Don’t Worry about the Ro­bots: How to Sur­vive and Thrive in the New World of Work

North & South - - Monthly Review -

Dr Jo Cribb & David Glover (Allen & Un­win, $33)

Jo Cribb and David Glover are well- cre­den­tialed to

write a book about the fu­ture of work and what you can do to pre­vent it bit­ing you in the ca­reer path. She is a for­mer CEO of the Min­istry for Women. He is for­mer CEO of Learn­ing Me­dia. They are ac­com­pa­nied on their ex­plo­ration, in these pages, by a di­verse and in­spir­ing group of 12 suc­cess­ful adap­tors, in­clud­ing sci­en­tist Michelle Dick­in­son, poet Selina Tusi­tala Marsh and en­trepreneur Shay Wright.

One of the great­est chal­lenges, as they see it, stems from the fact that the cur­rent dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion – the world’s fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion – is the first that won’t cre­ate as many jobs as it de­stroys. There are other on­go­ing prob­lems for work­ers, to which Cribb and Glover aren’t im­mune. In their in­tro­duc­tions, Glover writes about his dif­fi­cul­ties with a ca­reer in which he has fre­quently moved coun­tries, while Cribb writes about the dif­fi­cul­ties of jug­gling work and study­ing for a PHD with rais­ing chil­dren.

Un­usu­ally for a book of this ilk, the au­thors are very direct about “What You Should Do” to get and stay ahead in a fast-chang­ing world. They pro­vide spe­cific rec­om­men­da­tions: know what’s go­ing on around you, es­cape the echo cham­ber of con­fir­ma­tion bias and get a men­tor, com­plete with ad­vice on what to do with them when you get one.

The one thing we know for sure about the fu­ture is that, sooner or later, it’s go­ing to get here. Ac­cord­ingly, the more in­for­ma­tion like this that we have, the better equipped we will be to deal with it.

Hsu Fu sounds like the first of the Nige­rian scam­mers. He con­vinced his em­peror he could find a plant that would be­stow im­mor­tal­ity.

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