Bring on the Bots

CITY JOURNAL …………. Elon Musk, never one for understatement, recently said that “one of the biggest risks to civilization” is that there “are not enough people” because the “foundation of the economy is labor.” He was reacting both to long-term trends and to the recent lockdown-induced collapse in America’s birthrate.

The Hard Math of Minerals

ISSUES IN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY . …….. The great twentieth-century physicist Richard Feynman once said that “it is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is.” But we do know one unequivocal fact: delivering useful energy services to society has always been about materials.

‘The Age of AI and Our Human Future’ Review: Where Is My Thinking Machine?

WALL STREET JOURNAL . …….. Amazement and alarm have been persistent features, the yin and yang, of discourse about the power of computers since the earliest days of electronic “thinking machines.” In 1950, a year before the world’s first commercial computer was delivered, the pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing published an essay asking “Can machines…

Transition to Nowhere

CITY JOURNAL ………..The leaders of California and China have at least one thing in common: fear of blackouts. In late September, following widespread and economically debilitating losses of power, China’s vice premier Han Zheng ordered the country’s energy companies to ensure sufficient supplies before winter “at all costs” and added, ominously, that blackouts “won’t be…