Zdenek Smith

Tallahassee, FL, United States

About Zdenek

Languages

Czech, English

An idea worth spreading

I believe that education is one of the most important building blocks of democracy, human rights and social progress. I think the most important education includes ethics and morality, science, psychology, philosophy, history etc. Educated individuals and societies have the power of knowledge to prevent or eliminate wars, dictatorships and poverty. Education leads to freedom, happiness and good relationships .

I'm passionate about

Providing access to education
Helping children and youth with basic needs
Promoting and support women's rights
Engaging people with science and technology
Discussing issues and seek solutions

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Zdenek Smith
Posted 11 months ago
Why the USA isn't #1
For some people, America is the greatest country in the world because of the relative freedom. Others will come to America to setup a company because US has fairly good environment for such ventures. America is full of contrasts. You see how some people live and it looks like a third world country. Then you look at Google, Facebook, Amazon and see amazing technology innovation. etc. I think US still ranks favorable in many aspects (and can be one of many greatest countries in the world) but no so much in other (like any other country).
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Zdenek Smith
Posted 11 months ago
Is Information Technology destroying jobs?
Yes I do agree that guaranteeing a minimum income can be dangerous. Myself I grew up and lived in a communist country for almost 25 years. I could clearly see that if people were not rewarded then everyone performed poorly (why would you work harder for same benefits as everyone else?). What I am proposing here is a different scenario and implementation. In the (near) future, it is likely that many people will not be able to find a job because there will not be jobs for everyone. For example, imagine that all buses, cars, taxis and trucks become able to drive by themselves as Google car does. Where do you find millions of lost jobs for all truck drivers, taxi drivers, bus drivers etc? Similarly with other professions: we now have in stores self-check outs, expert systems replacing even knowledge workers. This automation going to increase over time. So what I think needs to happen in such scenario is: a) government starts taxing the wealthy people more and employ 10x more people in health care and esp. in education and/or b) provide people with minimum wage guarantee. This might not necessary be a bad option because many people will not be happy with minimum wage. They will want to have a car, travel, have house etc. This will also ensure that jobless masses will not revolt against the government. and/or c) we pass laws that will force companies and people to share jobs. I see this as a really positive change where people will work 3 or 4 days and have more time for their family, their hobbies etc. cheers
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Zdenek Smith
Posted 11 months ago
Where to live in the 21st century
Yes I agree that for some people transportation is very important and they will choose location based on that. At the same time you can see that many people commute to work using congested highways, sometimes taking them an hour or more to get to work. These people seem to prefer to have a large house and/or larger land that they cannot afford in locations closer to their employment.
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Zdenek Smith
Posted 11 months ago
Is Information Technology destroying jobs?
I think technological progress is unavoidable. However society needs to ensure that technology innovation will not cause suffering and people feel the system if fair. During the last few centuries, new technology lead to job loss but at the same time a new kind of jobs were created. For example, computers replaced typewriters and at the same time created new jobs for programmers, designers, manufacturers, game producers etc. Today the trends seems different. The the current wave of technology is eliminating not only labour oriented jobs but also many office jobs. For example, self-driving cars, buses, trucks, taxes will eliminate millions of jobs. Similarly, in health care computers start to eliminate diagnostic personnel in hospitals, translators and various experts. Some of these jobs will be offset by new jobs in the service industry but can most people work in service industry? Some new jobs are opening in the service industry but will it be enough? The wealthy class that substantially benefits from automation needs to understand that they cannot increasingly accumulate their wealth without affecting the rest of the society. The society leaders need to realize that automation creates enormous wealth but it will naturally decrease the job opportunities for most people. We need either a system where minimum wage is guaranteed regardless of whether one has a job or not, or the society needs to employ increasing number of people for social services such as education system (e.g. have 1 teacher for 5 kids instead of 20) and health care, support of elderly etc. However we see trend in a different direction - governments are trying to save money by cutting jobs. If the wealthy will continue to keep majority of gains made by automation for themselves then they risk having people revolting against decreasing chance of finding jobs and money while automation leads to increasing wealth for the rich.
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Zdenek Smith
Posted 11 months ago
Is Information Technology destroying jobs?
You cannot really say how many residents go to eat out without survey or measurements. There is a large number of people that will go to restaurant if they get incentive, whether it is a discount, good food, friend's recommendation etc. That is why I don't think having a new restaurant will necessarily decrease the number of patrons of the other restaurant. Such systems are really complex based on complex behaviors of individuals as well as the community.
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Zdenek Smith
Posted 11 months ago
Is Information Technology destroying jobs?
interesting thoughts. case 1 and 4 depends on many factors. Having more restaurants in the area can actually bring new patrons to each restaurant because their advertising for given area will increase. Also patrons are more likely to go to an area where they have more choices? If one restaurant offers discount but doesn't provide good food quality it might not impact the other restaurant. This is not sum zero system.
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Zdenek Smith
Posted 11 months ago
Where to live in the 21st century
I think safety is a big consideration by many people as well as job location. Other factors depends on whether you have a family (where is the closest school that has good reputation) or like outdoor outings (how close I can be to a park or mountain without travel to work too far). It is interesting that many people don't consider location nearby their work as a place to live. I think partly because they like to relax and not be reminded of their work? I like crowds at events and festivals but not when traveling to work or going to a facility. Suburb seems a good choice? I also think that depending on what country you live in, you might live in city to feel safer or in a village to escape modern life.