bs jobs from birth

re re re re read of david graeber‘s (2018 book from 2013 essay) bullshit jobs (from more intense perspective that not just adult life phenom)



to anyone who would rather be doing something useful w themselves

preface: on the phenom of bs jobs


could there be anything more demoralizing than having to wake up in the morning 5 out of 7 days of one’s adult life to perform a task that one secretly believed did not need to be performed.. would this not be a terrible psychic wound running across our society.. yet one that no one ever seemed to talk about..t

rather.. from brith on.. from maté parenting law.. graeber parent/care law.. lack of ie: your own song ness et al.. creating/perpetuating missing pieces (essence of human being ness)

this was our initial question (why can’t wait till 3 or 5pm or the weekend)..

and our findings:

1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b legit free people

no one seems to feel free to say what they really feel about such matters.. at least in public

seat at the table ness.. maté trump law.. et al.. and why we need a means to undo our hierarchical listening


the moral/spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound.. it is a scar across our collective soul.. yet virtually no one talks about it.. t

huge.. huge.. socrates supposed to law: what screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.. et al

needed detox:

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people

given the choice between less hours and more toys/pleasure.. we’ve *collectively chosen the later.. t

rather.. us as whales in sea world have been *voluntary complianced.. public consensus always oppresses someone(s).. in this case.. everyone..

needed: hari rat park law et al

admin et al.. fin, telemarketing.. corp law, academic/health admin, human resources, and public relations

hr.. pr.. as structural violence


answer clearly isn’t economic: it’s moral and political.. ruling class has figured out that a happy and productive population w *free time on hands is a mortal danger (ie: 60s).. and on other hand.. feeling that work is a moral value in itself.. and that anyone not willing to submit selves to some kind of **intense work discipline for most of their waking hours deserves nothing.. is extraordinarily convenient for them

*myth of tragedy and lord et al **takes a lot of work et al


this is a profound psychological violence here.. how can one even begin to speak of dignity in labor when one secretly *feels one’s job should not exist? how can it not **create a sense of deep rage and resentments..

yeah.. even deeper (missing pieces).. *one feels one does not belong.. and so.. **khan filling the gaps law


jan 2015 london bus posters (2 of 4): 1\ *huge swathes of people spend their days performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed.. 3\ the moral/spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound.. it is a **scar across our collective soul.. yet virtually no one talks about it

*rather.. all of us spend days as whales in sea world

**missing pieces.. need to restore/uncover/re\set


i believe that the phenom of bs employment can provide us w a window on much deeper social problems.. we need to ask ourselves.. not just how did such a large proportion of our workforce find selves laboring at tasks they themselves consider pointless.. but also why do so many people believe this state of affairs to be normal, inevitable,.. even desirable..

even deeper.. no? ie: why not get out of sea world

one thing i want to do in this book is sort them out.. this will mean asking practical questions: how do bs jobs actually happen? it will also means asking deep historical questions: when/how did we come to believe that creativity was supposed to be painful.. or how did we ever come up w the notion that it would be possible to sell one’s time?.. and finally.. it will mean asking fundamental questions about human nature..

ie: maté basic needs.. essence of human being.. now missing/hidden/scarred-over.. from birth

i would like this book to be an arrow aimed at the heart of our *civilization.. there is something **very wrong w what we have made ourselves.. we have come to believe that men/women who do not work harder than they wish at jobs they do no particularly enjoy are bad people unworthy of love, care, or assistance from communities.. it is as if we have collectively acquiesced to our own ***enslavement.. as a result.. hatred, resentment and suspicion have become the *glue that holds society together.. this is a disastrous state of affairs.. i wish it to end.. t

*jensen civilization law from birth

**hari rat park law from birth

***gare enslavement law from birth

****khan filling the gaps law from birth

yeah.. all that.. me too..

there’s a nother way.. if we let go enough to org around legit needs

1 – what is a bs job


(end notes) interestingly enough ‘bull’ is not an abbreviation for ‘bullshit’ but ‘bullshit’ is an early 10th cent elab on ‘bull’.. the term is ultimately derived from french bole, meaning ‘fraud or deceit’.. the term ‘bullshit’ is first attested in an unpublished poem by ts eliot.. ‘bollocks’ is another derivation from ‘bole’

‘bullshitting’ is after all a form of dishonesty.. i would have said ‘lying’ but the philosopher harry frankfurt (2005) famously argued that bullshitting is not the same as lying..



final working defn: a bullshit job is a form of paid employment that is so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence even though, as part of the conditions of employment, the employee feels obliged to pretend that this is not the case..


