11 min

There is No Alternative: Doctor Who, "Kerblam!", and the Specter of Technological Unemployment Literate Machine

    • Society & Culture

In the 2018 Doctor Who episode “Kerblam!”, something is killing workers off at a far future Amazon analogue. Is it Capitalism? Or is the system not the problem? In this episode, Doctor Who is used as a lens to understand the history of technological unemployment and what it means for our automated future.
Bibliography and Further Reading
 
Who Were the Luddites from History.com: https://www.history.com/news/who-were-the-luddites
 
Article in the Guardian about Doctor Who’s Issues with ‘Wokeness’: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jan/08/doctor-who-more-offensive-than-ever-jodie-whittaker-pc
 
Article on CNBC about McKinsey & Company’s report about automation: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/29/one-third-of-us-workers-could-be-jobless-by-2030-due-to-automation.html
 
Article on Quartz abou technological unemployment including description of the White House report: https://qz.com/895681/silicon-valley-is-right-our-jobs-are-already-disappearing-due-to-automation/
 
The White House report on Automation written in the Obama era: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/documents/Artificial-Intelligence-Automation-Economy.PDF
 
Article about the Origins of the 40-hour Workweek: https://www.clockspot.com/blog/working-40-hour-week/
 
Article in the Guardian about Keynes and the workweek of the future: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2008/sep/01/economics
 
Article in Vox about how the wealthy have taken all the productivity growth for themselves: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/8/16112368/piketty-saez-zucman-income-growth-inequality-stagnation-chart
 
Forbes article about Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck: https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2019/01/11/live-paycheck-to-paycheck-government-shutdown/#6d9e46404f10
 
Huffpost article about American being unable to afford an emergency: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/most-americans-cant-afford-to-pay-for-even-a-minor-emergency_n_5a68e67ae4b0022830090e5b
 
Forbes article about people using GoFundMe to cover healthcare costs: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynmcclanahan/2018/08/13/using-gofundme-to-attack-health-care-costs/#30b08b6f2859
 
Information about Universal Basic Assets, an alternative to Universal Basic Income that gives people greater power over the means of production in addition to money: http://www.iftf.org/uba/
 
Wikipedia's article on Neoliberalism (not to be confused with American Liberalism or Classical Liberalism which are three different things): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism
 
Thatcher and the phrase "there's simply no alternative” on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_is_no_alternative

In the 2018 Doctor Who episode “Kerblam!”, something is killing workers off at a far future Amazon analogue. Is it Capitalism? Or is the system not the problem? In this episode, Doctor Who is used as a lens to understand the history of technological unemployment and what it means for our automated future.
Bibliography and Further Reading
 
Who Were the Luddites from History.com: https://www.history.com/news/who-were-the-luddites
 
Article in the Guardian about Doctor Who’s Issues with ‘Wokeness’: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jan/08/doctor-who-more-offensive-than-ever-jodie-whittaker-pc
 
Article on CNBC about McKinsey & Company’s report about automation: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/29/one-third-of-us-workers-could-be-jobless-by-2030-due-to-automation.html
 
Article on Quartz abou technological unemployment including description of the White House report: https://qz.com/895681/silicon-valley-is-right-our-jobs-are-already-disappearing-due-to-automation/
 
The White House report on Automation written in the Obama era: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/documents/Artificial-Intelligence-Automation-Economy.PDF
 
Article about the Origins of the 40-hour Workweek: https://www.clockspot.com/blog/working-40-hour-week/
 
Article in the Guardian about Keynes and the workweek of the future: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2008/sep/01/economics
 
Article in Vox about how the wealthy have taken all the productivity growth for themselves: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/8/16112368/piketty-saez-zucman-income-growth-inequality-stagnation-chart
 
Forbes article about Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck: https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2019/01/11/live-paycheck-to-paycheck-government-shutdown/#6d9e46404f10
 
Huffpost article about American being unable to afford an emergency: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/most-americans-cant-afford-to-pay-for-even-a-minor-emergency_n_5a68e67ae4b0022830090e5b
 
Forbes article about people using GoFundMe to cover healthcare costs: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynmcclanahan/2018/08/13/using-gofundme-to-attack-health-care-costs/#30b08b6f2859
 
Information about Universal Basic Assets, an alternative to Universal Basic Income that gives people greater power over the means of production in addition to money: http://www.iftf.org/uba/
 
Wikipedia's article on Neoliberalism (not to be confused with American Liberalism or Classical Liberalism which are three different things): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism
 
Thatcher and the phrase "there's simply no alternative” on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_is_no_alternative

11 min

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