No More Autopilot From Hugh MacLeod @


Hardly a mor­ning goes by these days without me hea­ring some story on NPR Mor­ning Edi­tion about Ame­ri­can eco­no­mic woe. Espe­cially around this Christ­mas time. Peo­ple who’ve been wor­king hard all their lives, sud­denly can’t afford pre­sents for their kids. Those kind of sto­ries. They’re sad as hell, and they seem to be get­ting more and more frequent.

At the same time I keep seeing news sto­ries like this one from the WSJ: About how com­pe­ti­tion in Sili­con Valley for engi­nee­ring talent is so fierce, they’re figh­ting over interns now:

Sili­con Valley’s talent wars are going younger.

Bay Area tech com­pa­nies, already in a fierce fight for full-time hires, are now also batt­ling to woo sum­mer interns. Tech­no­logy giants like Goo­gle Inc. have been expan­ding their summer-intern pro­grams, while sma­ller tech com­pa­nies are ram­ping up theirs in res­ponse — some­ti­mes even luring can­di­da­tes away from college.

And then there was another story from the BBC, about how Bra­zil has now over­ta­ken the UK as the world’s sixth lar­gest economy.

A  lot of the world is in flux, so it seems. And to this car­too­nist, it has a sim­ple enough explanation:

The Great Con­ver­gence is upon us, and our friend, the Inter­net is acce­le­ra­ting the pro­cess. This would be hap­pe­ning with our without “The 1%”  mis­beha­ving them­sel­ves– wha­te­ver the mains­tream media and the Occupy crowd might say.

The good news is, if you have a talent, the world wants itand it has never been so easy to show your talent to the world.

The bad news is, espe­cially for us fat & lazy Ame­ri­cans, is that the great, century-long era of Prosperity-on-Autopilot  is over.

The world still wants serious talent. And it still wants peo­ple pushing mops, dig­ging ditches, wai­ting tables and slin­ging burgers.

It’s the peo­ple in the middle who nobody knows what to do with any­more. And the poli­ti­cians who claim that they do, are lying.

It’s pro­bably too late for my gene­ra­tion. But for the kids out there rea­ding this, who are just star­ting out?

Learn how to create. Learn how to invent. Learn how to work long hours. Find something you love, and then excel at it. That’s you’re only hope, really.

Like I said, no more Autopilot.