the most compelling argument to this effect was a former exotic dancer now professor who made a case that most sex work should be considered a bs job because while she acknowledged that sex work clearly did answer a genuine consumer demand.. something was terribly terribly wrong w any society that effectively tells the vast majority of its female population they are worth more dancing on boxes between the ages of 18 and 25 that they will be at any subsequent point in their lives.. whatever their talents or accomplishments.. if same woman can make 5x as much stripping as teaching as a world recognized scholar.. could not the stripping job be considered bs simply on that basis.. it’s hard to deny the power of her argument.. the only objection i could really raise here is that her argument might not go far enough.. it’s not so much that stripper is a bs job, perhaps, but that this situation shows us to be living in a bs society..

from birth

(end notes) not to mention, she added, the fact that the amount of money invested in keeping them dancing on boxes could if redirected, easily suffice to head off the threat of climate change.. ‘the sex industry makes it evident that the most valuable thing that many women can offer is their bodies as sexual commodities when they ar every young.. it determines that many women earn more at 18-25 than they ever do again in their lives.. ‘.. the author being a successful academic and author who still doesn’t make as much a year as she once might have in 3 months’ stripping

as evidence for this generalization: if telemarketers or useless mid managers were to be made illegal, a black market would be unlikely to emerge to replace them.. obviously, historically this has tended to happen in the case of sex work.. this is why one might say the problem is patriarchy itself.. the concentration of so much wealth and power in the hands of males who are kept sexually unfulfilled or taught to seek out certain forms of gratification rather than others.. and therefore something much more essential to the nature of society itself

from birth ness.. khan filling the gaps law et al

kinds of bs jobs


1\ flunkies.. gofers, minions, valets (not sidekicks, parasites, yesmen)


2\ goons.. aggressive.. negative impact on society.. manipulative (40)


(quote from tom on manipulative ness): tv shows et al.. we reduce bags under eyes.. hair shinier.. teeth whiter.. people thinner.. techniques literally used in every commercial on tv plus most tv drama shows and lots of movies.. we essentially make viewers feel inadequate whilst they’re watching the main programs and then exaggerate the effectiveness of the ‘solution’s provided in the commercial breaks..

make people feel inadequate during show (day) via airbrush (sea world).. then provided airbrushed (whalespeak) solutions during commercials


(another quote from tom): .. if we’re at the point where in order to sell products, you have to first of all trick people into thinking they need them, then i think you’d be hard pressed to argue that these jobs aren’t bs.. t

yeah.. that.. whalespeak.. all of us.. not legit voice.. need: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature.. so we can org around legit needs


3\ duct tapers.. exist only because of glitch/fault in org.. to solve problem that shouldn’t exist


‘housewife neurosis’.. women forced to limit life to tidying up after others.. became fanatical about domestic hygiene as a form of revenge.. because more important people could not care less..


typically wives, sisters, mothers, daughters.. left w responsibility of performing emotional labor of soothing egos, negotiation solutions to problems they (men) created..

interpretive labor et al..


4\ box tickers.. allow org to calim doing something that is not doing.. check off via survey et al


govt.. ‘fact finding commission’.. implying that once facts are in someone will do something about it.. usually not true.. (end notes): claim that everyone is heard and taken seriously..

seat at the table ness et al


”feeding the beast’ w meaningless numbers that give the illusion of control’

of math and men and control freak ness


(end notes).. ‘construction planning permissions.. in 60s only architect submitted.. now long list of reports by consultants: environ impact assess, landscape and visual impact assess, transport report, wind microclimate assess, sung/day light anal, heritage setting assess, archaeology assess, landscape maintenance management reports, tree impact assess, flood risk assess.. et al.. each report is about 50-100 pages.. and yet. resulting buildings are ugly boxes remarkable similar to ones built in 60s.. so reports no purpose’

to m of care – jan 6 and m of care – jan 20 – on architect ness – doe ch 8


5\ taskmasters.. 1\ opposite of flunkies.. unnecessary superiors rather than unnecessary subords.. useless 2\ create bs jobs.. harmful


so what do i think? it is not capitalism per se that produces the bs.. it is managerialist ideologies put into practice in complex organizations.. as managerialism embeds itself, you get entire cadres of academic staff whose job it is just to keep the managerialist plates spinning.. strategies, performance targets, audits, reviews, appraisals, renewed strategies, etc, etc… which happen in an almost wholly and entirely disconnected fashion from the real lifeblood of universities: teaching and ed

oi.. that managerial ness.. aka: people telling other people what to do.. is the essence of ed/teaching.. oi


