Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The cost of progress

Having recently taken part in many, many cost optimization exercises and reading many a report on how to increase efficiency in a shipyard I cant help but question what is the cost of progress?

In terms of shipyards the cost of progress is 100's of highly skilled works such as welders and riveters being replaced by a few unskilled people who can press a single button on a machine as basically everything is automated. I can't help but wonder if this is truly progress, okay the technology is advanced to an extent that most people would not have thought possible, and less workers means less out going costs therefore high profit which is desirable. But there is also huge amounts of unemployment of workers who really have no where else that they can work, which surely cannot be called progress?

Which leads to the question of what is progress? As a society we seem to judge progress on the profit that can be made of what can be gotten out of an action. I say why not judge progress on an individual basis, for some people it will be as simple as how much money they are earning for others progress is being happy in their own skin, or progress is forgiving an old friend. Lets redefine our take on progress.

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