“It is understandable that design wants a seat at the table in corporate decision-making. But designers need to find ways to provide value to clients without devaluing themselves. If we believe in the value of design for business, we need to be honest about the complexity, creativity, and uncertainty involved in great design. This means not cheapening design by reducing it to a mechanical process. It means casting a critical eye on ‘the research.’ It means accepting that the most important information is not always quantifiable.”
— Ben Mcallister
“We now, for the first time ever, have the technology and resources necessary to make the world a great place for everyone. We can provide adequate food, housing, education, and healthcare for everyone, using only a fraction of our labor and resources. This means that we can put an end to wage-slavery. I don't have to work. I choose to work. And I believe that everyone deserves the same freedom I have. If done right, it's also economically superior, meaning that we will all have more wealth.”
— Paul Buchheit, "The Technology"
“What immediate comedy and horror would result if a machine were plugged into our brains, beaming up on a PowerPoint screen all the thoughts we were having as we navigated the agenda; it would show our sexual fantasies, longings and despair while a little more sand trickled from the upper chamber of life's hourglass until we finally reached point 9.8 on the agenda.”
— Alain de Botton
“One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours–all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.”
— William Faulkner, interview in Writers at Work, 1958
“Perhaps more significantly, places of employment and spaces of work would seem to be supremely relevant to the bread and butter of political science: as sites of decision making, they are structured by relations of power and authority; as hierarchical organizations, they raise issues of consent and obedience; as spaces of exclusion, they pose question about membership and obligation. Although impersonal forces may compel us into work, once we enter the workplace we inevitably find ourselves enmeshed in the direct and personal relations of ruler and ruled. Indeed the work site is where we often experience the most immediate, unambiguous, and tangible relations of power that most of us will encounter on a daily basis. As a fully political rather than a simple economic phenomena, work would thus seem to be an especially rich object of inquiry.”
— Kathi Weeks, The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries
“We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”
— Buckminster Fuller, New York Magazine, 1970
The question we have to begin to ask ourselves is not how do we employ all the people who are rendered obsolete by technology, but how can we organize a society around something other than employment? Might the spirit of enterprise we currently associate with "career" be shifted to something entirely more collaborative, purposeful, and even meaningful?
Instead, we are attempting to use the logic of a scarce marketplace to negotiate things that are actually in abundance. What we lack is not employment, but a way of fairly distributing the bounty we have generated through our technologies, and a way of creating meaning in a world that has already produced far too much stuff.
— Douglas Rushkoff
“The goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play. That’s why we have to destroy the present politico-economic system.”
— Arthur C. Clarke
“Now we look back on medieval peasants and wonder how they stood it. How grim it must have been to till the same fields your whole life with no hope of anything better, under the thumb of lords and priests you had to give all your surplus to and acknowledge as your masters. I wouldn't be surprised if one day people look back on what we consider a normal job in the same way. How grim it would be to commute every day to a cubicle in some soulless office complex, and be told what to do by someone you had to acknowledge as a boss—someone who could call you into their office and say "take a seat," and you'd sit! Imagine having to ask permission to release software to users. Imagine being sad on Sunday afternoons because the weekend was almost over, and tomorrow you'd have to get up and go to work. How did they stand it?”
— Paul Graham