BW’s chief economist, Michael Mandel, plunked into a chair in my office and provided such a cheery assessment of our battered profession, that I thought I’d pass it on.
His thesis is that we’re going through a jolting disruption and shake-out now, but that those of us who hold on will find ourselves thriving in five years. (He compares it to the shakeout in the chip industry in the mid-80s, from which a repositioned Intel emerged as a giant.) The idea is that in the information economy, the need for reporting, editing and analysis will be acute. Much of this work is and will remain (for at least a while) beyond the range of algorithms. He says there’s no telling which institutions will survive, what shape they’ll assume or which business models they’ll adopt (details, details). Despite such fogginess, the glad words from this dismal scientist washed over me like a tonic.