Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

blogging, writing and its consequences

Once more, I've been thinking about what it means to blog, to write, and why it is so hard in our oh-so-advanced western society to simply tell the truth and deal with it. Political correctness, they call it. I call it hypocrisy.

I went down this road once more after reading Bryce's entry on the social issues in blogging. There I found a link to an old Salon article on how people get fired for expressing themselves, and, more importantly, a link to Mark's account of how he was fired for his weblog, not just for writing a personal and excellent description of what addiction is, but for "rebelling" in an amazing response against the stupidity of his boss to try to stop him from writing.

It's a common tale: management somehow assumes people don't have a life, don't talk to each other, don't have an interest in friendship, or expression, or don't want anything out of life except sit in an office for 8-10 hours a day and type and do what they are told. They might say they do. But they don't. The fact that companies commonly ask people to work more (even when they are already working more than their share) proves it. The fundamental flaw in the worldview of these people comes down, I think, to a combination of two things: a misplaced sense of what "profesionalism" is, and the belief that people are "assets" like a chair or a keyboard. The second one is I think quite widespread and it doesn't need much of an explanation. The first one implies that when you're at work you should behave "profesionally," that is, never express fear, or exhaustion, or confusion, in short, emotions. You should always be in charge, in control, and doing what's good for the company. Screw the person, it's all about our collective future, and if you happen to shoot yourself in the process, well, too bad. We'll be sure to send stock options to your family.

We need to create a new "social contract" between organizations (corporations, governments, etc) and individuals. The individual matters. We are better than in the middle ages, but right now we are not much better than at the beginning of the industrial age. The point of a company, for example, should not be an end in itself, it should exist to provide work for its employees. Not to generate money in abstracto.


Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 24 2002 at 3:41 PM

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