Dan Shipper says: “They said the same things about typewriters,” in reference to current concerns about generative AI.

Yes! I’ve said this often. “How dare you get this typeset! Don’t you think I can read handwriting?” (True thing some old-timey person once said).

And let’s not forget those rooms full of accountants and clerks adding up numbers with mechanical calcualtors or, even worse, by hand. Yes, I’m sure those people miss doing those fun jobs.

In general, new technology does not take away jobs so much as it gets rid of the most tedious jobs and gives people something a bit more interesting. Is typing things into a spreadsheet the best job in the world? Probably not. But it sure beats spending the day adding up thousands of numbers a day while hunched over a workbench.

Bonus points: at the advent of the locomotive, some claimed passengers would suffocate when going over the herefofore unbroken speed barrier of twenty miles/hour.

And let us not forget Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878: “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.”

And don’t get me started on heavier-than-air flight.