Return of the Amateur Sleuth–Oh Vey!

This week my latest book, Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort, will appear on Amazon and be available in both paperback and ebook versions. Miriam Lipsky is a 55-year old Jewish widow who lives with her divorced daughter and her autistic grandson. When her friend is accused of murdering a resident of a very upscale Jewish retirement home, she springs into action. While Miriam has published mystery novels, she’s a rank amateur when it comes to finding killers, and that’s what makes the book fun to write and, I hope, fun to read.

Miriam must juggle her divorced daughter and her tendency to always choose the wrong man, a best friend’s overly friendly husband, and a pushy rabbi who insists she allow him to fix her up with a member of his congregation. On top of all this, she finds it difficult to pry information out of the retirement home’s residents. When they do tell her what they saw, she finds some of the might have imagined everything. On top of all this, Miriam must grapple with a stalker. Just when she’s sure she’ll never love anyone again, love comes into her life from an unexpected source.

I think  you’ll enjoy the book. If you do, this might be the first of a series of Miriam Lipsky cosy mysteries. Only you can help me decide.

Murder_at_the_River__Cover_for_Kindle

The Much Too Early 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Forecast

Right now all the drama is over on the Republican’s side, but don’t forget about the Democrats, particularly as we get closer to 2020. As a former analyst, I’ve been sifting through the early signs and have come up with my forecast for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination. You might ask who will run against Donald Trump, but I suspect that by 2020 it very well might be John Kasich or even Mike Pence, depending on the fallout from the Trump earthquake that’s bound to occur before then. So, without further delay, here are the horses in the race wearing blue colors.

The Women

Run another woman? There are positives and negatives to running a woman. I firmly believe that Hillary brought about her own loss along with lots of help from Republican propaganda and Russian fake news, but let’s not ignore the millions of conservative white women who still believe that a woman’s place is still in a subservient place in the home and that any woman trying to run for president must be uppity and arrogant. Remember that Donald Trump won primarily by running as an authoritarian alpha male figure that would take charge. Some psychologists have written that a significant portion of the population sees the world in Biblical terms of black and white, good and bad, and yearns for an authoritarian Daddy like figure. They seem someone to tell them what to do. So, a woman running for president starts with a group of people already solidly against her.

Of course women also start with the support of a lot of other women as well as young people. A woman other than Hillary might be able to offer a softer image that would serve as a nice contrast to Trump’s nastiness. Women also project more compassion and might be better messengers in moving the country toward a one-payer health system, a less expensive prescription drug program, and more support for public education and the arts and sciences while offering a small defense budget.

Elizabeth Warren has squirreled away millions of dollars in her campaign fund. She will face a tough election in 2018 and might be asked to promise to fulfill her term. Assuming she escapes that trap and wins re-election (not a sure thing since her approval rating in her home state is under 50%), she will start with very high name recognition and a reputation for fighting for the average person against big corporations. Her positives include a very solid progressive reputation,  the complete support of the Bernie wing of the party and heavy support from younger people. Negatives include a lack of attention to the traditional Democratic Party’s black and Hispanic voters. Can she excite them to get out and vote?

The other problem I believe Warren has is her personality. She looks and sounds like an angry school marm or librarian. In media terms, she comes across as harsh rather than soft. One talking head described her as “preachy.” While that tone works during Senate hearings when she balls out CEOs who have raped and pillaged the public, it doesn’t work with common people. My concern about Warren is that she will excite the progressives, turn off the moderate Democrats, and mobilize some moderate Republicans to come out and vote against her.

Karen Gillibrand is New York’s junior senator, and a very interesting candidate. She has gradually moved from being a conservative blue-dog Democrat representing a conservative area of New York state to a more progressive position. She has worked with Republicans in a bipartisan way when possible (It’s rarely possible now). She has a much softer image than Warren or Clinton and might not turn off more traditional women. She’s also attractive and has taken a leadership position in working on veteran and gay issues. I consider a definite dark horse in the race.

There are not a lot of strong male candidates, and some of the ones who are out there seem to want the nomination a bit too much. Martin O’Malley, as an example, this former governor of Maryland needs to find a job rather than run perpetually. He comes across like the kid who always runs for student body president but never wins. The question is who would make a great foil against the Republican candidate. Cory Booker has been running for President from the day he was elected Senator. If Barack Obama had never been president, then he might actually have a chance. This country is still even more racist than it is anti-woman. I think Booker is articulate, truly progressive, and heroic in some ways, but he has baggage going back to his time as Mayor. He never has married, and let the whispers begin in the Midwest and South. While Booker would excite some progressives and minority voters, he would not do well enough in the suburbs.

