Tag Archives: employment

Exponential Times in the Information Age

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EXPONENTIAL TIMES: Extra! Extra! Etc. Etc.

I TREATED myself with a NAG (New Age Gaming) magazine the other day, which came with a glossy-ink-scented E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) supplement. The accompanying DVD was also largely dedicated to E3 and consisted of around two hundred game videos, trailers and GameTrailers.com awards.

I do not work for NAG nor do I sell their magazines. I was merely mesmerized by how far gaming has come in the last few years. We are certainly living in exponential times with the bacterial-like spread of information and new technologies.

Gone are the days of chalkboards and letter posting in the developed world. The sale and consumption of hard-copy books is fast dwindling at the hand of the Kindle and other eReaders. If Wikipedia were to be published as a book it would be over two million pages long. There are now even babies in the world named “Facebook.”

Exponential Times in Gaming
3D graphics has reached a point beyond comprehension five years ago. The number of gaming devices and vibrating motion controllers on the market this year can have one gleefully immersed 24/7 if you have the time. The exponential rate at which new game titles are being released has made the task of writing letters to Santa quite a meticulous one.

Exponential Times in Social Media
In 2007, one out of every eight U.S. couples met online. It is now estimated to be one in five. When television first entered our lives it took 13 years to reach a target audience of 50 million. Facebook took just two years to get the same number of people on board its platform.

Greater than the exponential development of technology, is the exponential availability of information. It is estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information that anyone living in the 18th century would have consumed in their entire lifetime. The amount of technical information available is more than double every two years.

Exponential Times in Education and Employment
This exponential growth of technology and information is changing the way children are educated. Students are now being prepared for jobs that don’t yet exist and being trained to use technologies that have not yet materialised. It has also been shown that students who are online tend to outperform those who receive more face-to-face education.

This is of course changing the way that people are employed globally. It is estimated that 95% of companies that are online today recruit people using LinkedIn; around the same percentage of businesses use social media for marketing purposes.

Exponential Times Year to Year
In 2008, more than 200 million cell phone calls were made every second. This has roughly tripled every 6 months since. In 2009, every minute or so, a day’s worth of video footage was uploaded to YouTube. In 2010, the number of Google searches completed every ten minutes could have powered Las Vegas for half an hour. This year there are roughly 80 million Farmville farmers versus the 1.5 million real farmers. The moment you’ve finished reading this, most of this information will be outdated.

Below are two of the videos where you can find this information as well as more and more and more…

Exponential Times in 2008

Exponential Times in 2011

Incentive to work

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A NEW WORLD: Where technology replaces servitude

HOW many people do you know that live for their job? Who can’t wait to get to work and don’t give a fig about how much money they earn from it? Probably not very many. The sad reality is that the majority of people work to live rather than the other way round. We obviously need the money to survive.

The idea of a moneyless society is hard to imagine because we have never experienced such a thing. So, theoretically-speaking, if such a society did exist, what incentive would people have to work and do jobs that are not particularly pleasant? The short answer is that, ultimately, they wouldn’t have to; technology and machines would do most of the work for us.

Telephone Exchange

Possibly deceased telephone exchange operators

If we look back at history we can already see a gradual progression of human labour being replaced by machine automation. Several occupations have become obsolete due to their replacement by machines. Candle makers, elevator doormen, telephone exchange operators are a few jobs that no longer require human labour or are no longer relevant to society.

We therefore have a right to fear machines, for human employment is in direct competition with technological development. However, this creates a serious clash which proves the falseness of the monetary-based labour system.

Employment is necessary to survive in a money-based system. However, given the fundamental priority of profit by industry, people through time will be continually laid off and replaced by machines. If, on the other hand, we didn’t need to work to earn a living, we would then more readily embrace the idea that machines free people rather than putting them out of a job. After all, freeing people to live their lives without servitude is the point of technology itself.

Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery

This replacement of human labour by machines is not only possible, but inevitable. And with the pace that new technologies are being developed, specifically that of nano-technology, it is not difficult to foresee the phasing out of up to 90% of all human occupations. Machines today are even capable of performing complex medical procedures — often with higher success rates than humans.

Furthermore, if money was taken out of the picture, a large portion of current day occupations would no longer have any basis to exist because they would no longer be relevant. Anything associated with the management of money, advertising, along with the legal system itself would have no basis to exist in a resource-based economy.

If money was no longer needed to survive and people were given free and easy access to the necessities of life, a great majority of the crimes that are committed today would never occur. Contrary to propaganda, it is largely environmental conditioning that lures people into criminal and violent behaviou­r.

According to this view, man-made laws are attempts to deal with recurring problems that people do not know how to solve properly. It is a sad reality that in most countries today, more resources are devoted to prisons and police rather than alleviating poverty, which is known to be one of the majo­r contributors and factors behind crimes committed.

EDUCATION
Given the above, perhaps we need to view machines more positively and think of them as an extension of human performance rather than as hunks of metal that might put us out of a job. We also need to understand that if people have easy and free access to the necessities of life they would behave very differently.

Education

Eager young minds of today

We are taught to support the monetary system, not only by working to earn money, but by believing that a monetary system produces incentive. However, the simple truth is that if money were taken out of the picture people’s incentives would be very different.

New incentives would emerge that perhaps weren’t there before. If all our needs were met we might take more interest in space and the stars, environmental conservation and helping to educate our fellow human being.

Education is paramount in such a society. Today education produces people for specialised jobs rather than teaching them about the world. Instead, it needs to create generalists — critical thinkers with extensive worldviews.

Most people today don’t know a lot about a lot of different subjects because the structure of our educational systems. You would never get people to go to war if they were educated this way, nor would they give a fig about doing the unthinkable to make a quick buck.

You can read the other parts to this series below:

Zeitgeist Moving Forward: Your life, your world