Fascinating article from Ars that resonates with my own experience.
The sharing economy.
Or as I like to put it, ‘the giving away things for free’ economy.
Or the ‘exploitation of the talented part of our population by the talentless’, er, economy.
Isn’t quite as catchy though. Or positive. Probably a bit negative.
Sorry – anyway moving on…
Being a salaried designer has it’s problems, but I have been a freelance designer in the past.
And it’s wholly, completely, totally awful.
The worst period of my entire life – where the value I give the world was questioned, trivialised, ridiculed and finally reduced to the lowest possible price.
And then invoiced – not that they ever paid the invoice though.
The ‘valuers’ in this equation were the people that paid me, and whilst they begrudgingly accepted that they had to pay a fair price for physical objects, they thought ideas were free.
Ideas weren’t my own, they were given to me for free by the client (or his wife, kid or dog), or environment, the internet, my camera or my software.
I didn’t actually do anything – I merely conjured into existence everybody else ideas.
So I’m not a fan of ‘sharing’ as in most cases its a code word for exploitation – from the article:
He used to be a graphic artist. At one point, he had plenty of contracts and plenty of work. But increasing competition for fewer assignments made this an unstable profession. Eventually, Chabot was bidding against people who would churn out a logo for $5. Software and chatbots were created that could automatically design avatars and websites. So Chabot left the field and now works in a kitchen.
I suppose the talentless side of the population would say this is progress – get used to it.
He now works in a kitchen.
He can’t do the job he’s talented at, as nobody will pay him for it.
Artists used to be paid or commissioned by people because it was agreed that their art enriched the world – and it does.
We look back art’s rich history in churches, museums and galleries. That art exists because society valued it and valued the people who created it.
Now we’re competing for $5 logos made by a robot.
The article takes a more interesting turn however here:
That doesn’t mean Chabot is ideology-free. He wasn’t an activist until he lost his job (“I had to live the experience,” he said). That’s when he encountered the basic-income movement. This was hugely eye-opening for him, and he threw himself into activism. He created @BaseIncomeQuote and @BasicIncomeIMG with the aim of creating a hub of text and images advocating for a guaranteed minimum income.
A sad conclusion for a talented artist. Being paid by a benign government to exist – no strings attached of course.
Universal income – I’ve heard about this before, it’s been postulated by the EU and it’s the perfect solution…
…for a totalitarian society.
Put simply and as the title of this post outlines – universal income turns humans into cattle.
Why would government pay people, and then pay the people that those people produce?
Answer: they wouldn’t, why would they?
An economy cannot function if the amount of money entering that economy isn’t controlled.
They would put people on a selective breeding program, where the production of new people (and therefore the money they pay them) is strictly controlled.
How they then spend the ‘government’s’ money and licenses to breed are a few human rights violation’s away.
Once that happens government attaches a monetary value to a persons life.
That is officially A Bad Thing®.
Doesn’t anybody read science fiction anymore?