I find the modern factory fascinating.
There’s no one working in there to speak of. And most of the people that do work in there are really just presiding over work, not doing it. They’re valuable in a definable way, but not highly skilled. They have knowledge peculiar to the operation and that’s it. They couldn’t work anywhere else using the knowledge they’ve got.
If you were training someone to do this job, you’d have them read a little bit, watch a few videos, maybe, and then endure ten times that much information all about safety. Workers become extravagantly valuable only if you injure them. Most safety training nowadays is simply to keep workers from injuring themselves through a bizarre set of foolish behaviors, undertaken against the express demands of the employer.
How would you educate a child in expectation that they’d someday fill a job like this? If I was in charge, their childhood education would have consisted solely of being taught to read, understand, and be able in turn to produce plain text; to accurately and quickly work with numbers in their head and on paper; and to pay attention closely for extended periods of time while important things are done. This is exactly, precisely, explicitly, utterly and wholly the polar opposite of public education today.
Some people think humans are for making things, [See: Rowe, Michael] and some people think humans are only good for consuming things. [See: Kardashian, various] When the consuming contingent can’t afford to consume things anymore and the producing contingent can’t make anything anymore because there’s no one left to consume it, there’s going to be big trouble.The robots, however, will remain sanguine.
After re-reading that last paragraph, I realized I should have written this about thirty years ago. I apologize for the delay. I have to go make something now. Hope someone buys it.