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The future of work

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totallybiasedscarlet View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10 February 2022 at 11:09pm
https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20220126-the-rise-of-the-anti-work-movement

Really interesting article here regarding the nature of work, how capitalism works and thoughts on how people might work in future. I have a strong feeling that much of the intellectual basis behind much of this is David Graeber's writing. He was one of the figures behind "Occupy Wall Street" and wrote a number of books including "BullshCensored Jobs." 

As always automation brings challenges in terms of sustaining jobs. We appear to be in the midst of another technological revolution. The challenge for government is to ensure gainful employment is sufficient numbers ... but is it necessary? Are all the jobs we do useful or meaningful? Could we find ways of using automation to reduce our hours at work? Underlying this are questions over ownership and systems of production. 

A veritable can of worms but worth exploring.
"If it's on, we back our skills and our confidence ... We've got some great players, play a good brand and we enjoy doing it." Ken Owens
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roy munster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2022 at 11:21pm
we do the work for corporations and banks for free, we spend hours setting up and using online accounts, ringing automated phone lines etc workers at these companies are pressurised into directing customer to these services , which ends up costing them their own customer services jobs

we dont produce anything, we allow chinese workers to be paid peanuts and import their mostly cheap shoddy products knowing theyll break and need to be rebought endlessly. we also allow lobbyists to buy politicians thus allowing for infinite tax free havens and bonfire of red tape regulation. end results more billionaires more poverty and starvation for the masses
ROYMOND MUNTER MBE (FOR SERVICES TO THE COMBOVER)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 10:59am
Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20220126-the-rise-of-the-anti-work-movement

Really interesting article here regarding the nature of work, how capitalism works and thoughts on how people might work in future. I have a strong feeling that much of the intellectual basis behind much of this is David Graeber's writing. He was one of the figures behind "Occupy Wall Street" and wrote a number of books including "BullshCensored Jobs." 

As always automation brings challenges in terms of sustaining jobs. We appear to be in the midst of another technological revolution. The challenge for government is to ensure gainful employment is sufficient numbers ... but is it necessary? Are all the jobs we do useful or meaningful? Could we find ways of using automation to reduce our hours at work? Underlying this are questions over ownership and systems of production. 

A veritable can of worms but worth exploring.

I think I read the original Bullpoo jobs essay about 3 or 4 years ago and it really impacted me. But then from a nihilistic point of view there isn't any meaning to existence anyway and pretty well all of our society is based around artificial constructs, or shared delusions if you like. Be it religion, politics, economics... no difference. They only have meaning because enough people believe they have meaning. In fact I now think that almost everything we do is simply about posturing against other people for our position in the social or economic order to achieve some sort of self-identity, including what job we do. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 12:10pm
That’s a cheerful post dr m, as for the bbc post never read so much tosh in my life. Working with wounds? He’s in it not on the front lineWink

Edited by RR1972 - 11 February 2022 at 12:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reesytheexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 12:15pm
Originally posted by RR1972 RR1972 wrote:

That’s a cheerful post dr m, as for the bbc post never read so much tosh in my life. Working with wounds? He’s in it not on the front line
 

The days of the robotic roofer are coming as the skilled tradesman sits at home twiddling his knobs ( of the remote machine I mean of course! 😂)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 12:17pm
Originally posted by RR1972 RR1972 wrote:

That’s a cheerful post dr m, as for the bbc post never read so much tosh in my life. Working with wounds? He’s in it not on the front line

Cheers. LOL Oddly enough, once I accepted this it means I can enjoy loads of superficial things so it works for me! It also has made me less judgemental of others so a surprising outcome. An existential crisis is a pretty big downside though but at least I can laugh about it. Well, some days.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 12:21pm
I thought i had a fairly fatalistic outlook on life but compared to some on here i’m positvley bubbly. Robot roofers give the tradesman more time to study the form , boosting the local economy win win!LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 12:21pm
Originally posted by reesytheexile reesytheexile wrote:

Originally posted by RR1972 RR1972 wrote:

That’s a cheerful post dr m, as for the bbc post never read so much tosh in my life. Working with wounds? He’s in it not on the front line
 

