February 16, 2020

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NATURE OF WORK THAT EVOLVED IN INDUSTRIAL AGE TRANSFORMED FUTURE OF WORK IN DIGITAL AGE AND BEYOND…

By Bizshifts-Trends
Published on  Bizshifts-Trends



The industrial age was one of the most significant ‘game-changing’ periods in human history, it transformed the future of work. A spark set in the heart of the England in mid-1700’s would create a wildfire that would engulf the world in a matter of decades. New technologies, new ways of thinking, new jobs and opportunities opened up. Nations that didn’t adopt industrialization would quickly become obsolete and fall into obscurity. Many men, women, children would leave the relative tranquility of the countryside to move to the burgeoning cities in search of work. 

The social effects and consequences of the industrial age were widespread and enormous. Rapid urbanization and every increasing demand for labor led to large portions of the population migrated from farms to cities. Social structures were changed forever. New social classes began to emerge and people began to specialize in jobs or take risks to start businesses. It changed the future of work… 

Now in the information age, a new kind of innovation as evolved, e.g.; computer automation, smartphone, artificial intelligence… are just the beginning of a different age of innovation, which will further change the future of work. Accountants, lawyers, truckers and even construction workers– whose jobs were largely unchanged in the industrial age are about to find their work changing substantially. Many economists say there is no need to worry. They point to how past transformations in the nature of work for many workers did not lead to social upheaval or widespread dislocation. These economists say that when technology and innovation destroys jobs, people find other jobs. But other economists this time things are different and future of work has change forever… 

In the article Industrial Age and Future of Work by Clark Nardinelli writes: Historians agree that industrial age was one of the most important events in history, marking the rapid transition to the modern age, but they disagree vehemently about many aspects… Of all disagreements, oldest one is over how the industrial revolution affected the middle-class working class people. One group, the pessimists, argues that the living standards of the middle-class fell, while another group, the optimists, believes that living standards rose.

Behind the debate was an ideological argument between critics (Marxists) vs. the defenders of free markets. The critics, or pessimists, saw nineteenth-century England as Charles Dickens’s ‘Coketown’, or poet William Blake’s ‘dark, satanic mills’, with capitalists squeezing more surplus value out of the working class with each passing year. The defenders, or optimists, saw nineteenth-century England as the birthplace of a consumer revolution that made more and more consumer goods available to the middle-class. 

The ideological underpinnings of debate eventually faded, probably because according to T. S. Ashton; the industrial revolution meant the difference between the grinding poverty that had characterized most of human history and the affluence of modern industrialized nations. No economist today seriously disputes the fact that industrial age had transformed the future of work and began extraordinarily high (compared with rest of human history) living standards for the middle-class people throughout the world market industrial economies…

In the article Industrial Age and Future of Work by Moshe Y. Vardi writes: The industrial age was a tipping point: For thousands of years before it economic growth was practically negligible, and generally tracking with population growth. Farmers grew a bit more food and blacksmiths made a few more tools but people from the early agrarian societies of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and India would have recognized the world of 17th Century Europe…

But when technology and innovation came along, e.g.; steam power and industrial machinery in 18th Century, economic activity took off. The growth that happened in just a couple hundred years was on a vastly different scale than anything that had happened before. And again now in 20th and 21st Centuries, similarly the future of work is again at a tipping point. But many economists say there is no need to worry. They point to how past major transformations in nature of work, specifically the industrial age– during the 18th and 19th Centuries – did not lead to major social upheaval or widespread dislocation… 

As one economist argued; since dawn of the industrial age, a recurrent fear has been that technological change will spawn mass dislocation, unemployment. Neoclassical economists predicted that this would not happen, because people would find other jobs, albeit possibly after a long period of painful adjustment. By and large that prediction has proven to be correct; until now, the digital age, which is redefining future of work through unprecedented technology, innovation, automation… 

In the article Future of Work by Charles Araujo writes: Despite all the banter about the future of work no one is talking about what that really means. The inability to see through present reality has limited and tainted discussions about how future of work will fundamentally transform over next couple of decades. According to Andrew Yang; automation is accelerating to a point where it will soon threaten the social fabric and way of human life. Hence by looking at the past it’s possible to  begin to understand how future of work may change in the digital era and beyond.

Click here to read the full Article


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