All Your Menial Labor Jobs Are Belong to Us

What’s the secret to solving the social security crisis and the problem of an aging population? Robots! (At least in Japan anyway.)

Okay, not exactly, but it suggests, however dimly, a potential way forward. This sort of story is why I contend that geeks will always triumph over wonks. Wonks tend to think about the future in terms of managing the resources we currently have, and maybe those we’re expected to have if things stay basically the same. Problem is, though, that solutions (and revolutions) often come in unexpected forms, inventions and innovations that even the brightest, savviest policy nerds simply don’t account for — not through any failure on their part, really, but because it’s impossible for anyone to accurately predict what technologies are right around the corner and how the technologies we’ve already seen could be deployed in unexpected ways to solve current difficulties. (Needless to say, this is why I believe that policy should always err on the side of promoting maximal innovation.)