Elon Musk has decided to create his own chips for artificial intelligence for his Tesla vehicles. He also claimed at the machine learning conference NIPS that Tesla cars will be able to drive safer than humans in two years, and 10 times safer in three years. These are bold claims, and sure excited a bunch of experts at the conference. And given Musk’s track record, they are most likely truthful claims too. Self-driving cars are definitely coming, and will save a lot of lives and prevent injuries.
I’ve found that accepting my intrusive thoughts and my compulsions and knowing that they are my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) acting up helps me to be freer from OCD. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) makes me see myself as ugly because of my mild acne scarring. I’ve tried to use CBT to help me in this regard. What I mostly do at the moment though is avoid looking at my reflection with any keen eye. I also look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I look OK. The antidepressant fluoxetine seems to prevent my obsession with my looks becoming severe and taking up hours of my day everyday. Alongside this I have symptoms of severe clinical depression in that I have low energy, find it hard to concentrate, have a lack of motivation, have a lack of interest in things and don’t get enjoyment from life, except for a small reward I get from eating tasty food or a tasty drink (not alcohol). However, there is an overlap of symptoms between clinical depression and psychosis, with the low motivation etc. being present for both disorders, with the exception of low mood (if one has low mood alongside the other symptoms then it’s more likely clinical depression). I could have psychosis, because I don’t have low mood, which may be because I got better from clincal depression naturally or may be because of a drug I’m taking called trimipramine. I may have psychosis because of a psychiatrist thinking my speech was confused in a session. I take the antipsychotic olanzapine for this. I don’t have delusions or hallucinations though. In any case, it may be clearer to me what I suffer from in the coming few weeks, as I will see a psychiatrist on Monday the 27th of November. I know that I will have to be patient and have to try to keep an open mind as to what mental disorder I have. So it is exciting that I may be a bit closer to resolving one of my mental health problems in the coming weeks.
Trump only cares about his base of supporters when he carries out his actions or speaks or tweets. He doesn’t care about anyone else. He expects to get enough votes from non-decided voters in swing states in 2020. He just wants to get re-elected in four years.
Trump relaxing banking regulations could sow the seeds of the next financial crisis. I don’t think he understands that regulation is a good thing, as the consumers need to be protected, rather than a bad thing. It seems he takes his orders from Steve Bannon and somehow believes deregulation will cause growth in the short term. This is bad news for the long-term outlook for the world. Hopefully the next US president and government pushes back against this and undoes the damage before it’s too late.
What next for the world,
What next for us?
What next for the world,
Is it written on a bus?
What next for the world,
What next for the good?
What next for the bad,
What will happen –
Is it time for us to live the future free?
The effect of technology on future employment, as highlighted by business leaders at Davos, is profound. More and more software, computers and robots will be replacing human workers, and some of it has already happened (think the lack of as many human cashiers in supermarkets).
One answer to the increased joblessness and lack of expendable income is a “spending wage” for citizens for doing no work at all. This would stimulate the economy by allowing people to purchase consumer goods, though it may not solve the self-esteem issue of people not feeling that they have a purpose in life, or that they at least have a diminished purpose in life.
Thomas Picketty, a French economist who, as written in his highly-talked-about book ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ released in 2013, believes that wealth should be taxed in order to regulate capitalism, may live to see this desire happen, as the damaging aftermath of the HSBC scandal, Panama Papers and the clamp-down on corporate tax avoidance suggests. This could be only considered a good thing for everyday people, as taxes are a great way of funding a thriving society.
Picketty may be wrong, however, in suggesting that global growth is going to slow, thus allowing capital owners’ bank balance to rise in proportion to the incomes of normal tax payers. “Infra technological frontier” countries such as China, Nigeria, Indonesia and India may help keep global economic growth higher than the rate of return on capital. In 2013, the rate of return on capital was a bit above zero per cent (Picketty believes that in order for capital to create a more and more unequal society, the rate of return on capital needs to rise above 2.5 per cent).
It’s not unthinkable that the rate of return on capital may indeed go into negative territory. Also, it would seem to be the case that global convergence between Africa, China and India could take a century, or perhaps longer than that, to happen (global convergence would lead to lower growth rates and the rise in prominence of capital, which could send Europe and North America back to the nineteenth century in terms of economic equality). Indeed, the convergence may never happen as the economies of countries from North America, Asia and Africa will likely go up and down, such that convergence may always be out of their grasp.
The rise in prominence of Picketty and his ideas about taxing wealth signal that the push to increase Ireland’s corporation tax will only grow more aggressive as time goes on.
So the unthinkable happened: Brexit. It appears that the fear and accompanying hatred of immigrants and the promise of a better Britain overcame the fear of leaving the EU. For Ireland and Britain, other countries and the global economy this is most definitely bad news. It’s a cultural tragedy that Ireland and Britain will now not be as European as each other. This decision will cause a mini recession in Britain, quite probably.
It will have a negative effect on Ireland’s economy. Britain might become weaker economically and politically and very ironically have a big reliance on outside countries to help it limit the economic and political damage. The country may descend into right-wing politics before the younger generation – and disaffected citizens generally – decide to vote for left-wing parties.
Most likely it will be a lesson some of the British public will have to learn: Britain is stronger economically and politically in the EU. Another one would be to not let the media and politicians take advantage of you; be a critical thinker. The tabloid media generally were arguably the cheerleaders of Brexit for their own agenda of selling papers and perhaps for tax and lack-of-EU-oversight reasons. They possibly heightened British peoples’ fear of immigrants and some even explicitly came out in favour of Brexit. Even the rest of the media were somewhat complicit in allowing the “Leave” side to win by allowing the referendum debate to be centered on immigration and not arguing in favour of immigrants in terms of what they add to Britain.
And the politicians in favour of Brexit were conceivably more motivated by their own possible political gain in backing Brexit than they were motivated to do something good for their citizens. If the half of the British public led astray learn these lessons and decide, years from now, to rejoin the EU, it may be on the EU’S terms, as Britain would be in a weak bargaining position. They may have to join the euro, for instance. Perhaps then the British public will stop blaming the EU for its problems and instead reform its own country. Examples may be creating enough better-paying jobs, breaking up its banks to end “too big to fail” and improve service and reforming its political system.
Johnson, Farage and Gove, along with the tabloid media generally, may be detested in the years to come by the half of the public that was on their side (alongside the other half, of course). And the rest of the media may not be seen in a favourable light either.
Scotland and possibly Northern Ireland may soon seek to extricate themselves from the United Kingdom. This could deal more economic damage to England and Wales. Scotland leaving could hurt the Labour Party in Britain, as they derive a lot of their support from that country. And the Queen will not be amused to see her empire crumble. And maybe if what’s left of Britain declines economically some of the public may blame the immigrants who are already in the country for their woes once again.
But it may be all alright. The world moves on. We will all adapt.