“Before Frederick Taylor introduced his system of scientific management, the individual laborer, drawing on his training, knowledge, and experience, would make his own decisions about how he did his work. He would write his own script. After Taylor, the laborer began following a script written by somebody else. The machine operator was not expected to understand how the script was constructed or the reasoning behind it; he was simply expected to obey it. The messiness that comes with individual autonomy was cleaned up, and the factory as a whole became more efficient, its output more predictable. Industry prospered. What was lost along with the messiness was personal initiative, creativity, and whim. Conscious craft turned into unconscious routine.”

Nicholas Carr, The Shallows