The science of destroying jobs.

I’ve been reading “The second machine age” written by Andrew McAffee and Erik Brynjolfsson. Due to time limitations I couldn’t finish the book to make this article but let’s get to the jest of it. I’ll put a link to an excerpt (the first chapter of the book) so you can see if it’ll intrest you.

The book describes the new age that we’re quickly heading into and shows why we should be optimistic about it, yet also discusses the challenges it will bring.

Enter Creative Destruction:

The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter described capitalism as constantly evolving as innovation and progress disrupt older technology. He used this term to describe the way in which technological progress improves the lives of many, but only at the expense of a smaller few.

Creative destruction first became an issue of debate during the industrial revolution, when machinery began to improve the manufacturing process, and inventions like the assembly line came to dominate craft and artisan production. While the economy as a whole benefited from such improvements, those craftsman who were displaced saw their jobs destroyed, never to return again. Economic theory predicts that the negative effects will be relatively short-lived; that those displaced workers will have job opportunities created by new fields and industries. For example, one hundred years ago, no one thought about becoming an airline pilot or a software engineer.

Enter the Optimistic View:

The authors discus three aspects of the immense innovation. Firstly that most of the things needed to head forward are already here (or in the next 15 years), the building blocks are ready to be used. Secondly, they state that automation is great, more efficient, cleaner, better living for all with less strain on the earth. and lastly they talk about the difficulties of innovation, the creative destruction that is in it’s own a good thing with for the older technology (or the servants of the older technology) the end. So new tech makes people working with or for the old tech obsolete. Yet I must say they see things on the bright side of life. The beneficiaries of the technological advancements will conclude on the midlong term all parties who lost with the destruction of the old technology.

What I would like to take away from this as a question for you readers:

Should we stop hanging on to older technology to make the shift more disruptive but also less painful in the mid-long term for everyone? (like removing a band-aid in one go). For example: supporting outdated hardware with operating systems, Support for old data technologies, …

Excerpt of the book:


One thought on “The science of destroying jobs.

  1. Xiao.QIN

    In my opinion, be selective to those old-fashioned technologies. For example, manual labor shouldn’t and can’t be completely replaced by automatic robots, because of so many social problems and so on. But, it’s also not possible to keep manual labor in all industries, because of efficiency and quality and so on…hence, after fully assessment of the industries, be selective to give up on the old methods. Then we can maximize the benefit without causing serious problems. Thanks for your posts, it’s no doubt an interesting topic and inspired me a lot. Wish you all the best:)



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