It’s true a significant amount of labor will be displaced, but second order effects will create a net increase in new jobs.

Love to see some real data on this theory. It’s not intuitively obvious, if you factor in the loss of the truck driving profession. Andreesen’s last sentence in his quote is questionable.

It’s indisputable that the number of new jobs that came as a byproduct of the transportation revolution were at least 100x the number of jobs that were lost.

Sure, (chuckles) because horses don’t count as lost jobs. Yet, they were a major part of transportation production equation, far more than the buggy drivers. In THIS transition, there’s no horses. Big difference. Renders the analogy moot.

It’s easy to envision a future in which productivity soars through the roof and creates completely new industries.

Agreed. The larger question is the number of people that those industries will employ.

It’s the precise reason why every tech company and auto company is strategizing on how they will navigate the space.

No question. It’s the “Jeff Bezos” equation: How can you route all of the money currently going into brick and mortar stores into one person’s bank account, impoverishing millions in the process, and get everyone to think that’s “progress”. :-) Same thing here.

He defines “inside-out” as being cognizant as to how a specific outcome affects the parties that are part of a given situation; meanwhile, “outside-in” is understanding the effect each outcome in aggregate has on the world.

Precisely. I use the terms “bottom up” instead of “inside out” and “top down” instead of “outside in” but it’s the same principle. If you measure economic progress in terms of GDP growth only, you get all excited if GDP goes from 2.5 to 3; it doesn’t bother you that automation idled a million workers in the process. The bottom up thinker, OTOH, freaks out at the job loss, and knowing that it leads to an aggregation of wealth at the top of the income pyramid.

Maybe cities eager to bring self-driving cars to their town “turn a blind eye” because of the immediate gains they can reap from reduced auto casualties and increased job growth.

The technology is clearly there; self-driving cars will become a reality over the next decade and promise massive benefits in the form of aggregate casualty reduction, job growth and optimized land use.


I’ve already mentioned that I doubt the increased job growth. You’re ideling everyone who puts their hands on a wheel for money, plus all the people that fix the wrecks that will never happen. And no horses to unemploy. :-)

I also have my doubts about the “reduced casualties”. We don’t have the data to support that.

The data we have compares self-driving cars to fully human driven cars. Thats not what people will be driving in the next five years. Cars will all have (1) automatic braking when you pull up on another vehicle or barrier, (2) side alarms if you try to turn into another vehicle or barrier AND/OR automatic steering that would prevent it, (3) backup cameras (on most vehicles today) and potentially other devices not listed.

Long story short, it’s the improved casualty rate from THOSE vehicles compared to self-driving that matters. And I suspect that the delta between the two might not be as great as people think.

And that’s what really matters, after all. Because if the delta in the accident rate is nominal, then the insurance savings between self- and human- driving will be nominal, and there will be no financial incentive to move to a self-driving vehicle, which we can reasonably assume will be more expensive.

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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