Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What will we do?

There are folks wondering what we will do when the efficiency of our machines completely overwhelms the need to do things for ourselves. It's getting bad folks. Human beings have always found our meaning in service to others.

And so what happens when our service is no longer needed and no longer demanded of us? Some folks are asking what we will do for a living when machines replace human beings at all tasks. There is hardly a thing humans do that cannot be done more efficiently by machines, as long as we are willing to accept a life stiffly scripted by standardization.

Some economists are saying we need to provide a basic unearned living allowance to all persons so that we can afford to keep all the machines going, producing the stuff of "civilization," thus keeping the machine owners happy as the money pours in.

The other thing that some have noticed is that mental health is dependent on finding value and meaning in one's service to others. What we must do is make for ourselves, and for others, useful beauty in defiance to the direction of our society. The easy path is to simply buy stuff and let the stuff overwhelm us and our environment. The more challenging and fulfilling path will be to make for ourselves and make meaningful lives in the process.

In Minneapolis, in about 20 minutes (I could have done it in 10 without 86 people watching) I made a simple box joint jig that would allow me to make lots and lots of boxes. I could instead have bought a similar jig from a retailer for about $50.00 and then would have waited a day or more for the UPS truck to arrive. Then I would have had to figure out where to store it when not in use (after all, I spent good money on it). Buy enough jigs and you need a larger shop. Make enough jigs, and you've made yourself smarter in the process and your work easy. The ones you've made yourself can be thrown out when you are done with them. Or used for years and years if they are still of use.

The jig shown is one I made and used recently to scarf join the material for the sides and bottoms of the boats I'm building with my high school students. It can be put away until we start some more boats. It could be sold to another boat builder. Or it could be taken apart and used as kindling.

Today, being back from Minneapolis, I will begin shaping the sides of Bevins Skiffs. My target is to have parts ready for my students to begin building in December.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning lifewise

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