It’s 2023’s NFT. As in everyone’s talking about it, few understand it and the effect will be nowhere near as large as perceived.

Well, that’s not exactly right. Ultimately AI will have a big effect. But right now everybody is SCARED!

Yup, they’ve seen too many science fiction movies. The machines are going to take over the world. They’re going to kill the populace.


First and foremost you’re already using AI and probably don’t realize it. When your iPhone tells you how long it will take to return to your point of departure, even though you didn’t ask it too. Or when it suggests apps to use. That’s AI.

AI makes life easier, not worse.

But what’s important here is the holding back of the future.

Let’s start with the writers, who’ve been screwed since day one, disrespected to boot. If the machines can write the scripts, LET THEM! Because every talented person knows they cannot write good ones. As for cleaning up/adding to an AI-written script… Rewrites are worth a fortune, and take less time. Furthermore, you can’t take a turd and turn it into chocolate pudding, it remains a turd. Put a BMW body on a Ford chassis and it may look like a BMW, be a car, will be able to drive, but it won’t be a BMW.

So everybody’s afraid. First and foremost of losing their job. Makes me crazy, if no one can sacrifice, how can we move forward? All you anti-free-traders out there, want to be like some South American country that legislates the populace must use a domestic product, even though it’s inferior? That’s one of the great things about America, you can buy and use all products. And, since so many are made overseas, they’re cheap (and some expensive too!)

So manufacturing left America. Do you really think you’d be able to buy a flat screen TV for a couple of hundred bucks if we couldn’t import them from China? No way. But, you say, all those people who used to make TVs in America… What are they going to do?

They lost out. Unless they were skilled.

Now don’t confuse what I’m saying with raw compensation issues. I believe in unions, I don’t like all the fat cats making billions off the backs of their low-paid workers and the consuming public. Workers should make more, but we should not guarantee them a job at the cost of moving forward.

Like that legislation in Congress to boost fossil fuels. Talk about a head-scratcher, makes no sense on the surface. In many cases, fossil fuels have already declined. In any event, fossil fuels damage the environment. Did you see the story in the news last week that the next five years are expected to be hotter than ever before? Oh, that’s right, you can’t trust the news, facts are fungible, better to place your faith in God, or some bloviator on an opinion page.

Progress happens. Hold it back at your peril.

Let’s talk about the drum machine. Roger Linn sampled playing and the performer got paid once. Should the drummer have been compensated for further use? I’d argue they should have, I’d say the drummer lacked foresight. I’ve got no problem with royalties. If AI scrapes your information to create something new you should get paid. However…

So for years drummers complained that the machine replaced them.

But a funny thing happened along the way. Many hit records used drum machines, not only to save money, but for the sound. And the records started featuring a drum “programmer.”

But that was back when major labels ruled and their productions were created for hundreds of thousands of dollars in commercial studios.

But then the audio companies came out with cheaper equipment that was nearly as good, if not as good, as that in the commercial studio. And home studios put a dent in the commercial studio business. Many fewer exist today.

And then came plug-ins, where you could simulate sounds of equipment made by legacy manufacturers, some who got license fees, others who got into the business themselves.

And simultaneously we had the internet. And Napster. Which sank recording revenues. So fewer acts made expensive records. And the old acts complained that the old paradigm was being eviscerated. As did the labels, who wanted the CD to be standard, physical forever (and Netflix just canned its DVD by mail division). Everybody wanted to preserve the status quo.

But suddenly, live burgeoned. There are more events at higher prices than ever before. Sure, the mailbox money might not be so good, but tell me about an industry that is unaffected by progress, where its workers never have to pivot, and I’ll show you one where with many unemployed workers.

Like in the legal business. Used to be there were secretaries, who did all the typing. Now the lawyers do it themselves and there is no typing pool. But being able to edit on a computer? A godsend. And all those typists doing a mindless job? They’re freed to do something more stimulating, more productive, maybe in the tech field that displaced them.

And let’s go back to the drum machine. Suddenly, everybody could make a record at home, they didn’t need a live drummer. And we started having hits that were made at home, sometimes by one person. All impossible without the drum machine.

And all the studio gigs for drummers and other players declined to almost nothing when labels stopped laying out all that money for all that time in commercial studios.

You see what you think is a loss is actually progress. And it plays out over time with many innovations.

And with progress comes loss, it’s inevitable.

Cars used to come with vent windows. For ventilation. But then when all cars came with A/C, the manufacturers eliminated them. I liked the vent windows, but I like A/C in every car better. Think about it, you call up an Uber and it has vent windows and no A/C. There’s airflow in the front seat, but you’re in the back. Shvitzing if there’s no A/C.

We’ve got to stop protecting people’s jobs for the sake of their jobs. I’m not saying they should go broke, I believe in the welfare system, I might even believe in a guaranteed income. Then again, if you think education is b.s. and all you can do is manual labor, you’re going to be in trouble when your job disappears. And it always seems to, that’s the nature of progress. And I hate to sound like a Republican here, but that’s your responsibility, to prepare for the future. Unlike the Republicans I don’t want to leave you out in the cold, I don’t want you to starve. You’re entitled to a roof over your head, food on the table, a free education and I’d say health care too. That free education… Can we stop dissing public schools, the ones the Republicans call “government schools”? Just because you can afford to send your kid to private school… And I’d argue that we’d be better off if people were better educated so they could actually understand what is going on, but instead, in Florida and other states, they’re limiting what is taught. How is this progress? It’s just like the fear of AI. It’s the bogeyman. Information helps broaden one’s view, the key is to teach people how to sift through information, but we’ve devolved into an indoctrination educational system, keeping people dumb, why?

If AI can write a better song than the hitmakers, let it! It would serve the public. But that je ne sais quoi, that innovative element that pushes art into the iconic, AI can’t do that. And if it ever can… Once again, if it’s just as good as you it should take your job, free you to do something else. Should we be coal-mining and strip-mining forever?

How about all those people who lost their jobs when Eli Whitney created the cotton gin?

Or the laundries that lost customers with the advent of home washing machines and dryers?

Or the ice companies who were put out of business by refrigerators?

There were people behind each and every one of those businesses, which were put out of business.

So when people keep telling you about the dangers of AI, ignore them, because they’re ignorant. Yes, AI will change the landscape, FOR THE BETTER!

During the Napster era people said no one would pay for music again.

Well, that turned out to be untrue. Streaming came along and paid quite handsomely, but only if you had a big hit. But all the people who used to be supported by record companies complain that the system is unfair. How unfair can it be if you’re compensated based on listenership? There are other ways to make money in the music business, more than ever before. And, the percentage of Spotify revenues going to the hits keeps declining. And everybody who makes music is not entitled to make a living at it. Just because you can put a recording up on Spotify, that does not mean you should be rich.

But you can record nearly for free in your bedroom and put the end result on Spotify for almost nothing and then hype your work all over the web, FOR FREE! Everybody overlooks this.

Fear the future at your peril.

Embrace it. It will be good to you. As long as you are aware and willing to pivot.

Should we have kept CD pressing plants in business?

No, the medium of music delivery changed. Are we going to stop progress across the board?

I say no.

And in your heart you say the same thing.

Comments are closed