The days of the robotic roofer are coming as the skilled tradesman sits at home twiddling his knobs ( of the remote machine I mean of course! 😂)

What's particularly interesting about the current technological revolution is it is challenging many highly skilled and highly paid professions as well as traditional manual labour jobs. Surgeon, for example. Or even patient interactive roles like a GP. Even those that you'd have thought as of safe like software developers actually will find code can do their jobs pretty soon if this hasn't happened already.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Dai Guevara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 12:41pm
There is so much that needs doing that in a just world nobody should feel redundant or idle for many years to come. So much of the world is malnourished (or even starving) poorly housed (or without housing) live in pollution and squalor, are uneducated or illiterate, with no health service, or any of the other services taken for granted by the rich.
And to cap it all, climate change or war could make precarious even the lifestyles enjoyed by the rich.
Our first task should be to change the economic system that has given rise to these inequalities, not an easy task because the media, which guides our decisions, is owned by the rich and does its best rise to sow hatred and confusion in a desperate attempt to retain it's wealth and power and that of its rich friends.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 12:54pm
Originally posted by Dai Guevara Dai Guevara wrote:

There is so much that needs doing that in a just world nobody should feel redundant or idle for many years to come. So much of the world is malnourished (or even starving) poorly housed (or without housing) live in pollution and squalor, are uneducated or illiterate, with no health service, or any of the other services taken for granted by the rich.
And to cap it all, climate change or war could make precarious even the lifestyles enjoyed by the rich.
Our first task should be to change the economic system that has given rise to these inequalities, not an easy task because the media, which guides our decisions, is owned by the rich and does its best rise to sow hatred and confusion in a desperate attempt to retain it's wealth and power and that of its rich friends.

Totally agree with you Dai - mankind has only scratched the surface of what we are capable of - once we can get past the endemic privilege attitudes by many in the financially wealthy regions and concentrate on helping those with less humanity will soar to heights only ever dreamt of. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 1:31pm
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by reesytheexile reesytheexile wrote:

Originally posted by RR1972 RR1972 wrote:

That’s a cheerful post dr m, as for the bbc post never read so much tosh in my life. Working with wounds? He’s in it not on the front line
 

The days of the robotic roofer are coming as the skilled tradesman sits at home twiddling his knobs ( of the remote machine I mean of course! 😂)

What's particularly interesting about the current technological revolution is it is challenging many highly skilled and highly paid professions as well as traditional manual labour jobs. Surgeon, for example. Or even patient interactive roles like a GP. Even those that you'd have thought as of safe like software developers actually will find code can do their jobs pretty soon if this hasn't happened already.

Thank you for this comment. That's the point that I think RR seems to have missed in the article when he describes it as "tosh". 
"If it's on, we back our skills and our confidence ... We've got some great players, play a good brand and we enjoy doing it." Ken Owens
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ladram Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 4:23pm
Originally posted by reesytheexile reesytheexile wrote:

Originally posted by RR1972 RR1972 wrote:

That’s a cheerful post dr m, as for the bbc post never read so much tosh in my life. Working with wounds? He’s in it not on the front line
 

The days of the robotic roofer are coming as the skilled tradesman sits at home twiddling his knobs ( of the remote machine I mean of course! 😂)
I look forward to both parts of that post,will there be a robot doing the 2nd part?LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2022 at 4:33pm
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20220126-the-rise-of-the-anti-work-movement

Really interesting article here regarding the nature of work, how capitalism works and thoughts on how people might work in future. I have a strong feeling that much of the intellectual basis behind much of this is David Graeber's writing. He was one of the figures behind "Occupy Wall Street" and wrote a number of books including "BullshCensored Jobs." 

As always automation brings challenges in terms of sustaining jobs. We appear to be in the midst of another technological revolution. The challenge for government is to ensure gainful employment is sufficient numbers ... but is it necessary? Are all the jobs we do useful or meaningful? Could we find ways of using automation to reduce our hours at work? Underlying this are questions over ownership and systems of production. 

A veritable can of worms but worth exploring.

