Sigmund Freud said the two great protections we all had against inevitable human suffering were love and work. Will we lose work in the second machine age?
Robots and computers will not just eliminate our jobs; they will also dissolve important aspects of the family and our pair-bonded partnerships.
We will need a good dose of healthy stoicism if we are to survive in the world after work.
Could we redesign shopping as a system of “catch-and-release,” so that, like sport fishing, it’s the adventure and not the prize that becomes central?
The pursuit of transcendent experiences will become a connoisseur art when we’re all unemployed.
“You’ll never get a good job, son, if you’re smoking pot all the time!” That’s a scolding you won’t hear in the future.
Stephen T. Asma is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago, where he is also Senior Fellow of the Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture.
Asma is the author of ten books, including The Evolution of Mind (Harvard University Press, forthcoming), Against Fairness (University of Chicago Press), On Monsters: an Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears (Oxford University Press), Buddha for Beginners (For Beginners), and The Gods Drink Whiskey (HarperOne).
He writes regularly for the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Skeptic magazine. He has also written for the Sunday Times, the Chicago Tribune, Aeon magazine, and many others. His work has been translated into German, Spanish, Hebrew, Czech, Romanian, Hindi, Portuguese, Korean, and Chinese.
In 2003, he was Visiting Professor at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, and in 2007 he lived and studied in Shanghai China. Asma also researched Asian philosophies in Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Laos. And in 2014, he was a Fulbright Scholar, teaching philosophy in Beijing, China.
Asma has been an invited lecturer at Harvard University, Brown University, the Field Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Fudan University (Shanghai), Xi’an Jiaotong University, University of Macau, School of the Art Institute, and many more.
Stephen Asma is also a blues/jazz musician who has played onstage with many musical artists, including Bo Diddley and Buddy Guy.
His website is www.stephenasma.com