on jobs, automation, and the future of work (part 4)04 Aug 2016
what’s my conclusion based on all this (parts 1, 2, and 3)? if we can take the productivity gains and distribute them equitably (instead of upwards like usually happens), we have a real opportunity to institute a creative economy.
so what would a creative economy look like? i don’t have a full picture yet, but some parts i can already see are:
- meaningful work for all people
- livelihood disconnected from the value of work
- low resource output lifestyles (note that this is different than low throughput lifestyles)
- prioritizing people, relationships, and experiences above material consumption
some people would call this an arts economy. a friend of a friend thinks that when the robots have automated away most labor needs, everyone should be an artist. given the way art is currently shaped in america, that sounds pretty unappetizing to me. but if the definition of art were to change, i think it could be great. i think art would need to expand to include things that aren’t just aesthetically interesting, but i’m not yet clear on what the full definition should be.
either way, i do believe that what is necessary is that people need to be able to find ways to use their time when work is disconnected from livelihood. and i think the only work that will never be fully automated is creative work. as in, work that requires the process of connecting things which shouldn’t be connected, but create a special added value and joy when they are (more on that in the future).
whatever this next phase economy looks like, i think it will require people to know their
- skills and abilities, and
- core needs
this passions-skills-needs (psn) triangle, imo, is the one of the keys to a sustainable, livable future where people do what they love (because it’s best for the world that way), are able to develop skills that amplify their ability to live their passions, and know how to connect to other people to get what they need (probably in exchange for those skills, abilities, and passions).
this is just the beginning of a fully described system, but i think this is the seed of where we’re going.