petej + unwagedlabour   105

Free to Choose A or B – The New Inquiry
"A/B testing, the method used in the mood-manipulation study, is a matter of slotting consumers into control groups without telling them and varying some key variables to see if it instigates sales or prompts some other profitable behavior. It is a way of harvesting users’ preferences as uncompensated market research. A/B testing enacts an obligation to choose by essentially choosing for you and tracking how you respond to your forced choice. It lays bare the phoniness of the rhetoric of consumer empowerment through customization — in the end companies like Facebook treat choice not as an expression of autonomy but as a product input that can be voluntary or forced, and the meaning of choice is not your pleasure but the company’s profit. If your preferences about Facebook’s interface compromise its profitability, you will be forced to make different choices and reap what “autonomy” you can from those.

That would seem to run against the neoliberal strategy of using subjects’ consciousness of “free” choice to control them. But as Laval and Dardot point out, “the expansion of evaluative technology as a disciplinary mode rests on the fact that the more individual calculators are supposed to be free to choose, the more they must be monitored and evaluated to obviate their fundamental opportunism and compel them to identify their interests with the organizations employing them.” Hopefully the revelation of the mood-manipulation study will remind everyone that Facebook employs its users in the guise of catering to them."
Facebook  socialMedia  manipulation  filtering  algorithms  communication  neoliberalism  choice  subjectivity  competition  power  control  unwagedLabour  unpaidLabour  digitalLabour  dctagged  dc:creator=HorningRob  research  experiment  unpaidWork 
july 2014 by petej
In the Name of Love | Jacobin
"Work becomes divided into two opposing classes: that which is lovable (creative, intellectual, socially prestigious) and that which is not (repetitive, unintellectual, undistinguished). Those in the lovable work camp are vastly more privileged in terms of wealth, social status, education, society’s racial biases, and political clout, while comprising a small minority of the workforce.

For those forced into unlovable work, it’s a different story. Under the DWYL credo, labor that is done out of motives or needs other than love (which is, in fact, most labor) is not only demeaned but erased. As in Jobs’ Stanford speech, unlovable but socially necessary work is banished from the spectrum of consciousness altogether."

"In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism. It shunts aside the labor of others and disguises our own labor to ourselves. It hides the fact that if we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time.

And if we did that, more of us could get around to doing what it is we really love."
art  work  labour  love  DWYL  education  higherEducation  universities  academia  unpaidLabour  unpaidWork  unwagedLabour  Apple  JobsSteve  ideology  culture  privilege  elitism  precarity  creativity  class  overwork  postFordism  entrepreneurialism  individualism  choice  exploitation  lateCapitalism  dctagged  dc:creator=TokumitsuMiya 
april 2014 by petej
Against Efficiency Machines | thread & circuits

"I began blogging in 1998, before the coinage of “blog.” I was a graduate student at the time, but I already had a long history with writing in public, and it didn’t occur to me that I wrote for anyone besides a handful of other junior scholars and punks – in other words, others like me. But in the ever more saturated digital age, blogging has changed, at least for me. My experience of writing online is less informal experimentation and wild theorizing, and more multitudinous, increasingly professionalizing “interaction,” or what feels like immaterial labor, with electronic media and other never-sleeping machines. While I once enjoyed the conversations made possible through long-distance forms, I now find that I want more time apart from the imperative for continuous production and volitional surveillance. I link my now ambivalent response to blogging, coding, and its other cousins as imperative for scholarly relevance to neoliberalism and its demands for flexible subjects, immaterial labor, round-the-clock consumption, and the commodification of the self."
academia  universities  blogging  writing  socialMedia  branding  reputation  commodification  surveillance  neoliberalism  marketisation  immaterialLabour  digitalLabour  unpaidWork  unpaidLabour  unwagedLabour 
november 2013 by petej
Hard-working? If you pay me, I'll do a good job. That's the deal | Alex Andreou | Comment is free |
"Beneath this, there is the obnoxious notion that people owe their employer loyalty, gratitude and even love; tug your forelock and go "the extra mile" for an employer who may show you no loyalty and dump you as soon as you become old, pregnant or sick.

For an employer who, with one phone call from his private yacht in the Côte d'Azur, will close an entire plant just to teach you a lesson about accepting pay cuts graciously. For an employer who works extra hard at hiding their earnings in tax havens in order to avoid contributing to the system that provides them with a healthy, educated workforce, protects their property and provides the roads, rail tracks, phone lines and runways through which they peddle their product and make more profit to hide.

Enough. If an employer hires me to do a job, it means they have deemed me qualified to do it. If I cannot complete the task required in the hours for which I am paid, I am being conned. I will exchange my labour for money or not, if I choose to, for there are of course other reasons why I might choose to work hard: because I derive satisfaction from the work itself, to advance in some other way, to help people less fortunate than I, to educate myself, as an investment in my future. All those reasons are valid, because they are gainful in some way. But I will not exchange my labour solely for the approval, respect or love of corporate entities."
work  labour  pay  unpaidWork  unpaidLabour  hardWorkingFamilies  ideology  employment  culture  capitalism  UK  politics  class  HWF  unwagedLabour 
november 2013 by petej
Interns: all work, no pay | Money | The Guardian
"As interns have gained confidence, employers have gone quiet. I don't read op-ed pieces from bosses defending their use of unpaid interns any more. Senior staff at advertising firms, publishing houses and PR companies would once brag to me about the trivial tasks they'd get their interns to do – including cleaning out the fridge and scooping up dog poo. They don't any more. If they still have unpaid interns, most employers keep quiet about it."
interns  internships  unpaidWork  unpaidLabour  work  labour  campaigning  unwagedLabour 
november 2013 by petej
Hyperemployment, or the Exhausting Work of the Technology User - Ian Bogost - The Atlantic
"Hyperemployment offers a subtly different way to characterize all the tiny effort we contribute to Facebook and Instagram and the like. It’s not just that we’ve been duped into contributing free value to technology companies (although that’s also true), but that we’ve tacitly agreed to work unpaid jobs for all these companies. And even calling them “unpaid” is slightly unfair, since we do get something back from these services, even if they often take more than they give. Rather than just being exploited or duped, we’ve been hyperemployed. We do tiny bits of work for Google, for Tumblr, for Twitter, all day and every day. 