3 – why do those in bs jobs regularly report selves unhappy? (on spiritual violence p1)

ie’s of bs jobs sound like opps similar to squats, refugee cities, slums.. where in the shadows could do things.. problems is.. has to be all of us .. so still frustrating and still perpetuates myth of tragedy and lord


he had passed thru the old ed system.. some traces of it are left.. designed to prep students to actually do things.. this led to false expectations and initial shock of disillusionment that he could not overcome

oh my.. so disheartening to read.. ed was never self directed.. title is right.. (assumptions on human motivation incorrect).. we have no idea what legit free people are like


on karl groos’ ‘pleasure at being the cause’.. suggesting it is basis for play.. something much simpler behind nietzsche’s ‘will to power’

not deep enough.. i’d say.. pleasure of being/dancing.. et al


it is hard perhaps to think of our sense of self as grounded in action because when we are truly *engrossed in doing something.. esp something we know how to do very well.. from running a race to solving a complicated logical problem.. we tend to forget that we exist.. but even as we dissolve into what we do.. the foundational ‘pleasure of being the cause’ remains, as it were.. the unstated ground of our being

yeah.. i don’t think so.. i think the *getting lost is even deeper than the pleasure at being cause ness.. ie’s are sea world ie’s (running race – competition, and solving problem – calculation)..

groos saw creation of imaginary worlds as an extension of his core principle.. might be.. but unfortunately.. we’re concerned w here is less w implication for healthy development and more w what happens when something goes wrong.. ie: child delights in cause.. then denied.. rage, refusal to engage.. then catatonic.. withdrawing from world entirely.. trauma of failed influence’.. suspected to lie behind many mental health issues later in life.. gives a sense of why being trapped in job where has to play along w pretense that one is usefully employed..

again.. this is all of life.. kindergartener.. (and earlier) .. is no fool about pretense.. and supposed to ness..

endnotes: broucek on trauma later leading to schizo, depressive, narcissistic et a.. depending on duration of experiences of failed influence.. et al

thinking it’s more .. just khan filling the gaps law et al


freedom is our ability to make things up (make believe) just for the sake of being able to do so.. yet at same time.. it is precisely the make believe aspect of their work that student workers find the most infuriating.. anyone who’s ever had a wage labor job.. working serves a puropse.. or is meant to do so.. being forced to pretend to work just for the sake of working is an indignity.. if make believe play is purest expression of human freedom, make believe work *imposed by others is purest expression of lack of freedom..

make believe or whatever you call it has to come from daily itch-in-the-soul ness.. (not maté trump law et al) .. otherwise it’s just a form of *people telling other people what to do.. thinking work serves a purpose is already people telling other people what to do

would be fascination though probably impossible to write a history of .. when idleness first came to be seen as a problem.. a sin.. working at all times ness.. even if nothing to do..


some students may engage in cartoonishly exaggerated version of his pattern.. but good students figure out how to get pace right.. (how long to lag before cramming for test) .. not only is it what humans will do if left to own devices.. but there is no reason to believe that forcing them to act otherwise is likely to cause greater efficiency or productivity..

disheartening ie’s again.. this is whalespeak.. no idea what legit free people are like..

norton productivity law et al

on men doing dramatic work they can tell stories about and women monotonous time consuming tasks.. they can tell stories during.. the more patriarchal the society.. the more this will tend to be the case..

yes .. can see in patriarch ness et al.. but exists via any form of people telling other people what to do.. that’s why from birth ness..

endnotes: ‘work pattern was one of alternate bouts of intense labor and of idleness.. wherever men were *in control of their own working lives (the pattern persists among some self employed .. artists, writers, small farmers, and perhaps also w students.. today and provokes the question whether it is not a ‘natural’ human work rhythm)..

oi.. none of ies are *left to own devices ness.. we have no idea of legit rhythm ness (undisturbed ecosystem et al)


on buying time involving conceptual leaps 1\ time separate from person/slave 2\ time could be calc’d.. containered.. (endnote) these two define wage labor.. leads to buying/owning time.. (75)

like seat time in school.. nap time at home.. et al.. so again.. from birth ness

earn a living ness et al.. seat time et al.. rhythm of love.. circadian rhythm et al


time is not a grid against which work can be measured, because the work is the measure itself

we need to let go of any form of m\a\p.. stop measuring things


we learned our lesson.. if on clock.. don’t be too efficient.. you will be punished w meaningless busywork.. forced to pretend to work.. most absolute indignity.. a sheer exercise of boss’s power for its own sake.. every moment spent pretending to scour the baseboard felt like some schoolyard bully gloating..over our shoulders.. except of course.. this time the bully had the full force of law and custom on his side..

