petej + productivity   190

How to Be an Anticapitalist Today
Give up the fantasy of smashing capitalism. Capitalism is not smashable, at least if you really want to construct an emancipatory future. You may personally be able to escape capitalism by moving off the grid and minimizing your involvement with the money economy and the market, but this is hardly an attractive option for most people, especially those with children, and certainly has little potential to foster a broader process of social emancipation.

If you are concerned about the lives of others, in one way or another you have to deal with capitalist structures and institutions. Taming and eroding capitalism are the only viable options. You need to participate both in political movements for taming capitalism through public policies and in socioeconomic projects of eroding capitalism through the expansion of emancipatory forms of economic activity.

We must renew an energetic progressive social democracy that not only neutralizes the harms of capitalism but also facilitates initiatives to build real utopias with the potential to erode the dominance of capitalism.
anti-capitalism  capitalism  politics  livingStandards  inequality  poverty  growth  productivity  environment  crisis  revolution  socialDemocracy  reform  regulation  redistribution  globalisation  neoliberalism  anarchism  utopias  cooperatives  libraries  P2P  wikipedia  UniversalBasicIncome  dctagged  dc:creator=WrightErikOlin 
february 2019 by petej
A 4.30am start and three-minute toilet breaks: are you ready for microscheduling? | Life and style | The Guardian
Another example of the limitations of microscheduling comes from Hussein Kesvani, a London-based editor and writer. Last year, faced with a seemingly insurmountable workload, he tried to follow the YouTuber Casey Neistat’s brand of extreme hyperactivity. Neistat has “Work harder” written in big neon letters on the wall in his studio and tattooed on his left wrist, “just in case I forget”; his left arm also displays another tattoo, saying “Do more”. In 2015, he detailed his daily routine in a video that has since racked up 2.6m views. From a 5am start, Neistat’s schedule goes: one hour of email; three hours of exercise (which he says makes up for the little sleep he gets); 10 hours of work; three hours for family (to, say, “put the baby to bed”); another three hours for work; and, from 1am, four hours of sleep. Free time, he says, is the enemy of progress, which is why he has eliminated it entirely from his life.

Judging from this, Neistat seems to have also eliminated commuting, shopping, cooking, cleaning, school runs and all the other tasks that interrupt most people’s working lives. And that, in part, is where Kesvani’s attempt to live like Neistat ran aground. Although he could make the rigid schedule work in theory – “I could plan out everything out; I knew when everything was coming,” he says – the events he couldn’t control (such as a late train, or not getting a seat when he was supposed to be working) would derail his entire day. Having to reschedule, even as the work piled up, nearly destroyed him. He ended up in therapy, where he finally asked himself why he had taken on so much work in the first place.
work  labour  overwork  control  scheduling  time  productivity  planning  postFordism  lateCapitalism 
february 2019 by petej
Only a rupture with the EU will alter the failed status quo | Larry Elliott | Opinion | The Guardian
Brexit, the gilets jaunes protesters in France, the terrible pain inflicted on Greece and the support for the League/Five Star government in Italy all tell their own story. Europe is alive with political discontent that reflects the demand for deep and urgent reform, but the chances of getting it are less likely if the status quo prevails.

Why? Because the forces of conservatism are strong. Change comes about only when the pressure for it becomes too great to resist. The financial crisis provided one such opportunity to reform an economic system that for many people clearly wasn’t working; Brexit was a second. The left’s case for Brexit has always been based on the following notions: the current economic model is failing; socialism is needed to fix it; and the free-market ideology hardwired into the EU via the European Central Bank, judgments of the European court of justice and treaty changes will make that process all but impossible without a break with the status quo.

It is theoretically possible that in the event of a “Brexit in name only” or no Brexit at all, policymakers will push ahead with what’s needed in order to make a reality of the slogan “a reformed Britain in a reformed Europe”. Possible but not all that plausible, given that it would require breaking up the euro, more autonomy for individual countries to intervene in the running of their economies, and a simultaneous philosophical U-turn in the big member states.

Much more likely is that the pressure for change will dissipate and the real grievances of those who voted for Brexit will be quietly forgotten. The softer the Brexit, the more convinced the EU will be that it has been doing the right thing all along. Britain will not go up in flames, but there will still be consequences. Leave voters will feel they have been victims of an establishment stitch-up. The anger will not go away and will eventually resurface.

The risk is that the losers will be the biggest supporters of the EU – the liberal left. And the biggest winners will be the extreme right.
UK  EU  Brexit  TheLeft  Lexit  Leave  finance  crisis  economy  productivity  ECB  Euro  reform  farRight  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=ElliottLarry 
january 2019 by petej
Wellbeing is a nice buzzword. But when employers use it, ask why | Emily Reynolds | Opinion | The Guardian
By focusing on mindfulness and yoga, on free fruit and campus walks, universities and workplaces are both ignoring the parts of work that make us sick and devolving responsibility to the mentally ill themselves, excusing themselves from making further investment, material or otherwise. It’s a nice buzzword. But dig deeper and it’s easy to see that we’re simply being sold a lie that genuine wellbeing is within our grasp, if only we try hard enough.
wellbeing  mentalHealth  employment  employers  work  labour  performance  productivity  mindfulness 
november 2018 by petej
Will Elon Musk's 120-hour week stop us worshipping workaholism? | Technology | The Guardian
But while you can take the engineer out of the workplace, you can’t stop them being an engineer, and there is a risk that work/life balance becomes just another thing to optimise for peak performance.

