A day will come when robots will have taken over all or most of our jobs. Robots will build new robots, and in the unlikely event they need supervision, robots will supervise other robots.
What will people do?
In my last blog I talked about writing novels,. painting landscapes, or playing golf. I even suggested leisure. What’s wrong with lying in the sun and getting a tan. of course, the possibilities are endless. This morning I thought about some of everyone’s favorite Americans, the cowboys. A song about a rodeo came up in my music mix as I was exercising. Cowboys made a great discovery. Thye could make big money showing off what they did everyday.
Cowboy chores like roping cattle and breaking wild horses became a sport when the occupation was no longer needed. Sports stars make more money than day laborers. Cowboys who once rode the range with pennies in their pockets became wealthy men.
Loggers also knew how to turn their skills into fun. They had holidays. Instead of taking the day off, they had competitions and worked harder than ever.
Recently our home had a make over. We put on a metal roof and new siding. Watching the men work was like watching a ballet. Every movement was choreographed. One man cut metal strips or siding to precise measurements; another man nailed the pieces in place. They walked on platforms, as sure footed as Michelangelo must have been when he painted the Cistern chapel.
There is something beautiful about work.Even grunt work can be beautiful I like washing dishes and folding clean clothing. These are daydream times for me when I work out sticky points in a novel or memorize a new list.
So work can be introspective as well as entertaining and beautiful.
When robots take all our jobs, we will create new chores. We might do it for the entertainment of ourselves and others or we might do it for private introspection and pleasure.
I named this blog “Work out.” I find the term interesting.People go to the gym to imitate movements their ancestors did every day and called work.
People used to walk or bike to the store or to work. Today we get in a car and drive around the block to shop. Then we go to the gym and walk on a treadmill. So many chores used to be more difficult.
I remember my mother getting down on her hands and knees to scrub floors. Today I walk behind a mop that is so sophisticatedI barely have to push it.
My mother had to apply real muscle to pound bread dough into place. I buy my bread at Whole Foods. Then I come home and work out with bar bells. When we don’t have work, we ralize that we need it to stay in shape and to satisfy a certain longing. Perhaps that longing is just for time to daydream
The future of work might be competitions where humans, not robots pound in nails and roof or side a house. No robots allowed. We might wash dishes make pretty loaves of bread. other humans will watch us and marvel at our skills at such wonderful old fashioned tasks.
Perhaps real human workers will work in a museum showing visitors how 20th and early 21st century humans performed their chores.
For those of us who don’t want to imitate cowboys and loggers by turning old skills into entertainment and competition, there will always be poetry to write, philosophies to learn, and dances to perform.
And sometimes we might just want to lay in the shade while a robot serves us fresh squeezed lemonade. This is the life. I can’t wait.