Episode-1309- Wake Up the Zombie Apocalypse is Here — 73 Comments

  1. I have several friends who were not of the prepper mindset when I lived near Detroit and a couple who were a bit more so. I was quite surprised when one guy set up a meeting to discuss “zombie apocalypse”. There was the reality of living near a population with poor self discipline and the term “zombie apocalypse” made it abstract enough that they could make some plans.

  2. Whoa, just gotta correct you. I didn’t say I was making the argument about sales tax.

    I definitely do NOT pay sales tax. I buy nearly EVERYTHING through amazon. Its cheaper (deflationary times), its fast enough (I’ve been buying online for at least a decade, and Amazon’s Prime is ridiculously fast), and I don’t have to travel 30 minutes into town, just to find out you don’t have what i need.

    Also Amazon’s selection is impossibly huge.

    • Crap didn’t finish that 2nd sentence. I was quoting that the other individual doesn’t use Amazon because of the sales tax issue (in his state).

    • If you notice, Amazon is starting to take taxes out anyway. At least in Arizona. Its slightly better than having to go through your amazon history at the end of the year and pay sales tax later… (which we had to do for the 1-2 years before that got implemented).

      • Depends on the state, I’m guessing. You made me double check, and noticed that no sales tax. (None for Amazon in Louisiana).

        Also just made an amazon prime purchase that sums up what I’ve said about capital misallocation / wasting of resources. I ordered 4 pairs of shorts that I thought were these kick ass Columbia ones that I have. Best Shorts Ever I swear. When they got here I immediately knew they were made of a totally different material. So I’m sending them back right now (the wife just setup the return).

        So after looking around a bit on their site (columbia) I found out which ones they were. And ordered them. Where am I going with this? The amount of gas used, and time spent for me to go “oh thats the wrong material” (something that could be done in 1 second at a store) is very noteworthy. What did it cost me? Literally nothing but a few days time.

        I keep hearing about how much of UPS shipments are RETURNS for clothes. Mind blowing. Epic epic waste.

        • Did you leave a review about it so others would know? Do you not think the return rate is in massive decline as well. This is still a really new way to do business. Oh and with this type of shipping the truck/plane/etc. was going that way anyway.

    • I live in WA state and the sales tax rate for my location is just under 10%.

      AMZN most assuredly charges WA state sales tax. I still use them for the Prime convenience, but I don’t live in such a remote state that amazon has zero presence.

    • I was making the sales tax argument. And it was really why I don’t use Amazon as much and other sites to keep some of my freedom. Like for Pet Food it would be – auto ship, good deals out of CA no tax, free shipping over like $50 🙂 FYI since you were upset you had to choose between brands.

      I do agree with the sentiment, I was just saying I branch out from Amazon to dodge the taxes. Although, I’m fortunate enough to live in an income tax free state and live next to a sales tax free state (20 miles). My employer is in that state and while I work from home I have to go into the office, so I make a big purchase the week before I go in and ship it to the office (pays for gas) 🙂

  3. I like the diverse amount of subjects being discussed in this show. I also like the how Jack is able to articulate (using a diverse array of examples) how “we’re in the emergency right now” without sounding like a conspiracy nut moron.

    I was also delighted to hear Jack take a shot at matt lauer. That guy is a knucklehead (who, when hosting the Olympics, isnt qualified to hand Bob Costas a towel).

    Anyway, regarding matt lauer, I observed something a few months ago with our “newscasters” that concerned me. Let me explain…

    I like meat and I eat it. I’ve never judged people that eat meat or dont eat meat. But one thing that really pissed me off (I mean, this video that I link makes me physically very angry), is when people laugh when an animal is dying, as if it is a joke.

    Here, those sub-humans from the today show (matt lauer and his ilk) chuckle and chortle as a beautiful looking animal flips out because it has a hook in its mouth and it is about to die:…mps-into-boat/

    Again, I dont judge anybody that eats meat, or hunts / fishes in a sporting manner, but to laugh when an animal is suffering and/or dying strikes me as extremely evil. Club the fish and get it done. Instead they laugh as it freaks out. Would these ‘newscasters’ be laughing if they shared a video of somebody waterboarding a grown dog? Its kind of the same thing.

    These people are morons, and their jobs (and reputations) deserve to fade into obscurity.

  4. Regarding dog food.
    The wife has been buying dog food for our little guy for probably about a year from Flint River Ranch. Reason? We wanted higher quality product, and affordable enough. Done.

    We order literally everything online because so many places here just DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING of quality. It’s very irritating. Its one reason why I’ve grown to LOATHE going to the box stores. Shitty plants, crappy selection, crooked ass wood, crappy tools, never anything in stock, and not enough gosh darn end caps for 1-1/4” PVC end caps… (recent issue).

