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Bullshit Jobs (wikipedia.org)
14 points by tosh on Oct 4, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments

Thanks, it's a great one. I'll paste it here for convenience:

"We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."

I've come around to not being annoyed at the repeated push for this idiotic idea.

The world is a competitive market place for ideas and the ideas we choose to live by have consequences. And all of the people who pick broken frameworks like this to be primary influences for their own actions just take themselves out of the competitive marketplace to do the interesting stuff out there that there is to do.

I've come around to not being annoyed at the repeated push for this idiotic idea.

Good for you. But you haven't explained why it's a broken idea, let alone an "idiotic" one.

I'm interested: how do you see it as a broken framework? Are you speaking of those who contest bullshit jobs and use them as an excuse for not working in certain jobs? Or are you referring to something more?

Part of the reason I didn't write it out was because I feel like I've written the same thing in 5 threads on this topic.

The entire framework is just code for being unhappy about your job. I'm not saying the job isn't bullshit, at least from the perspective of the person doing it (although it almost certainly isn't from the perspective of the person paying you to do the work), but what next?

It feels like some people want to make subjectively bullshit jobs illegal, which is idiotic.

If you aren't saying we should make it illegal, and you are just venting, then fine, but is venting about not liking you're job really so fascinating that the same article needs to get posted evvery other week.

If your job is bullshit, get a different one, or acknowledge that right now that bullshit job is better than nothing. What other options possibly are there?

What other options possibly are there?

That's kind of the whole problem with the epidemic of Bullshit Jobs -- there just aren't all that many jobs out there which don't fall into one of 3 categories:

(1) Abusive

(2) Low-paying / unstable / insecure

(3) Bullshit

or all of the above.

Related Podcast Episode on NPR Hidden Brain. Sep2018.

BS Jobs: How Meaningless Work Wears Us Down


MBAs probably rank on the top. Followed by Diversity Officers and 80% of ‘non-working’ middle management task masters.

No job anyone is willing to pay for is “bullshit”. You may feel bored, annoyed, like your life is a waste, but it isn’t worthless to the employer. There is a reason.

You seem not to have read the book, and have the luck of not having been in that situation. Graeber basically describes what is a sand castle where administrative bs begets pointless occupation. Thinking that all expenditures are useful is a vastly simplifying view.

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