this is from birth ness.. khan filling the gaps law ness.. why young like revolution of everyday life.. suffocating – from the day ness.. the death of us.. et al

‘it kept the paid hands ‘busy’ and taught us proper work ethic (meaning obedience ..)

any form of people telling other people what to do


mitch’s story highlights the religious element: the idea that dutiful submission even to meaningless work under anther’s authority is a form of moral self discipline that makes you a better person.. this of course is a modern variant of puritanism.. for now though, i mainly want to emphasize how this element just adds and even mroe exasperating layer to the perverse morality whereby idleness is a theft of someone else’s time..

oi oi oi


(on being someone’s assisted living).. on how good (elderly) looked.. ‘sure.. she looks great. i’ve lost 15 lbs and my hair is falling out.. i can’t take her anymore’.. the job wasn’t bs.. but the need to construct a cover by way of crating so much bs busywork was deeply demeaning to her.. (elderly used to oversee people in business.. so would complain of idle time.. while on call 24/7)


it’s no wonder the soul cries out.. it is a direct assault on everything that makes us human

norton productivity law et al

need: means to listen .. every day.. to itch-in-8b-souls


4 – what is it like to have a bs job? (on spiritual violence p2)

if being forced to pretend to work is so infuriating because it makes clear the degree to which you are entirely under another person’s power.. the bs jobs are.. entire jobs org’d on that same principle.. hardly surprising it should rankle.. but there’s on obvious diff too.. between bs jobs and a dishwasher being made to clean the baseboards in a restaurant.. in latter case.. there is a demonstrable bully.. you know exactly who is pushing you around.. in case of bs jobs.. it’s rarely to clear cut.. who is forcing you to pretend to work? the company society”.. some strange confluence of social convention and econ forces that insist no one should be give the means of life w/o working, even if there is not enough real work to go around? at least in the traditional workplace, there was someone against who you could direct your rage..


what kind of econ system creates a world where the only way to feed one’s children is to spend most of one’s waking hours engaged in useless box ticking exercises or solving problems that shouldn’t exist.. t


endnotes: there is a happy ending to this one, at least temporarily: rachel reports she was soon after able to find work for a program teaching remedial math to poor children..t.. it is everything her insurance job is not and pays well enough that she would be able to afford grad school

oh my.. worst thing i think he’s written.. footnote just prior to heading ‘on misery of knowing that one is doing harm’.. of math and men.. graeber violence/quantification law.. how is that any diff than damage B is doing to homeless et al.. same song.. same thing.. oi..

bs jobs from birth.. supposed to’s of school/work et al.. any form of m\a\p

oi oi oi

maté parenting law.. graeber parent/care law


5 – why are bs jobs proliferating


all i am really arguing in this book is that just as much of what the financial sector does is basically smoke and mirrors so are most of the info sector jobs that accompanies its rise as well..

graeber f & b same law et al


in ecological terms, a mass reduction of working hours is probably the quickest and easiest thing that could be done to save the planet..t

socrates supposed to law.. norton productivity law.. et al

need to org around legit needs


we can’t really discuss any of these things (utility in production et al) in terms of a language of ‘needs’.. for much of human history.. and still today.. when poor people end up in crippling debt.. it’s because they felt they had to borrow money to throw proper funerals for parents or weddings for children.. did they ‘need’ to do this? clearly they felt strongly that they did.. and since there’s no scientific defn of what a ‘human needs’ actually is, beyond the body’s minimal caloric and nutritional requirements, and a few other physical factors, such questions must always be subjective.. to a large degree, needs are just other people’s expectations..t if you don’t throw a proper wedding for your daughter.. it would be a family disgrace..

maté basic needs.. maté trump law.. and again.. need to org around legit needs



if i had to tease out the prevailing, unstated common sense.. i would say that most people seem to operate w a combo: wen a good/service answers a demand or otherwise improves people’s lives.. genuinely valuable.. but when it merely serves to create demand.. either by making people feel they are fat and ugly or luring them into debt and the charging interest.. it is not.. this seems reasonable enough.. but it still doesn’t answer question of what it means to ‘improve people’s lives’ and on that of course.. rests everything..

almaas holes law et al


just as commodities have econ ‘value’ because they can be compared precisely w other commodities, ‘values’ are valuable because they cannot be compared w anything.. they are each considered unique, incommensurable.. jin a word.. priceless..

