Voltaire wrote in his conclusion of Candide : “le travail éloigne de nous trois grands maux : l’ennui, le vice et le besoin”. Loosely translated Voltaire says that work safeguards us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.
Why did I start with this quote? well, firstly because starting with a quote is always great fun, and it just also happens te be a quote I stumbled upon in the article on which the next post is will be based upon.
Assume for a moment we are not discussing wether we will become obsolete, let’s say we will be. The question then rises: What will we be doing in the future?
Important to keep in mind that not having a job in the future equals poverty. Let me elaborate on that. Assume that all construction workers are replaced by robotics, and in fact all the structural engineers and the architects. So basically the entire construction sector is now without working people schooled in the art of masonry or the science of structural analysis. This, to point out, that losing your job does not depend on social stature nor education. Why did they lose their job? because it was no longer needed. However if this happens on a large enough scale, so that many sectors are in the same situation the overall wealth is assumed to rise, machines can do things more efficient and don’t need sleep or rest.
Right, now we are all out of jobs but also don’t actually need one. What are we going to do? In the past the rich spent their time in art or philosophy. However are we all going to start painting, making clothes and wonder about the how and why of it all? What would you want to do?