by Zoë Pollock
Rob Horning explores the thinning line separating business and our personal lives as production and consumption merge. Money quote:
What makes this potentially worse is that such work (being online and contributing or organizing information, sharing), so much closer subjectively to consumption or self-actualization, will register as meaningful and will feel like progress. Perhaps this sort of work (sometimes called immaterial labor), combined with welfare payments, could be the foundation of a less exploitative social order in which what people do “for a living” actually seems to constitute the meaning of their life, and no one is left “unemployed” and rendered socially worthless. But under our current conditions, immaterial labor mainly makes life more precarious, and taints the things we ordinarily would enjoy doing with an urgent anxiety. We can’t just be ourselves; we have to make ourselves a personal brand that we desperately need our friends, i.e. networked nodes, to buy into.