If Karen Gillibrand doesn’t get the nomination, another dark horse is Brian Schweitzer. He’s the former folksy Democratic governor of Montana. He left with over a 60% approval rating in a very conservative state. He has supported green energy initiatives, cuts in prescription drug costs, and other positions that would make a nice contrast with the Republican candidate. He is folksy and quirky enough to appeal to both suburban and small town voters, particularly in the Midwest states that cost Hillary the election. He’s not perfect. He sometimes puts his foot in his mouth, and he has been accused of some ethical violations that I’m sure the right-wing media would exploit. Also, he signed a bill that promoted Montana’s home produced firearms. One other item of interest is that he speaks Arabic because he spent a few years doing business in the Middle East. Can you imagine the contrast with the Republican candidate?

Some of you are probably wondering why I didn’t mention Tim Kaine. I really like the guy and think he has a very good heart and stands on the correct side of most issues I care about. The problem is that he did not distinguish himself in his VP debate against Mike Pence (not the world’s greatest orator). He comes across as very earnest, but he doesn’t cause excitement. Most pundits thought he represented the “safe choice” for Hillary. He checks all the boxes, but he won’t cause people to become excited enough to devote months to getting him elected. I think he’s great to have in the Senate. If the Democrats can win back the Senate, he could really help chairing some important committees.

So, here’s hoping someone new comes riding out of nowhere on a white horse and captures the public’s imagination and their votes. If not, here are the candidates in my opinion.

Donald Trump’s Russian Connections

schatt-72dpi-1500x2000I spent two decades in the research industry, and became a pretty damned good researcher. The last decade I’ve been writing mysteries that include the Frankie and Josh series published by Pen-L Press. The relationship between Trump and his associates and Russia is a fascinating mystery, so I used my research skills and my experience solving mysteries I created to examine this issue.

The result is Trump’s Russian Connections. The book is available as an ebook and soon as a paperback on Amazon. Among other things, I investigate the psychological analysis of Trump by several well-respected psychiatrists and then compare that analysis of the president’s psyche with what we know about Vladimir Putin’s long-term global strategic plan.

If you honestly want to learn more about this issue, I think you’ll enjoy the book!

BookBub and Other Bloodsuckers Preying on Writers

One of the unfortunate developments of the publishing revolution that now makes it possible for almost anyone to publish a book is that an entire industry has sprung up with the single minded purpose of sucking money from writers who are desperate to get word of their books to the general public. Think about it. There are so many books out there now that readers have trouble cutting through all the noise. A new mystery? If your name isn’t Michael Connelly or James Patterson or a handful of other authors with millions of fans, then your book is liable to languish with no reviews and very few sales because people just haven’t heard about it.

Into this vacuum has rushed a number of companies who offer authors the opportunity to PAY huge amounts of money for the privilege of offering their books for vastly reduced prices or even for free in order to attract readers who might or might not review it and might or might not tell friends about the book and might or might not purchase other books you’ve written.

I refer to these companies as bloodsuckers because they profit regardless of how successful or unsuccessful authors are. They are like the early shopkeepers in California who figured out they always win by selling miners tools and clothes. Even if the miners failed to find gold, the shopkeepers won. In fact, it was to their advantage to spread stories of miners who struck it rich to encourage more miners to head west. In effect these marketing websites sell the dream of bestseller status to authors, particularly self-published authors who do not have a major publisher’s marketing department behind them.

The biggest bloodsucker out there is BookBub. This company has hundreds of thousands of subscribers who download free or heavily discounted books. Authors pay outrageous sums for that privilege. Have a cozy mystery that you want to discount from $2.99 to $.99. BookBub will charge you $900 or so. If you offer the book for free, then the cost is around $410. Think about that for a moment. If an author is selling a book through Amazon for $.99 instead of the normal $2.99, then he receives around $.30 per book as a royalty. Even if the book is enrolled in Amazon’s Kindle Direct program (KDP), the author would only receive around $.70. The last time I looked at BookBub’s website, it estimated an average of around 3,000 downloads for a cozy mystery priced at $.99. IF the author was very lucky, the book might just about break even with no profit. Of course the author could offer the book free and pay around $450 for that privilege. BookBub’s website claimed on the day I last looked that an average of 30,000 or so readers might be attracted to a cozy mystery if it were offered for free.

