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A New Decade, and a New Paradigm for Living

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A New Decade, and a New Paradign for Living

I have revised my book about the new technologies and the new lifestyle that I see coming, and this is the unexpurgated version. A cut-down version will go to Amazon. Below is another excerpt from that book which should be available from my website (http://john-clare.com/books/Non-Fiction/index.html) later today (April 25).

Sorry for this site being down for a couple of days, but I was hacked.
Okay, here's another small cut from the book.

I maintain that if robots can be programmed to play football, they can also be programmed to be nurses, or ninety-nine percent of the jobs out there presently being done with various grades of efficiency (or inefficiency) by humans.
If they cant be done well enough as of 2020 when I am writing this, it wont be long before they can.
What we have done is invent help-mates to assist us with our work-load. We have over the years improved those help-mates to such an extent that we have made them so good at their jobs they can now do that work without our help, and in terms of the work-place, we have largely made ourselves redundant.
We need a new paradigm to underpin our reason for living. We need to redefine what we are here for,
The pilot is no longer needed to fly the plane, his new purpose is to feed the dog.
What's your purpose in life, given that you really aren't needed to go to work because a computer can do it better and faster than you can?
Somewhere along the line such a revaluation is going to have to be made. And maybe some decision is going to be forced on us by something like the current health panic.
Such a change cant possibly take place over-night.
You could say that such a change is being (temporarily) forced on us overnight right now. (I am writing this in April 2020.)
What is more likely to happen is a gradual change.
Let's start with the simple jobs, like standard office work.
What happens at the moment (or would happen if we were not under a curfew which we politely call a lockdown)?
Jim and Joan get up at seven o'clock, go through their morning routines, run for the bus, and chug slowly, painfully, and irritably, into work. The person next to them has a cold and keeps sniffing and occasionally sneezing.
Two days later Jim and Joan have raging colds.
But I digress. Or do I?
They get to work. They chat to their work-mates, and do a spot of work. That work is done sitting at a desk in front of a computer.
At lunch time they walk to a local lunch takeaway, pay an exorbitant price for a couple of rolls and a plastic cup containing something labelled tea.
The afternoon is spent once again in front of the company computer.
Five o'clock comes round, and our pair rush for the bus, and get carried almost home.
It's raining, and the last ten minute walk soaks them.
The get indoors, change, and flop.
Can we perhaps re-write this sordid little story?
Jim and Joan get up at eight o'clock, have a leisurely breakfast, and switch on their respective computers. They link into the company network, and do exactly the same job they would have done if they had gone into the office.
The can stop for lunch, which they can have in their own kitchen, and they have a more flexible approach to when they stop and start.
They don't have to run for a bus. They don't need to get wet or catch a cold. They don't have to pay over the odds for lunch, or buy a travel-card.
The employer is over the moon. The company no longer has to buy or more likely lease a twenty storey office block to house people that don't need to be in that particular location, thus saving millions.
They no longer have to supply all the things that government regulations require them to supply to keep their staff happy.
Why, for pity's sake, why do we need office blocks?
The obvious answer to that question is that we donít.
Ninety-nine per cent of all these workers can stay at home, which is exactly what is happening across the country at the moment.
The biggest bunch of office workers can be organised from one room, and kept together by the office computer network.
What's the problem?
Achieve that move and we are ready to make the next move.
The second question was: Why do we need all those workers?
Actually, we donít. Automate 90% of all the office work, and sack the workers.
Now we do have an interesting situation.
We will continue to have people employed just because they need an income and they need something to do to stop them littering up the streets and parks, and to stop them causing trouble through sheer boredom.
What an insane way to run an economy.
Not to worry, in a later chapter I solve that particular problem.
Of course, this does not necessarily apply to service workers. But who are the service workers?
Let's start with solicitors, estate agents, and the like. What's to stop them from working from home?
Due to the conditions in place at the time of writing that is what they are doing right now. Once again, working from home is much cheaper than providing premises for them to work from. And the travel expenses are cut, and the transport usage is cut to almost nil. This has the useful knock-on effect of cutting greenhouse emissions.
If you need face to face interviews then use software apps that have been developed precisely for that purpose.
If they wont do, have a much smaller office with a couple of interview rooms. You wouldn't need anything else. And the staff would come in to use those rooms as needed, not as a matter of course.
The bottom line here is very simple. We have the technology. Why cant we use it sensibly?
What's the point of having programs such as GoToMeeting if instead we catch the early morning train, wasting time and money to go to a physical meeting? Pure madness. Or it is a matter of thinking in terms of past ways to do things.
Think of the time and effort saved. Think of the money saved.
This way of doing things is going to come. And there is nothing to stop it happening now. In fact quite the contrary. This pandemic is going to force changes.

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