I was listening to The Art of Zen and Motorcycle Maintenance this morning on a bike ride and at one point, the narrator talks about how even though his comrades know they would save a lot of money and frustration if they learned how to maintain their motorcycle themselves, they refuse to try to learn or even question the “official” direction from the dealers and the manual. Even though they are capable people in every other way, when it comes to problems with the motorcycle, they stubbornly repeat the same directions over and over while building up more and more frustration instead of prying a little bit deeper to try to derive what is actually happening. Throughout our lives, in our gold stars and perfect marks and tests on memorization and pattern matching, we’ve been conditioned to think that there’s a
This post reminded me of a piece I read for an education class (https://dusp.mit.edu/sites/dusp.mit.edu/files/attachments/publication/Dancing-With-Robots.pdf). I guess it's only tangentially related, but the premise of the article is that as more jobs become automated, the remaining jobs will center on three types of work: "solving unstructured problems, working with new information, and carrying out non-routine manual tasks." So the idea of questioning existing systems and being open to tinkering is useful in the context of the future job market, too.