Friday, 30 March 2012

Cerebral economy

It is said that developed countries have transitioned to (or are transitioning to) a knowledge economy. And it is certainly the case that jobs tend to require more knowledge to do. But how many jobs, despite the reliance on memory, actually place that much reliance on the other mental faculties - creativity, ability to apply concepts, etc?

It seems to me that the opportunity for exercising and developing higher cerebral functions is still monopolised by the few. With no experience of jobs relying on higher cerebral functions, your chances of getting a job that will make use of higher cerebral functions are low.

Fortunately, information technology will be our savior. As computers are able to do more and more of human's lower cerebral functions, and data is better organised and accessible, we will become partners with our computers. And IT literacy will be more than Microsoft Windows and Office, with the average person acquiring more and more skills of the software engineer and the database manager.

A distinguishing characteristic of a cerebral worker compared to a knowledge worker is that performance drops off significantly with overwork, and is improved significantly by work environment, team spirit and a sense of purpose. Although this was also the case with the knowledge worker compared with the physical laborer, it is another step in the right direction.

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