In case you tore a tendon lunging for a shuttlecock and can’t go out and play this weekend (does anyone still play badminton?), here’s a really interesting, important article from The Atlantic, “A World Without Work,” by Derek Thompson, that I commend to your attention.
It addresses one of the very most fundamental issues of our time, as our species attempts to adapt to the accelerating pace of technological change that could:
(a) provide extarordinary levels of health and prosperity for virtually everyone, if we can find ways to share the good fortune;
(b) lead to even greater inequality, where the relatively few who own and operate the capital equipment that does all the work live like kings, while everyone else stands in bread lines; or
(c) send us hurtling off the rails into eventual extinction. (The article doesn’t address this, but it would give new, species-wide meaning to the phrase, “too smart for their own good.” Not that anyone would be left to appreciate the irony.)
I favor (a), and am thrilled by the possibility.
Have agreat Labor Day . . . and enormous thanks to all who actually work for a living. Not that writers and Democratic fundraisers don’t work, we do; but real work in the sense of work that is exhausting, feet-aching, back-breaking, sun-scorched, mind-numbing, smell-gagging — or dangerous. We profit from your labor each time we eat a tomato or enter a hotel room or walk the streets in safety. You are too often under-paid and under-appreciated.