Creating Value, Being Programmed

“What the industrial age was for was to reduce the skill level required for workers to participate in company activities. Instead of having people who actually know how to make shoes work in my shoe shop and then if they’re skilled I have to pay them real money, and they’re not replaceable, why don’t I create an industrial age, a process with some machines so any dope I can get in the Home Depot parking lot can come in and with 15 minutes of training, make shoes. Why do I prefer that unskilled labor over skilled labor? Because I can fire him. Because I can pay him less. Mass production was about alienating the worker from the value he created. Because he wasn’t so much creating value anymore, he was just working.”

Branding is dead. Long live Rushkoff. Whole talk is about social networking, media, reclaiming our power over new media/technology, and of course Branding. One of my least favorite words.

“The Keebler elves were invented to stop people from thinking about where Keebler cookies are actually made and how. The Keebler elves were the myth that was put there to protect the company, or the consumer even, from the reality of what it is. On a social network, people are not going to talk about the Keebler elves unless one has been exposed as having an affair with the Doughboy or something. On a social network, people want to share information that someone else is going to value so their social currency, their reputation, will increase. Where are the cookies made? Do they have organic ingredients? Are they real organic ingredients or the fake USDA certified organic ingredients?…

It’s what is real. People are looking to find out what is real. And yes, people want credit, people want social currency, they want more followers. They want all that. But I think what you guys have to do is recontextualize what you’re doing. Social networks are not now and have never been in the service of companies. But your products could be given unto the service of social networks. Your products are media. You can supply people with the information they need to actually connect to one another.”

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2 Responses to Creating Value, Being Programmed

  1. queenemily says:

    I hate the word branding myself. You know that thing that Carles on Hipster Runoff does, when he talks about his “personal brand” and “adding value to it?” Savage, nihilistic take on brands taking over literally everything..

    It’s an interesting argument he’s making about connection, I’m going to have to think some more about it…

  2. GallingGalla says:

    Mass production was about alienating the worker from the value he created.

    Yep.

    All part and parcel on what capitalism thrives on: Forcing humans to dissociate from each other; forcing humans to dissociate from their communities until communities vanish; forcing humans to become bit parts in a movie orchestrated by capitalists, rather than being fully involved in and a part of life and community.

    Capitalists do it with advertising, branding, and mass production. And when that doesn’t work? They do it with force, via the police state.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about dissociation lately, since that’s one of my mental health issues – depersonalization, which is a dissociative disorder. It’s ironic that a condition that is considered a disorder by psychiatrists is *exactly* where capitalists want us – so disconnected from each other that we can never form an effective resistance movement.

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