24 April 2018   Leave a comment

It is very difficult to assimilate much of what was said by US President Trump in today’s press conferences.  He referred to the nuclear deal with Iran as “insane” and “ridiculous” even as his guest, French President Macron was hailing the agreement as viable and successful.  He further threatened Iran if it restarted a nuclear enrichment program if the US pulled out of the agreement: “If Iran threatens us in any way, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid.”  The Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, responded by saying that “”If the United States were to withdraw from the nuclear deal, the immediate consequence in all likelihood would be that Iran would reciprocate and withdraw…..There won’t be any deal for Iran to stay in.”  Zarif also warned North Korea from making any agreements with the US if the US withdraws from the nuclear agreement.   Bizarrely, Mr Trump changed his rhetoric about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who he had earlier referred to as “Rocket Man”.  Today he said: ““Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing.”  Finally, Mr Trump flicked some dandruff off Macron’s shoulder in front of the press, saying “We have to make him perfect”.

Did You Get Your Invitation to Tonight’s State Dinner at the White House? (Click to Enlarge)

 

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published a new paper entitled “Automation, skills use and training“.  The paper is based on “the risk of automation…for the 32 OECD countries that have participated in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) so far.”  The findings are unsettling:

“Across the 32 countries, close to one in two jobs are likely to be significantly affected by automation, based on the tasks they involve. But the degree of risk varies. About 14% of jobs in OECD countries participating in PIAAC are highly automatable (i.e., probability of automation of over 70%). Although smaller than the estimates based on occupational titles obtained applying the method of Frey and Osborne (2013) this is equivalent to over 66 million workers in the 32 countries covered by the study. In addition, another 32% of jobs have a risk of between 50 and 70% pointing to the possibility of significant change in the way these jobs are carried out as a result of automation.”

These findings are consistent with earlier studies that came to similar conclusions.  But the paper also found one deeply unsettling result which has not been noticed before: “A striking novel finding is that the risk of automation is the highest among teenage jobs. The relationship between automation and age is U-shaped, but the peak in automatability among youth jobs is far more pronounced than the peak among senior workers. In this sense, automation is much more likely to result in youth unemployment, than in early retirements.”  This conclusion has profound political implications since youth unemployment is highly correlated with political unrest.

 

I am supposed to be commenting on events of momentous significance, but there are some news stories that are simply irresistible in their stupidity.  Scientists have discovered that the seventh planet in the solar system has clouds that are made of hydrogen sulfide.   Or, to use the common tongue, those clouds smell like human flatulence.  In other words, according to Time magazine, “Uranus smells terrible”.  I sincerely apologize.

Uranus

 

Posted April 24, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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