http://www.slate.fr/story/76744/metiers-a-la-conRelated: Bullshit jobs • Travailler Autrement
On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs Ever had the feeling that your job might be made up? That the world would keep on turning if you weren’t doing that thing you do 9-5? David Graeber explored the phenomenon of bullshit jobs for our recent summer issue – everyone who’s employed should read carefully… On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber. 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.
Cut the bullshit: organizations with no hierarchy don’t exist Do completely horizontal organizations truly exist? Fueled by growing excitement about self-management, bossless leadership and new governance models such as Holacracy, I increasingly hear large claims about the potential of “flat organizations”, which are being used as synonymous to “having no hierarchy”. I often wonder whether I am reading correctly: Organizations with no hierarchy at all, with real live people in them? I feel like there has been a misunderstanding here. Are you paid to look busy? Do you actually perform meaningful work all day or are you paid to look busy, asks anthropologist David Graeber. Photo by John McBride & Company Inc./The Image Bank.
The Silver Lining Of Anti-Globalism Might Be The Creation Of A True Digital Economy The folks at Davos this week are trying to behave as if everything is normal. Sure, England is Brexiting from Europe and the United States appears to be retreating from the global stage altogether. But somehow the word from Switzerland is that a mix of the right interest rates, investment strategies, and business optimism will keep free trade and globalization on course and safe from this boorish surge of populism. They’re missing the point. David Graeber: ‘So many people spend their working lives doing jobs they think are unnecessary’ A few years ago David Graeber’s mother had a series of strokes. Social workers advised him that, in order to pay for the home care she needed, he should apply for Medicaid, the US government health insurance programme for people on low incomes. So he did, only to be sucked into a vortex of form filling and humiliation familiar to anyone who’s ever been embroiled in bureaucratic procedures. At one point, the application was held up because someone at the Department of Motor Vehicles had put down his given name as “Daid”; at another, because someone at Verizon had spelled his surname “Grueber”.
The key to responsible and responsive leadership – the humanities In our complex and interconnected world, we need leaders of imagination, understanding, and emotional intelligence—men and women who will move beyond polarizing debates and tackle the challenges we face. To cultivate such leaders, we must value and invest in the humanities. I am a psychologist by training, and I study human emotions. The meaning of life in a world without work Most jobs that exist today might disappear within decades. As artificial intelligence outperforms humans in more and more tasks, it will replace humans in more and more jobs. Many new professions are likely to appear: virtual-world designers, for example. But such professions will probably require more creativity and flexibility, and it is unclear whether 40-year-old unemployed taxi drivers or insurance agents will be able to reinvent themselves as virtual-world designers (try to imagine a virtual world created by an insurance agent!). And even if the ex-insurance agent somehow makes the transition into a virtual-world designer, the pace of progress is such that within another decade he might have to reinvent himself yet again. The crucial problem isn’t creating new jobs.