There was an interesting news item last week about careers that might not exist 10 years from now. The source of this weighty information wasn’t disclosed in the broadcast, just the fact that the prediction had been made.
As one might expect, it is naturally assumed that the advent of more technology in the workplace will force some jobs into extinction.
The news item listed the endangered list of careers as: retail cashier, telemarketer, freight/stock, newspaper delivery, travel agent, postal worker, taxi dispatcher, word processor/typist, librarian, and social media manager. With the advent of more and more technological advances in the workplace, it’s not difficult to imagine that some jobs will simply disappear.
While it is very difficult for me to imagine an ultimate end to some of these sources of employment, we have already witnessed some moves in that direction. I have seen, and even utilized, a digital self-checkout counter. I don’t particularly enjoy using them, but I have done it. And I find myself more willing to order certain items online, thus contributing to the need for fewer retail clerks.
I don’t know if anyone has ever really considered telemarketing as a career, or more as a temporary job until something better comes along. While none of us likes to see jobs evaporate, we all like to complain about telemarketers. The only thing worse are the computer generated robocalls. But you can hang up on them without feeling rude.
The demise of the printed newspaper has been foretold for quite some time. It seems that there is an ever-shrinking number of us old-timers who prefer to cling to our paper. There is, in my mind, a vast difference between the experience of reading an actual newspaper and scanning information online. I can only hope that newspapers will be around at least as long as I will.
Libraries are an important part of our community, and today there are vast resources online that fairly easily can be accessed. However, there is nothing to compare with the helpful librarian who can do so much more than a search engine. I have a hard time thinking of a future and imagining no librarians.
I’ve always been curious about those who would be bold enough to make claims as to what is going to happen in the future. Granted, there are some general statements that can always be made and which will generally hold out to be true. But making specific predictions is, in my opinion, fairly risky business.
Stephen Hawking, on the other hand has made some pretty bold predictions about the eminent extinction of mankind.
As he is a self-proclaimed genius, one must admire the boldness of his claim. While he first suggested that mankind will need to find a new home within the next 1,000 years, he has now suggested urgency by claiming we only have about 100 years left.
As Hawking is now 75 years old, he is undoubtedly not going to be around to see if his forecast about the future will hold true. Now, that’s the way to predict — make it far enough into the future that you will never have to be held accountable for the accuracy of your statement. Bold move.
Candidly, I have a great deal of difficulty trusting anything said by this man. It amazes me that such a highly intelligent person can be so willfully ignorant of the truth. Mr. Hawking cannot allow himself to ever have any hope because he is an atheist.
I have no predictions to make, what will be will be. I remain thankful and hopeful for whatever may come my way.
David Coffelt is a Harrisonville area resident and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.