Saturday, July 22, 2017

God Bless Jim Vance

We moved here in 1975 and Jim Vance was THE anchor to watch.  He was THE anchor for the 42 years that I have been in the DC area.

Mr. Vance passed away and there is a very nice article in the Washington Post about him.

My fondest memories were the on-air conversations between him and George Michael the sports broadcaster for Channel 4 and his stories.  In this video they both lose it when they are watching a model continue to fall on the runway in Paris. One of my favorites was when President George H.W. Bush called him up to go fishing on the Potomac.  We watched him grow as we grew over the years as well.  In 2013 he came out against the name Redskins and I was with him on the change of heart as well.  He also liked Harleys and even though he was very famous in the DC area, he still came across as just a nice guy who happened to be the local anchor.

Below is Mr. Vance announcing he had cancer:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

GaaS: Geezers as a Service -- Quantifying What Older Works Can Bring To A Company

I have an alert on "Sun Microsystems" and I received a link to this article:

               Older workers bring plenty of ideas to the table. Here’s why

The reason I received the link is because of this opening sentence that referenced Sun employee #2 Vinod Khosla:

"Does professional and life experience – also known as ‘wisdom’! – have value when it comes to big ideas and innovations?

You might think not, from reading this quote by billionaire Vinod Khosla, who was one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems. He’s been quoted as saying that “people under 35 are the people who make change happen … people over 45 basically die in terms of new ideas”."

It is interesting that the article actually quantifies what older workers can and do bring:

"A study conducted by Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University and director of research at Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke, found that twice as many founders were older than 50 as were younger than 25, and there were twice as many over 60 as under 20.

After studying 549 successful technology ventures, Wadhwa recaps: “The average age of a successful entrepreneur in high-growth industries such as computers, health care, and aerospace is 40.

“Twice as many successful entrepreneurs are over 50 as under 25. A clear majority – 75 percent – have more than six years of industry experience and half have more than 10 years when they create their start-up.”

I suggest paying attention to a recent move by Google.

They’ve initiated a pilot program to support “a neglected group of innovators in the UK”. That’s right, the over-50s entrepreneurs and idea people.

The Founders over 50 accelerator provides a free platform for “inspiration, training and skill-sharing, to bring the support needed to grow a new business,” Sarah Drinkwater, Google’s Head of Campus, told Techworld.""

I have also noticed that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is hiring more former Sun employees - including Adrian Cockcroft and James Gosling.  Tim Bray is there and coined the term GaaS - Geezers as a Service :-)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Remembering SPARC - Chip Hall of Fame Article In IEEE Spectrum

This was an exciting time for Sun Microsystems when SPARC came out in 1987. I remember being asked to attend the first field meeting for SPARC.  We were called SPARC Ambassadors.  I met a lot of very interesting and talented individuals at this first meeting.  One of my memories was they gave us this piece of paper that had a brass round head fastener (that you last saw in elementary school) to show off the SPARC Register windows of Ins, Outs, Locals and Globals by rotating the upper piece of paper to show the registers.  I was fairly new to Sun at that point, but I still raised my hand and said, "I think there are a few individuals who will be interested in register windows, but I know a lot of customers who we deal with will just want to know SPARC is 10 MIPS compared to a 4 MIPS 25MHz 68020 and they will need to recompile their software if they have Motorola binaries." As SPARC proved, it was not about clock rate, but rather about how much work was done in a give cycle. SPARC was a great architecture.

As the article:

Chip Hall of Fame: Sun Microsystems SPARC Processor

Using an unproven new architecture, this processor put Sun Microsystems on the map


"The Berkeley group, led by David Patterson, called their approach RISC, for reduced-instruction-set computing.

