Category Archives: This is how I see it

Just asking… #5 – Is your next boss a robot?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Some people are worried that in some not so distant future robots will take their jobs away, and that in whatever jobs are still left, humans will be bossed around by algorithms and machines. Personally I think those people hugely underestimate human resourcefulness, but still I’d like to pass on a thought to those more worrying-natured: why on earth do you think this will only happen in the future? It is already happening right here, right now! Just look around: every day your smartphone sends you (with a unrelenting sequence of notifications and sounds) on a hunt for power to recharge it. When you have done that and then sit down to enjoy a movie, the dishwasher starts squeaking – until you get up and push a button to stop it. And when you have just settled down again and hit the play-button, there is the dryer informing you that you need to get up again and fold some laundry…

So, is your next boss a machine? Or is it your current one? Just asking…

The WTF? way of looking at the future

You can earn a living by cleaning people’s houses – unless it happens to be the house you live in yourself. You can make money by taking care of children – unless they happen to be your own. You can get paid for garden work – unless it’s in your own garden.

But that’s just the way our society is organized: some of the work done by some people is considered to be a job, which gets rewarded with money, other work done by other people is not. Is that a good way? Is that a fair way? An increasing number of people are asking these questions. In his book WTF – What’s The Future and Why It’s up To Us Tim O’Reilly is dealing with this theme, along with a lot of other topics that are related to the way we have come to organize our society, and what might be the possible and/or desirable future for it. (Amazing, wonderful book: buy it, borrow it, whatever, but read it and then give it a 5-star review- actually: they should come up with 6-star reviews for books like this one.)

Also the idea of an unconditional  (or universal) basic income (UBI) is mentioned, especially in the context that there simply might, in the relative near future, not be enough jobs for everyone who wants to Continue reading

Quote of the day #98

“I’m a successful capitalist, but I’m tired of hearing that people like me create jobs. There’s only one thing that creates jobs, and that’s customers. And we’ve been screwing workers so long that they can no longer afford to be our customers.”

Tim O’Reilly summarizing a TED talk
by Nick Hanauer (recommended view!)
in his book WTF (recommended read!)