The children of manual labourers had been taught to loathe all book-learning, and all who excelled at it. They made my life hell for ten years, until I could finally leave for college the emotional wreck I remain today, largely because the capitalist job system these clods believe is the best and fanatically support even as it ruins them is still in place. I believe that I am very far from unique, and they are not so either, as I see these human apes in every Fox 'News' commentator or viewer I've had the misfortune to notice.
From Aristotle to Confucius to the rabbis who spoke the Talmud into being, I think the ancients were onto something: to the extent that manual work can be automated, it degrades the human spirit and should be eliminated. Manual intelligence is not absent in knowledge-workers: all the rabbis of old were skilled tra=des-men, though none did the mindless work of awmim-haw-oretzim, and I know more computer programmers who could entirely retro-fit their houses than otherwise...I know of very few plumbers or waitresses who hack in their off-hours.
This is not to say that intelligence is not in play in some manual labour---I will note that you soft-balled the researcher by not paying more attention to assembly-line workers---but to the extent it's there it could be better-turned toward more useful projects such as* eliminating that work using machines and A.I.* extending human life indefinitely, including uploading (thereby creating a 'soul', which, contrary to what some of your guests have said, does not exist)* colonising space* understanding as much about this godless, wonderful, universe as possible* bending it to our willsEverything not thinking or fusing is a waste of good enthalpy.
This may _sound_ unrealistic, but given that it is based entirely on the known properties of actual matter, as opposed to what various spokes-persons have claimeed for notioonal 'spiritual' (that is, non-existent) entities, I think it comparatively not so. Even the modest technological advances needed to eliminate all forced work, forever, would be a good start, and a great improvement, not least because it would end the romanticisation of toil toward which your latest guest is contributing.
Finally, be sincere:Who would you rather constituted our polity: the teabaggers and Town Hollerers, almost all people who have hated their boring jobs and authoritarian bosses and therefore hate and loathe the students and knowledge-workers and darker people they assume laze their lives away in various way, or the more mixed---but brain-working--tilted---population of (wait for it!)....public radio listeners?
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