    Amazon evidence you’re describing right now
    Amazon Creates 5000 Jobs, destroys 25000 in the process.
    I will note there has been an extremely strong inverse trend between number of amazon employees and just about every other positive metric.
    Amazon in Six Simple Charts.

    You’re argument on where you’re going with the coming (already here) retail collapse, is dead frickin’ on.

  5. Fun fact: The zombies in Will Smith’s movie “I Am Legend” were actually vampires.

  6. One point to consider: education moving online is already happening in large part due to the financial advantages that system affords. If a ten-year window is realistic for a 50% cut in ED’s portion of the GDP ( drops from ~6% to ~3%) that doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in teachers by 50%,; the savings in physical infrastructure/maintenance could easily defray the hemorrhaging of classroom educators.

    Having said that, as a practicing high school teacher, I wouldn’t be opposed to dropping the lowest 20% of teachers: separating the wheat from the chaff, as it were.

    • @Robert, mark my words, if you are not in the top 50% you are toast! Likely just for the way you think you are solid in the top 50% though. Don’t think I am putting you personally down.

      You are missing it though, as schools go virtual and they will it is an exponential axe for teachers. One teacher is going to cover 100 or more students, as they get older especially. Many will “mentor” for no charge at all, these will be some jobless teachers but a lot of mentors will have other professions. Every 2 free mentors is 1 teacher hitting the bricks.

      I can’t overstate how real this is and how fast it will move. In 5 years your Unions will be telling you how “something must be done about it”. My response will be good luck with that.

      • Jack, what do you mean by the top 50%? The ones who’s students score the best on BS standardized tests? How are you measuring top 50%? Remember, they kicked Jaime Escalente out of Garfield. It will get real ugly before we get anywhere near what you’re talking about.

        • I mean actual talent as a teacher. You are right though, likely a lot of good teachers will be the first dumped by the establishment. Most will go into the new options and do really well. Many will walk before the blood letting even begins. Soon though (a matter of a few years) after the crumbling begins what is left of public ed will bend over backwards to attract the best folks. There will be a flux period while the beast is dying, both good and bad will loose jobs during this time. The good though will have options, the bad won’t.

    • Fair enough. I can’t comment on union politics, since I have stayed as far away from them as possible; the school for which I teach isn’t unionized. It’s also 100% online. I have zero worries for my professional security (due in large part to diversifying my income streams), but I wouldn’t want to be a typical face-to-face, unionized teacher right now. ; )

      I do know that the unions and associations already feel that “something must be done about it.” In Idaho, we had an initiative that utterly face-planted due to, IMO, propaganda funded nationally by the NEA and teachers unions ( see as an example).

      My state is a staging ground for what we’ll see the nation do in the next decade, due in large part to the disproportionate number of homeschoolers in the state. From how much propaganda they poured into the otherwise politically insignificant Idaho, I’d have to say that the unions know it.

      • “Fair enough. I can’t comment on union politics, since I have stayed as far away from them as possible; the school for which I teach isn’t unionized. It’s also 100% online. ”

        Well, that is fing awesome!

        • The first day of my face-to-face student teaching, my mentor teacher tried to enlist me to make campaign calls on the weekend. I knew right then that the “traditional” teaching profession wasn’t going to be a good fit.

  7. Was reading a news story about the sorts of horrendous suffering inflicted by some dog food companies on dogs in their research labs to make sure their dog food is “safe”. And I thought…this is like a bad dream or a some post apocalyptic (zombie or otherwise) movie. In which instead of just feeding our dogs (and ourselves) actual real food, we let corporations manufacture some non-food substance that we feed them/eat instead. I mean, if we just fed them actual FOOD…we wouldn’t have to worry about it giving them cancer. Made me reconsider what those post apocalyptic books and films are trying to say. Not “watch out for this future”, but “wake up – this is happening now”.

  8. One consequence of the march of technology, is that some companies fail to upgrade systems and the you kids don’t understand the old technology or refuse to work with it, so they call the old timers back. I still get calls and questions (not sure if that is a good thing), on Oracle PL/SQL code I wrote in 1997. I still see job’s for COBOL, and Jesus, some of those guys are in their late sixties. The newer tech however dumbs down some people and they are losing their thinking skills. Nothing like 68000 assembly language to make you sweat a night , not that it is being used anymore, but you are forced to plan things out a bit more, whereas RAD and other tech, allow you to throw one away. Dunno, maybe that’s a good thing

    • To make both sides of Brent’s and Jack’s arguments more clear Access replaced COBOL for making really nice auto reports from a customer database and other basic business analysis work. The stuff most basic coders used to be hired to do. However, most employees and kids right now don’t know how Access works, and more problematic for Jack’s side of the argument, they don’t care.

      I have played around with several of these auto programming environments. They are great up until you need to do something outside their design scope. Then you need the designer/programmer/coder.