Companies like BookBub entice authors by whispering that visibility is worth losing money or breaking even. That might be true if an author has a series and offers just one of them on sale. Theoretically, the reader might be so entranced by the free book that he or she decides to pay full price for the rest of the books in the series.

Here is why this value proposition breaks down. I talked with a BookBub subscriber. Her response to my question was that she routinely downloads a number of FREE books when she receives the latest blast. She may or may not get around to reading those books. She told me she NEVER pays for a book since she can find so many free ones on BookBub.

As a disclaimer, I’ve actually used BookBub once– I lost money. I tried a few other times with other books but didn’t get accepted for those books. It seems the company gives preference to authors who offer their books through a variety of websites, not just Amazon. The rub, of course, is that while that might be more appealing for some of BookBub’s subscribers, it actually costs authors more money since not going with an Amazon exclusive means sacrificing HALF of the potential royalties.

There are dozens, even hundreds of other companies like BookBub. They offer the author a way to reach potential readers at prices that make it virtually impossible to turn writing into a profitable business. My own personal experience is that writers are better off working with Google and Amazon itself to offer targeted marketing rather than with companies who prey on authors. Think about it for a moment. These companies get paid through the backdoor for the privilege of being able to offer something free through their front door. What a concept!

An Adventure of a Lifetime

Years ago in a universe far away I had a Fulbright professorship to Japan for a year. My wife and I and our son had adventures every single day. Just taking the trolley or subway was an adventure. If you happened to climb up the wrong subway exit, you’d fine yourself in an entirely different neighborhood than you expected.

Life went on after that year, but Jane and I never forgot how exciting it was to live in an alien environment and force ourselves out of our comfort zone. Recently we spent six weeks in Florence, Italy on a Road Scholar Living and Learning Italian in Florence program. We lived in an apartment like the natives, shopped for food and cooked like the natives, and navigated the narrow streets like the natives. Each day was an adventure. Because the narrow streets frequently changed names and because traffic came from all directions, life was very unpredictable.

We found time to wander the streets and discover many new eating experiences. Jane enjoyed gelato almost every day. We took Italian lessons (called Survival Italian) in the mornings and then had the afternoons free. The side tours included mountain towns we never would have found on our own.

Shopping in an Italian supermarket was an adventure in itself. Little did we know that customers were expected to bag and weigh and price their vegetables and fruit. Finding a specific item sometimes proved difficult. Did you know that no self-respecting Italian would eat oatmeal or eggs in the morning? My stomach never did adjust to the Italians’ schedule for eating. I need a lot more than a sweet roll in the morning, and I never wanted to eat lunch past noon or dinner after 7 pm.

I found the Italian television viewing habits interesting. While westerns have pretty much died in our country, they still have an audience in Italy. That includes very old westerns from the 40s and early 50s– real vintage American westerns– as well as the Italian versions. One channel was devoted entirely to American crime shows. Some were really vintage including Raymond Burr as Ironside. I had forgotten that he grew large was a house. In one scene, he barely could fit in an elevator. The Italian quiz shows reminded me of the Japanese versions because of the slapstick nature of what happened to contestants who answered a question wrong.

I noticed that the Italians are a nation of readers — I saw lots of small bookstores, and that warmed my heart. I also heard many Italians express their opposition to Starbucks’ planned arrival. Some had signed petitions protesting that company’s presence. The Italians are fascinated by Donald Trump and had lots of questions about him. They told me they were tired of being the laughing stock of Europe because of their former prime minister–it’s about time, they said, for Americans to see what it’s like to have the world laugh at your leader.

Florence is to me probably the world’s most interesting city. We found more museums and more art than we ever imagined. It’s a very walkable city as well. We developed a certain amount of pride in being able to navigate without getting lost. Even if we had gotten lost, we had learned enough Italian to ask directions. The Italians seemed to genuinely welcome Americans. I never felt the snobbery we’ve experienced at times in Paris.

