Taylor Winchell says technology has made tasks simpler and work more productive, but it hasn’t made them more rewarding.
A Rube Goldberg machine is designed to perform a simple task in an over-complicated, impractical manner, its origins traced to the mind of Mr. Rube Goldberg, who drew humorous cartoons of these unnecessary contraptions.
While Mr. Goldberg spent much of his life in New York, he was born in San Francisco and received an engineering degree in 1903 from UC Berkeley. He worked as an engineer for the six months before becoming a sports columnist for the Chronicle and later a cartoonist in New York.
Mr. Goldberg died in 1970, but I wonder what this Bay Area native—who dreamed up the unnecessarily complicated—might think of Silicon Valley’s ever-increasing pace toward optimization and productivity.
We have reached the inevitable: the modern job is often in front of the computer for most—if not all—of the day, and time at home is spent scrolling phones and watching shows , often at the same time. It’s become hauntingly normal to spend 10 to 12 hours per day looking at a screen.