Saturday, May 2, 2015

Will working for the Rat Race become obsolete?

Or will a new emergent, more powerful, even richer class continue to thrive?

I sound like a paranoid whack-a-doo, but please, allow me to clarify, this wave of paranoia swept over me months ago when in class we had to watch this:

And then were assigned to research computerisation levels of certain jobs. I will leave it up to the intrepid reader to wonder what level of automation their job in 20 years will have, it's a concept I find, frankly-terrifying.

The reality is that the Industrial Revolution replaced jobs and displaced many workers. The infinite possibility of technological application is inescapable, no matter your job. A very large portion of society (and that most dreaded of terms "the economy) rely on "low-skilled" work such as Bartending or working as a Barista. (Please do not take this as a value judgement, merely a point of comparison).

The thing I've got a problem with is, with every new technology that comes along and promises to give us "more time" and "freedom", freedom from chopping vegetables now that the Zoodler is here is not freedom from the most mundane never-ending task of all: The 9-5 rat race, working for the man, that almighty symbol of occupation which has become to be revered and worshipped more than anything else.

How shall work remain a moral currency with the increasing automation of jobs and an increasing population, how are people going to be able to deal with this change?

If there is one thing that firms can be relied on to do, it is to cut costs, and the most replaceable part of a workplace is: the worker.

A Utopian dream that will be less hours, less drudgery, less soul-sucking work for those unlucky enough to despise their jobs: is further away than ever. As we increase replacement of human workers so businesses can broaden their bottom line, what about the human cost? Will the entire concept of the rat race become obsolete? Or will it mean even MORE working hours, higher competition for less meaningful work, as automatons take away much needed employment? The persistent myth is out there that with more machines it is less work for us, and I hold the opposite to be true, with more machines, it will be more work for us, in a few technological generations time, such as the grandiose promises of the Industrial Revolution, we will be working harder than ever before.

I would love to hear some thoughts on this

Thank you to CGP Grey for such an astute to the point video


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