When it comes to the impact that the automation revolution has had on our society, no one is without an opinion. Many of these varied viewpoints were clearly expressed in Haye’s article “Automation On the Job”. After absorbing the numerous perspectives discussed on the subject, the way to observe it became clear to me. The automation of our lives is also conveniently the motivator that we all need as a culture.
What do I mean by this? I submit that it is a mistake to think that the introduction of automated machines into the workplace would result in a shorter work week for people. That was a view that was shared by the earliest prognosticators in the article. What it has done in reality is precisely the opposite. So why did it turn out in this fashion? It’s for the same reason they always say “you can’t halt progress”. It’s the next logical step in human economic evolution.
Consider this, by having an automated class of workers, a “slave” class as it was described in the article, has been invaluable to us as a culture. People are able to use the advancements of technology to their benefit, and are therfore able to do more work, more efficiently. The idea that it would reduce the average persons work week to 15 hours goes against all living nature in my opinion. Just because we could do less work with the aid of automated devices doesn’t mean we choose to. Greed can be all the motivation one needs really, but it’s not alone to be sure. The natural waking state of the mind and the body are to be in a state that’s conducive to activity. This is needed in order to progress, in order to achieve goals and produce whatever desired results are required to advance. There are countless ways that our automative class has helped to motivate us to do more, and to evolve in concert with technological innovations.
Take for example the simple cruise control feature in your car. With the use of this automated tool the driver is able to travel much further due to being in better comfort for longer distances. On a larger scale, an example could be virtually the entire field of logistics. It has benefited greatly by the addition of computerized references, sophisticated route enablers, as well as in many other ways.
The bottom line is that we are able to provide more, service more, faster and with more reliability. To focus only on the loss of manufacturing jobs due to automated innovations is to miss the larger picture all together. With healthy progress and a good amount of time, more high tech, and more high paying jobs will certainly follow. It’s impossible to outsource our evolving and innovative minds. That’s a truth that the automated class among us has been trying to help prove positive. In this one bloggers opinion, I believe they have, and in the most of benign ways.