Special thanks and appreciation to Isaac Hoppe for writing this. On point food for thought.
People, collectively, are not freer to pursue creative tasks nor less dependent on skills of self-reliance because of the Industrial Revolution. People are still trying to depend on those tasks to supplement their income or provide all of it, just like people have always done. Communication technology has had a much bigger impact on self-reliance and creative work than the Industrial Revolution had. Communication allowed people to access the new products and culture. The Arts & Crafts movement of the early 20th century demonstrated this, as art and pop culture at once suddenly became far more self-referential and sought to refresh skills that were being replaced by machines.
There is a conflict between automation and skills that continues to inform our culture. Automation cast as the answer to all our problems, a savior come to…
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