Posts Tagged: work

Maintaining Human Life

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Writing may be hard work, but it isn’t the kind that pays the bills. Tillie Olsen’s seminal Silences wonders just what kind of work writing really is, and who has the privilege to do it:

Though access to education has improved for women and for members of the working class (categories that intersect) the lessons of “Silences” still resonate.

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Workdays Worldwide

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This infographic breaks down the workdays of countries in the OECD (Organization for Economic and Co-operation and Development). Distinguishing between paid and unpaid work, the graphic reveals which countries have the shortest and longest average working day according to OECD data.

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The Freelance Revolution

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“Today, careers consist of piecing together various types of work, juggling multiple clients, learning to be marketing and accounting experts, and creating offices in bedrooms/coffee shops/coworking spaces. Independent workers abound. We call them freelancers, contractors, sole proprietors, consultants, temps, and the self-employed.”

In 2005 one-third of the American workforce was a part of the “freelance economy,” and data suggests that the numbers have been increasing as the economy has forced some workers out of traditional jobs, while others have chosen the life of the independent worker.

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The Joys Of Freelancin’

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“The great thing about freelance, of course, is the numerous freedoms it embraces, chief among them being the freedom to work in your underwear. This seems to be the one that everyone knows. I was talking on the phone to an uncle of mine who’s in a nursing home, and when I told him I was working freelance, he said, ‘Oh, the underwear people!’”

Essays like this are the reason I put pants on sometimes.

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The Cost of a Thing

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A couple months ago, we wrote about Matthew Crawford’s book Shop Class as Soulcraft, and around the same time I read another interesting review of the book, by Caleb Crain. (I refrained from posting about it at the time to avoid Crain-overkill.) In it, he describes the growth of wages, and consequently, leisure during the industrial revolution, and then goes on to produce an amazing quote from Thoreau about money:

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Why Does No One Write About Their Day Job?

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In a manifesto (er, “ideas piece”) about the importance of the workplace in writing, Alain de Botton calls on contemporary writers to write about work. “If a proverbial alien landed on earth,” he says, “and tried to figure out what human beings did with their time simply on the evidence of the literature sections of a typical bookstore, he or she would come away thinking that we devote ourselves almost exclusively to leading complex relationships, squabbling with our parents, and occasionally murdering people.” Yet work, according to de Botton, is at the core of who we are.

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