[ExI] self driving truck

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Tue Nov 1 02:16:45 UTC 2016

On Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 5:48 PM, David Lubkin <lubkin at unreasonable.com>

> The answer for us, specifically, and for segments of the larger population
> that are seeing the demand for their competencies disappear are maybe in
> asking:
> • Who still needs what I've been doing all my professional life? In what
> ways am I a better fit than a punk kid or robot?
> • What else am I good at that may be of longer-term value?
> One likely answer for me: Write more stories and less code. It's harder to
> find gigs in any kind of engineering the farther you get from forty. But I
> know personally several sf writers who did or still publish into their
> nineties.

It has been observed, in software engineering, that the pace of change is
such that one may see an entire operating paradigm - with complexity such
that it might sustain an entire class of job in other industries - become
popular, shine, and fade away in the span of roughly half a decade.  This
means a newly minted software engineer, on average, must switch "careers"
by the time they are 30.  This is not just an old person's problem.

The trick, for myself and a large number of people, has been to learn how
to learn: the tricks and techniques in picking up a new field and
performing at least adequately, not repeating the well-documented basic
mistakes of others (which requires enough humility to look up and read said
mistakes before one attempts serious efforts in a new field), and acquiring
effective training (most training that costs more than $100 - other than
for parts and supplies that do not come from the trainer's company or
business associates - is about paying for certification, not training)
where practical (if you have time in advance, this is best, but there's no
shame in learning on the job).

But these tricks are not specific to software.  It seems very likely they
can be applied to other fields - moreso engineering and other practical
careers, but also somewhat to management, various types of art, and other
such fields.  (This is not applicable to all fields: by the time one is old
enough to need this, one is typically no longer a prime candidate for
athlete or soldier.  But many speculate that some of those exceptions -
such as soldier - are likely to become far more automated, while others -
such as athlete - may eventually be redefined by biotechnology until
chronologically old people with the right assistance are once more able to
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