Let’s face it…work is a mess…for many people, it’s gone and not coming back. And for those left? I wonder how many people actually like what they do as opposed to just getting a paycheck.
Our politicians think they can fix the work mess. Both left and right flail away about work in ways that more match their particular pair of rose-colored glasses (thank you, Immanuel Kant!) but what if what we are going through with work is….a divorce?
Work doesn’t want us anymore; but we cling to it, hope it will still love us, lie to ourselves about how much we still love it, and Work is the party that sees through the self deceiving BS. Neither party is sure where they are going next; they just don’t want to be together, deep down, any more. We say it’s necessary to stay together, but if you’ve ever been that situation, all you can think about is getting out, getting away from that which is causing you a lot of pain, necessity or no.
People getting divorced can’t see an upside when they’re going through it, all they are feeling is pain. But once apart, you can begin to heal yourself and come back around to “being productive”, which, in this case, we have no idea what that means.
I saw this link on the Ricochet site and it is a podcast that discusses many of the things we’ve been talking about here. The shift in society from money from wages to ownership is something that will occur over time and affect not only work, but even things like schooling. I’ve always been amazed that we are still being taught a range of skills that are suited to the economy we are leaving behind and not the economy we are heading towards. It’s amazing to think about how little people understand about running a business and a whole host of skills that are strongly related to how you make money these days. What would be interesting to me is the extent to which we as a country will shift in that direction…what would it mean to have a nation of people who are very, very sensitive to markets, business, etc? As technologies tend to greater and greater specific changes, the technological, the cultural, and the financial will merge. In some ways, (cultural, I think) we are already there. We will become used to subtler and more “bespoke” products, each made just for us with almost as a little effort as mass market products are made today. As is mentioned in the podcast, I can’t wait for the day of owning my army of robots!
I saw this piece in ComputerWorld which says, albeit darkly, stuff we’ve been saying here for some time now. It doesn’t have to be a dystopic view of things, but I’ll bet that’s we will stumble into if we don’t think through the consequences of the path we’re moving down.
I saw this over at Ace of Spades and thought I have to post it here as well! Thus, the revival…
A report from researchers at Oxford has suggested that almost half of American jobs will be replaced by technology. While this sounds mighty grim, the upside take from the article is that this will emphasize the development of more creative and social skills. This would certainly be an interesting society! Full of writers and musicians? Maybe….but perhaps people will be more creative about things they are not about now. More refined solutions to ever more complex human problems!
This also hits an EOW theme….how can we really place psychological value in work when so many forces are trying to take it away from us?
One post in like 6 months is a sure sign this blog is moribund. Upon reflection, I’m not sure that a blog was the right way to approach this topic, which is still in my head a lot. I don’t mean to beat myself up over doing this as a blog; it just didn’t really give me what I’ve needed to have, and I suspect I haven’t really given the readers what they wanted to see.
I’m open to what people want to say about this in the comments and perhaps I can find a way to get back to this as a blog again….otherwise, not so much.
So I was watching Washington Journal on C-SPAN this morning and they were talking about the soon-to-be released 1940 census.
Much of the discussion was centered around charts and data…and comparison to the 2010 data.
Based on the 2010 data the percentage of Americans working in BOTH agriculture AND manufacturing is…12%!
Think about that — only 1 person in 8 in America grows food or makes things….wow.
Enough with “labor-saving” inventions. We need “management-saving” devices. What’s worse, work or the boss?
— P J O’Rourke