Re: The End of Work?

Eric Watt Forste (
Thu, 17 Jul 1997 15:51:42 -0700

Bobby Whalen writes:
> With increasing automation and corporate downsizing, good
> paying jobs will become less and less available.

Corporate downsizing is not much of a data point, because it tends
to be balanced by growth in smaller businesses, though this is much
less remarked upon in the media simply because the growth in smaller
businesses is less obviously visible. But downsizing is usually
coupled with outsourcing (more business for the smaller
businesses) and hiring of contractors (more business for people
like me).

What most of the high-paying jobs have in common is that the worker
is producing valuable information: a film, a legal brief, a song,
a computer program, an accounting analysis, experimental results,
a summary of research in some field, etc. There are an awful lot
of growth niches here that are not going to be automated any time
soon, and I think that perhaps our biggest problem is educational
systems that assume that most people are not fit for such jobs. I
suspect that the educational institutions in most countries of the
world need to be shaken up rather severely... I'd like to see a
lot more experimentation and a lot less regimentation going on in
the education industry than currently seems to be the case.

Eric Watt Forste ++ ++ expectation foils perception -pcd