Monday, April 30, 2018

Drones (Not Required for This Year’s Final Exams)

In class on Wednesday, in response to Aaron’s question about whether technology will force people out of jobs, I talked a little about macroeconomic speculation.

Outside of macro, people worry about capital displacing labor from their jobs. This is “old school” thinking.

Inside macro, the “new school” thinking is about how labor will compete for capital and technology when we have alternative forms of labor, like drones.

As an example, I briefly mentioned that there are quadcopters now that can do stuff like push elevator buttons.

There are also global addressing systems like What3Words. Last October I was hiking a bit and was thirsty: how long until I can have a water bottle delivered by drone to crush.blast.puff (

Anyway, check out this excerpt of an interview with Balaji Srinivasan, and in particular the last section about drones.

The macroeconomic future is not one where we have to worry about capital replacing labor, but rather one in which capital is no longer capital at all, but rather an extended form of labor.

(Sneaking any of this post into your answers for this year’s exams won’t help your score).

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