Sleepers, Wake!

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Sleepers, Wake! Technology and the Future of Work is a book written by Barry Jones,[1] originally published in 1982 and reprinted many times. A revised and updated edition was published in 1995.[2]

Based on the premise that technologically advanced nations are currently passing through a post-industrial or information revolution, Jones analyzes the unique threats and opportunities of the sudden rise in information to the field such as manufacturing, service employment, and basic income.

Jones argues that science and technology have changed the quality, length, and direction of life in the past century far more than politics, education, ideology, or religion. Therefore, inventors such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford have shaped human experience more broadly and enduringly than Lenin and Hitler.

Some of the book's key points, such as the claim that technological innovation is a major component of economic growth, are more widely accepted now than in 1982. But, to quote Barry Jones himself, "The central thesis was that people were going to be living longer, far longer, but it was possible that they would be working a good deal less."[3][4][not in citation given]

Due to the rising issues for the labor force, Jones proposed the need to assist workers in income support and choosing to stay or leave the workforce. However, Jones noted in the 1990 edition that the Labour government did not pursue the idea of basic income when it won office in 1983.[4]

Sleepers, Wake! analyzes the major changes in the workforce and presents the possible political programs to assist the society in profiting from the technological advancements.

The fourth edition uses 1991 Commonwealth census data as confirmation of his thesis about changes in the labour force.[5]

Barry Jones was Australia's Minister for Science in the Hawke government from 1983 to 1990.



  1. ^ "Prof Hon Barry Jones". The University of Melbourne. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Sleepers, Wake! : Technology and the Future of Work / Barry Jones". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  3. ^ New Dimensions: "Future of Work", broadcast transcript, 24 July 2002, with George Negus, Australian Broadcasting Corporation[dead link]
  4. ^ a b Arthur, Don (18 November 2016). "Basic income: a radical idea enters the mainstream". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Sleepers, Wake!: Technology and the Future of Work". The ACM Digital Library. Retrieved 26 February 2017.