Friday, August 26, 2005

Ubiquitous Precarity


"The interesting things start to happen when the system is stratified into at least three levels: the first tier are the Weekend Warriors, the bored, exploited knowledge workers, stuck doing semicreative labor for large corporations. They use it for weekend trips and cheap thrills, maybe segueing into a little side work. Once they quit their day jobs to do this full time they've joined the second tier, the Freelancers. The Freelancers work from coffeeshops and couches, move around the country at will, write code or create graphics for startups, and in general work for themselves in a kind of extended co-op. The freelancers can choose from assignments like "write some code that does this ..." or "design an interface for this game", or "build an e-commerce web site for this company". They earn money on a per-task basis. The third tier is the Project Managers, they form a network unto themselves, they initiate projects, and coordinate the distributed labor of the freelancers, keep the mobile Oases moving around, and generally see a bigger picture than the people on the ground. Any Weekend Warrior tourist can become a Project Manager if they've got a good idea, and can motivate their friends to work with them and make the project happen."


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