“Ultimate automation will make our modern industry as primitive and outdated as the stone age man looks to us today.”

Wood working for centuries has been a hands on sport.  There was nothing a skilled craftsman and a little elbow grease couldn’t create.  Even with the brilliant discovery of electricity and the invention of power tools it still took a skilled hand to maneuver those implements over the wood.  Now we have awesome computers guiding tools over the wood but is that a good thing for our craft?

In some ways I believe it is.  It still takes a skilled mind to conjure up great creations to be programmed into these machines.  It makes the time-consuming tasks of yesterday a lot more expedient.  It makes these nice wood pieces available on a massive global scale.   But since I don’t have the budget for this high-end automation in my shop is it good for me?

In some ways I believe it is.  The want for hand crafted pieces will never lose its appeal.  The scarcity of these hand-made items means economically they are more valuable.  Typically quality hand-made heirlooms are handed down to children or grandchildren.  And the sheer joy I get from crafting these things could never be replaced by watching a machine do the work.

Looking at the bigger picture of automation and its advance into our everyday lives I think that it’s a good thing as well.  Most of us carry a small computer around in our pockets with more computing power than the ship that put us on the moon.  We have self driving cars coming to the main stream in the very near future.  We have computers carving wood.

Does it have a downside?

In some ways it most definitely does.  This automation will eliminate jobs on a fairly large-scale.  I don’t believe any sector is safe.  Automation already writes algorithms for engineers and a lot of the articles in the nations major newspapers are written by artificial intelligence.  Self driving cars will have a large impact on the way we move people and goods.  They will also affect the revenue of cities and states.  The auto driving car will not speed or run red lights.  It will not roll through stop signs and it will tell you if you have a light out.  These small infractions add up to big revenue for a lot of jurisdictions and the addition of auto cars could take a bite out of that cash flow.

I say fasten your seat belts for this ride over the next decade or two.  It could get bumpy but it will definitely be exciting.

Thanks for reading.  Be good.  God bless.