All in all, I’d recommend the Road Scholar Living and Learning Abroad program. I honestly can’t imagine six weeks in Berlin, but the other cities do sound intriguing.

Finding Your Gift to Give the World

 

The older you get, the more you begin to look back in an effort to make sense of your life and the lives of those around you. I have come to the conclusion that everyone does have a gift, something they can give the world. It is also something that gives them joy every time they give this gift.

So, in effect, finding the meaning to your life does not really require you to visit a guru or climb a mountain to meditate. It does require you to examine what you do well and what that contributes to other people. Someone whose gift is their ability to nurture, for example, might find joy in the teaching or nursing profession. Similarly, an athlete who feels joy whenever he excels might bring that joy to others who experience joy in watching him perform. Michael Jordan is a good example. By all accounts he is not a particularly nice person. His competitive zeal caused him to fight with teammates and coaches. He never found happiness off the court. Still, he confided to reporters that the only time he felt really at peace was when he was playing basketball. His superhuman abilities on the court also brought joy to those who saw him play.

Finding your gift can take much of a lifetime or it can happen very early. My brother, for example, already knew by the age of nine that he wanted to be a journalist. He was never happier as a kid than when he brought home copies of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Arizona Republic and read them cover-to cover. Over the years he worked his way all the way up to Editor, but I never thought he considered what he did as work.

In my case, I loved teaching college students, but left that profession when I became enamored with the computer industry. I spent some time in computer sales. I hated the cold calling, but I enjoyed explaining why the product was worth buying. Later I became a market research executive. Once again, what brought me joy was communicating the value of the research.

So, it’s clear to me that my gift is my ability to explain complex subjects in a way people can understand them. I’ve written several college textbooks and now teach on a volunteer basis. Even when I write fiction, I tend to take on complex issues and try to explain them in the story without being preachy. One mystery, as an example, delves into the complex issue of gender identity and transgender people. A science fiction novel I wrote explores the possible implications of a first contact between humans and extraterrestrials. That’s a subject so interesting to me that I self-published a non-fiction book on that topic.

Maslow came up with the term self-actualization to describe people who reach a level of psychic satisfaction once their basic physiological needs are met. It’s another way of describing people discovering their gift, the unique quality they bring to this world. If you’ve ever wondered what your gift is, then the best way to learn that answer is to start by interviewing yourself and jotting down all the tasks that bring joy to you. The next step is to determine what these tasks have in common. Let’s say you sell insurance all day but live for the valuable time when you’re not working so you can spend time woodworking or carving figurines. Clearly you have a gift for building things with your own hands. Whether that means you should expand your hobby into a small business or find a job that will allow you to spend more of your time doing what you love, you should consider finding ways to spend most of your day doing what you love.

Reinvent Yourself: Advice From a Change Master

My wife tells people she has been married to twelve different men; in reality we’ve been married forty-nine years, but I’ve change careers and reinvented myself over a dozen times. Keep in mind that each radical change meant learning to adapt quickly to new work environments, new responsibilities, a new work culture, and new colleagues who often had different educational backgrounds, different values, and markedly different interests. If you think I’m exaggerating, imagine yourself invited to three different parties. One consists of a group of English professors discussing their latest research on Chaucer, Hemingway, and Shakespeare. Another party consists of police officers, mostly with GEDs and no college degrees, comparing notes on the most horrible crimes they’ve investigated. The third party is held by a group of software engineers where almost no one speaks first. Some people attending that party can go an entire evening without saying more than a polite hello. Some but not all of my other transformations include sales manager, hospital lab tech, computer network manager, futurist, software trainer, and market research executive.

In most of these situations I managed to make radical career transformations without taking major salary cuts. The secret to reinventing oneself consists of knowing how to recognize and communicate your transferable skills, know how to learn quickly, and know how to convince a skeptical employer that it makes perfect sense to take the risk of hiring someone with an unconventional background.

Let’s take the art of convincing a skeptical employer to take a chance on someone who wants to reinvent himself or herself. I moved from English professor to software trainer with a major mainframe computer company by identifying the head of training, arranging for us to have lunch together, and then convincing him over that lunch that someone who was an excellent teacher of something radically different could pick up mainframe software programming quickly and then be able to train that company’s customers.

Let’s take futurist as a second example. I convinced my future employer that I was already doing the job of a futurist (in this case a technology analyst who had to forecast future trends for specific industries) even though I was doing it as a hobby rather than as my day job.

