Passing the Hours in the Age of Automation
Bill Gates said something astonishing in January. Many have commented on it and I’m not interested (right now) in giving an opinion about what he said. Just the fact that he SAID it has given me pause.
Bill Gates suggested that robots be taxed at the rate human workers are taxed, because so many of them are doing human work instead of humans.
If robots are answering phones, driving, delivering parcels, and taking orders, manufacturing items, stocking warehouses, writing contracts, managing banking … if you didn’t have to work, what would you do with your time?
We humans today have more disposable time than any time in history, and I am not encouraged by how we seem to be choosing to spend it. TV. YouTube cat videos. Pornography online has soared. So have video games. We seem to be just checking out as a society.
What if we did have all that free time and could just make stuff? Hone a craft? Learn to play an instrument? Decorate cakes? My goodness, what a gift that time could be!
What would you teach someone to do? What would you like to learn? The mind boggles. I will never have enough time to learn everything I want to learn how to do, and do well. I will never read everything I want to read. I never did learn to play a banjo (maybe that’s a good thing). I still don’t know how to crochet.
Can you even imagine what we could make if everyone had the time and access to do what moved them? People are so very clever. Let’s start planning…