“If you look in the Silicon Valley culture – and this also extends to many corporations,” says Spicer, “executives there are not just obsessed with making their work more productive, but with making their whole life more productive. So they spend a huge amount of time thinking and talking and engaging with these questions about how do you eat in the most efficient way, how do you exercise in the most efficient way, how do you take all these little parts of your life and make them more efficient?”
work  labour  MuskElon  SiliconValley  capitalism  workEthic  overwork  Tesla  SpaceX  health  performance  productivity 
august 2018 by petej
How to Be Mindful of McMindfulness | Alternet
So it’s not surprising that corporations are jumping on the mindfulness bandwagon as the next panacea. It’s also not surprising that trainers, coaches and consultants have figured out there is big money to be made on corporate mindfulness programs. It’s a perfect collusion that places the burden to relieve workplace stress and be cheery and happy squarely on the employee.
mindfulness  business  management  productivity  instrumentalisation  commodification  stress  alienation  work  labour 
july 2017 by petej
how to do nothing – Jenny Odell – Medium
"That’s a strategic function of nothing, and in that sense, you simply could file my talk simply under the heading of self care. But if you do, make it “self care” in the activist sense that Audre Lorde meant it in the 1980s — self preservation as an act of political warfare – and not what it means when it’s been appropriated for commercial ends."

"I’m suggesting that we protect our spaces and our time for non-instrumental, non-commercial activity and thought, for maintenance, for care, for conviviality. And I’m suggesting that we fiercely protect our human animality against all technologies that actively ignore and disdain the body, the bodies of others, and the body of the landscape that we inhabit."
art  architecture  space  time  lateCapitalism  work  labour  leisure  technology  overwork  productivity  coercion  surveillance  culture  BerardiFranco  dctagged  dc:creator=OdellJenny 
july 2017 by petej
The new status symbol: it’s not what you spend – it’s how hard you work | Technology | The Guardian
Technology has made it possible for everyone to see everything as an opportunity for productivity. You can measure your sleep, sex and steps with a Fitbit, your attractiveness with Tinder, your wittiness with Twitter, your popularity with Facebook. You can transform your personality into a dashboard of data streams that can be monitored, analyzed and optimized with the precision of an industrial process. You can turn your life into a factory – and not just metaphorically. In producing yourself, you produce economic value for others. The hours you spend on these platforms may be unwaged, but they generate real revenue for the companies that own them.

This is the genius of conspicuous production. It not only promotes a culture of overwork, it makes our dwindling amount of leisure time economically productive. There is no escape: either we’re working for the company or we’re working on ourselves, but we’re always working. “Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours of what we will” was the anthem of the workers who first demanded the eight-hour-day more than a century ago. Those distinctions don’t make sense any more. Even our sleep is factored into our productivity score – the entrepreneur of the self never gets to clock out.

Today, the old slogan of the labor movement sounds like utopian science fiction. Imagine a society that claimed so little of our labor. Imagine a world where the poor didn’t have to work so hard to exist, and the rich didn’t have to work so hard to appear worthy of their wealth, because rich and poor didn’t exist.
work  overwork  labour  image  privilege  elites  performance  status  identity  culture  SiliconValley  productivity  power  inequality  fitness  health  quantifiedSelf 
april 2017 by petej
Is mindfulness making us ill? | Life and style | The Guardian
So are employers and experts right to extol the virtues of mindfulness? According to Will Davies, senior lecturer at Goldsmiths and author of The Happiness Industry, our mental health has become a money-making opportunity. “The measurement of our mental and emotional states at work is advancing rapidly at the moment,” he says, “and businesses are increasingly aware of the financial costs that stress, depression and anxiety saddle them with.”

Rather than removing the source of stress, whether that’s unfeasible workloads, poor management or low morale, some employers encourage their staff to meditate: a quick fix that’s much cheaper, at least in the short term. After all, it’s harder to complain that you’re under too much stress at work if your employer points out that they’ve offered you relaxation classes: the blame then falls on the individual. “Mindfulness has been grabbed in recent years as a way to help people cope with their own powerlessness in the workplace,” Davies says. “We’re now reaching the stage where mandatory meditation is being discussed as a route to heightened productivity, in tandem with various apps, wearable devices and forms of low-level employee surveillance.”
mindfulness  mentalHealth  relaxation  meditation  work  employment  productivity  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
october 2016 by petej
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