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Automation. Emancipation. Freedom From Employment?

I came across a few articles in various forums discussing what might happen if automation were to increase to the nth degree, sentiments to that effect. What would happen to employees? Would unemployment also rise in tandem?

Industrial-Automation

Well, do you remember the hue and cry over Y2K? Did anything untoward happen? Not that I recall. Maybe a few red faces, a few bruised egos, but nothing worse than that. My guess is that there are those who drum up these doomsday scenarios with a view to a kill. A kill for themselves, of course. What do you think automation is? Diverting the flow of a stream into a fish pond and back again is automation. So is the flush system of most modern toilets. So is a robotic vacuum cleaner. People worry that the rate of automation would increase to the point where unemployment becomes a real issue. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Something has still got to be paying for the automation, and something has to maintain it. Automation frees people for more noble pursuits. We need to break away from the mindset that our jobs are somehow our birthright. Move up the value scale, that is what we need to do!

Now, where’s that robot when you need him?

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