Quickly, the book is about how America's gun culture had to be created. The gun used to be just an every day object like a rake or a hammer. The market demand wasn't there, and it took advertisers and marketers to create the gun market we have today. They make it an object of glamour, one that we fetishize and fantasize and accessorize, new and improved, etc. And it was all due to the Industrial Revolution. Used to be, you want a gun, you go to a gunsmith, make known your wishes, come back in a month. If some wandering salesman tried to interest you in a new and improved gun, you'd probably say, but I already have a gun. This shoots more bullets faster, the salesman might say. Well, that's just crazy, you'd reply. I only need it to shoot one bullet at a time. Anything more is a waste of bullets. And the salesman would go away.
The first thing is that the Constitution was written prior to the Industrial Revolution, and it shows.
That 2nd amendment doesn't mean what it originally meant, and we've had to deal with that, and the way we've decided to deal with it is through denial. Most people have always recognized firearms as really nothing more than implements of slaughter. Some people have a hard time with that. They make up rationalizations about how careful, adult, and mature they are with these things, but they refuse to allow chaos, accident, lapse of judgement, and random chance into their equation of usage.
The least that any 2A proponent (if they are honest, and I am) is admit that to continue the maximum freedom implicit in the 2nd amendment, many small innocents - most especially children - must be sacrificed on the altar of the gun.
And the second thing is, the Industrial Revolution (IR) took all the fun out of everything.
Now, let's be clear, the IR has been going on for 10,000 years at least. We call it Civilization, but finally it's obvious that the S curve which represents market saturation of this method is making it's way into every human endeavor.
Go back far enough, and you still find interchangibilty, division of labor, standardization of parts, machines making machines, all that stuff is typically used to characterized the IR, has been around a long long fucking time.
I can show you middens where peoples of 200,000 years ago manufactured hand axes in assembly line fashion. For that matter, I can show you mechanical cunning that is billions of years old. When it comes to pound-for-pound machine infrastructure and functionality, a good old carbon substrate can't be beat. Carbon tech kicks ass.
We typically think of machines as being made of metal, or more recently, silicon, but good old squishy albuminous slime has done an amazing job as an machine instrumentality for physical manipulation and information processing.
Remember the Riddle of Steel?
It's true! Flesh is stronger than steel. Flesh fashions steel, and what is flesh but an amazingly intricate miniature elves' workshop of cellular machinery?
Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steven Hawking are all worried about AI. Well, quit worrying. It's already here. In fact, it's probably us, especially if you listen to Professor Nick Bostrom, we are probably just a simulation.
Now, what do you do with simulations, provided they are not entertainment? You use them for work.
Hang on a second, back up a bit. One of the complaints about automation and cybernetics is that it takes jobs away. It eliminates real people, and in modern times, eliminates real people in favor of fake people - corporations. How that happened is very interesting but, consider:
"The 1810 census rhapsodized about the dawning industrial age, praising "these wonderful machines" that were vastly easier and cheaper to employ than humans, "working as if they were animated beings,...laboring with organs that never tire, and subject to no expence of food, or bed, or raiment, or dwelling". Nor did they gamble, drink ardent spirits, "scuffle", fist-fight, or lollygag during the workday"For that matter, machines which had once emulated the human hand, could now outperform it.
And how has that changed any? Save that, where once the bodily labors were replaced, now the efforts of mind are made a paltry thing by machines.
Eli Whitney and Colt and Winchester really didn't give two shits about guns. They were not in the business of making guns. They were in the business of making monies, and they did so by building machines that made machines that could make anything, and they happened to choose guns.
How is what Silicon Valley doing in comparison any different? They don't give two shits about AI. They want machine universes that can make machine minds. Building self-driving cars, or robot butlers, or smart homes or kilobit drones doesn't matter. They don't care.
So, question, How do you build a functioning electronic brain? Well, you reverse engineer a brain, and then you train it. How do you train it? Through simulations.
The old analogy of the hyper intelligent computer creating a still even more hyper intelligent leading exponentially to the Singularity is completely wrong. Those hyper intelligent synthetic minds have not the first clue how to build a better brain.
What do they do? They build better simulations. So, video games, already manically real, which have little AI players in them, what do suppose is happening there? They are here already.
But what you find is, like us, they are neither artificial, nor particularly intelligent.