Sunday, 31 May 2015

Automation: The Self-Sabotage of Mankind



One lesson my parents instilled in my sisters and I, was the need and understanding that you must work so you can pay your way and earn your keep.  And they were right.  Money doesn't grow on trees after all.

Some of us live to work.  While others, as my Daddy told me years ago, simply work so they can live.  And there exists every single variety of work days and work weeks in between.  There's day work and night work.  Week work and weekend work.  Full time work and part time work. Commission work and salary work.  Contract work and hourly wage work.  So many ways to earn your keep!

It's really much much more than this though.  Yes, the reason we work is to earn our pay check, but we also do it for that intangible feeling of worthiness, self-sufficiency, and even pride.  I once knew a man who got his first real job in his thirties.  It was boxing VHS videos in a warehouse during evening hours.  This guy was so proud of that job and in turn proud of himself.  He was a happier, more loving person while he was working that job.  It seems to live with contentment in this world, we also need a sense of purpose.

So if work is part of life, part of living, part of being a part of the pack, then why are we actively trying to build and create machines to do our jobs for us?  Don't we get that if we're not doing the work we're not earning the dough?  Isn't that slightly self-sabotaging to your own species to do this? I'm talking small jobs and big jobs, routine jobs and crucial jobs.  For instance, my local grocery store has allowed eight machines to come on in and take away eight human's jobs.  From this point onward I vow to never use those things.

Let's look at a crucial job like the transporting of goods on highways.  Teamsters Canada is the union representing the 120,000 + canadians who drive those hugemongous trucks for days on end.  They're the reason we have any selection at all at our grocers, not to mention almost every other merchant in the country.  Their jobs are about to be taken over by a self-driving tractor transport truck.  Sounds scifi doesn't it?  Check it out here in this CBC article about this very thing happening already in the U.S.  Who does this benefit but an already lucrative and rich company?  It surely does not benefit mankind.  Yes, there will still be a driver, but do you think he or she will still make the same wage if they can read while they work?

I hear on CBC that the plan is to build a entirely separate roadway for autonomous vehicles.  Ummm ... don't we already have that?  It's called a train or locomotive.  Every day we reinvent the wheel in order to increase revenue.  It becomes all encompassing where in the end, there is no longer an amicable employee-employer relationship.  There is only constant pinching and squeezing.  Making each employee do more work for less pay.  Some employers won't be happy it seems, until all employees are replaced by robots they don't have to pay.  How the fuck are we gonna buy your shit then?

If protesting Oil is terrorism in Canada, then wtf is taking away our ability to make money, earn our keep, pay our societal way?  That's domestic terrorism at it's best or worst.  Do they forget that building the economy requires us to buy their shit?  And we can't buy their shit if we have no moolah.

Really ... we don't even need a crystal ball to see the future.  The future is unemployed.