Tim Harford at Think 2018

Here. Video, lasting just over twenty minutes. Just watched it. Good.

Particularly interested by what he says about how, without cheap paper, the revolutionary changes ushered in by the printing press could not have happened. Mass produced printed material printed on animal skins not economically doable.

Harford ends on what he thinks is a depressing note, about a woman who supplies the final bit of muscle to a huge warehouse system, by receiving verbal orders from an all-powerful robot, which she simply obeys, second by second. Go here, get this, this number, take it here, …

Well, it’s a job.

Personally, I think that having to think all the time about your work, when you are at work, is hugely overrated. Whenever I have had a “job”, I liked it when my job was my job, but my thoughts were my own. Best job? Driving a van, delivering number plates. Drove on autopilot most of the time. Thought my own thoughts. Didn’t “buy into the company vision”. Not “committed”. Wasn’t “invested” in the work. Just did it, mostly without having to think about it. Bliss.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

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