Once in a new job, the reinvention part is not complete. You still have to learn the content required for this new job quickly and, this is critical, adjust to a new culture. When I moved from being a college professor to a law enforcement administrator, my educational background could not have been more different from the police officers I worked with every day. I realized I had successfully navigated that change on a Sunday when an officer came over because he had heard I had engine trouble. He took my engine out of my car, had the cylinders reground, and put everything back together without charging me anything but his cost.

So, reinventing oneself means recognizing your potential for completely different types of work by identifying your transferrable skills and convincing others to give you a chance. It also means fitting in a new work environment and quickly identifying the social rules each culture has.

One secret for those of you considering reinventing yourself is to look to new industries where the barriers for entry are not as rigid. When I talked my way into the computer industry, for example, there still weren’t formal computer science degrees offered. Recently I co-authored a book (Paint Your Career Green) that lays out why emerging green industries can be so attractive for people who want to make radical career changes. These new industries do not as yet have formalized educational requirements. Often you can take a few extension courses or earn an extension certificate to validate your knowledge in a new industry such as water purification or solar energy.

Another secret to making radical career changes is to know how to do research. Most people spend far more time researching a new car than they do researching new industries and key contacts. I write at length about this approach in Paint Your Career Green, but the point is that if you can meet a key contact before you apply for a job, you’re way ahead. If you have researched that industry and figured out how you could definitely add value to a particular company, then you’re even further ahead.

So, with the new year approaching, it’s a good time to do some soul-searching and determine if you want to reinvent yourself. In the current economic environment, it is likely it could take an entire year to make the change. Still, you will be a year older whether you make the transformation or not, so why not consider it?

 

We are De-Evolving Back to Tribes

The more I follow geopolitics as well as the news coming from various parts of this country, the more I believe our world is de-evolving from a complex civilization back to its most primitive element, the element found among early cave dwellers. We’re moving back to identifying with our tribe.

Think about the racism that’s reared its ugly head recently as well as the lament over the Confederate flag being taken down from the statehouse in South Carolina. We have skinheads who identify with each other and hate virtually everyone else. We have southerners who hate liberals and most northerners and certainly hate blacks. We have strict religious groups or tribes that hate everyone who is different. I suspect a lot of the hatred for President Obama came not from his middle of the road politics, but from the color of his skin and the feeling among some whites that he wasn’t one of them but a member of a different tribe.

You have the paranoia of some Texan conservatives who are sure they’re tribe is about to be invaded by the big bad federal government. That’s the same government that gives Texas more money than it takes from that red state. The Israeli “tribal” members hate the Arab “tribe members and vice versa even though if you stripped them naked, it would be impossible to tell them apart once their head covers were removed.

Tribal structure is one reason why Americans are so uncomfortable with the idea of mass transportation. It forces people to sit next to people from different tribes who clearly are different. By the way, this inclination to revert back to tribal structures applies to other groups including hippies, beats, druggies, valley girls, jocks, etc. All dress in certain ways and thus can identify each other. It’s fascinating that ultra-orthodox Jews and ultra-orthodox Muslims both dress in ways that isolate them from the world around them and encourage them to seek out others who share their belief systems. No beard? Clearly you are not part of either group.

The problem with this trend towards returning to tribal groups rather than assimilation is bad for our country and for the world because people in tribes distrust groups they don’t understand. That distrust can easily grow to hatred. Since we have nuclear weapons today and not merely rocks or spears to throw, the results could be disastrous.

Brought To You by Corporate America

The NY Times had an interesting article the other day about a large charter school company run by Eva Moskowitz. The charter schools under her control are ruthless when it comes to forcing kids to score high on tests so that the charter schools look even better. Kids wet their pants because they are not allowed to go to the bathroom while practicing for taking the tests since they can’t go during the actual tests. Kids with low scores are ridiculed before the entire school.

Moskowitz is backed by a venture capital group. Ultimately, I’m sure they envision the program growing into a multi-million dollar endeavor and spreading throughout the country. Let’s take what’s happening a few steps further, though. The GOP wants to privatize everything. In a few years we’re likely to receive incentives from our water company and electric company to use less precious resources. Perhaps if we tear out our lawn, we can have a new fence installed by the water company to hide the dirt pile along with a sign saying “this dirt pile is brought to you by ABC Water Company.” We’ll be able to buy clothing for discounts if they feature logos advertising the companies behind the products. Nike already controls most college sports programs because of the money it gives them in exchange for wearing their shoes.