      • Actually you really just made mine. I think when you say this industry is going to become a lot smaller people often hear, this industry is going away totally. Not at all! What I am saying is what you said, systems will do more and more but there will still be a limitation that will require a code poet at some point.

        My real point is most of the stuff will be made so simple anyone will be able to learn it in a few days, especially a kid that has been using computers since before he/she was out of diapers. Everyone thinks it is just the same thing, the same evolution we have seen with tech before. It isn’t the evolution this time is both tech and tech user. There will always be a need for good coders, you just better be really good and working on the edge of what is possible.

        In our contracting company we had about 6 guys doing the opposite of the edge. They worked with tech so old that anyone still using it paid them big dollars to do what ever was needed. There were may be a dozen people in the market that could do what they do. We made a lot of money placing them and they made a lot as well, but we were always pushing them to learn new systems. All but one ignored it, they just felt that the legacy systems would last at least until they retired, all were in their mid to later 40s. All still need to work, last I asked finding anything for them was difficult. In 08 when I walked away we could have used 6 more people like them.

        Things always change, but sometimes the change itself changes.

  9. Speaking of decentralization of news/media– I shouldn’t have mentioned to Jack that Amazon is my favorite place to buy dog food. Tried to order some today and Amazon has my brand on back order…the influence, reach and power of Jack’s TSP podcast is IMMENSE. Don’t ever underestimate it.

    As to coming changes in health care, I was talking to an ex-pat the other day on Ham radio, he lives in Panama. He said medical care there is awesome, $24 for an office visit, a hernia operation costs $800.

    Changes to retail, education, currency, energy, media…”world in 10 years will be drastically different”….I can’t wait, I plan on enjoying the shift.

    • A couple of factors influencing the cost of healthcare in Latin America vs the US. A student begins medical school at 17 or 18, fresh out of high school. There is not premed requirement (aka financial barriers to entry). By age 23 that student is a general doctor, does two years of social service (supervised hands on practice) and off he goes to practice or into a specialty. So there are a lot more doctors coming out of universities. Second, malpractice litigation is practically nonexistent, and third, medical school is very affordable.

      Last December I was visiting family in Mexico. I caught a bug, went to the doctor, paid $3.50 for a 10 minute visit and an antibiotic prescription that cost $5.00. On the way home, I realized I’d caught a nail in my tire. Went to the tire shop, got it fixed, paid $4.00. Yes, a doctor visit was $0.50 cents cheaper. The market dictates.

    • HAH….
      There’s nothing worse than Amazon not having something in stock you want… That is unless they don’t carry it at all. The wife and I talked about this recently there are just certainly things that Amazon just has not started carrying (or nobody is using amazon as a platform).

      Some food items just aren’t there. We’re always looking to buy things in bulk and have them shipped. I really want to put in a loading dock at my house so I can start taking palleted items….

  10. On the subject of dog food, you might say our dog is paleo. We buy Orijen Regional Red (grain free). We buy it online also because it is so much easier than hauling it home from the store.


  11. I stopped feeding dry kibble when I had to put down my GSD due to bloat. Since then, I feed my other dog, a border collie, kitchen scraps and if we are really short on that I throw in an egg. Since changing her diet, our border collie has dropped from 80 lbs to 63 lbs as of the last vet check. I call her my other recycling system.

    I remember when object oriented languages were coming out, people were saying it was the end of the programmer. And to an extent they were right, C and C++ put an end to many machine level programmers, most just transitioned, but it also created many opportunities and an abundance of other jobs doing GUIs.

    I say that as more access to education becomes available, there will be more competition, but a lot more job creation too.

    • I agree, we are having a hard time hiring people now who are really good. The industry is changing rapidly. We produce an ERP and are transitioning from Win Forms (finally) out to Web Based technologies. The faster we can develop it, the more product wants. Is there a day when product can just tell Visual Studio what it wants, maybe… of course the world will end then. You will have applications that randomly change, make no sense and perform like crap (I don’t want any of this data to be related, now can you produce me are report that links it all together) LOL

      .NET over C seems to have brought more in automation and unit testing along with complexity of apps. QA didn’t seem to decrease just changed roles to test more. In my line of there is a huge shortage of DBAs. More storage has ramped up the database demand, now with big data, there is a thing as a data scientist. The one thing I keep watching is the cloud. The on premise network is dying quick, though there is still admins needed on the cloud systems. For us, we can’t get IT secure enough resources fast enough to do our projects and POCs, so we started spinning up dev environments and build centers in the cloud. Easier to spin up a VM than buy a new server from Dell…. cheaper too if the project morphs and you need to spin down that server.

