Friday, October 7, 2016

Good News About Americans, and a Repudiation of Trump, But Maybe Something Else as Well?

A new Pew research report gives a good indication that, rather than what that demagogue might want to make you afraid of, most people see the diversity of immigration as a good thing.

What is more worrisome, however, is the fear of becoming irrelevant in the skills you have.

Both sides on the labor, employer, divide seem to agree that it will be ongoing training that will carrying the day, though, as you might expect, no one has any concrete answers on how to pay for that. For me, however, there is also something else to be thinking about here.

We need to begin here by making an important distinction between a life dedicated to a continuing process of learning, and a situation where you are expected to adapt to a never ending series of dropping one skill, and then committing to immerse yourself into another; as in, say, being a pipe fitter one day, and a robot repairman the next.

On the face of it, you might think, this at first doesn't sound so bad. Getting a more advanced skill is good thing, right? But consider: what if two years after being certified as the repairman, someone came up with the software to let the buggers repair themselves? And further that the next best bet was to try and become a database administrator, and then find out, maybe only a year and a half later, that software could now do that better as well. Then to be told that being an operating room tech, or, say, a nursing assistant tech, was the best bet... So on and so on.

Moving from competitive skill to competitive skill, in a demanding professional environment can be an amazingly stressful endeavor. And what we really seem to not want to do here is to ask ourselves why should any of it be required in the first place. Why are we made to think that we must continue bending, however impossibly, to an insanely accelerating process of technologically driven competition? It's not like all of the technological change is occurring where we're getting the wisdom to handle it properly at an equal rate is it? And we know what lacking that wisdom can do to not only us, but the planet we live on as well after all. Why do we not stop to question the more fundamental point of what is really wrong here. That perhaps the operating system itself has become patently inhumane, as well as toxic to virtually every other natural system we are a part of.

Continuing to learn new facts, new understandings of who we are, and how things work, is a necessity. Changing skills like a machine tool changes a cutting head, or a power takeoff drive changes a hydraulic manipulator, is being made to pretend you are also a machine.

The Biggest Worry We Have About Our Jobs Is Not Immigration, It's Irrelevance