Friday, March 3, 2017

There Is No Such Thing As A Useless Class

There is only myopic thinking. Or perhaps we can label it as Marshal McLuhan did way back when: Rearview Mirror thinking: That is, seeing things only through the lens of how things have been, and not as they could be (the famous example being calling the new invention of the automobile a horseless carriage), let alone as they should be.

I say this, as I consider the linked article below from Ideas, about the "Rise of the Useless" class. What unmitigated BS.

What we are really talking about here is a group of people who are no longer economically competitive; which is to say people who can certainly still do different tasks, they just can't do them as cost effectively as other alternatives. And of course, these days, cost effective is the mantra of all who toil within the realities of ever increasing competition. If the competition weren't so intense globally, then it wouldn't matter near as much when an alternative means of accomplishing something is a bit more, or a bit less expensive. But because of that competition, and because we seem so unable to question the ongoing efficacy of the system that has placed us into this ever increasing competition, we accept, without question, a labeling of people that does more violence to what it means to be human, than perhaps even what bigotry does.

At least with bigotry it is an ugly expression of humans being arbitrary to themselves, out of fear, and/or blind hatred. Here we have a blind acceptance of what a machine mentality would conclude out of cold, logical, rationality.

The true insidiousness of this violence is hidden by the fact that a good portion of its effect, if it's noticed at all, is done in addition to the labeling that marginalizes so many, and so unfairly. This is the effect, subtle and not subtle, that induces people to become more like a machine so that they can continue to be cost effective in whatever task performance one might want to talk about. So in this do we see the drive to take on, and then throw off, skill sets, and all that goes with them, at an ever faster pase. A fool's errand in essence as it seeks to pretend that we can somehow be machine tools; reprogrammable ad nauseum. And this even as we also pretend that we can do each task, while we have it, at the same speed as machines, and with the same overall commitment of our total time available. The only other thing, then, that can possibly be allowed, when not working, is consuming because that's what is supposed to close this vicious circle.

What is so unfathomable in all of this is the lack of response asking why we would want to continue going down this path in the first place. An operating system is, after all, supposed to operate for the benefit of the users, not for the benefit of the operating system itself. But that is exactly what is happening now as subservience to the system becomes ever more akin to religious adherence, and belief. It then becomes its own, self justifying, definition of reality, and what living in that reality must demand.

The really sad part here is the fact that the technology that has warped the current operating system, is also the means that we could use to set things up in a completely different way; a way in which human involvement, where the point is to preserve, and improve, what are the best parts of being human, is essential. An alternative where we would all be needed to keep each community going. That alternative is what this blog is all about in fact.

Sure, you're thinking, but wouldn't the possibility of automation make human involvement even there moot? And the answer there is maybe.

I say maybe because this is where a very important choice would come into the picture. A choice encapsulated in an adage I like to remind people of from time to time: Woe be to those who become too separated from that which sustains them.

This is certainly a theme that speculative fiction has worked with on more than just a few occasions. You know... The various societies, usually depicted has having become quite spoiled, vacuous, and insipid; depending on the big computer to run everything and, for one reason or another, is finally unable to repair itself.

What we're talking about here is simply another aspect of being connected. We need to be better connected to each other, of course, so as to be able to do a better balance between the rights of the individual, as opposed to the rights of the community as a whole. To do a better balance so as to provide for what I like to call "thoughtful, loving structure," means we also need to be connected to life, and living as well. Truly connected because it cannot nourish and extend us, if we do not participate in close, always ongoing, integration with it. Where we try, ever more diligently, to adapt to it, rather than all of the smashing, and burying, and mowing over to make it adapt to us. An ideal, in effect, where we try to grow with life, not in spite of it, or on its back to an unthinkable degree.

Each and every one of you out there need to start thinking about these choices. And sooner rather than later. The way things are going the ability to even consider that a choice is available at all will disappear in the not too distant future. And it will be both life, and us, who will suffer in the extreme.

The rise of the useless class

Feb 24, 2017