“Robots have come to destroy our way of life, just as we saw in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, though not as we expected. They’re taking our jobs, and are forcing us to reexamine how we value ourselves,” writes Conor Sen in the Atlantic.com.
To date, robots have clearly impacted the manufacturing and information sectors:
They are about to hit the services sector hard as well:
What happens to society as more and more jobs are handled by robots and Americans are less able to define themselves by the work they do? Are we about to enter a post-employee economy where only a few individuals will need to get their hands dirty to keep the country running?
If, as some pundits are saying, the answer is “yes” then we will need to divorce income from careers and guarantee everyone a living wage. We will also need to rethink our everyday existence.
In The Busy Trap, writer Tim Kreider talked about our addiction to busyness: It “serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”
Without busyness, without work, we are left with leisure, and while that may sound like lots of fun, keep this idea in mind: Studies have repeatedly shown that people who retire early tend to die younger.
Image courtesy of L.C.Nøttaasen