Today, everyone’s a hustler. But now we’re not even just hustling for ourselves or our bosses, but for so many other, unseen bosses. For accounts payable and for marketing; for the Girl Scouts and the Youth Choir; for Facebook and for Google; for our friends via their Kickstarters and their Etsy shops; for Twitter, which just converted years of tiny, aggregated work acts into $78 of fungible value per user.

Even if there is more than a modicum of exploitation at work in the hyperemployment economy, the despair and overwhelm of online life doesn’t derive from that exploitation—not directly anyway. Rather, it’s a type of exhaustion cut of the same sort that afflicts the underemployed as well, like the single mother working two part-time service jobs with no benefits, or the PhD working three contingent teaching gigs at three different regional colleges to scrape together a still insufficient income. The economic impact of hyperemployment is obviously different from that of underemployment, but some of the same emotional toll imbues both: a sense of inundation, of being trounced by demands whose completion yields only their continuance, and a feeling of resignation that any other scenario is likely or even possible. The only difference between the despair of hyperemployment and that of un- or under-employment is that the latter at least acknowledges itself as an substandard condition, while the former celebrates the hyperemployed’s purported freedom to “share” and “connect,” to do business more easily and effectively by doing jobs once left for others competence and compensation, from the convenience of your car or toilet."
technology  socialMedia  work  labour  unpaidWork  unpaidLabour  digitalLabour  subsumption  immaterialLabour  exploitation  capitalism  hyperemployment  unwagedLabour 
november 2013 by petej
George Osborne in crackdown on jobless costs | Politics | The Guardian
"How's it going, Dave?"
"We're fucked, Gideon. Labour are getting their act together. And the old school racists are going over to UKIP. What can we do?"
"Don't panic, Dave. I have a plan. Putting the boot into the unemployed. It's always a surefire winner."
"Haven't we, umm, done as much of that as we can get away with?"
"Pffft. We're only just getting started. That thickie IDS just doesn't say things the right way. Leave this to me."
welfare  benefits  workfare  unemployment  OsborneGeorge  WorkProgramme  unpaidLabour  unpaidWork  demonisation  unwagedLabour 
september 2013 by petej
How Would You Define Work in a Networked World? | LinkedIn
"People keep returning to the mantra of "work-life balance" as a model for thinking about their lives, even as it's hard to distinguish between what constitutes work and what constitutes life, which is presumably non-work. But this binary makes little sense for many people. And it raises a serious question: what does labor mean in a digital ecosystem where sociality is monetized and personal and professional identities are blurred?

As you think about your own professional practices, how do you define what constitutes work? How do you think labor should be understood in a networked world? And what does fairness in compensation look like when the notion of clocking in and clocking out are passe?"
work  socialMedia  unpaidLabour  unpaidWork  immaterialLabour  dctagged  dc:creator=boyddanah  unwagedLabour  work-life-balance 
may 2013 by petej
Why I'm quitting Facebook -
"The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook's paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we -- and the young, particularly -- spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation.
The efforts of a few thousand employees at Facebook's Menlo Park campus pale in comparison to those of the hundreds of millions of users meticulously tweaking their pages. Corporations used to have to do research to assemble our consumer profiles; now we do it for them."
Facebook  socialMedia  advertising  profiling  unpaidLabour  unwagedLabour  immaterialLabour  dctagged  dc:creator=RushkoffDouglas  unpaidWork 
february 2013 by petej
Edges: The basic question: Is Facebook more like a newspaper or more like a factory?
"The basic question: Is Facebook more like a newspaper or more like a factory? The liberal answer: it’s a newspaper in that it gathers stories about people and circulates those stories back to its readers while leveraging reader attention for advertising dollars. Profit flows in from advertisers and the value of the company is determined by the marketplace. The progressive answer: it’s a factory in that it demands unpaid micro labor from its users, extracting surplus value from such labor. Profit flows from commons-based peer production and thus value is ultimately produced by users (making the ads merely the “last mile” of valorization). NYT claims the former, obviously. But it’s very important that we understand FB as a factory, not just another form of mass media."
Facebook  factory  immaterialLabour  unpaidLabour  socialMedia  capitalism  unwagedLabour  unpaidWork 
february 2013 by petej
Job schemes: fair work | Comment is free | The Guardian
"Work experience does make people more employable – and it should be open to benefit claimants, not just those with better-off parents who can subsidise them. But it is also easy to see how offensive it is to perform boring, menial, or simply pointless tasks for major retailers without being paid. And when it means working for employers who make billions of pounds each year (or, as at A4e, where bosses take millions in public money as bonuses), it is simply exploitative."
unemployment  work  jobs  benefits  welfare  workfare  unpaidLabour  WorkProgramme  unpaidWork  unwagedLabour 
february 2012 by petej
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