The Future of Jobs

And the Jobs with no Future, or Who Will Work That?

As an HR, I’ve attended not one or two conferences where the future of jobs was discussed. Not only that, but I’ve also watched the news and read some articles of interests in various media that also dealt with how work and employment will develop and change in the near future.
First of all, most repetitive and monotonous jobs will be filled in by robots. We don’t imagine complicated androids with dreamy eyes, perfect skin and the ability to discern between good and evil, in addition, to express emotions and empathy. We have to imagine simple non-humanoid machines which execute operations and manipulations that don’t often need creativeness and intuition.

That leaves open the question of what will people do when they can’t execute such jobs. The answer: people will do other jobs. What other jobs? Answer: programming and maintaining the said robots.

We get to understand that there will not be people on cooking, cleaning, data entry, accounting, payroll, and other similar positions. Machines will be doing that. The people who are taking these jobs at present will be re-qualified to maintain the new workers. That notion poses several questions at least. Let’s start somewhere.

First, the educational systems and food industry are continuously producing half-witted adults, semi-intelligent at best. Children finish school hardly literate, they eat junk food and synthetic drugs are their best pals since early teenage. That may be a good thing if we aim at producing idiots who are easy to rule, control and kept in submission. Their addictions to good life, easiness and love of sensation make them an easy target. New adults are lesser and lesser human beings, much to the disappointment of thinkers of old.

Second, these future jobs although they sound cool because there is the word “robotics” in them, sound to me maintenance thing. The majority of these new positions will be simple repairing and adjustment stuff, not higher level coding, programming, design or creative projects. There will be creative jobs, naturally, but I don’t expect them to be so many. The rest? Instead of cooks and cleaners, the rest will be maintenance staff for robots. This doesn’t sound prestigious, for sure. Plus, when so many people do this, there is hardly a reason to consider the jobs anything exclusive or special.

Third, I don’t believe all people will be able to do jobs such as those described above. There is a reason some people end up as cleaners. I know, some law graduates choose that profession for themselves, but the majority of cleaners do it for lack of better options. And for lack of patience and study skills. That is one group – those with lower intellectual abilities. How will they do the engineering jobs? The other group are people of artistic inclinations – poets, musicians, artists, various performers, athletes. How can we expect the artistic mind to bend around mechanic and engineering thinking and action?

Thinking of all that, conclusions are hard to draw. Thinking of all that, I wonder what the future holds. Not that I’m personally curious. It’s just… that human thing I’m thinking about.

Daylight Saving Time – Time to End It

Today is time for a #ThoughtfulTuesday post. As we changed time again quite recently, I decided to write about this peculiar tradition and the idea that it will soon be discontinued.

The discussion has been on since the last time we changed to DST, a.k.a. summer time, in end-March. I strongly support the idea that we should stop switching back and fro, as the cost-efficiency of this process is not valid any longer. I doubt there’s any saving going on, and that was the main argument in favour of the switching between times. Yet, I understand that the majority of EU citizens would have the summer time stay constantly. How their vote was registered, I don’t know. I suppose there was some sort of survey which I missed. Let’s assume they represent a good enough sample to make the result valid. What does their choice show about them?

First of all, let me remind you what the DST is. It means darker mornings, lighter evenings. Or, in other words – it gets light later in the morning and it gets dark later in the evening. I have several acquaintances who support the same notion – that we should stick to summer time. Their reasoning: you have more light after work and school. You can go for walks and, generally, you will not feel so oppressed by the winter mood if that’s the case. Surely, 1 hour won’t make much of a difference. Yet, people speak of it with a lot of ardour.

Why don’t they argue for lighter mornings, when we have to get up and start our days? I feel particularly despondent if it’s still dark outside when I get up. I start my day with the feeling that getting off bed is a torture, a punishment – in general, something to loathe. And, as most of us would agree, getting up doesn’t need any more negative associations to go with. It’s pretty unpleasant as it is.

So, to go back to my original point of wondering: what their choice speaks about these people. Obviously, they care more about the time after work than about the start of the day. Perhaps they don’t get up very early, so it doesn’t matter to them if the sky is dark. They can get up a little before noon, work in the afternoon, go for a walk in the early evening, and then party until the small hours. This and repeat. What are they? Not farm workers, for sure. Not medical workers either. Neither do they work at school. I have just mentioned three of the important professional fields on whose experts we depend to a large extent during our entire lives. Excluding school, perhaps.

And before this turns into a criticising post, I’ll share my true reason to side with the standard time, a.k.a. “normal” or “winter” time. I want to stick to this time because it’s the correct one from a scientific point of view. It’s the normal time, and I deeply believe we must embrace our normalcy.

Does your country change between normal and summer time? Which time do you support?

Thoughtful Tuesday – Homeopathy

I’m not sure how the topic of homeopathy entered my life. The earliest thing I remember was when in the middle of 1997, I heard of it on radio. It must have been a continuous topic, because I rarely notice novelties at the very first moment. I tried to listen carefully, and understood that this fashionable method relies on curing your disease by using small amounts of substances that cause the symptoms. It sounded similar to the principle of work of vaccines. But, vaccines are used to prevent and not to cure diseases.

Years later, what I would hear about homeopathy was completely different. No mention of treatment through similarity was made, but I had the impression that the active substances in the homeopathic drugs are effective against the symptoms. So, I forgot my initial memories about this method.
The next major wave of homeopathy into my life came after I had a baby. Our doctor would prescribe various medicine for our daughter: sometimes traditional, sometimes Dr Schuessler’s Salts, and at other times, some of the ready-made mixtures produced by Boiron or other famous companies. Honestly speaking, we have never tried traditional homeopathy. I know the traditional homeopaths criticise the ready mixtures as commercial fraud and betrayal of the pure principles of the method.

Science says that no trace of the active substance is to be detected in the drugs. Traditional physicians see no explanation of why and how these drugs would be effective. Official drug and medical authorities announce their opinions. I want to post here a link to one such compilation: 12 responsible and serious bodies have no reason to lie to the public. Well, haven’t they, in fact?

I agree with all that. Yet, I have friends who say homeopathy helps. They advocate for it stating it’s not a placebo effect. For some time, I used Influcid and it would help. I took it every 1.5 hours, for the whole day, for a day and a half. But, did it help, or the fact that I ate only a little, because you have to wait for an hour after a meal before taking a pill? One time, it didn’t help and I had to take antibiotics anyway. Then, I stopped taking it. Oscillococcinum never helps me. I would like it to do, but it doesn’t. Lately, I was sick and couldn’t go to see a doctor, so I followed the advice of friends of ours, and took another ready mixture, Corisalia. Maybe it helped. I combined that with regular sauna and steam bath for 2-3 days. Mmm, which one helped better?

Another thing I’ve tried are Dr. Bach’s Floral Drops. I’m still taking them, I cannot share a real opinion yet. They say, even if it doesn’t help, it won’t hurt. I wonder, won’t it?

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