we truly have talents in many more job areas than we will ever have the opportunity to explore. Large parts of our working personalities will have to go to the grave unexplored – and therefore make themselves felt in protest before they do so.
A little over ten years ago, my father had an accident and it put him into a coma that lasted a month. He was intubated, and put in a ward where they parked people who were in various stages of vegetativeness. I spent a lot of time there, reading to him, watching out for him, and I got to know various people on staff in the hospital. I had thought these were some of the worst jobs in the world, but I got an impression that it was quite the opposite, so I checked it out, and they all said they loved their jobs. I had plenty of time to think, and I realized that in many jobs, esp the ones I have done, the way you help people can be kind of abstract, hard to visualize. But people who care for others as their job, see the result of their work every day, all the time.
MIT Sloan School of Management’s Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfree predict that impressive advances in technology have ominous consequences for jobs:
They believe that rapid technological change has been destroying jobs faster than it is creating them, contributing to the stagnation of median income and the growth of inequality in the United States. And, they suspect, something similar is happening in other technologically advanced countries.
David Graeber finds that despite John Maynard Keynes’ prediction in 1930 that technological improvements would result in 15-hour work weeks in the Western worlds, that utopia is far from achievable. Instead, he thinks technology has been marshalled to make all of us work more, rather than less, in what he calls “bullshit jobs”:
rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. And these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones.
Not really, reckons Mr. Money Moustache, starting to put together a list of 50 jobs that pay over $50k a year, and which don’t really need a degree (sure, it takes some work). Scoffing at manual labour? Think producing content on YouTube is a joke?