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62 SMT Magazine • June 2017 "These are the times that try men's souls." Thomas Paine, an 18th century activist and American founding father reportedly wrote that two days before Christmas in 1776, and it comes from his short essay entitled, The Crisis. Distributed in pamphlet form throughout the former colonies that had recently been declared the United States of America the war for inde- pendence was more than a year old when it was published. This new experiment in self-government be- gan on a field in Lexington, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775. At that time, the idea of people governing themselves was laughable to most of the world's population and to over one-third of the colonies in revolt. However, a quick assessment of the condi- tion of the country today could be summarized by the same quote, and could have been written last week. The new country was in crisis then, and I would suggest that our country is in cri- sis now. But, instead of shouting "the British are coming," we should be shouting, "the Robots are coming." The intelligent machine labor in- vasion will lead to societal dislocation and dis- ruption. The chaos will result from a significant segment of the population having no saleable skills to replace the jobs that the automation has taken away. Search YouTube for "Fast Food Company Develops Robots," to see an example. Social unrest will ensue. The people affected will demand the government provide for them. Individual freedom and self-government will be traded-in for government welfare. Why is indi- vidual freedom important if the government gives you everything you need? The dystopia that will be created will be fought by a counter- resistance that will develop, but as said while back, "it is hard to vote against Santa Claus." Is technology then the enemy? Does this mean we should become like the 19th century Luddites in England who pro- by Tom Borkes THE JEFFERSON PROJECT Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking and Analyzing Material Cost in the Global Economy, Part 1 JUMPING OFF THE BANDWAGON

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