A jobless revolution is coming
Let's dive into fulfillment in a new age of work while also looking back 1500 years.
Written by jack friks
Last Updated: May 27, 2023
It’s been less than 50 years since the internet has been around for us mere humans
& the first iPhone only came out in 2007, 16 years ago.
Technology moves FAST
& it didn’t take long for either of the two examples I just mentioned to be an absolutely critical part of the majority of humans’ existence.
Basic needs seem to step from a WiFi connection first priority nowadays.
How else would you be reading this email? How else would you get the news to your pocket?
How else would you watch a guy give a chocolate factory away or an entire island to competing strangers casually as you eat breakfast?
Technology has crept into our lives for better & for worse, & today I want to dive into a very possible outcome of technology that many people are not ready to face.
What is it that I’m speaking of? technology creating a jobless society.
Just before we dive in, a generous thank you to this issue sponsor for keeping the content free to all readers
Sponsored by me (jack). lol
A Jobless Society?
A jobless society… yes you read it right.
This concept is about the eventuality, that with the progression of technology, the focus on life will be less about learning skills, getting a job, or making money
& a lot more on: "How do I enjoy my life & what do I spend all this time I have on?"
Humans will inevitably be replaced by robots & Artificial intelligence will blend with said robots to create hyper-efficient tasks assigned, no rest required, workers.
I’m not even sure if my future kids will be driving by the time they get to be 18 or if the insurance & risk added to driving yourself will be so high It’s not even worth it.
— Compared to how most cars may not even have steering wheels a few decades from now.
A jobless society is not only one without jobs, but it’s likely also one without you driving, & in general, it’s a society where any hands-on task can eventually be outsourced & the only thing left for us humans to do is think critically about how we can enjoy our lives the most.
This question boils down to “What do I want out of life”
This is something I’ve been asking myself for a few months now & I’ve been spending more time pursuing the things that are in line with my answer to this question and A LOT less time on the things that aren’t.
Whether or not a jobless society comes this decade, the next, or 50 years from now, asking this question will make me better positioned to live a life worth living.
I know you probably came to read about how this jobless society may form or be created, when it will happen & how robots may kill us all…
but that’s not the point of this message.
The point is to zoom in on what we can do today to live a better life, & in the process prepare ourselves for this eventual outcome as well.
Not long ago there were people who healed others’ wounds with magical remedies such as saline solutions, these people were deemed witches.
The first people to discover flight were thought crazy fanatics.
This list of oddballs & wild discoveries goes back as far as one can see (& then some)
Things once thought “Magic” are now a reality we interact with every day without even questioning “How the frik does this thing work”.
So it’s only logical that the progression of technology, and human evolution, continues in this way.
Sure there may be some major blow-ups of progress… that also seems to be a common occurrence in human evolution.
For the most part, however, over time humans are gaining more resources, more abilities, & more everything really.
The downfall of this more more more culture leads to less less less of some things in the process.
More productivity, more work, and more money = less relaxation & leisure, less time spent on things you want to do, & even less time with family
Progression in one area ends up being regression in another, let’s look more into that.
Human Regression & Otium
A little while back (1500-2000 years ago or so), During the Roman Empire humans lived in a time where leisure was real wealth.
The word “Otium” was often used to express this level of wealth in leisure.
Otium was regarded as a time for intellectual pursuits, philosophical contemplation, cultural engagement, and enjoying the finer aspects of life.
It involved activities such as reading, writing, conversations, attending theater performances, and appreciating art and music.
The upper classes highly valued a state of leisure called Otium, especially above its counterparts deemed as “Negotium”
Negotium encompassed work, business, and public affairs, which were considered necessary but less noble compared to Otium.
In short: The ability to spend your time doing nothing immediately “meaningful” or “productive” (by today’s standards) & to spend time on introspective tasks was measured as one of the most meaningful & productive practices.
Leisure was the point of life and a goal to aim for. Work was a part of life, but not the point of it nearly as much as it seems to be today.
We used to value leisure a lot more, now we value money and status over enjoyment in our overall lives.
This point of regression comes from a general “do more, be better” approach to life at all hours of each day since we are born.
Then we ask how to be better & the answer comes from someone else:
Someone who may tell you to work a job, climb the ladder & make more money
Just so you can buy nicer things to feel good about yourself while you wash further from the shore that is your life worth living.
A bold truth of today & past days from a good friend (in my head):
"An hour of leisure is the most expensive thing in the world." - Socrates
This idea of Otium reminds me to ask the question “What do I want out of life” more & more each day, & to put time aside for introspection in this question.
The more I can philosophically question my existence & our way of living, the better I am equipt to change it, for myself & for others who want to seek a new path away from current regressions.
Hellscape or newfound haven?
So is a jobless society a newfound hellscape we must endure or a place of haven & creativity?
After re-evaluating the balance of leisure & work (Otium & Negotium) you may have now an answer to this question.
If not, don’t fret. The answer to this question in my eyes comes with a person’s view on not only the world but the ability to be alone with one’s thoughts.
It’s more common than not that someone can’t sit alone in a room for an hour, or even 10 minutes, to be unplugged from the rest of the world and focus on their thoughts or internal monologue.
A job puts people with a purpose & fulfills a lot of basic human psychological needs.
A jobless society throws this balance off more than it already is with the internet enabling all sorts of “jobs” & ways to make money or occupy oneself.
Taking away jobs in the case of a jobless society does not mean someone will go without food or basic needs, a jobless society is likely one of abundance & where anyone may choose to spend their time how they please (when we get there)
Even at this level of abundance though there will be billions of people left frustrated with their own devices.
People who don’t have an answer to the question “What do I want out of life”.
You probably don’t have to worry about this utopian way of life (or dystopian to you) happening in our lifetimes, but as a concept to expand your life, thinking about it now is an eye-opening exercise to fill the missing pieces of our life.
Thank you SO MUCH for reading this. (really it means a lot)
Go enjoy some of that sweet, sweet Otium.
— your friend —