As an academic study, RISC sounded great. But was it marketable? Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle) bet on it. In 1984, a small team of Sun engineers set out to develop a 32-bit RISC processor called SPARC (for Scalable Processor Architecture). The idea was to use the chips in Sun’s new line of workstations. One day, Scott McNealy, then Sun’s CEO, showed up at the SPARC development lab. “He said that SPARC would take Sun from a $500-million-a-year company to a billion-dollar-a-year company,” recalls Patterson, a consultant to the SPARC project."

Of course, Scott was right!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

MTConnect Implementation Guide Webinar - Machine Tools, Devices and Sensors

In this 40 minute webinar, I provide my personal thoughts on the technical and business issues to be aware of when implementing MTConnect for machine tools, devices or sensors.

The impetus for this webinar is the tremendous amount of interest I have seen globally for companies and individuals who are considering deploying MTConnect enabled machine tools, devices and sensors. 

When I think of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) I think of MTConnect.  The reason for this is that monitoring and data analysis begets more requests for additional information and this can be accomplished by the addition of MTConnect enabled devices and sensors in the plant.

Please use the comment section of this blog for any questions or suggestions that you may have.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Round Trip Metric Century OC, MD -- North of Lewes, DE

One of the bucket list bike rides I have been wanting to do was from Ocean City, MD to north of Lewes, Delaware (where I run out of land and have to turn around). I did this last week for the first time and it was 64.8 miles round trip. It was a GREAT day for this ride.

Above is the bridge over the Oregon Inlet in Delaware.

Above is the view north of Lewes, DE.

Above is the Cape May-Lewes Ferry entry point.

Above and below is from Gordon's Pond north of Rehoboth, DE.

Above is the huge wind mill from University of Delaware and below is an old Farmall like my grandfather had that is used for pulling boats in a boat yard I pulled into north of Lewes.

Below is my bike speedometer that shows the total miles.

2017 Edstrom - Franklin OC, MD Family Reunion

In January of this year we received an email from Bobbi and Richard Franklin mentioning that we should try to get the entire crew together for a reunion at Ocean City, Maryland this summer.   We all looked at dates, spoke to our kids, and settled on the week of June 24th.  The Franklin and Edstrom families have been vacationing together since the 1990s and have always had a great time.

This was the absolute BEST week we have had!  Below are photos from this past week and in years past as well.

Above is the big group of us enjoying dinner at Crabcake Factory Seafood Restaurant.  From the left going clockwise is Michael, Tim, Laura, Janet, John, me, Taylor, Bobbi, Julie, my sister Dr. Julie, my father John, my mother Ruth and Richard.

Above is a photo of all us with Bobbi's parents sitting in the front row on the left next to my parents.

Below is the weather forecast and it turned it was correct and we had GREAT weather in Ocean City, Maryland this past week.

Above is the water bottle that I had made at Walls Litho (former boss Sue Walls Print Shop) which Tim and I designed and gave out to everyone who attended.  I thought it would be a nice way to remember a GREAT week.

Above is the view from the Edstrom compound's balcony.  We had a 5 bedroom, 3,000 sq. ft. condo at Ocean Break that we had for the week that was fantastic.

Above, Janet took a photo of Tim, John and Julie in front of the first place we hit at lunch which is The Dough Roller and Dayton's Chicken with Thrasher Fries at Ocean City's famed board walk.  Michael showed up for lunch and the Franklins got in later in the day.

A must dessert is Dumser's Dairyland for some ice cream!

Above is me and my three sons enjoying a drink before we all had dinner at the bar at Hooked the first night.

Above is all of us at Harborside Bar and Grill in West Ocean City.  Michael's girlfriend Colleen was able to make it for a few days after taking the red-eye in from California.

Above is Tim, Michael and John before they left on their 55mph Jetskis at Top Gun on Dorchester Street next to Marina Deck.

Above is my sister with her three nephews.

 Above is Grandpa with his three grandsons and below is my mother with Colleen.
Below is Taylor, Julie, Tim and me enjoying a drink at The Big Chill at Oregon Inlet in Delaware on our way to have dinner at Jake's in Rehoboth.

