Friday, November 4, 2011

Luddite Fallacy: not wrong anymore?

Smash away!

I just read this article suggesting that the current job crisis might be a symptom of a larger trend: disappearing middle class jobs. The author cites technology and outsourcing as the causes. The technology part reminded me of an idea that's been forming in my head for a while.

Technology is bottoming out the cost of anything whose price was held up by the difficulty of communication or automation. The news, music, and even postal industries all were undercut when the internet made it dirt cheap to transfer information.

Of course, it also made all those goods cheap and plentiful for everyone. For a while I thought that was part of the answer to why technology doesn't create the massive unemployment the Luddites feared. But.. lately I've realized this time might be different.

So maybe the way this is working is that there are benefits to society but the benefits don't address the drawbacks. So we get to live in a world with an abundance of information always at our fingertips but that doesn't help the fact that none of us have jobs.

2 comments:

  1. Hello from Poland :) I just wanted to say that someone reads your blog so keep writing!
    xx

    Patrycja

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  2. Hey Patrycja!

    Thanks for your comment, that's very encouraging! Maybe I won't be quite so self-effacing. At this point I'm pretty confident I'll keep writing, though.

    Nick

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