graeber values law


one of most frequently heard complaints from supporters f (occupy wall st).. particularly ones working too much to spend much time in the camps.. ‘i wanted to do something useful w my life; work that had a positive effect on other people.. o rat very east, wasn’t hurting anyone.. but the way this econ works.. if you spend your working life caring for others, you’ll end up so underpaid and so deeply n debt you won’t be able to care for your won fam’.. such a deep/abiding sense of rage at the injustice of such arrangements.. i began to refer to it , mostly to myself.. as the revolt of the caring classes

caring labor et al


at same time.. occupiers in zuccotti park regularly reported convos w young wall street traders who’d say ‘look, i know you guys are right; i’m not contributing anything positive to the world.. the system is corrupt, and i’m probably part of the problem.. i’d quit tomorrow if you could show me how to live in new york on a less than 6 figure salary’


researchers +9.. teachers +1..

oi.. research ness on whales in sea world.. and ed.. perpetuating that whales ness


work.. and specifically paid labor under the eye of a master.. had traditionally been the means by which such adolescents learned how to be proper disciplined, self contained adults..

oi.. i don’t know how to be a (proper disciplined, self contained adults) person ness.. rpj .. really a sign of health/awake/alive ness.. which sucks in sea world


endnotes: it is interesting to contrast carlyle’s praise of work for freeing the soul from cares to nietzsche, who condemned it for that very reason: ‘in the glorification of ‘work’ and the never ceasing talk about the ‘blessing of labor’ i see.. fear of everything individual.. for at the the sight of work.. that is to say, severe toil from morning till night.. we have the feeling that it is the best police, viz.., that it holds everyone in check and effectively hinders the development of reason, of greed, and of desire for independence.. for work used up an an extraordinary proportion of nervous force, withdrawing it from reflection, meditation, dreams, cares, love and hatred’..

huge.. structural violence et al

friedrich nietzsche


on .. capital not labor creates wealth/prosperity.. powerful coalitions of corporate interest made concerted efforts to transform the message of schools, unis, churches, and civic groups, claiming that ‘business had solved the fundamental ethical and political problems of industrial society’..

supposed to’s of school/work

the promulgation of consumerism.. coincided w beginnings of managerial revolution.. which was esp at first.. largely an attack on popular knowledge.. where once hoopers and wainwrights and seamstresses saw selves as heirs to a proud tradition.. each w its secret knowledge.. the new bureaucratically org’d corps and their ‘scientific management‘ sought as far as possible to literally turn workers into extensions of the machinery, their every move predetermined by someone else

people telling other people what to do et al.. kilpi work law et al.. jack of all trades ness et al


why psych studies regularly find that people of working class background are more accurate at reading other people’s feelings and more empathetic and caring than those of middle class.. let alone wealthy backgrounds.. rich people don’t have to learn how to do interp labor.. because can hire other people to do it for them.. those hirelings.. on the other hand.. who have to develop a habit of understanding other’s pov.. will also tend to care about them

to rpj’s counter to ‘can’t see other’s perspective’.. interpretive labor et al


for workers’ movement and revolutionaries like karl marx.. the real point was philosophical.. a recognition that the world we inhabit is something we made, collectively, as a society, and therefore, that we could also have made different.. every one (physical object) was grown or manufactured by someone on the basis of what someone imagined we might be like, and what they thought we might want/need.. they only exist because we produce them everyday.. john holloway ‘stop making capitalism’.. really just something we produce.. every morning we wake up and recreate c.. if one morning we woke up and all decided to create something else..then there wouldn’t be c anymore.. there would be something else..

graeber make it diff law

imagine if we

one might say this is the core question.. perhaps ultimately the only question.. of all social theory and all revolutionary thought.. together we create the world we inhabit.. yet if any one of us tried to imagine a world we’d like to live in .. who would come up w one exactly like the one that currently exists..? we can all imagine a better world.. why can’t we just create one? why does it seem so inconceivable to just stop making c? or govt? ..

why not yet ness

one reason why it’s so difficult to simply create a diff society w diff set of rules.. even if we don’t like what the world looks like.. the fact remains that the conscious aim of most of our actions, productive or otherwise.. is to do well by others.. often.. very specific others.. our actions are caught up in relation of caring.. but *most caring relations require we leave the world more or less as we found it.. in the same way that teenage idealist regularly abandon their dreams of creating a better world and come to accept the compromises of adult life at precisely the moment they marry and have children.. **caring for others, esp over the long term, requires maintaining a world that’s relatively predictable.. t as the grounds on which caring can take place.. one cannot save to ensure a ***college ed for one’s children unless one is sure in 20 yrs there will still be colleges.. or for that matter money.. and that in turn means that love for others.. people.. animals.. landscapes.. regularly require the maintenance of institutional structures one might otherwise despise

