Rediscovering Precarity Slogans, Memes, and Chants

Photo: Saverio Massaro

Yesterday I had the pleasure to talk about entrepreneurialism and precarity at La Scuola Open Source, a new energetic, convivial, and brave reality located in Bari, which is very close to my hometown.

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24/7 Work Ethic and the Superpowers of Accidental Irony

Today I read a short post by David Heinemeier Hansson, founder of Ruby on Rails. In his article, he describes how already in 2013, people at Basecamp were already were taking action against the 24/7 work lifestyle advertised by Microsoft. This even led to the implementation of a feature ensuring “that work stays out of your kid’s soccer game or your family’s movie night.” Now, after 3 years, Hansson is disappointed to find out that Microsoft’s promotional strategy hasn’t changed at all.

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The Religious Work Ethic of Spotlight

Mitchell Garabedian

Mitchell Garabedian

A few days ago, I watched Spotlight: in the movie, a group of investigative journalists from the Boston Globe struggles to reveal the systematic operations carried out by the Catholic Church in order to obscure the sheer magnitude of child abuses committed by priests. Spotlight is based on real facts that took place in 2001.

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Precarity Feels

Cassie Thornton's "debt visualization" method.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the MoneyLab, a two days event focused on interventions and experiments with digital economy and financialization. One of my favorite speech was the one by Cassie Thornton from the Feminist Economics Department, entitled "Financial Literacy". Cassie began her talk by aptly describing the way in which a financial mindset is taught in schools through means of mathematical exercises. Cassie contended that these exercises encourage young students to adjust their desires to the financial means they have. Therefore, already in their early education, they have to face a form of financial realism.

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A Work Ethic Dystopia

theylive-messages

Here’s the transcript of the talk I gave to the students of the design department of the Sandberg Instituut at LustLAB on the 29th of November.

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What is the Entreprecariat?

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I would like to tentatively explain what I mean by entreprecariat. More accurately, I wish to indicate some directions for this term, since I conceive it as a "force field", a set of crossing vectors, rather than a crystallized object. Entreprecariat is a portmanteau that combines entrepreneurialism and the precariat. As such, it captures both as coexisting axes of a semiotic square of the social.

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On “Fuck You Startup World” and Entreprecariat at Large

We're all Richard

We’re all Richard.

Today I stumbled on yet another viral rant about startups.

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(-: Mood-Hacking :-)

“The flip side of positivity is thus a harsh insistence on personal responsibility: if your business fails or your job is eliminated, it must be because you didn’t try hard enough, didn’t believe firmly enough in the inevitability of your success.” (Barbara Ehrenreich, 2009)

What’s the recipe of success? According to the dominant, yet invisible ideology we call Neoliberalism, all the necessary ingredients can be found and cultivated inside of the individual. The most important one of which is, to a great extent, attitude: if you really want it, you can and must have it. If the individual is all that matters, what’s the role of the outside world? The world is no less than your oyster, of course.

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Shouldn’t You Be Working?

A journey into the apps that promise to enhance productivity, that is, the only thing that matters (Originally published in Italian on Prismo).

The Isolator, avant la lettre productivity tool.

The Isolator, avant la lettre productivity tool.

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The Competitive Aesthetics of Failure

Photo: Nadine Roestenburg

Photo: Nadine Roestenburg

[Video + transcript of the talk I gave at the ‘Artistic Interventions in Finance’ panel during MoneyLab: Economies of Dissent on the 3rd of December 2015. Videos of the other panelists (Stephanie Rothenburg, Nuria Guell & Levi Orta, Scott Kildall, DullTech™, Raluca Croitoru) can be found here.]

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