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On the subject of BS jobs

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WARNING: the following is an interview in RT. Watching it may turn you into a conspiracy theorist, a neo-soviet fifth columnist, a dirty hippie and/or possibly rot your brain.

 



For the non TL:DR crowd, here's The Economist's take on the original piece.
 

In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshalled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.


Even if we accept today's BS jobs as essential to the maintenance of this wonderful materialist utopia we've built, there's a good chance that eventually some bot will outcompete you — if you are lucky enough to currently have a job, that is. Ironically enough, you may have helped design, build, market or sell the bot that takes your job. This issue ties in with others such as the growing inequality gap and the long-term unsustainability of current economic models which were thought up under a paradigm of "growth" at all costs.

 

Solutions have been proposed such as a reduction in work days, a universal basic income, etc, which invariably receive criticism as unfeasible or even as couterproductive and resulting in huge numbers of parasites suckling from the state's teat, people becoming unproductive slobs, a generalized moral decay as a result of not having to work to earn your keep etc, despite a lack of a sufficient body of empirical evidence, and even against the promising results of certain trials. Personally, it sounds too good to be true and I doubt our reptilian overlords would endorse it either.

 

So, do YOU work a BS job?

 

(being comrade Putin's shill in the OE boards is most definitely not a BS job, I'll have you know)


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Nope. I do a lot of under the table work (mostly for landlords) that really needs to get done.


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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It's certainly interesting, I've been very sympathetic to many of the grass root organisations that have talked about this issue. Like Occupy, Zeitgeist etc, but now they are slowly creeping in to mainstream media and politics. A political party recently formed here, it's political policies are all completely open source and they very openly disagree with the current growth paradigm, something that was unthinkable just 5-6 years ago.

 

I wonder if it's the Marxism of the age, or if it is indeed the signs of change.. 


Fortune favors the bald.

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I help make games. Whether that's BS or not is debatable. 

 

I sometimes wonder whether an Egyptian crafting a Senet board by the Nile millenia past had the same thoughts? Whether one approves or not gaming and entertainment have probably been with humanity since before we were humans, apes and monkeys certainly indulge in games and frivolous passtimes.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I never understood the problem people have with BS jobs.

It's a natural consequence of economic system geared for overproduction.

By all accounts the olden days of regular unemployment were far more straining.

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My job is not completely BS, but the actual work I do could be finished in a far shorter time (I finish my work in 2-3 hours, and then pretend to work for the next 5 to get my full paycheck). I'm grateful that I have a job and I'm grateful it's not too stressful. But the sheer time wasting is painful.

 

I wish we could have a shorter, more efficient working week and still pay the bills... 9-5 days, 5 days a week seems unnecessary for the vast majority of jobs and causes unnecessary stress...

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I help make games. Whether that's BS or not is debatable. 

 

Well, by definition, if you don't consider it to be BS, it's not. That's kind of the point. The worth of your job isn't for others to decide, regardless of what you are being paid to do it, because it's not them doing it — it's you. It's your time and effort. It can be argued that, in an objective sense, making videogames is a creative activity, so the job'd be right up there with the examples the professor mentions, sci-fi writers and ska musicians.

 

The problem that's being discussed, as I understand it, and what caused those messages to appear in the subway trains, is that some people[who?] subjectively feel that their jobs are pointless, and it's difficult to discern, in objective terms, what is it they produce.

 

 

 

I never understood the problem people have with BS jobs.

It's a natural consequence of economic system geared for overproduction.

By all accounts the olden days of regular unemployment were far more straining.

 

The problem is that they take up a considerable amount of time and waste it, quite literally. Wasting time on one's own terms may be fun for a while, but having one's time wasted systematically can be tough. On top of this, many of these jobs are done in high-stress environments; if you know somebody who works in financial services for example you know what I'm talking about.

 

Also, I'm not sure what olden days you're referring to, but regular unemployment today is very much a thing.


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Work in finance, a BS sector if there ever was one.


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Arguably any job that doesn't exit to directly provide the essential needs (food, water, shelter) or support the provision of same is BS.

 

Not sure I'd want to live in a world where there were no paintings, sculpture or literature though.

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Well, one could argue "art" is an essential (artsies gotta eat somewhow), people need entertainment and so on, much like services like transit, sanitation, power, etc. A BS job would be one not actually producing something or providing a service.

 

Is interesting to see the dependent jobs resulting for any given obviously essential job, too.

Edited by Malcador

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Maybe Ted Kaczynsky had a point after all.

 

To the woods, the plains, to natuuuuure!


"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Or Rousseau for the less murderous.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Arguably any job that doesn't exit to directly provide the essential needs (food, water, shelter) or support the provision of same is BS.

 

Not sure I'd want to live in a world where there were no paintings, sculpture or literature though.

 

Did you watch the interview? He does say that the world would be a "lesser place" without artists. Now, admittedly my experience with this is fairly limited, but I've never met anyone in an artistic profession who believed their work was utterly pointless. People in finance, admin, clerks, etc? Yeah...

 

Seriously, I was kidding when I wrote that watching it would rot your brain.


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Arguably any job that doesn't exit to directly provide the essential needs (food, water, shelter) or support the provision of same is BS.

 

Not sure I'd want to live in a world where there were no paintings, sculpture or literature though.

 

Did you watch the interview? He does say that the world would be a "lesser place" without artists. Now, admittedly my experience with this is fairly limited, but I've never met anyone in an artistic profession who believed their work was utterly pointless. People in finance, admin, clerks, etc? Yeah...

 

Seriously, I was kidding when I wrote that watching it would rot your brain.

 

 

I guess what I'm trying to get out is that people who think there job is pointless or more likely not engaged in their job more so than their job being pointless.

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I've never met anyone in an artistic profession who believed their work was utterly pointless. People in finance, admin, clerks, etc? Yeah...

The artsies have to tell themselves those sweet, sweet lies man. :p


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I guess what I'm trying to get out is that people who think there job is pointless or more likely not engaged in their job more so than their job being pointless.

That's one of the points the Economist article author makes (if I understand you correctly). The interview however was prompted, apparently, by some messages that had appeared in the London subway, that quote prof. Graeber. I'm guessing that people who have pointless jobs but feel engaged or otherwise believe they serve some purpose wouldn't complain thus, demand work day reductions, etc...

 

  

The artsies have to tell themselves those sweet, sweet lies man. tongue.png

I don't know how I'd make it through the day without self-deceit, tbh.


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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I unpack boxes of fasteners so that other people can pack them up again. I also pack up orders of decorative garage door fixtures so people can buy them at home depot and people can make their garage doors look like barn doors.


The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

Devastatorsig.jpg

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I guess you could say my job is to make people unemployed. Not directly, but by streamlining and automating a lot of processes, there is less need for "menial" tasks. Not talking about blue collar menial tasks, but white collar menial tasks.

 

The current system in the western world is self defeating, because the constant quest for cost reduction always end up with the same conclusion, humans are the greatest cost and needs to be removed from the process. Reiterate it enough time and you end up in a perfect world that runs itself and has no room for humans.


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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https://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU Edited by Oerwinde

The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

Devastatorsig.jpg

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