HN doesn't bat an eye at Uber, AirBnB, Netflix, Amazon disrupting and taking away jobs. But it's interesting once programming jobs are threatened, some become defensive.
An interesting analysis on a world with increased automation via emulated brains of the best of humanity: http://ageofem.com/
I'd love to hear your thesis for this, in a way that doesn't whitewash away the negative effects on the individual. If you're going to claim we should all be throwing ourselves on the burning pyre of progress no matter what I'd love to hear more of a compelling argument than "never a good iea".
There's no reason why you have to think "I'm a software engineer, therefore any attack on software engineers is an attack on me." You could, just as easily, define yourself by "I'm a person. I do software engineering because the money is good right now and that is what the economy happens to need right now, but if in the future society ceases to need software engineers, I'll retrain with whatever skill is highly valued then."
I remember coming out of college, happy to learn about the world, and thinking how sad it was that people's identities were so wrapped up with their jobs that they were broken when their jobs were eliminated. I felt that shift happening soon after I turned 30, where I started to get just a little bit too comfortable and too proud of what I was rather than what I did, and then quit so that I'd have that opportunity to grow again.
Software development has been invaded by mouth-breathers who don't give a shit about what they're doing, and I don't see a way to switch careers as an adult chasing money without becoming one of those.
And I don't meant that facetiously - interpersonal skills matter. A lot more than pure technical skills, because they allow you to leverage groups of people to achieve bigger goals.
I know it sounds cruel to talk about people like a resource or as an animal, but that is precisely how I see society as treating lots of us in the name of a greater good. Under the guise of social-welfare we've increased our numbers to levels that never would have occurred naturally by us simply taking care of the really needy.
So now we're stuck in this predicament. Either we progress our society, and potentially affect a lot of people negatively. Or help everyone slightly-struggling and below out by preventing a technological-revolution so we can grow a bit at a time, and delay the problem for the next generation.