The start of the journey…
Back in the late 1970’s, computers were beginning to make inroads into businesses and personal lives. The internet and handheld devices did not yet exist. The banking industry was starting to introduce automation with the advent of ATM machines. Big, bulky machines and large main frame computers were still viewed in awe by the masses.
The common man still lay unaware, wrapped in a world of simplicity and innocence.
I was in the beginning of the throws of that technological revolution. Unknown to me at the time, it would be a turning point in the history of man. It would be the beginning of pitting innovation against human ingenuity, machine against man.
In the beginning years…
In those days of innovation, I was involved in training users to the new technology. I was responsible for transferring their lifelong skills to computer aided drafting (CAD). Traveling throughout the United States for a large CAD company, I became familiar with the people who were impacted. The impact was stunning.
One day, I was sent to Pittsburg Steel to train the draftsmen, transitioning them from pen and mylar to the CAD system.
A few days into the training, I began to see something that disturbed me. Those men and women, whose years of manual skills and unique drawing styles, were being forced into sameness. Their uniqueness and hard earned qualifications no longer were important. And it showed in their eyes.
Their work was now relegated to a place of mediocrity where conformity outweighed their individuality. No longer did they need to strive for perfection in their output. The world of computers was beginning to lower the expectations of human skills that took years to master. The machine made it easy for the masses to operate, and the knowledge and talents gave way to uniformity.
Many will argue that the results I saw were really not the case.
The industry would open up opportunities for people to enter that field without the years of training. The shortened time would save companies money. With everyone using the same system, it would simplify processes. It would become easier to track and generate changes. Data calculations could be made from the drawings. It would become easier to generate reporting and manufacturing supplies, tabulate costs, etc.
The plans able to be viewed on the portable platforms of tablets and cell phones. The inconvenience of large papers would be no longer needed. And any changes and reproduction of the drawings could be done faster.
For the profitability of the construction industry, the technology would make life easier and more efficient.
I would challenge this.
While these programs have created profitability for the companies, the bean counters and data analysts have forgotten one very important thing. These tools remove the dignity of man. People are reduced to being exactly the same.
A machine can never replace the decades of skill learned by any individual. It took decades to perfect the art of drafting by apprenticeship and experience. These tools merely manipulate bits and bytes, changing electronic pulses into seemingly masterful pieces of art.
They can never replace the creativity of any human being.
A very important shift has occurred in this modern age. It has overtaken the meaning of simply being a person.
In the ever increasing push toward computerization, we have forgotten something. It cannot replace the real pride in work done well.
This is a pride that a person gains by using their mind, imagination, and a few simple tools to create artistic mastery.
Bringing to light what has been lost in our meteoric rise technologically is what this blog is all about. It is about what it means to be truly human. We are not merely a commodity to be used and tossed aside by an industry committed to its bottom line. It is not to be a slave to a system that has chained man to technology. The same technology that claims to have made the lives of humans more free, more simple.
Purpose of this blog…
This blog is to provide a roadmap, a source of discussion, to help people recognize that they are important; their skills are important; their existence is important. And to recognize that without humans, even the existence of this technology would cease to function and hold to purpose.
Technology is there to serve man.
Our society has begun to use it at the very high cost. The result is that it has begun to eliminate our vision of who we are as people. It has disconnected individuals from what each of us can bring to the table. We have become a statistic.
The blur between technology and innovation has removed the function and purpose of being a human being. Consequently, we have become just another device used to input data. We, ourselves, have become nothing more than a number on some dataset.
Who we are…
We are humans.
It is time we learn to see ourselves for what we really are.
We are brothers and sisters in the larger family called the human race.