      I agree with Jack though, when I was in high school (1997) I remember using, yes Front Page 97 (when it was cool Jack – wait was it ever cool?) to build a website for a department at the state. I’m not sure DreamWeaver was out at that time. A buddy and I charged $100 per page and made over 3K converting word docs to HTML pages using Front Page. Man those were the good days, you could really earn some spending money, and why I respect front page. By 2002, a buddy an I launched a retail company on the web and paid Yahoo stores like $50 a month plus 3% or something like that and it was a full retail store outlet with credit card processing.

      The neat thing is that if you are in technology you are used to it changing and normally are always evolving. Which is probably why I like this show, because I like change and just want to know how to best deal with it.

      • When jack started talking about programming it definitely made me think about how far things have changed.

        I’ve explained to alot of people how big a technology reconnaissance is going on and its primarily due to the fact that computers are small and fast enough now to write the most “ineffecient code” ever on. Before you had to directly program microcontrollers using things like basic, and now, I could write it in C++, or even python. I’ve got two Raspberry pi computers sitting on my desk that are fully functional Gnu/Linux computers (for 25 bucks). I could imbed that anywhere and run the most brutally inefficient code, allowing me to do just about anything.

        No longer do inventory systems have to be with written on proprietary platforms, no longer does it take a million years to write some sort of code base to do basic things, etc etc. The arduino movement is quite impressive. I wanted to make a webapp that tells me if my deep freeze is still running. (hook up a raspberry pi on the same power, have it ping out to my website every few minutes, have an alert on my website if it hasn’t heard from the device in some amount of time). Done. I could put that together in a couple of hours, no problem. No real skills needed.

        • “….primarily due to the fact that computers are small and fast enough now to write the most “ineffecient code” ever on. ” This is why DBA’s hate programmers It’s all fine until you try to scale it with that second user and that table scan looking that 100 million row table just crashes the site 🙂 MTGox anyone 🙂 j/k

          Again, totally get the sentiment, just had to take a jab 🙂

  12. Modern Marvels did an awesome episode on Amazon, check it out if you can. I like shopping online for the things I can’t find locally. Amazon, ebay, Walmart etc. Like Bear Creek powdered soups and meals. Some are available at local stores but to get most of them you can drive around and burn all kinds of time and fuel or you can order it online.

    like going to Homedepot. if you know what you need go ahead, but if you need help go to your local hardware store.

    “robots building robots… now thats just stupid…” Will Smith IRobot

    kinda of like iweb super easy to do… even easier than wordpress….

    remember the video toaster… and the avid certification… I can do better work now with a 5 yr old version of imovie… well not the 3D wireframe rendering that the toaster could do back in 91 on a commador 64 just took a week and a half to do it.

    I don’t even trust the weatherman, I get better forecasting from intellicast .

    Energy is becoming cheaper I’ve seen it in the cost of the PV systems I install, but on the opposite side of that the Utility rate is constantly increasing. But distributed generation is also a key to lowering utility generation and transmission cost.

    Steve Harris’s website sells books on proven old school solutions I have learned a lot from the books he sells… but when you listen to him he

    • “like going to Homedepot. if you know what you need go ahead, but if you need help go to your local hardware store.”
      Just in the past month, two local hardware stores have gone out of a business. The Ace and True Values couldn’t keep up with the market changes and cheap China crap. Course, they sold some of that too. It’s sad as their staff knew much more than what someone from Home Depot or Lowes will ever know.
      I make a living from selling a variety of products on Amazon. It involves lots of research, and is not for the faint of heart. As for IT, I’ve seen many changes over the years from being in technology. What has happened there (the changes) is just starting to accelerate in other industries.
      We now live in a world where if you want to get ahead, you must be constantly learning new things.

  13. All this info about the eroding middle class always reminds me of when I was a kid, a looooooong time ago ( in the ’50s) , my Dad would stay, ” This country will have a revolution some day. And that day will be when they destroy the middle class”.
    When you’re a kid you don’t pay much attention, but that always stuck in my mind.

  14. Modern Marvels did an awesome episode on Amazon, check it out if you can. I like shopping online for the things I can’t find locally. Amazon, ebay, Walmart etc. Like Bear Creek powdered soups and meals. Some are available at local stores but to get most of them you can drive around and burn all kinds of time and fuel or you can order it online.

    like going to Homedepot. if you know what you need go ahead, but if you need help go to your local hardware store.

    “robots building robots… now thats just stupid…” Will Smith IRobot

    kinda of like iweb super easy to do… even easier than wordpress….

    remember the video toaster… and the avid certification… I can do better work now with a 5 yr old version of imovie… well not the 3D wireframe rendering that the toaster could do back in 91 on a commador 64 just took a week and a half to do it.

    I don’t even trust the weatherman, I get better forecasting from intellicast .

