Sunday, October 25, 2020

On BS Jobs and Non-work-conserving employment - or how the internet might help with the future of work

 Just reading the Graeber book based on this essay On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs, and thinknig about how lockdown revealed how much work was a) unecesssary  b) structured in ways to make it even more unpleasant (e.g. communiting) -

A tell for this is that there's a  workflow, and there are strict office hours - leading to strict commuting time requirements-   this non-work-conserving approach to how "labour" fits in  to "society" is completely inhuman - people work at different paces, and the same person at different rates on different days.  Most tasks that really require a human (leaving aside care work / parenting) are not predictable, so even if we know when they should start, we can't schedule a next task as we don't know when they will end - if  we did, we should  automate them.

The internet doesn't work like that, and that's why it is cheap and efficient, but also forgiving and fllexible.

Society probably once worked like that (I am sure a farmer and a blacksmith interacted in ways that would cope with elasticity). 

We must get rid of time  sheets and the notion of human "resources". You know the saying "Rich people trade their  money  for more time. Poor people trade  their time for money"? Well, that assumes  time, like money, is fungible,  which is obviously BS. Time is running  out.  Time expires. We  are living on borrowed time. Only two of those last things happen with money.  Maybe  we  could design cryptocurrencies that allowed  tracked of the subjective value of our time? Not now, please my Emoticoin is too high for you.

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home