversation is in the category of failed.

Political Cynic

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to David Brooks views the economic/political future with the aid of Tyler Cowan and well worn cliche. A comment by Political Cynic

  1. Mr. Brooks attraction to platonic ideas is politically self-serving in that he takes his commentary out of an historically/politically situated world and places it in the a-historical world of theory, categories,ideas. With a kind of ease Mr. Brooks elides the messy unyielding baggage of the human world, of the utter complexity of the human endeavor, and streamlines it into those convenient platonic ideas to a political end i.e. the wisdom of the Market etc. And or the wisdom of think tank scholars who write tracts that extoll Market ideology and a strategy for adaptation, for survival-Mr. Brooks then supplies the social types and their prospects for success or failure : in sum the synergy between writer and reviewer yields the bastardized Social Darwinism of American Conservatism 2013!
    Political Cynic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.