    Energy is becoming cheaper I’ve seen it in the cost of the PV systems I install, but on the opposite side of that the Utility rate is constantly increasing. But distributed generation is also a key to lowering utility generation and transmission cost.

    American made pv modules have a two year energy return. In two years they will produce more energy than it took to make them.

    Steve Harris’s website sells books on proven old school solutions I have learned a lot from the books he sells… but when you listen to him he is also dedicated to the internal combustion engine and the smog fuels that power them.

    Do you think Diesel was thrown into the English Channel to drown… I do

    Watch the bit on RX drugs in Dennis Leary’s Douchbags and Donuts show on netflix

    Acid reflux desiease is a horrible condition, vomiting burning acid out of your nose is extremely painful. And yes I will be taking a pill sometimes two a day for the rest of my life.

    I think the middle aged population see’s government as unneccessary but it seams the younger generation relies on government.

    I see state governments telling the federal government to F off more and more.

    thats strange because when i see the younger kids i see smart kids that are to lazy to get the f up and get to work on time, Or cant understand the importance of making a phone call vs sending an email. Or are completely void of basic social skills.

  15. This was a really great show and I hope you keep hammering away at these themes, this vision of the future is the one the prepper community really is not preparing for as much as they should.

    We live in interesting times.

  16. Love your show jack but I have to comment on one thing. Your showing your age on some of these tech predictions. Dude…. speaking sucks. No one wants voice command unless it is in a car. Again… having to talk sucks. Think bigger dude! 🙂

    • Na you don’t get it. Speech is the next big thing, it is only a bridge though. When we speak you create mental relays, this can be mapped. The days of thinking commands are coming but way over a decade off. Speech command will be the way we get there.

      Also if people hated talking my life would be a lot better because more idiots would have their holes closed more often and I would not have to listen to them. People love to talk, it is only learning to talk to a machine that will take time. Not to mention I was talking about video editing. What I described is like having an editor with you and telling him/her what to do. That is coming, both Apple and Sony are already working on it with programs for Vegas and Final Cut.

    • “When we speak you create mental relays”… okay that’s it Jack I’m sending you Dameon and Freedom by Daniel Suarez, you are touching on so much of what the technology in those books predicts as the future based on current trends and prototypes.

      • It also has to be mental. Doing it optically has to many limitations. This work is already being done with prosthetics by the way. It is coming slowly but steadily.

        They have in controlled settings already had men move prosthetic arms by thought vs muscle contractions and relaxations. Not just small movements either, complex movements. The real key is creating feedback so the person can actually have a “touch” in their activities.

        This requires real learning machines though, your thoughts and mine are quite different. In the future likely humans will be paired to a program that can go from device to device for their entire lives. An adaptive algorithm that is unique to each person.

        It is exciting and frightening at the same time. If there were ever a reason to get rid of government the advances in science is a huge one.

  17. About the end of the year, I read about Walmart getting their online business humming. They have set up a silicon valley facility to speed up the upgrade process, and I looked at what they had done and was impressed. They have the advantage of their network of stores for delivery which is putting the pressure on Amazon to get something in that area as well. I look for other big retailers with a good network of retail locations to move in the same direction as Walmart. It cuts the need for Just-In-Time (JIT) store inventory and makes it an on-demand system, and shifts the JIT inventory to the warehouse level.

    I hesitate to order from Amazon some of the time if I am not certain that I will be in town so they don’t leave a package on the front porch while I am out of town. On the few occasions that they mess up the delivery (they including the shipper as well as Amazon) I try to have someone checking, but some of the stuff, like some preps, I hate to have a neighbor pick up, the site to store is a big advantage to me.

  18. Jack, you mention that Bitcoin has allowed the genie to get out of the bottle for other mediums of exchange. My question is why was bitcoin the catalyst. We’ve had to wait a long time for that genie to get out, why wasn’t it silver, or gold gaining traction, or chickens or mice or anything else?. To word it another way, what took so dam long for this to rear it’s head?

    • The legacy financial system is all we’ve had up til now and we’ve grown to live with its limitations. Bitcoin is internet money. It will change the landscape and Jack is correct–it is being attacked relentlessly–in more ways than one.

      The tech crowd GET the advantages of bitcoin, the rest of the population is being pulled along reluctantly. When I have to spend money, I want to get rid of the fiat crap first; I let go of my bitcoin only if I have to. Gresham’s Law: bad money drives out the good (or something like that).

      What an exciting time to be alive though!

  19. I agree that programming is going through some major changes. CASE type tools (Computer Aided Software Engineering) have been around for awhile. I used to use several back in the 80’s. The issue is that most of the view that Jack was talking about was more on the consumer facing world (designing websites, etc). These types of jobs have already been commoditized. but, the bigger market for programmers are in the enterprise. Integration is a huge business and continues to become more and more complex. While we all might have the latest and greatest technology in our pockets. Business still have old micro/mini systems (VAX, AS/400, etc.) sitting out there with massive amounts of data and expense to replace. This is an opportunity that many don’t even go after since the new technologies are so sexy. but making a few bucks on an app is nothing compared to doing a multi-month/year project integrating old systems with new systems.

