I wonder if we went back 150 years and looked at today what people would say we had done. The wonders of automation, and the manufacturing of things cheaply and efficiently, haven’t really played out in the progressive narrative we were told. I think it is like looking at Disney’s “World of Tomorrow,” and then looking outside and wondering where our jet-packs are.
We live now in the age of automatic everything. All of reality reduced to settings that can be tweaked, resources that can be managed, and apps wedded to a specific purpose and revenue stream. The money flows through it all like water, automatically traveling its unseen paths to the investments and holdings and control of the fortunate few. Down at dirt level, the suffering that used to be accomplished via arm twisting and snide coercion can now be done by clicking a few check boxes and pressing send.
Automatic Everything devalues human effort. The supply chain renders humans invisible. People that used to make things are now considered lucky if they can but service the equipment that makes things, and pray to understand any of it. In the far away workshops that we never see, people are serfs like they always were, slaves waiting to be replaced.
Those jobs that you’ve been promised over and over again are never coming back. They no longer exist. It doesn’t matter who you voted for.
So I am wondering what would happen if we turned a million knobs, adjusted thousands parameters, set some realistic targets and defined better deliverables if it would be possible to turn the huge engine of commerce onto a course that actually helps humans? Can we turn the Automatic away from the catastrophe that it creates?