This is a series of musings from my big leather (really broken-in – to the point of broken-down) chair.
- Excellence will make a place for itself. While there is much consternation about the direction things are going in today’s economy and employment situation, I believe that, in some ways, we are moving into the most pure form of a free market society we have ever experienced. I recently read about the bleak outlook for teachers as online learning began to broaden in frequency and scope. The article I was reading talked about a future where school students would watch a teacher, who was recognized for his or her excellence on a specific subject, teach a class on a video monitor or computer screen. This would lessen the demand for teachers by only requiring someone to monitor the classroom, not requiring any particular knowledge in the specific subject being taught. This is a frightening prospect for tenured teachers, who could suddenly find themselves out of work. On the other hand, it would be a marked improvement for the students who would now hear one of the best teachers in the nation in each subject being taught, on a daily basis. While the job pool is becoming smaller, due in part to technological advances and automation, the rewards for being transcendent are higher than ever because of the greater access to large audiences via internet and mass media. While an excellent teacher, musician, or artist that lived in a rural area had limited access to any measurable fan base or market share in the past, now any great performance has the potential to “go viral,” thereby reaching a massive audience. It makes the true artists in any field more accessible… and indispensable than ever before.