Below are five photos of the Edstrom and Franklin kids in the early to mid 2000s.  From left to right on the back row is Michael and John Edstrom with Casey and Max Franklin.  In the front row is Tim Edstrom and Taylor Franklin.  Unfortunately Casey and Max Franklin could not make it for the 2017 reunion.
 Above is from 2006.

Above is from 2007.

Above is from July 2007.

 Above is from 2003.
 Above is from 2002.

Above is from 2006 where are all of us including my sister holding onto Tim with my parents - John and Ruth - between Tim and me.   This was down near the lower part of OC near Marina Deck Restaurant.

Above is Taylor and Tim in 2003.

Above is Julie and Bobbi in 2015.

Above is Casey and his girlfriend Kelsey in 2015.

Above is from 2015 with our multiple umbrella setup so folks can get out of the sun.

Above is Bobbi, Richard, Julie and me in 2013.

Above is from 2010 with Richard and the whole crew with Janet next to John.

Above is a photo from a few years ago of Bobbi, me, Richard and Julie.

Below are two videos of Richard and me competing on who could ride the waves the furthest - Richard won one and I won one :-)

Monday, June 26, 2017

J.P.Morgan’s massive guide to machine learning and big data jobs in finance

  J.P.Morgan’s massive guide to machine learning and big data jobs in finance

Ms. Butcher brings out 10 important points and I found #4 of particular interest.  It reminds of the first acronym I learned in Data Processing in the mid 1970s - GIGO - Garbage In - Garbage Out

"4. An army of people will be needed to acquire, clean, and assess the data 

Before machine learning strategies can be implemented, data scientists and quantitative researchers need to acquire and analyze the data with the aim of deriving tradable signals and insights.
J.P. Morgan notes that data analysis is complex. Today’s datasets are often bigger than yesterday’s. They can include anything from data generated by individuals (social media posts, product reviews, search trends, etc.), to data generated by business processes (company exhaust data, commercial transaction, credit card data, etc.) and data generated by sensors (satellite image data, foot and car traffic, ship locations, etc.). These new forms of data need to be analyzed before they can be used in a trading strategy. They also need to be assessed for ‘alpha content’ – their ability to generate alpha. Alpha content will be partially dependent upon the cost of the data, the amount of processing required and how well-used the dataset is already."

 The article does a great job defining areas of machine learning and what you need to know and what you do not. It also brings up the important languages and data analysis packages.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Malware on the Electric Grid

  Jim Finkle wrote a very nice article:

Cybersecurity Firms Uncover Malware That Could Cause Power Outages Around The Globe 

The sub-title is: “This could cause wide-scale damage to infrastructure systems that are vital.”

 Mr. Finkle starts off:

"Two cyber security firms have uncovered malicious software that they believe caused a December 2016 Ukraine power outage, they said on Monday, warning the malware could be easily modified to harm critical infrastructure operations around the globe.

ESET, a Slovakian anti-virus software maker, and Dragos Inc, a U.S. critical-infrastructure security firm, released detailed analyzes of the malware, known as Industroyer or Crash Override, and issued private alerts to governments and infrastructure operators to help them defend against the threat."

 It's interesting that I have had these conversations with friends and they conflate Y2K with grid malware and don't believe it is possible.

What is scary, is how easy it can be to use these malware tools as is stated below:

“The malware is really easy to re-purpose and use against other targets. That is definitely alarming,” said ESET malware researcher Robert Lipovsky said in a telephone interview. “This could cause wide-scale damage to infrastructure systems that are vital.”
The Department of Homeland Security corroborated that warning, saying it was working to better understand the threat posed by Crash Override.
“The tactics, techniques and procedures described as part of the Crash Override malware could be modified to target U.S. critical information networks and systems,” the agency said in an alert posted on its website."

Friday, June 23, 2017

Donald Trump Lies

For all of those folks who don't believe Trump lies, here is a great article quantifying and listing his lies.

