Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life

Cory Doctorow on the split appeal of tech

Tags: quotes culture

For many technologists, the allure of digital tools is the possibility of emancipation, a world where we can collaborate to make things without bosses or masters. But for the bosses and masters, automation’s allure is the possibility of getting rid of workers, shattering their power, and replacing them with meeker, cheaper, more easily replaced labor.

— Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic: Mass tech worker layoffs and the soft landing (21 Mar 2023)

That is one depressing truth. This split has had a dampening effect on the enthusiasm of my latest job hunt. But on the bright side:

That means that workers who go from tech firms to firms in the real economy might be getting lucky – escaping the grasp of bosses who dream of a world where technology lets them pit workers against each other in a race to the bottom on wages, benefits and working conditions, to employers who are glad to have them as partners in their drive to escape Big Tech’s grasp.

That also matches up to what I’m seeing. The more interesting “tech” jobs for the last few years have been in automating and empowering other domains. Tech itself has been ever more obsessed with eliminating workers and making whoever’s left dependent on them.

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Added to vault 2024-01-15. Updated on 2024-02-01