Thought leaders are stupid

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

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I was recently at a conference run by a progressive political think tank. I was surprised and confused by the way some of the speakers discussed AI, “innovation”, entrepreneurship, and technology.

They basically all repeated a number of the same points.

1. AI will be amazing, and will utterly decimate jobs in the future, though it was never clear whether they understood AI technologies or even the economics of automation.

2. Everyone should be trying to become an entrepreneur. Disruption is a panacea.

3. Technology is the future. But, they use about 1,000,000 different definitions of technology and give little heed to social ramifcations of some of the technologies.

4. Everyone in the future will work on a contract basis and this is amazing. They gave little thought to many of the long term benefits usually associated with careers.

5. “Nudging” will be THE tool of governments in the future, with little thought to the ramifications to democracy and liberal values.

There was such a small bandwidth of opinion and argument it was hilarious. They were basically all repeating boiler plate stuff you read in a lot of these “thought leader” books.

The disappearance of any attempt at coherent ideologies now leaves without any actual thought leadership. What we have instead is more like “conference careerism”.

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