Cars. A prominent British auto collector said recently the driverless car will have a catastrophic impact on the auto industry, sooner than you think. Recently a few stories about the twentieth century romance with the automobile may have caught your eye. The son of a collector in France, who’s vintage Ferrari’s, Spyder’s, and Maserati’s were forgotten for decades, and an auto dealer in Pierce, Nebraska who saved his unsold inventory, resulting in a stunning collection of hardly driven Chevy cars and trucks from the 1930’s onward. Nothing says twentieth century like the car. From the Model T and Al Capone’s 16 cylinder Cadillac to the muscle cars of the 1960’s and 1970’s. This is not a technical automotive discussion, more a talk about how automotive technology conveyed independence and freedom for the first Model T owners, all the way up to the baby boom generation. For many, the car IS the American Dream. With student loan debt averaging around 8 thousand dollars, credit card debt and rents increasing, today’s young adults struggle to afford a car, and many don’t want one anyway. What conveys freedom today? The smart phone and the technology and communication it brings. While many are nostalgic for an easier time – cruising the Dairy Queen or main street on a Friday night – disruptive changes technology brings can be frustrating and frightening … but they can also inspire. Today’s new technology actually does convey independence and freedom in ways Henry Ford couldn’t imagine. Today’s industrialists in Silicon Valley and Seattle, worry about artificial intelligence; smart machines some believe threaten humanity. Meanwhile, Bill Gates and those following in his footsteps are rushing to create autonomous software and machines that can do everything from pick fruit to work as medical orderlies. There is a new world coming, and its coming fast. Many of our social institutions were created for the twentieth century world, which will soon be left in the dust, and it doesn’t seem like we’re ready to accommodate new ideas like the Driverless Car, autonomous machines, robotics and many other innovations. What happened to the romance of the open road, and the Plymouth Road Runner? It got stepped on by an iPhone. Now what? (Editor’s Note: I like this podcast because it also includes a lot of memories from my childhood, and some great car songs.) Sponsored by My Complete Basement Systems, and Depotstar.
Comcast Customer Service Sucks. Close out the week with a podcast down in the bunker by the wood stove. A consumer advocate blogger breaks another national story about how bad Comcast’s customer service is. When a woman tried to cancel her cable service, the company allegedly refused to allow to her do so, and sent a late bill notice in which the customer’s name was changed from ‘Ricardo Brown’ to ‘A**hole Brown’. The story was picked up by CNNMoney and the rest of the mainstream media, and now Comcast has once again apologized. “It might take more than a few years for us to get our customer service straightened out” says a company spokesperson, or something like that. How are business models that seemed so great five, ten or twenty years ago looking more and more tarnished? What is the future of television, and cable delivered television. If Comcast is any example of how the industry operates, hopefully there is no future. Former Reagan OMB director David Stockman is on the warpath again, this time saying the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program is exclusively responsible for making people in the top 5 percent income bracket in the US richer. How is this era different from other ‘income inequality’ periods in US History. Does the Cocaine boom in Miami in the early 80’s prove, when business generates money (as opposed to central banks) everyone benefits? Meanwhile, the fastest growing business in the United States isn’t an industrial company or even technology, it’s legal Marijuana sales. Legal weed sales grew 74 percent in one year. Breaking news! The Obama Administration is telling banks to keep quiet about regulations targeted against gun owners and gun stores. More breaking news! More Americans are putting their cash in the mattress. Does that surprise you? And, the Minneapolis Tribune finds yet another negative story about North Dakota. Sponsored by Depotstar.
What’s on Your TV? Sometimes, when you look at the day’s news, it’s hard to tell whether the news is real, or whether it is season 7 of some show on Netflix. So why not talk about what you’re watching on Netflix, HBO GO, Apple TV or some other distributor of content. And why not wonder whether the development of time-shifting whole seasons of TV shows might eventually replace the constant thrum-thrum-thrum of nonsense from the Cable News Channels, TV Networks and Network News Shows? Sitting out on the deck, with a fire and a cup of coffee, enjoying an early fall night to talk about how the lines between what is real and what is make believe are becoming more blurry. Like the lines between real acting and drama, and porn. How do we know what we ‘know’. How do we tell the difference between what is real and what is make believe, when politicos, pundits, politicians and reporters are appearing in movies and movie-like TV shows, which sometimes include situations that are oddly predictive, or reflective of what ‘really’ happens. Compare your viewing habits to the host of the Bob Davis Podcasts viewing habits. Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, The Last Ship, Tyrant, Revenge, Reality Shows, Californication, House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Mob City, The Stand, Weeds, Russian and Swedish Crime Movies, Hong Kong and Taiwanese Chinese Mafia Movies, documentaries, 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s network series, You Tube, Torrents and more. There’s so much to watch, and so little time. Who needs reality? Besides, there’s only so many more evenings we can sit in our lounge chairs with the warm breeze blowing through the windows until 5 AM, watching and watching…and watching more. Season 5 of ‘whatever’ is on! Sweet! Sponsored by X Government Cars!