Cable companies likely will encourage customers to watch certain shoes with incentives while adding charges for those who prefer to watch shoes like PBS since they will expect PBS to be self-supporting. Churches and Temples are likely to start advertising using pictures of couples they have married who have achieved success.

Kids today don’t expect anything they write to be private. In the near future nothing will. Chatting with a friend and happen to mention how you like Allen’s New York Style Pizza? In the future, it’s likely that a voice will cut in and offer you an immediate discount to buy now.

Publishers already require non-fiction authors to provide a social media “platform” in order to guarantee sales; otherwise, they won’t accept a book for publication. Imagine in the near future that books will contain ads, even on the back cover, for products. Why waste valuable advertising space?

Maybe corporate America will be more open about the politicians they already buy. Imagine Senator McCane running for reelection in Arizona at the age of 80 (2016) with the slogan, “the best senator the military industrial complex could possibly buy.” Imagine a large prostitute ring in Louisiana advertising its support for a senator already tied to prostitute visits.

Today Google is being accused of trying to influence kids with its new app that hits them with advertising. Why be subtle? Google already puts items from companies who buy its advertising in the most advantageous position for any search. Why not just say “the following items are listed first because Google believes they are best [and] they have paid good money to earn the positions they have.”

Brother Can You Spare Me a Hundred Bucks for a Robotic Prostitute?

The April 2015 issue of Reason magazine has several fascinating articles on the rise of robots in various forms from robotic driverless cars to robotic maids and sex toys. One futurist believes in two or three decades that 40% of current jobs will be taken over by robots.

Japan (of course) is the leader in a new family of robotic sex toys. One manufacturer products robots that promise skin that feels real as well as well as sensors on the robot’s anal, oral, and vaginal areas. Some futurists even foresee child sex robots for pedophiles, even though they already are illegal in Canada.

This country is turning into a service industry. Kids coming out of college are finding jobs when they are lucky doing such tasks as serving as waitresses and waiters, customer support, retail salespeople, etc. Some if not most of these jobs will be filled in the near future by robots that don’t demand a minimum wage and never call in sick.

Even pimps and prostitutes are doomed to longterm unemployment. Robotic  sluts simply won’t say no or worry about being arrested. They will be able to wear the skimpiest of dresses without feeling cold and a larger breast size is a mere equipment change. Think of most jobs today and ask yourself which ones will be safe in the future. Doctors? A robotic doctor with built in artificial intelligence might be capable of asking you several questions, studying your body, and then writing a prescription. Professional athlete? Why deal with greedy guys who never grew up when a sports owner can buy specialized robots that never will embarrass him by being caught at two in the morning in the wrong place with the wrong people.

Of course as Americans we will have to get over our preoccupation with labeling anyone or anything different from us as bad; otherwise, robots will have to take up residence in ghettos in the less desirable parts of town and face discrimination. Imagine some customer refusing to do business with a dark hued robotic prostitute or demanding that his robot produce citizenship papers before any lovemaking could take place.

What’s the solution besides insisting your children earn advanced degrees to put them in a position to design and program the robots? One answer is for our country’s leaders to realize that without careful planning we very well could ultimately face an uprising against robots that could prove very bloody. A possible solution longterm is to determine what a livable wage is for being a citizen of this country and then providing it to everyone. People will have free time to develop hobbies and vocations. Imagine having enough money so that someone in their forties could spend their time learning to play the piano well for personal enjoyment. Imagine another Grandma Moses having the time to worry about getting just the right colors on a canvass rather than worrying how she would pay for her medicine and food.

Star Trek offers a glimpse of a future world where money is not important and everyone is well-fed and clothed, a post-capitalist society. In such a world people will be judged in what they do with their free time rather than the work they do or did. Instead of asking someone what he or she did for a living, the question will be more like what does that person do to enjoy life to its fullest.

So, when you start to see more and more different types of robots for sale, don’t see them as competitors but as emancipators that will free us from work. Of course the 1% that run everything will have to go along with providing comfortable stipends for citizens; otherwise, the bloody revolt against robots will include a class revolt against that same 1%.