stupidification 500

Question: I actually got yelled at the other day for thinking on the job. Why did I get a fancy college degree if all they need are spec sheets that don’t even make any sense?

This has to do with the stupidification of work, a term coined by Matthew B. Crawford in his book “Shop Class as Soulcraft“.

This book is a critique of industrialized work life. Starting in the early 20th century, the holistic methods of skilled artisans were replaced by faster assembly-line techniques. You generally don’t want people in giant enterprises to do a lot of independent thinking. What you want is a giant machine with standardized and interchangeable cogs. Cogs are a lot cheaper and they’re disposable, too. Plus, anarchists might talk back.

To create a distraction and fool the cogs, there’s a lot of rhetoric around individual freedom, but what they mean is “you’re free to choose which gadgets to buy” through the manufacture of desire. The cogs then go into debt from all the gadgets, and they have to keep working at these crappy jobs that they hate. The more they hate their job, the more gadgets they need to compensate.

Even white-collar jobs are getting stupidified now. We all kind of knew this in the back of our minds. I personally can’t accept that doing a shitty job is ever acceptable, which is why I get branded as a troublemaker.

1 thought on “Stupidification

  1. Pingback: Rosie the Riveter | Art Before Science

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