Obsolete- You and Everyone Else

It’s no longer the hourly factory worker, it’s now the six figure income people and everyone else who’s now at risk.

James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

When we speak of obsolete people and jobs being replaced by machines, we always think of the poor factory worker standing on an assembly line, but never about other kinds of jobs, especially our own jobs. Since I was a boy, factory workers have been displace by technology, so it is easy to see why everyone thinks of obsolescence only in terms of the hourly factory worker. But nothing could be further from the truth. That displacement by machines now includes virtually everyone from the highest incomes down to minimum wage, including doctors and lawyers.

No one is immune from obsolescence!

This became glaring apparent with the recession starting in 2008. There were frequent news stories about middle corporate executives, with six figure incomes, who were laid off, who had gone first for months . . . then years without any prospects for rehiring. These were people who previously could find a new job in days to weeks, then suddenly . . . nothing. And none could understand why the sudden change, why suddenly no one wanted them. The answer was technology. They had been displace by new technologies that made them obsolete.

So how could that be? These were people with multiple degrees, high skill levels, talented people who were quite successful in their careers, jobs that were complex and difficult to do. So how could they ever be replaced by machines? Simple. With the onset of the recession, businesses were stressed and sought relief by reorganizing themselves, and they found that by using various technologies, they were able to reorganize with fewer managers and executives needed, but were still able to get the job done. Suddenly, there was a surplus of these people, a large surplus that the job market couldn’t absorbed even after several years.

When faced with the prospects of being replaced with a machine, people think in terms of an iron-man robot sitting down at their desk, as the human is lead off to the front door by security. This is the first type of technology displacement- Direct displacement, but there are two other types. The second is Oblique displacement where a machine is used by a person to do the work of several other workers, while the third is Indirect displacement. This is where many technologies displace capable people who in turn compete for the jobs of those being indirectly displaced.

Bottom line . . . you don’t need some iron-man robot to replace someone with technology.

So just what do obsolete people look like? You’ve seen them, if not in person, then certainly on the news. They are those people living in tents or makeshift shelters in continuous lines on city sidewalks. New York, Austin, Los Angles and San Francisco to name just a few. In the sliding down of the ‘economic hill’, people are being pushed out of the social-economic system, and those tents is where it all ends. As water and sanitation problems become critical for public health, cities are looking for ways to address the problem with their already limited resources. Many are looking at building ‘tiny houses’ of 100 to 200 square feet each, acquiring land areas for the houses, not realizing they are taking the first steps in establishing formal reservations.

A reservation is an artificial environment to warehouse people.

Keep in mind, these ‘tent cities’ of obsolete people are growing, and most likely will continue growing at an even faster rate. With another recession . . . another down turn of the economy, businesses will again look for ways to cut cost, to remain profitable, and that means machines replacing people. With that, more people will slide further down the social economic system with lower paying and less desirable jobs, to finally join those living in tents. There’s no sudden change from being a asset to society to being obsolete, it’s just not as apparent to everyone as you slide down that steep hill of technology, but still you’re obsolete having little to offer in the twenty-first century. The only real difference between the ‘hill sliders’ and the homeless, is the obsolescence becomes readily apparent and so can no longer be denied.

Other obsolete people are the young in groups like ANTIFA and their supposed nemesis of white supremeness right wingers such as the Proud Boys. Neither have a strong well defined political philosophy, rather they are antagonist using each other to lash out at … so to vent their frustrations, angers and resentments on each other without any real objectives. The problem for both is their alienation from failing to advance technologically, and then trying to live in a high technology society they don’t like, often fear, don’t understand and really don’t belong too.

If you want to understand what is happening today, just look back to the nineteenth century and the Native Americans. It’s the exact same thing again. A people too technologically behind to assimilate and become contributors in an advance society. The Indians faced a tsunami from the leading edge of nineteenth century technology as it built up, crested above their heads, and then came crashing down on them. And like a real tsunami they were unable get out of the way and escape!

A Corollary of War- A technologically advance people will displace a lesser people.

This is what you’re seeing today, what you are living through. Their real value to a technological society diminishing and so they are slowly being pushed out to finally become those homeless people living in tents. People who have run out their ‘technology string’ and are left with no other place to go and with no future. Read more at www.peopleobsolete.com

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