"Otto?" His/her name is "George."
Airbus guy here. I loved the systems, but knew how to turn them off. I never flew a revenue flight in "direct law", but practiced ILS approaches on one engine with all control computers off.
And like Rich, it would be at least one "hand-flown" leg and one fully automated leg for each sequence of flights. Unlike Rich, my copilots were usually as good at it as was I, and often better!
So here's my opinion on the latest kerfuffle. Keep in mind that I am not reckless or even "brave" - I rarely get outside a very conservative box in aviation.
The Max 8 may have a glitch somewhere. The obvious cure is to turn off the offending system and fly it by hand. (Well, the obvious temporary cure - don't let the airplane fly you). Look at how many successful Max 8 flights have been accomplished.
Also look at the training of the crews on the two airplanes that crashed. I heard that one F/O had 200 hours total time! If true, unconscionable! You will not find pilots flying US registered airliners with less than 1500 hours, and most have ten times that. Experience matters.
If you are flying an automated aircraft, never simply sit there and ask "why is it doing that?" If you do, it will fly you into a mountain or worse. Disconnect that sucker, and assume the duties of pilot in command.
When airliners and trucks go pilotless, I am going Amtrak. When Amtrak goes pilotless, I am staying home. A 200 hour copilot is darn near pilotless - these things need two highly qualified aviators.
Opinion, of course. I would happily fly a Max today.