*same song.. perpetuating tragedy of the non common

**graeber unpredictability/surprise law et al

***graeber parent/care law

this is all why we perpetuate part\ial ness i talk about here (short findings restate).. why we don’t let go enough.. to see.. and why we so desperately need a means to leap.. for (blank)’s sake


on the northern european notion that paid labor under a master’s discipline is the only way to become a genuine adult.. a sacrifice of joy an dplwasure that allows us to become an actual worthy of our consumerist toys..

back to .. how to be a person ness.. a proper adult.. which really means how to be a whale when my soul is crying out to be alive/unpredictable/spontaneous.. et al

search in vain for tombstone inscribed w ‘steam fitter’ ‘exec vice pres’ ‘clerk’.. in death.. essence of a soul’s being on earth is seen as marked by the love they felt for and received form fam.. while alive in contrast.. first question anyone likely to asked on meeting.. ‘what do you do for a living‘..

still the case.. though was supposed to change from what we produced to what we consumed: clothes we wear, music we listen to.. sports teams we follow.. since 70s.. everyone expected to sort selves into tribal subcultures.. yet somehow paradoxically.. people regularly report that work is what gives the ultimate meaning to lives.. and that unemployment has devastating psych effects..

marsh label law


enormous surveys/studies.. over course of 20th cent.. summarized as follows: 1\ most people’s sense of dignity and self worth is caught up in workin g for a living.. 2\ most people hate their jobs

earn a living ness et al


return to carlyle: work should be painful.. the misery of the job is itself what ‘forms character’.. workers gain feelings of dignity and self worth because they hate their jobs.. seems to remain in the air all around us.. ‘the pressure to value ourselves an others on the basis of how hard we work at something we’d rather not be doing.. if you’re not destroying your mind/body via pid work, you’re not living right’.. even those who don’t feel they have to validate existence on day to day basis by boasting how overworked they are will nonetheless agree that those who avoid work entirely should probably drop dead

an endless drumbeat of vilification of the poor, the unemployed, and esp those on public relief.. the society is besiege by those who want something for nothing.. poor are largely poor because they lack the will/discipline to work.. that only those who do or have worked harder than they’d like to at something they would rather not be doing.. preferably under a harsh taskmaster.. deserve respect and consideration from their fellow citizens.. central to what validates work itself.. suffering has become a badge of econ citizenship.. w/o it you have no right to make any other claim..

bs jobs proliferate today in large part because of the peculiar nature of managerial feudalism that has come to dominate wealthy economies.. but to an increasing degree.. all economies.. they cause misery because human happiness is always caught up in a sense of having effects on the world.. a social value.. yet at same tie.. aware that the greater the social value produced by a job.. the less one is likely to be paid to do it.. choice: useful/important paid little.. or pointless/degrading paid dignity/wage

managerial feudalism et al


7 – what are the political effects of bs jobs, and is there anything that can be done about this situation

george orwell, down and out in paris and london: ‘i believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless work is .. at bottom.. simply fear of the mob.. the mob are such low animals that they would be dangerous if they had leisure; it is safer to keep them too busy to think.. ‘.. t

what i have described over last 2 chapters are the econ forces driving the proliferation of bs jobs.. what i’ve called managerial feudalism.. t.. and what allows us to put up w this arrangement.. ie: pain in workplace only justification for furtive consumer pleasure.. and at same time.. jobs eat up more and more of our waking existence means that we do not have the luxury.. of a ‘life’.. that means.. that furtive consumer pleasure are the only ones we have time to afford.. (ones that can be placed in self contained predictable time slots one is likely to have left over between spates of work, or else while recovering from it.. ie’s of what i call ‘compensatory consumerism‘..t the sorts of things you can do to make up for the fact that you don’t have a life.. or not very much of one

gaiman/degrasse whatever law et al.. and khan filling the gaps law.. leading to myth of tragedy and lord

compensatory consumerism

cope\ing ness.. et al..


people in consumer societies, even those in bs jobs do eke out some kind of a life.. though one might ask how viable such forms of life really are in the long term.. considering population most likely to be trapped in pointless employment would also appear to be most likely to have lives marked by episodes of clinical depression or other forms of mental illness..

crazywise (doc) et al

even if none of this turned out to be the case.. one thing is inescapable: such work arrangements foster a political landscape rife w *hatred/resentment.. t.. those w/o work resent the employed.. the employed are encouraged to resent the poor.. as scroungers/freeloaders.. those trapped in bs jobs resent workers who get to do real beneficial labor.. those who do real.. underpaid, degraded, unappreciated.. all united in the loathing for the political class.. who they see as corrupt.. but political class finds these other forms of vacuous hatred extremely convenient since they distract attention from themselves..

*thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman 

taught to be bots.. to hate work.. in order to become proper adults.. who have no time to be mob ish.. resentment as vehicle.. summary: no happy campers in sea world..


on military outreach projects overseas.. that don’t really help but enormous psych impact on soldiers.. ‘this is why i joined the army’.. helping people.. soldiers allowed to perform public service duties, they found, were 2-3 times more likely to reenlist.. i remember thinking.. ‘wait.. so most of these people really want to be in the peace corps?.. and i duly looked it up and discovered: sure enough, to be accepted into peace corps you need to already have a college degree.. the us military is a haven for frustrated altruists

huge.. huge.. khan filling the gaps law

.. dangle reward (of being able to do altruistic charity) if play along.. only those whoo can prove their mettle at selfishness are to be afforded the right to be selfless.. or that’s how the game is supposed to work.. if you suffer/scheme and accumulate enough econ value.. they you are allowed to cash in and turn your millions into something unique, higher, intangible, or beautiful.. that is turn value into values.. .. to skip straight to the end is obviously cheating..


soldiers are only legit exception because they ‘serve’ their country.. (yet).. large % end up spending rest of lives homeless, jobless, impoverished, addicted.. a poor kid might tell self he’s joining marines for ed/career opps.. but everyone knows that’s at best a crapshoot.. such is the nature of his sacrifice; hence, of his true nobility

h l mencken: puritanism: ‘the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy’

a crisscrossing of resentments increasingly defines the politics of wealthy countries.. this is a disastrous state of affairs..


(vonnegut 52 – player piano.. on despairs if no jobs) assumed that human begins were so completely unimaginative that even w unlimited free time, they would be unable to come up w anything particularly interesting to do..

1\ we’ve never yet let go enough to see.. always some strings attached 2\ sounds like same song as compensatory consumerism.. ie: compensatory time.. in sea world..


here’s the catch.. if we did wish to pretend a computer could decide which is best history course.. there’s no way computer could do task by self.. the fruit you can just roll into bin (rip, raw, rotten).. in case of history course.. it require enormous human effort to render the material into units (notifications to ie: create/upload/reformat/respond/approve syllabus et al) that a computer would even begin to know what to do with

oh my.. not following this at all.. sounds like sinclair perpetuation law


endnotes – how is arguing that people should be forced to work 40 yrs a week they would not otherwise have to work because they might otherwise drink, smoke, or commit crimes any diff from arguing that the entire population should be placed in prison for an equiv amount of time as a form of preventative detention (on how automation did decrease labor time.. but we added bs jobs because of *fear of leisure)

yeah that.. aka: sea world

*graeber fear of play law et al

taylor compulsory law ness – do we trust people’s capacity to be curious .. et al

imagine if we


it’s significant that the principal cause of bankruptcy in america is med debt, and the principal force draw in young people into bs jobs is the need to pay student loans.. (then into fin/bullshitization of caring labor)

mind and body as care/need so via fin/banking et al.. opp for debt/enslavement


on ubi as ie of program that might begin to detach work from compensation and put an end to dilemmas described in this book

another reason i hesitate to make policy suggestions is that i am suspicious of the very idea of policy. policy implies the existence of an elite group.. govt officials typically.. that gets to decide on something (‘a policy’) that they then arrange to be imposed on everybody else.. t.. there’s a little mental trick we play.. ‘what are we going to do about problem of x? as if /we/ were society as a whole, somehow acting on ourselves, but in fact, unless we happen to be part of that roughly 3-5% of the population whose views actually do affect policy makers.. this is all a game of make believe.. we are identifying w our rulers when in fact we’re the ones being rules.. i’d prefer not to have policy elites around at all.. i’m personally an anarchist.. which means that not only do i look forward to a day sometime in the future when govts, corps, and the rest will be looked at as historical curiosities in same way we now look at spanish inquisition or nomadic invasions.. i prefer solution to immediate problems that do not give more power to govts/corps, but rather, give people the means to manage their own affairs..

