Solving All Our Problems

     I’ve been waxing philosophical lately and you know how painful that can be. It feels like pulling my hair out … no, wait, that’s literal waxing.
     Anyway, it’s painful.
     Consider these topics:
     
     So what exactly are humans for anyway? First, the Atlantic runs a cover story about computers competing to impersonate humans. Then Watson, the IBM computer, kicks butt on Jeopardy.
     What’s left for the human race?
     The Atlantic story even notes, in passing, that there are people in the medical community who think computers can be therapists. All the computer has to do is respond to input and ask questions.
     Can lawyering and judging be far behind?
     Think about it. Since computers can understand human speech now, all a client has to do is talk to it and get an instant answer.
     No more nights in the law library for humans – the library itself is in (or hooked up to) the computer lawyer.
     Same story for judges and juries – input and almost instant output.
     No more clogging in the court system and no more jobs for judges and lawyers.
     Fast-forward a few more years, give computers some working parts or android bodies, and there’s nothing left for humans. At least nothing useful.
     I have come up with a bright side, though. We can spend our time thinking up silly things for our computers to do for our entertainment.
     If they think they’re so smart conversing with humans, let see computers having a conversation with each other.
     We can ship a bunch of computers to a deserted island and have them vote each off.
     We could make a computer go out on dates and choose a wife on TV.
     How about computers dancing on the wings of low-flying aircraft while throwing jelly beans to passing humans?
     I could go on and on.
     The future for humanity could actually be bright. And very silly.
     
     More is less. The problem with government is that there’s not a lot of drive for excellence or efficiency. The problem with private business is that public service isn’t exactly a top priority.
     The political right hates government more and the political left hates business more and never the twain shall meet.
     Or can they? What if the two sides just switched solutions?
     Let’s have more government and more unregulated businesses.
     Not bigger government – just more, competitive governments.
     Think about it. Most cities have just one police department. A cop shows up when he or she feels like it and much of the time doesn’t help much.
     But what if there were four or five competing police departments to choose from – and they only got paid by satisfied customers?
     Do you think the response time might be a tad shorter?
     Apply the logic to the DMV or any other place with long lines and unresponsive people at the end of them. Imagine being able to go someplace else that needs your business.
     We need as many governments as possible.
     As for businesses, they can do whatever they want – and then can get sued very easily in one of the many competitive, easily accessible courts around the country.
     Actually, a court run by a computer should put the thought of public service firmly into the corporate mind.

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