Sleepers, Wake!

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Sleepers, Wake! Technology and the Future of Work is a book by Barry Jones, originally published in 1982 and reprinted many times. It was published in 1995 in a revised and updated fourth edition.

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. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford have shaped human experience more broadly and enduringly than Lenin and Hitler.

He goes on to say that technologically advanced nations are currently passing through a post-industrial or information revolution, created by technology of unprecedented capacity. Nations, regions, and people face unique threats and opportunities.

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."[1]

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

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



  1. ^ New Dimensions: "Future of Work", broadcast transcript, 24 July 2002, with George Negus, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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