Almost everything you need to know about Reinforcement Learning in 1 minute and 12 seconds

This article by at titled:

Atari-Playing AI Learns From Your Mistakes

Ms. Mlot brings out a number of key a very interesting points:
"After some training, the AI managed to outperform humans at pinball and match them at Q*bert and Space Invaders. But the computer struggled with Ms. Pacman and Montezuma’s Revenge (named after an expression for diarrhea contracted while visiting Mexico).

“Atari has recently become a benchmark for testing reinforcement learning algorithms,” Kurin said, citing a 2015 experiment in which Google’s DeepMind created an artificial intelligence platform that taught itself how to play 50 Atari titles.

Read more about the Atari Grand Challenge Dataset in a paper published last week by Kurin, fellow RWTH Aachen University researchers Lucas Beyer and Bastian Leibe, and Sebastian Nowozin and Katja Hofmann of the Machine Intelligence and Perception Group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge."

The video below really drives home the point of reinforcement learning:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Great James Gosling Interview

Canada’s code guru James Gosling is an international star in computing

I absolutely agree with the opening sentence (having spent a good chunk of three years in Canada):

"Most Canadians have never heard of James Gosling. But the Alberta-born principal creator of Java – one of the most widely used and longest-lived programming languages in modern computing – is a hero in Silicon Valley.

Java is the foundational software behind Android, the operating system found on most mobile devices. By some measures, Java can be found on 97 per cent of enterprise computer systems, and the virtual-machine systems Mr. Gosling designed for Java are critical to the world of cloud computing. For those who remember the Y2K computing crisis, Java was the main tool used to repair and replace the broken systems.

There are millions of Java programmers the world over, and some of those people still stop Mr. Gosling on the street for selfies – as if he were a movie star – and then thank him for their careers.
“That tends to weird out your kids. People mostly leave me alone, [but] if there is the wrong kind of conference in San Francisco and I wander around Moscone [the city’s main convention centre], it can be a little tough,” he says. “If I go to places like India or China it can get seriously tough.”

I love the story that James tells about Oracle:

"Then came Oracle Corp.’s purchase of Sun in 2010, a marriage of two corporate cultures that couldn’t have been more different, especially for Mr. Gosling, who had been with Sun for 26 years. “It’s like grabbing your hand onto an electric fence … Oracle is a very painful corporation,” he says.

He recounts an infamous story: Even before the acquisition closed, Oracle cancelled an employee appreciation party that Sun’s founders had organized, even though Sun had prepaid to book an entire amusement park. Sun was the kind of place that had a closet full of tequila, he said; Oracle was not so loose.

“Oracle does not do employee appreciation events. You get one employee appreciation event every two weeks; it’s called a paycheque. My early experiences with it were just, like, really, really, really awful. So I just had to flee. ”"

I am really glad to see James excited about joining Adrian Cockcroft, Tim Bray and other former Sun folks at AWS:

"On May 22, Mr. Gosling returned to the world of big-time software development when he announced he was joining Amazon Web Services (one of the world’s leading cloud-computing providers) as a distinguished engineer.

He has been tight-lipped about what he’ll be doing at Inc., though he posted this intriguing message on Facebook: “Years ago, I worked at IBM for a while and had to go through ‘confidential-information’ training. When I came back grumpy, my manager smiled and said, ‘IBM’s biggest secret is that it has nothing worth keeping secret.’ Doesn’t apply at Amazon. It looks like it’ll be a fun ride.”"

Below is my oldest son John, when he worked for Sun Microsystems as a Campus Ambassador at Virginia Tech, between Jonathan Schwartz on the left and James Gosling on the right.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sun Microsystems Summer Reunion 2017

Summer 2017 Sun Reunion


  • Host:
    Reunion organizers
  • 703-629-0765

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Corvette Racing -- 24 Hours of Le Mans - Amazing 2016 Corvette 1/2 Finish at Rolex 24 at Daytona Recap

With the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, it is worth checking out the Corvette Racing 2017 Prep Video for 24 Hours of Le Mans below:

It is also worth watching the amazing finish Corvette #4 and #3 had at the 2016 Corvette Racing Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Record Rockfish On Memorial Day 2017

My youngest son Tim, his buddy Matt and I went rockfishing today on Frank Carver's Loosen Up out of Deale, MD.

