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· Meh.
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41,652 Posts
I can see Brexit...that's a much, much bigger deal than the US press seems to understand, since the failure of the Brexit could (probably will) have serious negative impacts on the entire world's economy. So I think it's good that he's trying to keep us current on the impending disaster.
Yeah, but Brexit is over a month away. We've got our own more immediate crises right here.
 

· Registered
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The season premiere was a bit lackluster. At least for me since there was very little new information. I actually watch these type of shows to try and get exposure to topics that I don't know too much about. There's been so much written about Brexit that I feel there's very little material left for an episode.
 

· Give 'em Hell, Devils
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59,087 Posts
John has been making the rounds on the talk shows this week. He's put on some weight and looks considerably older than he did on his last episode.
Colbert commented on the fact that Jon's hair has started going gray in the last few months.
 

· Happily Vaccinated!
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63,629 Posts
Yeah, but Brexit is over a month away. We've got our own more immediate crises right here.
I'm glad he does different topics. The current US/Trump topics have been talked to death on any number of talk shows (TDS, Sam Bee, Real Time, Colbert, etc). And really the jokes are all starting to sound the same. As an American, I really didn't understand all the implications of Brexit and J.O did a great job of explaining how damaging this could be to the world economy.
 

· The Gimp
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16,381 Posts
The show may be a US based show,but it's nice that they talk about events from around the globe.
 

· Registered
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I'm glad he does different topics. The current US/Trump topics have been talked to death on any number of talk shows (TDS, Sam Bee, Real Time, Colbert, etc). And really the jokes are all starting to sound the same. As an American, I really didn't understand all the implications of Brexit and J.O did a great job of explaining how damaging this could be to the world economy.
Maybe it's because I read a ton of magazines and listen to a bunch of podcasts but I feel that both Trump and Brexit have been covered to death. I know about the problems with the "backstop". I've heard the dire predictions about the miles-long traffic jams and medicine shortages. Personally I'm skeptical that the worst-case scenario will come to pass. People and companies will figure out a way to muddle through if a hard Brexit does occur.
 

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Interesting that Oliver is in the "it's no big deal" camp when it comes to automation. Given the advances in AI, automation is moving up the value chain so I'm not so sure the ATM example is that applicable.
 

· I am Groot!
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59,070 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Interesting that Oliver is in the "it's no big deal" camp when it comes to automation. Given the advances in AI, automation is moving up the value chain so I'm not so sure the ATM example is that applicable.
Although his overall point (which he didn't make very well) is pretty good...people have been complaining about technology killing jobs for centuries, but there have always still been jobs... the problem is, the old jobs are replaced by new ones, and the people who lose the old jobs don't tend to be well suited for the new ones.

So it's not a jobs apocalypse; it's jobs evolution. It just feels like an apocalypse to the people who are suddenly unemployed (which, of course, is understandable). And that's the dynamic that some people, especially politicians who feel obliged to make simple, easy-to-understand promises to win votes, don't seem able to grasp. Which Oliver kept dancing around but never really hit on the head...
 

· Meh.
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41,652 Posts
One thing that I remember from an Adam Ruins Everything episode is that the American middle class family good fortunes started right after WWII when Europe, Japan, Russia etc... were in ruins and incapable of competing with American manufacturing. China was an inward looking back water until recently. Now, many other countries can provide the jobs and wares that once were exclusively produced by Americans. China is an economic powerhouse now and there are many countries now where people are culturally willing to do the same job for less pay and longer hours than Americans. Automation along with the gradually decreasing advantages created by WWII are why things are tough for many people.
 

· Registered
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Although his overall point (which he didn't make very well) is pretty good...people have been complaining about technology killing jobs for centuries, but there have always still been jobs... the problem is, the old jobs are replaced by new ones, and the people who lose the old jobs don't tend to be well suited for the new ones.

So it's not a jobs apocalypse; it's jobs evolution. It just feels like an apocalypse to the people who are suddenly unemployed (which, of course, is understandable). And that's the dynamic that some people, especially politicians who feel obliged to make simple, easy-to-understand promises to win votes, don't seem able to grasp. Which Oliver kept dancing around but never really hit on the head...
While it's true that past fears about technology replacing humans haven't panned out, it'll be interesting to see if this time will be different. Will advances in AI finally get to the point where it'll be able to do many of the white collar jobs that exist today? Or will more advanced AI simply augment an employee so they can be more productive?
 

· Give 'em Hell, Devils
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I suspect it will be as it has always been. Automation will take the place of certain tasks, and humans will invent new tasks that aren't as easy to automate. At the very least, all of those machines will need to be designed, built, and maintained.
 

· Registered
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Interesting that Oliver is in the "it's no big deal" camp when it comes to automation.
Even though it's the obvious joke, I totally expected there to be a bad CGI John Oliver with a stereotypical computer voice at the end.

BTW, there was a recent podcast episode, probably on Planet Money, about people going to the last Blockbuster(s). It's relevant to this thread, since that's where Oliver sent the jock strap.
 

· I am Groot!
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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I was pretty disappointed in the robocall segment...it wasn't the kind of deep dive he normally does. In fact, it was about as deep as the network TV stories he spent so much of the segment making fun of...

The whole thing seemed like an excuse to show off how clever his FCC robocall trick was. Which wasn't very clever at all. Definitely not peak Oliver.
 

· Cat God
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17,559 Posts
I was as well since he focused on “legal” Roboform calls from companies which make up a very small percentage of calls. Most are from foreign countries with spoofed numbers.

Those are ones than only the FCC can mandate be stopped by forcing phone companies to verify phone numbers aren’t spoofed. I don’t even answer calls that start with my area code and prefix on my cell phone as they are all spoofed.
 

· I am Groot!
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59,070 Posts
Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Yeah, he only briefly mentioned the real problem, and the solution in "blink and you miss it" passing. That should have been the main focus.

I think he just wanted to do the robocall stunt. It didn't feel like they did anywhere near the usual amount of research for this story.
 
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