  20. @Brian, most certainly. Converting an old COBOL health system to web, is a nightmare. You basically have to reengineer the whole process. Problem with that is, by the time you understand the business, you are in a prime position to code it. And I think that is where Jack’s statement comes in. It forces the ‘coder’ to understand the business, rather than in the old ‘Waterfall days’ of SDLC. Today’s developer has many hats

    • @Brent, I agree with you and that is my point. the “coder” is not commoditized with some point and click CASE type development where the programmer becomes obsolete and kids come in and take the jobs. You need to have an understanding of the process and the business which takes both a programmer and an analyst to handle that (hence the job title of programmer/analyst).

      I agree with him that app developers, web site design, etc. are not going to be requiring programmers the way they are now. Microsoft has some great tools where you can design an app by just dragging and dropping objects. but these are very different than integrating a dozen different systems (some ancient, some new).

      And lets face it, for the most part app development is an unsustainable business. A few are making it. but the issue is that when you buy an app, you pretty much demand free upgrades for life, etc. the ones are making it big are the few lucky developers (flappy birds, angry birds, etc), big development houses, and companies who need tie-in apps (movies, books, tv shows, retail stores, and the like). There will be a consolidation here (hopefully because apps cause a walling of data, taking us away from the openness of what the world wide web brought us where any platform with any browser can access the information. Now, we have to have a particular model of phone and install a particular app to get certain data.)

      • @Brent sounds like you are in a good place. I have been out of the corporate world since 1995 (used to work for Mattel Toys back in the 90’s on large ERP systems on DB/2 as well as some custom stuff on their mainframes. then moved into Sybase and eventually into MSFT SQL Server and Oracle). But then left the cubicle world to do startups and eventually create a software company that focuses on integrating all types of systems into a Microsoft ERP platform. Great business and it gets more and more complicated.

        Automation has pretty much decimated the desktop and server support in IT. But system integration is going pretty strong. I am not saying that all the work is being done in this country. But most of the management is since you really have to dig into the business and understand data mapping, etc. Plus, companies are moving away from EDI which is a huge cost. We can do XSLT mappings between different data sources and do some pretty cool stuff.

        While a high school kid might be able to pick up the mechanics. it is the working knowledge of business, distribution, inventory, financials, etc. and how all these different systems work both internal to a company as well as the interface points to their partners, vendors, and customers.

        Good luck with things. While contracting and going out on your own isn’t for everyone, it can be fulfilling. (at least if you are working at home, you can be there between 9am and 5pm for the cable guy, and you don’t have to worry when UPS drops off that Amazon package on your front door since you are home 🙂

    • I am somewhat in a good position. I work for the Provincial Government writing extracts and custom code with our E-Health system (CERNER). Our database backend is Oracle, but I use Pentaho/PL/SQL and Cerner’s custom language. The beauty is that CERNER is huge and if I ever get laid off, I can go back to contracting (I was independent from 1993 to 2007) and I kind of miss it.

  21. You gave predictions but I didn’t really hear solutions? 50% of the workforce is gone and those 50% will probably see earnings cut as supply of workers is greater than demand.

    This episode also left me wanting of what industry is safe or what skill set will be marketable going forward. For a while I thought of going back to school for a skilled medical job just for job security but I’m not sure that is the answer.

    I’m a dam good wedding photographer and film maker and have been for 15 years. But the Millennial Generation as you mentioned has a different opinion and value on things. It used to be well to do parents made the buying decision for their kids wedding. My bookings are down. Technology has made it “easier” for the unskilled shooter to produce an expectable product.

    I’m scratching my head at 40 and saying what am I doing for the next 20 years.

    • Adapt to the market it the solution, in all industries, there is NO SAFE INDUSTRY, period going forward.

      You have a niche in what you do a damn fine required human element to it. Anyone can take picture, staging it is a different matter. Your days of bringing value by light meter readings, etc. are coming to an abrupt end, very fast. Auto setting will soon be better than anything you or I can do with manual settings. Not yet but damn close and it will happen soon.

      What won’t go away? That special shot that people say “oh my God” when they look at it. That special perfect moment when the bride is the most beautiful thing her groom has ever seen, when it looks at her, absorbs the moment and feels as if he is actually seeing her for the first time. The moment when a mother sheds one tear and has the courage to not wipe it away. The human element is what you bring, get better at it!

      And sell it, the words I just gave you should be expanded made your own and said to each prospective client.

