Speaking at South by Southwest on Saturday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got a surprise visit sure to delight any millennial who grew up watching “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”
Bill Nye, the TV personality who got his start in Seattle sketch comedy, stood up to ask a question at the conclusion of the Congresswoman’s talk. The “Bill Nye Saves The World” host was there to talk about Ocasio-Cortez’s ambitious proposals to tackle climate change.
“Do you have a plan to work with people in Congress that are afraid? I think that’s what’s going on with many of the conservatives, especially when it comes to climate change,” Nye said. “People are just afraid of what will happen if we try to make these big changes.”
Ocasio-Cortez said the key to fighting fear is “dismantling a zero-sum mentality” in which “someone else’s gain necessitates my loss and that my gain must necessitate someone else’s loss.”
That’s where technology comes in, according to Ocasio-Cortez. In her conversation with Nye and earlier comments, she embraced new technology, like automation, because of the potential to increase productivity without requiring additional human labor.
“We are increasing our capacities for productivity,” she said. “We can give without a take is where we’re going technologically.”
Ocasio-Cortez dismissed concerns about automation displacing American workers when another audience member asked about the possibility.
“We should not be haunted by the specter of being automated out of work … we should be excited by that,” she said. “But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem.”