I think I read the original Bullpoo jobs essay about 3 or 4 years ago and it really impacted me. But then from a nihilistic point of view there isn't any meaning to existence anyway and pretty well all of our society is based around artificial constructs, or shared delusions if you like. Be it religion, politics, economics... no difference. They only have meaning because enough people believe they have meaning. In fact I now think that almost everything we do is simply about posturing against other people for our position in the social or economic order to achieve some sort of self-identity, including what job we do. 

"Meaningless, meaningless. Everything is meaningless." I remember studying Ecclesiastes in Sunday School. Yup, objective truth is difficult to come by. Perhaps empiricism comes closest ... "I think therefore I am" and all that. We experience life subjectively as individuals and as communities and we gain meaning from this.

What I find interesting in all this is that tension between capital and labour. Both pull in different directions yet in our system, one is dependent on the other. I guess this is where Marx has a point. When labour and capital are one and the same the outcome is more egalitarian - eg Cooperatives, mutuals etc. Each technological revolution has impacted the relationship between capital and labor. As Dr M says, this one threatens jobs that we could never imagined would be replaceable. I guess our ancestors might have said the same.

The point about BS jobs is that there are very few who'd really want to retain them. Automation allows us to shift labour from low-skill and often unfulfilling work. But how much work does a society really need to perform to enjoy a good standard of living. There are quite deep questions here about the organisation of labour and ownership of capital. I'm sure that capitalists and socialists will have a lot to say about the way forward. Personally, I find that both perspectives don't fully address this issue and that a more complete approach probably lies in the gaps between them.
"If it's on, we back our skills and our confidence ... We've got some great players, play a good brand and we enjoy doing it." Ken Owens
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2022 at 5:48pm
Read this interesting article on the Welsh birth rate which to me feels a relevant addition to this thread: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-60405441

We're projected to have a working adult percentage of just 58% in future. This is a real issue. In one sense if there are fewer jobs around it might balance out if we're lucky. What wories me is that our GVA is so low. This is because the Welsh economy acts as a semi-periphery to the SE/London core. It's responsible for the comparative low wages. This in turn drives demographic change and opens up communities to predatory economics such as the proliferation of second homes and AirBnB's etc. The GERW report https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/1540498/Government-Expenditure-and-Revenue-Wales-2019.pdf demonstrates that between our demographic and GVA deficits, Wales' tax receipts are nearly £7Bn a year lower than they should be.

The economic priority in Wales has to be building transport infrastructure and investment in Welsh enterprises all the way up the supply chains in order to get goods and services into the market.We can't just be happy to supply raw materials and low value goods. I'll give an example. I was shocked to learn that the majority of Welsh milk is now processed in England. This means that we've lost all the value added by the Welsh dairies that have now closed. We should be producing finished dairy products of high quality to supply the retail sector. More jobs, better wages all lost due to a dysfunctional economic model. 

This is where the BBC article interests me. If we're to have a smaller working age population, we will need a significant increase in productivity to ensure a decent standard of living ... otherwise, will the birth rate drop even further? Will even more of our young talent leave Wales? Can we invest, use automation to our advantage?


Edited by totallybiasedscarlet - 17 February 2022 at 5:49pm
"If it's on, we back our skills and our confidence ... We've got some great players, play a good brand and we enjoy doing it." Ken Owens
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2022 at 6:22pm
We need a more skilled more qualified less sickly work force tbh. By skilled i don’t just mean academically , tradesmen and women etc

Edited by RR1972 - 17 February 2022 at 6:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2022 at 10:10pm
Originally posted by RR1972 RR1972 wrote:

We need a more skilled more qualified less sickly work force tbh. By skilled i don’t just mean academically , tradesmen and women etc

One of the things that annoyed me about Blair was the target to put half of school leavers through Uni. There was a headlong rush to turn Poly's into Uni's and a whole tranche of education became academised uneccesarily. It's quite revealing ... it suggests what Blair's perspective was on jobs and what he valued in education. There wasn't any room in it for technical training and manufacturing. Contrast the UK's approach to manufacturing with Germany's. The policy of deindustrialisation was an entirely political choice. Thatcher in particular listened to Patrick Minford. Where there were opportunities to modernise the UK allowed asset strippers in. 
"If it's on, we back our skills and our confidence ... We've got some great players, play a good brand and we enjoy doing it." Ken Owens
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