Talking Point: Di Murrell: October 2021

Each month we invite a Guild member to sound off about something they feel strongly about. This month, Di Murrell.

‘Zen Buddhism says, “a day without labour is a day without food” – a constant – until now. “Labour” was physical and bodies needed to be strong and able. Now it appears that physical work is somehow demeaning and must be avoided at all costs. Science and technology collude to eradicate the shame – instead, we press buttons, rely on remote controls, use simulators to quasi-experience active pursuits whilst passively safe in our favourite armchairs. Now we can even command robots to do stuff: into our kitchens march robot slaves to stir our risottos, make our pasta, beat our eggs.

‘I hear the argument that technology helps the less able to do more, but mine is that of an able-bodied person who wants to remain so. Believe me, I am not against kitchen aids, nor, any aids per se, as long as I’m in control and a physically active participant in the job in hand.

‘Tell me please, what, when these androids have taken over all the “labour”, are we all supposed to be doing? Or as the motor car did for the horse, will we too, find ourselves just as redundant?’