Another Assault on Our Job Oriented Society #jobs #job #work #USA

I recently wrote that automation is targeting the most plentiful

Latte art

type of job in America: drivers will be replaced by self-driving vehicles. Before the day was done I posted an update – Amazon is beta-testing a store with no cashiers – the second largest job. Now I see that Amazon is aiming to make retail clothing stores obsolete. Order what you want in a few sizes, received them to try at home, and return what doesn’t fit.

Big names are already signed up including Adidas, Calvin Klein, Levi’s and Hugo Boss amongst others. The real kicker is the discount gamification/nudge mechanic – it’s beautiful. Every Prime Wardrobe order is granted 20% off should he or she keep five or more items but only keep three or four items and that halves to a 10% discount. Nice touch, Amazon. forbes

Of course, you’ll miss the social aspect – you’re not out with your friends or even around other people. Some stores may be able to hang on by reducing their square footage. Imagine displays of clothing with samples of the fabrics and finishes available. Once you know your size (fashion industry – you’ve got to do something about standard sizes) you and your friends can still go out for the day to shop, lunch, and enjoy yourselves. No hassles with crowds or wriggling into clothes in those little rooms with fisheye mirrors so clerks can watch you. You’ll save a lot of time – but will that matter?

Because chances are you’ll be one of those people with no job filling your days.

Which makes me wonder… how’s anyone going to afford to shop at all?

Our jobs structure our lives as well as provide money. As I’ve asked before, what will bring us satisfaction, freedom, and a sense of community in the post-work era? I hope we’ll have time to worry about such lovely problems. Is utopia coming? Or a dystopia where most people barely survive in squalid conditions while a fortunate few find work and prosperity?

Going to Amazon today? Click over there now on my link.

In my new story, the Mars colony has settled into a post-work society where robots provide the necessities of life. There’s both utopia and dystopia. Catch up now starting with Glory on Mars – the first settlers arrive on Mars in our near-future. Something is terribly wrong in the colony – settlers are dying. Emma takes the one-way trip hoping to explore and build a new home. She may live to regret her decision, if she survives.

Hopefully my new book will be out fall of 2017. Join my readers’ club to stay in touch and receive occasional flash fiction stories.

Innovative Farming Deserve Your Faith in a Post-Work Future? #nature #farmlife #unemployed

hoverfly_january_2008-6

Hover fly, a natural pollinator

Are we entering the post-work world, at least in terms of traditional jobs in western countries?

Society is leaving 20th Century jobs behind and no amount of political promises will bring back the past. Rust belt cities are contracting and communities are being disrupted. Parents don’t know how to advise their children as they move into an uncertain future.

Money is only one concern. What will bring us satisfaction, freedom, and a sense of community as automation replaces human beings in manufacturing and services?

What future will we build?

Perhaps we’ll leave consumerism behind and follow our interests, talents, and inclinations – how about farming? It seems an ironic tribute to the past, since only a hundred years ago mechanization drove most Americans off their family farms, but boutique farms offer a 21st Century alternative. People are learning how to make small farms work with biointensive techniques.

Biointensive’s key components [include] transplanting and double-digging, on-site composting, close plant spacing, use of seeds from plants that have been naturally pollinated and specific food-to-compost crop ratios. These methods are rarely practiced on large farms, where mechanization is more profitable, but they can be life-changing for the 90 percent of the world’s farmers who work 4 acres (2 hectares) or less by helping them to make the most of a given plot of land.

Biointensive farms use 50 to 75 percent less land and 94 to 99 percent less energy to produce a given amount of food than does conventional farming… less fertilizer… less water… Perhaps most intriguingly, biointensive methods “grow” farmable soil.

Envisioned as “a potential way out for malnourished people worldwide,” perhaps such farms will be the answer for some of the displaced people in America. While these techniques were developed to feed human bodies, perhaps they can also feed human souls.

Thanks to cultivate.news and ensia.com for the story on mini-farms.

4-new-mars-covers-400x363I’m working on book 5 in my On Mars colonization series – hopefully it’ll be out fall of 2017. Join my readers’ club to stay in touch and receive ocassional flash fiction stories.

In my new story, the Mars colony has settled into a post-work society where robots provide the necessities of life. There’s a touch of utopia and a touch of dystopia. Catch up now starting with Glory on Mars – the first settlers arrive in our near-future. Something is terribly wrong in the new colony – settlers are dying. Emma takes a one-way trip to join the first dozen colonists, hoping to explore and build a new home. She may live to regret her decision, if she survives.