graeber policy law


it’s not at all lear what a broader campaign against bs jobs would even look like

we’d org around legit needs ie: a nother way


leslie: .. on aliens laughing at us, humans inventing rules to prevent other humans from getting access to tokens of a human concept, money.. which is by its nature not scarce.. (she talking on her work as ngo) and satisfying an endless chain of self satisfied paper pushers.. each wants their own set of evidence that we are ’empowering’ people.. when in fact we’re juggling rules/language on behalf of people who just need help to fill out the paperwork so they can get on w their lives

fuller too much law et al

1000s of people maintained on comfortable salaries in air conditioned offices simply in order to ensure that poor people continue to feel bad about themselves..

inspectors of inspectors


leslie: .. but then recognizing that would just lead back to ubi again: if everyone’s a carer, then you might as well just fund everybody, and let them decide for selves who they want to care for at any given time..


leslie brings up silvia federici

silvia federici et al..

on bi pilot in india.. showing domestic violence goes way down.. 80% of domestic disputes that lead to violences turn out to be about money.. if give everyone equal amt of money.. diff’s begin to dissolve..

any ubi would have to be enough to live on, all by itself, and it would have to be completely unqualified.. everyone has to get it.. even people who don’t need it

unconditional ness.. and everyone in sync law et al


everyone is everyone.. (otherwise) one would have to set up a B to start means testing again..t and via history.. such Bs tend to expand..

partial ness of conditional ness is keeping us in sea world

has to be everyone or the dance won’t dance

what bi ultimately proposes is to detach livelihood from work.. its immediate effect would be to massively reduce the amt of B

ie on fostering funding.. and if money given to bio parents.. would be no need

where would money come from? ..

endnotes: for most through recent exploration of current arguments for bi.. see standing

guy standing


w ubi.. huge sections of govt.. and precisely the most intrusive/obnoxious.. since they are most deeply involved in the moral surveillance of ordinary citizens.. would be instantly made unnecessary and could be simply closed down.. yes.. millions of minor govt officials and benefit advisors like leslie would be thrown out of their current jobs.. but they’d all receive bi too.. maybe some will come up w something genuinely important to do.. but it wouldn’t matter if they instead formed jug bands.. et al.. whatever they end up doing.. they will almost certainly be happier than now.. and everybody else will be better off for their newfound happiness..

even a modest bi program could become a stepping stone toward the most profound transformation of all: to unlatch work from livelihood entirely.. it might open way to developing better way of distributing goods entirely.. obviously all this depends on assumption that human beings don’t have to be compelled to work.. a reasonable assumption..

well.. part\ial ness is actually part of what is perpetuating tragedy of the non common.. giving people the opp to say.. see it doesn’t work..

we can’t legit dance enough for people to see/believe.. unless it’s all of us

we need to undo our hierarchical listening.. so we can org around legit needs

endnotes: this is also why conditional versions of the same program, or guaranteed jobs programs .. are in no sense variations on .. let alone ‘improved versions of’.. the same thing.. the key to ubi is the unconditional element, which allows for a massive reduction of the role of govt intrusion in citizens’ lives.. these supposedly ‘modified’ or ‘improved’ version etiehr will nto do this or wil have th opp effect

yes.. huge key is unconditional ness.. ‘massive reduction’ isn’t unconditional ness


the promised land: a safe work theory of social liberation.. this would be the obvious soltuion (ie: on safe word can say to get out of situation/game/job)

gray play law – freedom to quit


how do we create only games that we actually feel like playing, because we can opt out at any time

ie: imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people

humanity needs a leap.. to get back/to simultaneous spontaneity .. simultaneous fittingness.. everyone in sync..

ubi would mean millions of people who recognize the absurdity of this situation will have the time to engage in political organizing to change it.. since they will no longer be forced to highlight forms for 8 hrs a day..

that’s just same song.. we’d end up.. we have ended up.. swimming in red tape ness.. no diff at end of day


if we let everyone *decide for selves how they were best fit to benefit humanity, w no restriction at all.. how could they possibly end up w a distribution of labor more inefficient than the one we already have.. **this is a powerful argument for human freedom..

*yeah.. that quiet/hidden obligation ness is a restriction..

**so actually.. unfortunately.. a powerful means to perpetuate myth of tragedy and lord

most of us like to talk about freedom in the abstract, even claim it’s the most important thing for anyone to fight/die for.. but we don’t think a lot about what being free or practicing freedom might actually mean.. the main point of this book was not to propose concrete policy prescriptions.. but to start us thinking and arguing about what a genuine free society might actually be like.. t

ie: a nother way

imagine if we




david on addiction to work

bs jobs at lse

kropotkin dirty jobs law

earn a living


supposed to’s of school/work

kilpi work law et al

massimiliano mollona