Jobs are going away

According to TechCrunch, jobs are going away, and they're not coming back.

Sounds about right to me. This speech by Seth Godin 3 years ago made a huge impression on me. In it he explains how jobs are a relatively new invention necessitated by the invention of the steam engine, which required people to man it. The idea of a job was alien to people. The conversation went something like this:

"Why would I go to a dark and dirty room for 10 hours a day and do grueling work in blistering heat?"

"For money"

"Money? What do I need that for?"

"So you can buy things?"

"Which things? I have everything I need."

"We'll invent some thing for you to buy and then your neighbors will buy them and then you'll feel like you have to as well. And we'll invent shopping malls and Sunday shopping as a leisure activity. And we'll invent debt so you can buy things that you can't afford and now you have to work to avoid losing those things."

"Hmm…" 

"Oh, and we'll have a cart full of gin going around the factory for free consumption so you can be drunk all day, at our expense."

"Now you're talking!"

I believe we are on a path towards the disintegration of the idea of a job. Look at how much taking a job involves disowning your power to create your own life. You're giving up a huge chunk of your life in return for money and the illusion of security.

Here in India there are five shirt-iron-shops within spitting distance of my house. Granted, that's not very innovative. But at least these people have come up with something they can do to make a living that doesn't require anyone else to benevolently grant them anything. They're free to come up with innovative ways to raise their incomes by doing better marketing or making a better offer or giving better service. They're free to not do anything, too, or even to fuck up and watch their market disappear. In other words, they're in the game, and the stakes are real.

I think we're going to see much more of that. Individuals and small groups of people teaming up, taking control of their own destinies, and taking up the divine pursuit of discovering how they can best make a difference in other people's lives that they're willing to fork over the greenback for.

And that is as it should be. It's not going to be painless, but it's going to be liberating. And we need liberation of human potential on a massive scale.

Who decides?

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Sus Medusa

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