On a train out of Manhattan today it hit me… The only way to have any actual job security in today’s world is to not be a robot or a computer. That is to say, if they, corporate America, can replace you with a robot or a computer they will, eventually.
I have to believe that goes for every job there is. No matter what job… And it’s up to you, me, us to show each other the value of a human over a computer or robot. Maybe it’s also up to us to reward companies that don’t have computers that answer phones… Or boycott stores that don’t show personality, humanity and compassion.
I know if they could get computers to automatically write screenplays that people would pay money to watch as a film, they would. Same goes for acting… The day some computer can be human, and they don’t have to pay it, I’m out of a career… We’re already watching elements of that on screen. Robots boxing. Cartoons. But, the same goes for everything.
Do you think someone’s not some where trying to figure ways to eliminate your job? In High School I was a bank teller, and the very first ATM (automatic teller machine) appeared… I wasn’t really super happy with my part time gig, so when I gave my notice to do something else, part of my reasoning was… “Well, with the machines you’re installing, you’ll need less tellers anyway…” And, while the bank manager, who was trying to convince me to continue working there, said that the machines wouldn’t eliminate any jobs… I can honestly say that in the more than 20 years since that job, I use those ATMs ten times more than I do an actual teller. And I bet you do too.
So, the true value of being a human in today’s job market is to show our humanity. The last time I was actually “in” a bank in Los Angeles, the guy that helped me, well, he was so cool, I thought, “I should come in more often.” He was as far from a computer as he could possibly be…
One problem I have with most of today’s modern music is a lack of exactly that… A lack of humanity. Soul. These “singers” who are starting to sound more like computers than people… Repeating one phrase over and over and being “auto tuned” to electronic beats. One thing I’ve heard some like about my Closet Singer songs is the non-perfection… Not really super intentional, but practically unavoidable when being human.
Computers very well may be taking over the world or at least the United Corporate States Of America… But maybe not quite the way we’re programmed to think, as in the way we think of in movies like “Terminator.” Maybe Instead of them just turning more like us, maybe it’s while they ARE slowly becoming more like us, WE are becoming quickly more like them.
And maybe, the closer computers and humans become to each other… The “whomevers” that control the biggest computers, maybe at that point, they control all of us (more than they already do).
Christmas has past once again, New Year’s Eve is upon us… Perhaps in 2012 we all look up from our cell phones more frequently, we hear a folk singer, go see a play, read or write a poem, we check in with each other, wave and say hello, help a person across a street… We take an extra second with each customer, and we show the world how human we actually are, and how much we actually value actual humanity.