I first went out with Frank going back to the early 1980s with the famous "Fishin Groene's" and always had a great time.

We had a record day today!  We left out of Happy Harbor at 5:50am and by 6:48am we had caught our limit!  I have never hit our limit THAT quickly!

Below are some pictures and a movie.

Above Matt and Tim on Loosen Up.

Above is Tim catching a big rockfish.

Big garbage can of rockfish.

Above is Tim catching one of his rockfish.

Matt, Tim and I holding our prize rockfish!

Tim won the "gold hook award" by Captain Frank for landing the biggest fish for the day's outing.

 Above is is Kathy, who helped out as well and showed us some amazing photos!, with Matt, Tim and me.

Above is Matt, me, Tim, Captain Frank Carver and Captain Bryan Schmitt.

We were also VERY lucky that Captain Bryan Schmitt decided to mate for his buddy Frank.  Just last week - per the FLW - Fishing League Worldwide:  "LA CROSSE, Wis. – Pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Maryland, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 10 ounces Sunday to win the FLW Tour at the Mississippi River presented by Evinrude. Schmitt’s four-day total of 20 bass weighing 61 pounds, 6 ounces, was enough to edge second-place pro Joshua Weaver of Macon, Georgia, and win the top prize of $125,000 in the four-day event that featured 160 of the world’s best bass anglers competing in La Crosse."

Huge thanks to Captain Frank, Captain Bryan and Kathy for all their help

Memorial Day 2017

Thanks to my father John Kenneth Edstrom who did two tours of duty in Vietnam as an officer in the Air Force.  My father is also in the very unique category in that he was awarded TWO BRONZE STARS for the two tours of duty for his countless acts of bravery in his two years in Vietnam.  The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service.  

Thanks to my cousin Chris Edstrom who has done two tours of duty in Iraq and three in Afghanistan and who is doing work back to both countries now as a contractor.  Thanks to Dr. Harry Foxwell, Brad Kirley, Bruce Adams and Paul Warndorf for their service to our country.

History of Veterans Day as stated at

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory". There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11am.

In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. The Congress also requested that the president should "issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) was approved on May 13, 1938, which made November 11 in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I. A few years later, World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States and the American forces fought in Korea. In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word "Armistice" to "Veterans". Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served.

In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) made an attempt to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971. However, this caused a lot of confusion as many states disagreed with this decision and continued to hold Veterans Day activities on November 11. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which stated that Veterans Day would again be observed on November 11 from 1978 onwards. Veterans Day is still observed on November 11.

Harry Foxwell always would send out a nice email to Sun employees (and I imagine others).  Two years ago, he asked the question: Do you know where your veterans are?

Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery:
National World War II Memorial:
Marine Corps Memorial:
US Navy Memorial:
Air Force Memorial:
Korean War Veterans Memorial:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial:
Vietnam Women's Memorial:
Iraq Veterans Memorial:

Department of Veterans Affairs:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Happy 22nd Birthday Java!

A few days late, but this past Tuesday Java turned 22.

There is a very nice article and video by Jamie Mercer at I Programmer.

As Mr. Mercer points out regarding the initial requirements:

"There were five requirements from this experiment. The new language had to: 
  1. be “simple, object-oriented and familiar”
  2. be “robust and secure”
  3. be “architecture-neutral and portable”
  4. execute with “high performance”
  5. be “interpreted, threaded and dynamic”"
I often bring up that I think the phrase, "Write Once, Run Anywhere" was a HUGE factor in its success because EVERYONE could understand those four words versus listing the five requirements above.
I do remember seeing slides on what Mr. Mercer speaks about below:

"The first attempts looked at combining C and Mesa, producing an object-oriented environment in C++, and Gosling even tried creating a new form of C++ which he called C++ ++ -- which is a bit of a mouthful, to say the least.

