I don't have enough in-depth knowledge to know to what extent de-skilling is really happening
Anyone who thinks that programming is getting easier due to automation isn't a programmer.
I stopped driving 2 years ago, voluntarily. My SUV cost me around $800 a month in replacement costs. Another $200 in maintenance. I was burning through $12,000 a year in gas. I spent an average of 1000 hours a year in the car, for work, for groceries, for fun. 999 of those hours were spent focused on the road. I hate talking on the phone while driving.
Consider my annual total: about $25,000 + 1000 hours of my time. For the "privilege" to sit in Chicago traffic.
I'm a consultant. I now use UberX every day. I also use public transportation when I'm not in a rush or when someone isn't paying me to swing by.
I spent about $5000 a year on UberX. $100 a week. While I am being driven around, I can respond to emails, make phone calls. I bill for that time. When a customer wants me to visit them, I pass the UberX fee on to them plus 50%. No one scoffs at it. Some customers will realize the cost of me visiting them is more expensive than just consulting over the phone.
I figure I'm $20,000 ahead in vehicle costs, plus I've literally gained another 600-700 hours of phone and email consulting time a year. Call it $40,000 ahead.
I don't take cabs, because they don't like to come to where my HQ is (ghetto neighborhood). UberX comes 24/7, within minutes.
My little sister had an emergency surgery a few months ago. I immediately hired an UberX driver, who took me from the office, to the hospital. He waited. We then took my sister to her apartment to get her cats and clothes, then he took us to the pharmacy. After, he drove us to our dad's house to drop her off, in the suburbs of Chicago. Then he drove me back to work. 3 hours, $90. I can't get a cab to wait even 10 minutes while I drop off a package at UPS. Forget about them taking credit cards.
UberX charges my Paypal account and they're off. If they're busy, they charge a surcharge. I can pick it or take public transportation.
I know why the Chicago Taxi authorities want Uber gone. But a guy like me is their best customer. Next year I'll budget $10,000 a year for UberX, and it will make my life so much more enjoyable and profitable.
Driving yourself around is dead. It's inefficient. Ridesharing is "libertarian" because it is truly freeing.
But what am I playing the most recently? Tabletop games. Pandemic, Illuminati, Fortune & Glory, Lords of Waterdeep, etc. (Though I did buy Space Hulk on Steam after playing it tabletop)
Most of the recently-released PC games have left a sour taste. I loved Skyrim, but after 2 complete playthroughs (1 with all the official DLC expansions), and multiple half-playthrus I'm a little weary of it at 700+ hours. If Elder Scrolls Online was going to be like Skyrim, but with other human-playable characters in the same world, I'd pay all their silly little microtransactions and subscription fees. However, having played the Elder-ay Olls-Scray Online-ay beta, I can see that it's going to be a whopping turd. Not because of bugs or anything; It's just uninteresting cloned drivel. I'm seeing a lot of recommendations for some indie games in this thread and I'll probably be checking them out (Papers Please? FTL?).
I thought the new consoles would open up a lot of possibilities, and they may yet. However, I currently only have a single game for my PS4 (FIFA 14) and nothing else seems worth buying yet. Even FIFA 14 is barely worth it. I still think ProEvo's Master League is better than FIFA's, but I heard the gameplay on FIFA was going to be so much better. Meh. Plus, the leagues and licensing that EA can afford makes it a little better.
Sentient plasmoids are a gas.