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Yesterday, and today, under Daylight Saving Time, in three photos:

We talked robots and bricks with journalism professor Joe Coleman today.

I remember I worked for a news director at the beginning of my young career and she said ours was a business that would never be taken over by robots. Machines won’t report and write our copy, she said. But that was 17 or 18 years ago and now AI is writing basic stories. Of course we have more wonderful ways to tell great stories today, too; there are always tradeoffs.

This is what made the second half of the program so interesting to me. There are a lot of people in declining or changing industries who can see or feel, that that change is coming. There are people at certain points in their career where they fear that it will happen to them, or they’ve been told as much. Industry comes and goes, and a workforce can be adaptable, but a person, a singular individual at the wrong point of their career might be less so. And when an industry begins to fade away due to advancing tastes, or innovation or regulation or anything, there can be a lot of those individuals thinking “Now what?”

This has long been a part of the cycle, if you think about it. But think about it a little bit more: It is possible that we’ll soon AI and blockchain and quantum this and that our way into more of these types of change than any generation before us. Which, hey, more time off. But a person still has to pay those bills. That person still has to work. You’ll have to retrain a workforce at various stages of their lives, in various family and medical conditions, in a rapidly evolving professional ecosystem.

Coleman, my guest, wrote a book titled Unfinished Work: The Struggle to Build an Aging American Workforce. Here’s a blurb:

The era of the aging worker is here. The forces driving the first decades of the 21st century — globalization, technology, societal aging, and jarring economic instability — have made later retirement a necessity for many, but those who choose to stay in the workforce are frustrated by a job market that fails to take advantage of their talents. As government’s ability to finance retirement and health care declines, making space for older workers in the labor force has emerged as a chief challenge for the coming century.

This starts pretty much now through a time when the labor force is entirely aged out of working, or we radically shift economies. It’s hard to see any reason why it wouldn’t end.

But, for now, we learn in this episode, we’re still laying bricks faster than robots. It’s a great conversation. Scroll up a bit and give it a listen.

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