C++ would be cast aside as it required too much memory and had a tendency to lead to developer errors thanks to its complexity due largely to developers having to manually manage the system memory."

In my office I have a James Gosling signed t-shirt of the 10th Anniversary of Java.  Oh, the good ole days.....

A look back at Silicon Valley’s adolescence -- article by Anika Burgess

The article in Atlas Obscura titled How San Francisco Chronicled Its Own Tech Boom, is definitely interesting, especially the photo of the famous April 1st, 1991 prank of having Scott McNealy's office moved to the shark tank at the Steinhardt Aquarium in San Francisco,

This references an Instagram Account worth following -- SFChronicle_Vault

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Great Day For Innovators - Supreme Court's Unanimous Ruling Could Be A Game Changer

Brian Fung of the Washington Post writes a great article titled:  The Supreme Court’s big ruling on ‘patent trolls’ will rock businesses everywhere.

I first blogged on Patent Trolls six years ago and defined the term and history as well.   I wrote about Tim O'Reilly discussing Patent Trolls and President Obama's Executive Orders to try to curtail Patent Trolls.

This is BIG news because, as Mr. Fung states:  

"It's a big deal, particularly for smaller companies. The court voted unanimously to say that patent lawsuits should be tried where the defending company is based, rather than in a court of the plaintiff's choosing.
Legal analysts say this decision could shift a huge number of cases away from “plaintiff-friendly” districts and toward more “neutral” venues where a defending company stands a better chance of fending off a suit.
“From here out,” according to Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, “defendants can still be sued in a district such as E.D. Tex. if they have a regular and established place of business in it, but the decision is likely to shrink what I called in my January preview a ‘jackpot patent litigation sector.’ "
As Mr. Fung points out, the challenge has been that:
"Until the Supreme Court's ruling this week, patent lawsuits could be heard all across the country, giving companies the opportunity to seek out courts where the odds were tilted in their favor.
This led to a kind of clustering, where a handful of federal courts became responsible for deciding a huge number of patent cases. One major example is the Eastern District of Texas, which is notorious both for hearing a lot of patent infringement cases and also for handing accusers big wins. A 2015 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the court was far more likely to decide in a patent plaintiff's favor than other courts."
 The Eastern District of Texas was infamous for its friendliness for patent trolls. 

I blogged about Patent Trolls many times over the years and here are two in the past few years where I discuss John Oliver's piece on Patent Trolls, as well as a video on patent scams.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The "Insert_Next_Technology_Here" Will Steall All of the Jobs Myth

I always gravitate towards these "technology will take all of our jobs and we will need to pay people to exist because robots and AI software bots will have most of the jobs" articles.

Robert J. Samuelson has another very good article on this myth in yesterday's Washington Post titled, "Will robots steal all of jobs?"

He starts off with:

"We have yet another study that debunks the widespread notion that robots — and other forms of automation, including “artificial intelligence” — will destroy our jobs and lead to a future of permanently high unemployment. According to the study, that would completely rewrite history, which has shown job creation to be an enduring strength of the U.S. economy.
The study (”False Alarmism: Technological Disruption and the U.S. Labor Market, 1850-2015”) comes from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a Washington think tank focusing on technology. The study’s greatest virtue is to remind us that past changes have wiped out entire job categories without spawning a high-unemployment society."
He brings up a few examples that show panic over the years that all turn out to be unfounded.
He references an excellent study: 
These points in the Atkinson and Wu article were particularly interesting: 

