Tuesday, 9 April 2013


The Weekend Australian Review April 6-7, 2013, carried an article by Tim Flannery titled Gore’s future vision based on terra firma – (see page 24 BOOKS). It reviews Al Gore’s vision, The Future, published by WH Allen. It is a sequel to the Academy Award-winning 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth. Flannery writes:

An example of the disruption resulting from the interconnectedness of economies concerns the robotisation of labour. Gore notes that “virtually all industrial countries seem perplexed and powerless in their efforts to create jobs with adequate wages” and to create consumer demand. Many resort to stimulating industry, but Gore argues this is doomed to fail because robots have altered the relationship between capital and labour. Jobs are not going offshore, he says, as much as being permanently lost to machines.

What sort of jobs may be under threat in the future? Experimental driverless vehicles already exist and, as these become widespread, the 373,000 taxi drivers and chauffeurs in the US will be made redundant. Such is the pace of technological change that Gore sees even professions such as doctors, architects and lawyers eventually being replaced by robots.

. . . .

How long before our buildings are being made by 3-D printers on site?

What would Sigfried Giedion make of this view where ‘mechanization takes command’ - the title of his book published by Oxford University Press in 1948?

Is the demise of the architect only possible when rationalisation takes command? How will feeling be infused into form; a little madness into the mores that might transform perceptions?

Is Reyner Banham’s Theory and Design in the First Machine Age first published by The MIT Press in 1960 in need of a revision? What is today’s theory: ME & MY?

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