The future’s professions

Critical notes #08

I am told that the professions of the future have to do with virtual reality, big data, data mining, and robotics…

I haven’t read yet, among many other things, any mention of agriculture, or to any other form of labor to produce food. Probably because of the “disgust” that certain modern and urban societies feel toward everything meaning “peasant”, a term associated with “backwardness,” something they do not want to be close to.

I haven’t read yet any mention of agriculture, horticulture, fruit growing, or any type of production of food that can actually be considered “food” (and not those “vitamin + protein” craps invented by some poor devil of Silicon Valley). And I cannot help wondering what future societies will eat. If, as far as we go, there is something that we can still call “society”.

[Unless, of course, those “professions of the future” are intended only for certain inhabitants of this planet: those who deserve to work in something considered “a profession.” The others will continue in the same limbo they are in today, sewing the clothes of “the chosen ones”, harvesting their food, cleaning and recycling their trash…]

I am also told that the future of information professionals (librarians, documentalists, or whatever they are calling themselves nowadays) consists in training, training, and training, in order not to be overcome by a robot. Those who defend this are those who intimately believe that, in the event that the most probable dystopia is fulfilled and all workers are replaced by robots (more efficient, less fallible, more controllable), they will keep their jobs.

And then I remember that now-famous poem (falsely attributed to Bertolt Brecht; in fact, by Martin Niemöller) that ends: “Now they come for me, but it’s too late.”

I am told, then, that the future is of the machines. That they will do everything and that we (all of us? The societies of the so-called “third world” as well?) will be able to dedicate ourselves to what we like most, unconcerned about everything else. And I wonder what kind of “carefree” life is that they’re trying to sell us: replaced by machines, interacting with machines, and watching life go through a screen, virtually.

And when I finish wasting my time thinking about all that, I go back to work in my garden. Tomatoes will not harvest themselves (at least, not for the time being).

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