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Thread: On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs

  1. #1

    Default On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs

    ... is an article by David Graeber from about a year ago. I came across it due to a recent project I'm working on and was instantly captured by it. What really got me though is not his reasoning, which surely is as controversial as it is striking, it is more that I somehow expected this to be common sense. Maybe that's because I'm just too 'professional' and lost my ability to see the world on an everday basis. But on the other hand he describes many aspects everyone of us can and does observe every day, yet they somehow appear to be completely invisible...

    What do you think?

  2. #2

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    It looks like his essay got overly popular and broke their server. Here is a mirror site: http://news.infoshop.org/article.php...30820174826479. I will have a look at this and see if I have anything more involved to say.

  3. #3

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    I read the essay, and was reminded a lot of the Golgafrinchans from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

  4. #4

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    I've argued the same for quite some time.
    I remember that in the 80s, in the uk, the whole scenario of the 15 hour week, or thereabouts, became an issue as traditional industries were computerized, mechanized, shut down and farmed out to third world countries. Then, as now, the contemporary workers who lost their jobsweren't given a thought and the focus was getting the youth/next generation into a habit of thought and deed to serve the future, and to serve the contemporary political populism of low youth unemployment figures through 'bullshit' training schemes and, more recently, apprenticeships.
    As people became conditioned such fate, the bullshit trickled it's way into education, giving us all the useless qualifications we have today.

    The above is just a snippet of the whole process, which is one of those things which is actually very simple to grasp, but is multi-facetted and constantly being tinkered with therefore making it a chore todetail in it's entirety.

    In short, we're just cattle, waiting for the next slaughter (world war).

  5. #5

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    From the article:

    " For instance: in our society, there seems a general rule that, the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one is likely to be paid for it. "

    I've found this is be true in my own experience so far. I worked in the medical field, distributed pills, cared for the elderly, was in charge of their oxygen levels and tanks. I had to know exactly how to pinpoint a stroke, heart attack, etc. I saved some lives while on the job. Caught one person in the early stage of having a stroke, noticed someone's o2 was malfunctioning when everyone else thought she was choking, - things like this. I was distributing pills to everyone, and one slip up could have sent someone to the ER or worse. (I.E. giving a person with low BP someone's high BP meds.) We had to cook, and not give the wrong foods to diabetic people or allergic people. We had to keep residents clean and sanitary, and we were usually their sole company as they moved from this world on to whatever happens next, holding their hand in the dark at 3am.

    9 dollars an hour.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogsy View Post
    From the article:

    " For instance: in our society, there seems a general rule that, the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one is likely to be paid for it. "

    I've found this is be true in my own experience so far. I worked in the medical field, distributed pills, cared for the elderly, was in charge of their oxygen levels and tanks. I had to know exactly how to pinpoint a stroke, heart attack, etc. I saved some lives while on the job. Caught one person in the early stage of having a stroke, noticed someone's o2 was malfunctioning when everyone else thought she was choking, - things like this. I was distributing pills to everyone, and one slip up could have sent someone to the ER or worse. (I.E. giving a person with low BP someone's high BP meds.) We had to cook, and not give the wrong foods to diabetic people or allergic people. We had to keep residents clean and sanitary, and we were usually their sole company as they moved from this world on to whatever happens next, holding their hand in the dark at 3am.

    9 dollars an hour.
    Wow Frogsy, and I know what you're saying. I recently read a very long article in The Washington Post about an out of work woman who became a nurse's aid, and all the things she had to go through in order to finally get that job and make 8.85 an hour. I worked as a teacher's aid for 12 years and after 12 years was making a little over $15,000 a year. I was good at what I did, sometimes taking over a math class and teaching the lesson when the teacher was pulled away to the office. Ah...the things we do just to survive.

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