  22. I’ve been a bit in the dumps after loosing my job last week. Weve got food and shelter so the interim is great family time. Its good to be an ant!

    Oddly reading these show notes lifted my spirit. I am going to stop at the library and download it after my job interview today.

    As Jack speaks… the less we need “them” the better off we are. Can’t wait for the 30 inches of snow to melt so the family can get out and grow some shit! Some woody beds already in the works too. The futures so bright I need my shades. 😉

    The less we need “them” the better off we are. Looking forward to the melt of the 30 inches of snow so we can start growing some shit! 🙂

    • Thanks! Your reply means a lot to me. It really does. I could drown in my own sorrows but that ain’t gonna do shit for anyone.

      It might be uncomfortable for a bit but nothing worth having comes easy. Plus My wife and I are Army vets, with hard core blue collar roots, so making the most our of little is the just another day ;-).

      Head up, nose down… drive on like a mofo.

  23. Healthcare is changing the whole mentality from the inside out.
    As an Acupuncturist I have young doctors, interns and nurses that come for treatments because they see the effects of chronic medication use and don’t want that for themselves.
    I am not against medication or medicine, I just don’t like the system.
    Today we see an epidemic of C-Diff due to chronic use of pump inhibitors, an infection that can kill you or deplete your whole system; Hospitals forcing employees to take flu vaccines or use a mask if you don’t want to be fired, all because they are participating in a government research and need a high compliance to get a grant.
    What ever you do for preventive measures, and enhance your health, do it!
    You are spot on Jack! Yaaay healthcare….

  24. Just read an article on a news site talking about how the journalism industry (basically the news) is dying. A lot of magazines etc. are just closing down. Thought it kinda matched what you were talking about.

    I’d link it but it’s in German so I don’t think it’d be that useful.
    Yup you got that right, it’s a worldwide phenomenon.

  25. One thing left out of this educational discussion is the value of the K-12 traditional schooling as subsidized daycare. What are all these parents going to do with their kids while they are at work?

    • Well, if you put 2 aad 2 together, if there are 50% less people needed to work, we should either go back to a single income household or have everyone work part time, 1/2 time. If there was a way to get it to go that way (as opposed to just having 1/2 the people totally unemployed) it would be a societal shift, but a good one when all is done. More time for families being together, less income, but more time to grow food, sew, fix things , fish or whatever. Kids wouldnt need daycare, they can be cared for and taught by family

      • The thinking today of either one income families coming back or two parents working less and earning what amounts to one income so everyone can spend more time together, is FAR LESS RADICAL than the thinking in 1930 that within 30 years most families would need two incomes, mom would have to work and pay for day care for an infant to do so and the divorce rate would quadruple and everyone would pretty much be okay with it.

  26. You’re funny. People have been proclaiming the end of software engineers for ever. Every 5 years. Yet software employs more people than then. Look up Marc Andreessen and “software is eating the world”. But hey, maybe Marc is an idiot. Please, PLEASE keep telling everybody that software is a dead-end career, that just gives me more business.

    • Not the end, just a massive decline in body count necessary. Believe what you want man, this isn’t exactly my first time around the block though.

      • I think the disconnect is the target of the programming. IT is a rolling target so hard to hit or pin down. I’ve been in this business for decades and have seen people settle into positions only to watch the position dissolve beneath them and I have seen people who keep learning and have bright futures that will continue as long as they stay ahead of the curve. I do tech support and know my position will die in less than two years. If you are an old school web programmer then the bell is already tolling for you also. As Jack said new tools have been constructed and the work has been all but mechanized, but if you are someone who can program the back end and can create the front end from a thousand disparate sources then you are in high demand. Big data is here, SQL is fading and Hadoop and it’s ilk are now in charge. There are still a few jobs for the best of the programmers who write programs that run on a server, but there are lots of jobs for people who write programs that run on a sea of servers all at once. Google itself is scrambling as much of their systems are designed for the fading system of system ranking and they need to convert or converge into a system that includes social ranking. They ARE big data and have found they need much bigger data to keep up. Also programming is expanding out in hardware faster now than ever before. Programs for computers and small server farms are fading, leading to the seas of computers like Google and Amazon, but also the droplets of computers in the “internet of things” where programs will again be constrained to run as efficiently as possible to lengthen battery life and/or work as a team in swarms to work together. We may even see a resurgence of assembler to get a tiny computer to act as a neuron or group of neurons in a larger brain and then we will need programmers who can work with those electronic neurons.
        I wouldn’t count the programmers out till after the Singularity, which is at least 25 years out even if Kurzweil is right. After that, it is by definition, impossibly to guess.

