Final Word from Tuesday, March 28, 2017



If Miloš Zeman is the Donald Trump of the upcoming Czech presidential elections, Jiří Drahoš is Hillary Clinton. No other probable candidate so thoroughly represents the Establishment the way Drahoš does, except of course Zeman himself. Drahoš was trusted enough by the Communists to spend a year in Hanover in the mid-1980s, and he was trusted enough by five Czech prime ministers to remain at the helm of the Academy of Sciences for eight years. He knows what is expected of him, which makes him a natural 4.0 successor to the first three Czech presidents. Drahoš also serves big business by supporting Industry 4.0 and trivializing the partial obsolescence of human labor that this portends. Don't worry about robots, he tells the millions of voters he would need to get elected, because the service sector will make up for the jobs lost in manufacturing. Czechs know better. Too bad for Drahoš that robots haven't yet been given the right to vote. [Czech Republic Václav Havel Klaus Germany]

Glossary of difficult words

Comment to today's text: As one informed reader wrote, "The president of the Academy of Sciences is elected by the members of the Academic Assembly. It might be surprising, but the government has no say in these elections." This was an oversight on our part based on Drahoš's comment that he "survived five prime ministers."

helm - a position of leadership;

to trivialize - to make (something) seem less important, significant, or complex than it really is;

obsolescence - the process or state of no longer being produced or used;

to portend - be a sign or warning that something (esp. something momentous or calamitous) is likely to happen;

to make up for - to compensate for.

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