"Specific occupations usually grow when it is hard to improve worker productivity. Forty years ago, economist William Baumol described what became known as “Baumol’s disease,” where some industries that could not raise productivity (or at least did not raise it as quickly as the rate of economy-wide productivity growth) would become a larger share of the economy, at least in terms of the percentage share of the workforce. A case in point is the education industry and teachers. It still takes one teacher to teach 30 students in elementary school, just as it did 40 years ago. As a result, the total number of elementary- and secondary-school teachers increased by 1.5 million, or 39 percent, from 1980 to 2015, but as a share of all employment hovered at 3 percent over the past three decades.25 

But technology doesn’t just eliminate jobs; it also creates them, although as noted above, normally not as many as it eliminates. If we look at some of the occupations of today that largely didn’t exist 30 years ago (e.g., distance-learning coordinators, green marketers, informatics nurse specialists, nanosystems engineers, and cytotechnologists), we can see this dynamic. These occupations emerged because technological innovation made them possible. There was no need, for example, for informatics nurse specialists when virtually all medical information was on paper. Likewise, why have a distance-learning coordinator when broadband communications were largely nonexistent, or a green marketer when clean tech was a niche product at best? In 2012, there were 466,000 U.S. jobs related to mobile apps, up from zero in 2007. Indeed, if you examine the fastest-growing U.S. industries over the last 15 years, certainly some are due to technological innovation. For example, support activities for oil and gas operations grew by 537 percent, in part to support natural-gas “fracking,” which was in turn enabled by innovations, much of it with U.S. Department of Energy origins.26 Many fast-growing industries are, not surprisingly, in the IT industry, such as Internet publishing, Internet services providers, software, and cellular communications systems. Others—such as biological products and surgical and medical instrument manufacturing—are also spurred by innovation, enabling new products to come to market (but also by globalization, which enables access to larger markets for an industry that the United States still has competitive advantage in)."

The statement by the authors in the above paper that resonates the most with me is:

"Moreover, if we are going to realize the American dream of continuing progress and increasing standards of living, then the last thing we want to do is to constantly stoke people’s unwarranted and unfounded fears that their jobs are on the techno-chopping block."

The question I like to pose to these individuals that "new_insert_new_technology_here" will kill all the jobs is the following: "Imagine that we have Albert Einstein with us at a bar in 1917 and we ask him to predict out 100 years in terms of what type of jobs will be the most sought after? We ask Dr. Einstein to be specific. Do you REALLY think he would be able to list the hot jobs that are around today?"  Of course not.  It is just as silly to expect today's geniuses such as Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and the other prognosticators of doom and gloom to be able to do better than Albert Einstein.

At the end of the Samuelson article he references the following articles:
Read more on this topic:

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Congratulations Tim Edstrom - Graduating From JMU With Degree In BS in CS!

HUGE congratulations to my youngest son Tim for graduating yesterday from James Madison University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science!

Above is Tim before graduation with his favorite NBA player of all time on his cap #2 John Wall of the Washington Wizards.  Here is a story of photos that John (Tim's oldest brother took).

Above is Tim's name listed in the 2017 Commencement Guide and below is his framed diploma.

 Above is Tim's aunt, mom, grandma, me and grandpa.  Below is oldest brother John, good friend Max, Tim's girlfriend Katie and brother Michael.  It was 52 degrees and raining, BUT everyone was excited to be there!

Above is the video of Tim receiving his diploma!

Tim waving just after he got his degree.

Above we had a GREAT lunch at Tim and our favorite restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia - Edelweiss German Restaurant.

 Above is Tim with the cake grandma made him.

Tim with grandma and grandpa.

Tim with his godparents - his aunt and Jeff.

Julie and and me with Tim.
Below is Michael, John, Katie, Tim, me and Julie.

Above is John Magnuson - Tim's long time buddy - they lived behind us and knew each other since they were two years old.
 Above is Tim and Katie.
 Above is John, Tim and Max - doing something :-)
His brothers lifting Tim to victory for his degree!
Below is us cracking up on a comment that grandma made.