        • @Richard I agree. programming is going to be needed. but it will be changing (as it always has). we have gone through mainframe computing, to 3 and 4th GL programming, to client server, to distributed computing, back to almost a mainframe model using browser based, cloud, and out to small devices. Big data is key for the big guys. But there is still a need for small scale environments where businesses can run their books, manage their inventory, run their manufacturing line, etc. While many are going to cloud based solutions, there are some businesses that just wont change. it isn’t the tech folks. but the office managers and the like that are trying to maintain their job security by derailing any project to modernize. Eventually they will die out, but it is tough to fire the bosses mom if she is running accounting.

          I don’t know if numbers of programmers will diminish, but they will definitely shift around as technologies change. We have already seen this in the shift between mainframe and client server. Then again in the shift between client server to distributed computing. the number of programmers didn’t diminish. if anything, they increased. they just moved around (and many ended up being found in places like India, Russia, Mexico, etc).

          Integration continues to get more complicated with so many different devices out there and big data needing to be churned down into something that you can understand and take action on.

          also, IoT is going to be huge over the next 10 years.

          those that are on top of it will be able to adapt. others who aren’t will not. The unfortunate thing is that colleges and trade schools are still teaching old school CS curriculum. Kids going into debt and by the time they get out, are already behind. The great thing is that you never need to buy a book on programming anymore. Google and Bing have done away with that.

  27. The only thing I can think of for why someone would NOT shop Amazon is also the biggest reason why people shop at Amazon – convenience. It’s convenient to get goods from Amazon because you don’t have to leave your house, deal with salespeople and lines, and spend money on things you don’t need as you meander through the store. But, it’s INconvenient to get goods from Amazon when you need it now. If you run out of dog food today, you better hope you were organized enough to have a spare bag or else you are going back to the store. Other than that, Amazon and other ecommerce sites are amazing. I guess I’m not like most women because I hate shopping. I hate being bothered by salespeople and I just don’t like walking around in stores. It’s boring to me. When I buy things online, I already know what I’m looking for and I go straight to it. Amazon’s recommendations get a little annoying because then I start clicking on them and adding stuff to my cart, but I don’t have to interact with anyone to get my shopping done. Technology and the internet is interesting though…no single company stays on top for very long which now that I think about it is the beauty of the internet. I highly doubt Amazon will be as big as they are today in the next 5 years, but there will be an Amazon copycat who does what Amazon does and more to take over that spot. I think big companies just cannot stay on top these days. Because of the internet, a company has to be very flexible and nimble to adjust to the rapidly changing environment that instant information creates. Usually, only startups and small businesses are this flexible because they are so small. Once they get big enough to be a big-name player in their industry, they get too big to adjust to the next change.

    I absolutely HATE (and I don’t use that word lightly) O’Reilly, but I happened to switch to his show earlier this week and he was doing exactly what you were explaining – he was complaining about the Internet and how it is the worst thing that has ever happened. He said that because he says it allows people to hide behind their keyboards and spew hate speech (even though he himself spews hate speech almost every episode). I just had to laugh through the whole segment and then I had to switch the channel immediately after it was over. I can’t believe we are watching the dinosaur media dying and they are hurting. Bill hates the Internet because people call him out on his BS and lying.

    Education falling apart….I’m really surprised that people are actually upset about what you are saying about the education system. This must be people a lot older than I because I remember the education system quite well. I’m 27 years old and I’ve been out of high school for 10 years now, but I remember how antiquated the system was and how many freaking bureaucrats we had at our public high school. My favorite high school teacher was chastised for leading too many discussions in class and not lecturing enough. I knew early on though that this was all a system anyways. I knew that all I had to do was regurgitate what I was taught onto a test of which I could forget later. I was #8 in my high school graduating class, graduated college in 3 years (using dual credit in high school and summer classes at a community college), and I was awarded Computer Science Student of the Year by my University. I’m good at school, but I completely agree with you, Jack. The education system is a dinosaur just like the media. Those who adapt survive and the current education system is not adapting whatsoever. In fact, I would argue that the education system needs to be torn down and completely rebuilt every 5 years. We want our kids learning the cutting edge information of what they are passionate about. Some of my teachers used the same lesson plans for DECADES!

    Technology changing…I work at a company that is transitioning from COBOL and mainframe to .Net programming and distributed client-server systems (I’m a SQL Server database administrator). The transition is pretty bumpy for the older programmers, but our workload is not going down. They still have a job but it is being transitioned to a different programming language.

    To me, it all comes down to the theme of this comment and the underlying theme of this TSP podcast. Adapt or die…especially in the age of the internet and instant-information. No matter what age you are, if you are willing to learn the trends and skills of the future, you will have a job. No matter what age you are, if you refuse to learn new things, you won’t last long in your job…unless you get lucky and work for a company like I am that is still using COBOL in the year 2014. 🙂

    • Skeptical on this. It’s a stretch to link together the deaths of people who share very little in common except that they work in an industry that’s somewhat “financial”.