Help! A Computer Stole My Job! (And My Kid’s Jobs Too)

Computers. They’re overworked and under-payed. It’s like a slave workforce all over again. And for some reason, they don’t say anything in protest – neither do they attempt to escape. Well, occasionally, they do break down, but we never get the message. We just call in a couple of humans with their computer slaves to fix them.

Wait, you say; you can’t possibly want me to believe that you’re drawing this post onto the internet by hand. No. I don’t expect you to believe that. It’s simply not true. I too have purchased a personal assistant. My assistant stays faithfully by my side at most times – remembers everything I tell it, gives me all the latest news that I want to know, lets me see what everybody else says about anything and everything, connects me to my friends, family and colleagues, and helps me look professional. I even bought it a brightly colored suit to wear. I don’t have to pay my assistant – after my onetime ownership deposit, I was home free. My personal assistant doesn’t require room or board. Or hardly any other maintenance fees; and I’m getting a second for school this year. This second assistant, the school will be giving me. This assistant will help me draft and draw wonderful designs – making up for my (nearly) complete lack of artistic drawing ability. It will also help me with advanced mathematics and modeling for topics such as physics and calculus, keeping me from having to expand my brain too much. It even brings an entire library to my desk for research, and I and my friends will probably grumble when our assistants tell us that we must get up and actually go to the library, if we wish to read full length journal articles, deemed too important or sophisticated to be freely available on “the Internet”.

I seem to be incredibly dependent on my personal assistant – why am I complaining?

Here’s a couple quotes from a Forbes article I read today:

What’s that? You’d like to work for my small business? I appreciate your interest. And I, like so many others, feel terrible about how long you’ve been unemployed. We would like to do something about the situation. We’d like to help you. But there’s something you (and the woman from the Rite Aid) need to know. I’m not sure how to say this kindly so it’s best I just say it: many of us don’t really need more employees.

What? you say; but – but, I’m human. I’m intelligent – I have cognitive skills – I’m a critical thinker – I’m personable. How could you possibly not need me? Did you read the last paragraph?

Here it is again:

I know you need a job and I know this is a very difficult situation. And I don’t want to sound cruel because I’m trying to help you. And to get help with a problem the first thing we have to do is diagnose the problem. So here’s the cold, hard truth about why you’re unemployed: most businesses don’t need you any more. We can do just as much, if not more, without you.

Source: Forbes: 9.2% Unemployment? Blame Microsoft

Yes. The computer stole your job. Do you have any idea how much time I spent talking to a computer today? That could have been you I was talking to. All of the computers I spoke with were personable even if they weren’t tremendously informative. They all seemed pretty intelligent – I mean they told me what to do in x, y and z situations and told me what the few humans who were kept in reserve for emergencies could and couldn’t help me with.

Computers even build our cars, sew our clothing, print our newspapers, vet our employees…the list goes on. No. We don’t need you any more. We don’t even need people anymore. You all should move to Mars.
Recently, a colleague of mine told me that their organization’s PayPal account had been shut down. This decision was made by – you guessed it: a computer. According to PayPal: the computer’s word was final.

Wow…did we make ourselves obsolete? Some seem to think so. In truth, it’s impossible to fully replace humans – but until the industry realizes that – or can afford to pay people, many will be stuck at home, on their computers: alternately praising and bemoaning the invention.

There is light however at the end of this tunnel. It’s not realistic to outlaw computers, or set a minimum wage for their use, and the government seems to be having a hard time coming up with things for us to do – that they will pay us for.
The good news is:computers can’t do everything. Maybe they’ve been given many of our customer service and production jobs (all the ones that didn’t find their way overseas) that we were counting on to help us pay for college; but hey, computers can’t take care of the sick, design other computers, or program themselves (I am aware that development is underway for computers to be able to do all of the above).

We will have to reinvent and retrain ourselves to be much more competitive – much more interesting. We can’t just be able to perform well – computers can do that perfectly. We have to train ourselves to understand computers – not just be able to use them. We must push ourselves, as a workforce – to the next level, the level that will make us masters and not slaves of, or inconsequential side-notes to technology.

He who knows how [in our case, the computer] will always have a job – but he who knows why [you] will always be his boss.

Ambitionz
Day 20
70 Dayz to go

Advertisements
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: