In Spain, there is currently a project, an experiment that is called the 4 day working week.
I sometimes wonder whether our children would know what to do with that spare day. Because we taught them mathematics, we taught them geography, we taught them just that and the other.
But we haven’t taught them how to volunteer, how to be themselves, how to experience wonder, how to be responsible, how to have fun. All those things. So the question becomes about education and schooling, not for employment but for self deployment. And I think that’s something we need to face head on.
From personal experience, over the last 25 years I’ve been lied to by all sorts of people.
Because every time there was a new piece of technology, I was told that my life would be easier. I’d have less work. I’d work fewer hours. My phone goes off all the time. Because I work globally. I have to physically turn it off because I am getting emails 24 hours. The expectations are that we answer as quickly as possible. So I think one of the lessons we need to learn is that we need to let technology work for us. Rather than for us to be the slave of the demands that technology brings about. And I think some of the issues with people’s mental well being are directly related to this. We are no longer in control.
Perhaps we could compare that side of things back to the early working conditions of the industrial revolution. When people were also under immense pressures, be the different pressures. So I think we have a long journey to go but my main issue is about the quality of life.
And finally, I think the issue of the technology in general is, and covid has shown a light in that sense onto a very ugly dark space. Technology, internet access, and learning through this is a human right.
It is technology to education and internet access in particular to education is what clean water is to health. And if we don’t facilitate this we will become globally less democratic. The gap between have and have not will increase. Because the gap between can and can not has increased. And the irony, that in the 21.century, the gap between rich and poor should become bigger. Because of an invention that had the potential to make the gap smaller is something that we should collectively be ashamed of. That’s the lesson we need to learn very fast.