Are Machines Really Taking Our Jobs?

A brief history of technological progress and why it's not necessarily a bad thing

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This episode of Economics in Plain English tackles the pervasive fear that technology is making humans (or at least human work) obsolete. How long before the robots take over the jobs we do today -- and is it time to panic? Not just yet, senior business editor Derek Thompson explains in the video above. Decades of film footage from the Prelinger Archive illustrate the steady march of progress in America, from farms to factories and beyond, all thanks to technological innovation. Machines have been doing more and more of our work for us since the industrial revolution, and that's not a bad thing.

Don't miss Thompson's introduction to the project and the previous installments answering the questions, "Why is bottled water so expensive?" and "Are bottomless drinks good business?"

"Something Elated" is courtesy of Tom Cascino of Broke for Free. Check out more of his music here.

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


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