I was reading a post (on LinkedIn) about Switerland's referendum on a guaranteed minimum income. The article mentioned it was a development needed for future societies -- when robots and Ai have taken all the jobs.
A scary thought.
What are people going to do when all this technology takes over the functions people previously performed?
Sounds like science fiction? Maybe a story starter?
Maybe not -- if you look at history, there have been many changes caused by advances in technology, some with good effects and some not so good.
Like the printing press -- might have put scribes out of business, but accelerated education, so more could read and it increased the demand for writing
Industial revolution -- craftsman and women replaced by machines, created jobs that were less skilled, but lowered the costs of goods
An extension of that was Henry Ford's assembly line. It increased production and Henry Ford saw they he needed to expand the market, so he increased wages and the demand fueled the rise of the auto industry.
Later labor unions further increased wages and benefits as well as working conditions. The 50's and 60's saw prosperity in the middle class -- roads, great schools and other things were built.
Then computers -and later, PCs - began doing many repetitious tasks that had previously been done by clerks.
The Internet was developed, giving people (like me) access to an audience.
Blogging, (ruined journalism, some may say). Self publishing flourished, and the rise of "free" created new business models and ways of marketing.
Now artifical intelligence is here. There is software that already writes press releases and other types of regular reports. Software that writes code.
Where is this all going? What are people going to do?
Ray Bradbury had an uncanny forcast for the future with his walls of television and people walking around with shells in their ears. ( And sports obsessions.)
What would he say now? Any new Bradburys out there?
Let me know if you've read any forward looking sci-fi recently.
And thanks for reading.
Keeping the Best, Changing the Rest
Growing up, a family gathering wasn’t complete unless there was a game of Pinochle -- the click of cards and conversation punctuated by laughter and exclamations.
Pinochle is uses a special deck of cards (made by combining the Ace, Ten, King, Queen, Jack, and Nine of two decks) and is most often played with just four people.
To include more players, the family added decks, so instead of two of each card, there could be three, four or more, depending on how many people wanted to play. To make things even more interesting, new partners were picked every hand by turning up a card from the ‘blind’.
Over the years, the family drifted away from the card games. Football, television and electronic games began to dominate.
But this year, Thanksgiving was at our house and we had a bright idea -- reviving the family pinochle tradition!
First we had to remember the rules. With a bit of help from the Internet, we pieced together a quick overview of the rules for the younger generation (and those that hadn’t played in a long time). It went pretty smoothly until we got to what constituted meld - the points you accumulate before the hand is played. Then the questions began:
Asking good questions and challenging assumptions are great skills for innovation, even if that wasn't the objective and most of them were asked for the fun of asking. They paved the way for the final question:
If my grandfather could change the rules to make it fit the situation, so could we. Tens, Kings and Queens now counted for points.
This changed the game slightly (Oddly, it was more challenging to count the points). But we still had conversation, laughter and some exclamations.
That made me wonder about the upcoming Holidays. For many, they are full of family traditions and “have to dos”. Perhaps not everything makes as much sense as it did for our grandparents, or parents or even ourselves at a different stage of life.
By questioning and challenging assumptions, you can keep the best parts and change or eliminate what doesn’t fit. Make them your own – and maybe you’ll come up with something even better.
Are you changing some traditions? If you are, please tell us in the comments.
Have a wonderful week!
Insights on writing, characters, humor and other tidbits from the author of the "Scoops and Schemes" series of novels.
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