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Re: <nettime> The Ideology of Immateriality
Mike Weisman on Tue, 13 Jun 2000 17:04:37 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> The Ideology of Immateriality


	Sorry to have to clarify this for everyone, but what is happening, at
least in the US, is at once more complex and less mysterious.
Fortunately, its also right in front of your nose for anyone who cares
to take their eyes off their laptops for a moment.
	That great sucking sound you hear is the rush of fairly well educated
college graduates flowing into all kinds of jobs in the technology field
(very broadly defined) after about twenty years of unemployment or
underemployment. Obviously, few of these people have computer science
backgrounds because those fields of endeavor didn't even exist ten years
ago, much less twenty years. Although some have retrained by taking
classes in BASIC or web page design, many are self taught. They are the
pool of employees for companies like Microsoft, Oracle, or Amazon, where
someone with a Ph.D. in Classical Greek can get a pretty good job if
they can write HTML, work a database, or have a real world background
like (gasp!) working in a bookstore. 
	Here, in the best of all possible worlds, many of these people held
jobs over the last twenty years in a variety of underemployment
situations. They worked in bookstores and bistros, carpentry, light
construction, ski instruction, taught English at community college, or
had a folk music band.  When they got sucked up (in income at least)
into the techno vortex, they left behind them thousands of jobs in every
field of endeavor. 
	The situation is well documented here.  Waiters in good restaurants now
get paid vacations, health club memberships, and investment plans,
because its difficult to find anyone to fill service industry jobs.  My
carpenter can't work on my project because he is taking his family to
Denmark to study energy conservation for a few months. My other
carpenter now installs Ethernet networks in homes and doesn't do
remodels anymore. The woman that used to cut my hair now works as a
network admin. My yoga guru doesn't have time to teach because she
builds web pages for the world's largest company. And so on....
	But of course it all flows downhill.  Anyone interested in work has no
problem finding it these days in many areas of the US, and if they are
having trouble they can probably move somewhere else. The low end jobs
are now paying quite well. My gardener is paid $25 hour, which is more
than what I make. It is this second wave effect that has really wiped
out unemployment in huge numbers, and it is what will wipe out
unemployment in Europe soon. It is not necessary for everyone to go to
work for a dot com; only a few have to go to open up new jobs for many
more.  And I haven't even begun to discuss the growth in the service
sector for jobs for people with no time, like picking up dry cleaning
and delivering meals...  

No need to thank me,

Mike 




cisler wrote:

> In my presentation at tulipomania I showed the chart of the kinds of jobs
> produced here in Silicon Valley. In absolute numbers they were: computer
> engineers, systems analysts, general managers, programmers, janitors, waiters,
> guards, ,math/sci engineers, and receptionists. the diagram is here:
> http://www.jointventure.org/siliconvalley2010/images/fig5.gif
 <...>
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