Great piece overall.
However the thought that UX is only focussed on the ‘thing’ isn’t agreeable, that kinda shadows over the fact that UX itself is a parent term for several different practices.
Take the ‘soft skills’ for instance, they’re hardly skills that EVERY ‘designer’ should have, they are primarily skills that new age designers should have who have for instance been admitted to the world of Ethnography (user research). User research being a part of UX means that it’s not solely focussed on the product, the very term means it’s about the ‘experience’ overall, the aura as well as the entity.
I would completely agree however (along the same lines as some other comments here) that the legitimate practice of UX has been diminished by several factors. Mainly the corporate industries disparaging view of design and UX, the fact they all want a unicorn designer. And also the flood of new bodies to the industry who are only qualified for the belittled view of UX, not the real underlying work and regime that is required. It’s akin to the point that every millennial/Gen X believes they are an entrepreneur nowadays because the media has put it so high on a pedestal and makes it look easy.
But again, great piece, it’s very thought provoking and the kind of writing that’s actually needed right now!