As we all set ourselves up for weeks, or even months, of
self-isolation, never has there been a better time to think about rules, and
the reasons we do the things that we do.
While the UK government has imposed new rules, telling us that we
need to stay at home, these rules are only ever an approximation of the
ideal rule, which in this case, is the idea that everyone needs to stay at
home. The issue here is that while universal isolation is all well and good in
theory, we still need health workers and we still need to keep the electricity
flowing and the water running.
I was recently invited to take part in a roundtable discussion for TRTWorld’s Vision 2020 series. You can watch the show below.
Like it or loathe it, the robot revolution is now well underway and the futures described by writers such as Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl and Philip K. Dick are fast turning from science fiction into science fact. But should robots have rights? And will humanity ever reach a point where human and machine are treated the same?
Everywhere you look these days, people are ‘working hard’ on
social media, telling us about their lives, their jobs, their children and all
the many things they do to fill up their time. And when they’re not working
hard, they’re spending their time telling us about how hard they’re working, or
how much they’ve deserved the break they’ve given themselves from all the hard
But what really is work, and why do we do it? Is there even
such a thing as working too hard?
I can’t say that I have all of the answers at this point,
but I do have several thoughts…
Taxi app Uber has announced a new
‘quiet mode’ for customers using its premium Uber Black service. By
selecting the option via the app, users can order a cab where the driver is
instructed not to talk. While this change has proven positive with many users,
some taxi drivers have responded negatively to the new quiet mode, with some critics
treats taxi drivers more like robots than human beings.
While these critics may certainly have a point, they miss the essential fact that all taxi drivers – and indeed, all humans being – behave, and are encouraged to behave, in a robotic fashion. This blurring of the human and the machine isn’t really anything new, but rather, has been going on for a very long time indeed.