Philosopher, mechanic, and currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, Matthew Crawford has a PhD from the University of Chicago and owned and operated an independent motorcycle repair shop in Richmond, VA. During the middle two hours, he spoke about how the joy and independence of driving could be subverted by a technological future that aims to make us all passengers on an expensive and dangerous self-driving utopia. Based on the premise that humans are terrible drivers, the move to driverless vehicles "is a kind of technocratic project to idiot-proof everything," he remarked. As things become increasingly automated, the more our skills atrophy, he lamented, and we are left as "passive and dependent creatures."
Passenger driverless cars will be expensive, and part of that includes an enormous public cost to retrofit roads with sensors. He added that the purported benefits for better traffic flow would not be realized unless everyone was in such vehicles. One of the big players in the driverless car field is Waymo. Because Google owns them, he suggested the company may be interested in the technology because they would have a captive audience in the vehicle for directed advertising.
He expressed concern over the massive loss of trucking jobs and the potential for hacking if self-driving technology takes over, as well as how machine processes cannot easily replicate a type of "social intelligence" that humans use behind the wheel. Crawford was also critical of the idea of "smart cities" using increased automation and surveillance, as tech firms will likely run them, and not be democratic. Speaking of surveillance, he noted that a number of cities that use "red light cameras" have gotten hooked on the revenue (Washington DC brought in $100 million one year). They have actually shortened the timing of the lights, which can make traffic more dangerous.
The Plot to Remove President Trump
In the first hour, author Jerome Corsi spoke about his new ebook, "The Plan to Remove Donald Trump from the Presidency," which is based on information he received from a secret intelligence source, "Boris." An international plan to destroy the Trump presidency is being spearheaded by Vladimir Putin, in collaboration with China's president, Xi Jinping, Corsi revealed. Just before the Republican convention, Vice President Pence will take steps to remove Trump from office due to mental incompetence-- Section 4 of the 25th amendment will be invoked, Corsi said, with Cabinet members voting on whether to oust him. Yet, these attempts will fail, and Trump will be re-elected, Corsi predicted. He also warned about an even more deadly disease that will hit the nation-- COVID-20, which attacks the immune system.
Open Lines were featured in the last hour.