Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Changing Employment

Here's an article about how automation is changing employment.

Now, I don't have a problem with robots taking over dangerous jobs, or miserable jobs that nobody really wants to do. A safer, nicer work environment is to everyone's advantage, provided there are enough jobs to go around.

The problem I see, that other people generally overlook, is the narrowing of job types. There are fewer and fewer jobs that are simple and easy, that are rhythmic and predictable, that require little or no education. That's a disaster. First. it causes a problem because education costs money, and the more advanced, the more expensive it gets. So closing out the bottom of the job market makes getting a job more and more expensive, which means poor people can't compete at all. The second problem is even worse. People aren't entirely interchangeable. Those who are good at the kind of jobs going away will often not be good at the kinds being created, even with training. You can educate the uneducated, but you can't change the kind of brain or body someone has just because it's not what you want. People whose hand skills exceed their logic skills already have a hard time finding jobs; that's only going to get worse. What about all the people who simply aren't good with computers or other machines? That's a lot of folks. We're going to wind up with large masses of people who who don't fit the remaining jobs.

1. Automation will strip away the dull and the dangerous, paving the way for more engaging work and learning.

What about the people who don't like school (again, that's a lot) and don't want an "engaging" job? What about the people who just want a way to put beans on the table, not a Career, because they want their life to be about family or church or some other important thing? We need jobs that are just jobs, not the be-all and end-all of someone's life. And those are disappearing.

2. Work redesigns alongside automation promote more team-based and agile ways of working.

What about the introverts? Or other people who simply don't like teamwork or aren't good at it? Certainly employers don't hesitate to kick them to the curb, but those people need work too. What about people who aren't or don't want to be "agile" too? Some people want to pick a job and stick with it, not switch to a new company or a whole new field every few years. The agile job market is destroying stability, which is ruinous to mental health.

3. Automation drives increased need for social and emotional skills in the workplace.

What about the people who want to go to work to work, not to socialize? Or the ones who don't have excellent social and emotional skills? Emotional intelligence is one out of 9 major types, so that doesn't seem promising at all. What about the increasing number of neurodiverse people who lack social and emotional skills because they have some other wetware instead?

No matter what you do, you cannot cram everyone into the tech sector because not everyone is good at it, even if presented with opportunities to learn it. Exceptionally for my generation, I actually did grow up with computers, and it did fuckall good because I'm just not very compatible with technology. I can fry things just by walking past them. I'm lucky that I can get by with a computer, but that's at home where I control it. I'd never manage with someone else choosing the equipment.

The way the shift is happening, I think it's doing more harm than good, and I don't think people are seeing the connections because they've been trained to think in silos, separating fields, separating causes and effects. But not seeing it doesn't make it go away.
Tags: economics, news, safety, science
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