The Human Freelancer

Happy and honest self-employment for conscientious newcomers

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Creepy new liquid food substitute brand Soylent reckons they’ve solved the perennial problem of: “the disproportionate amount of time and money… spent creating nutritionally complete meals.”

That’s right: the global crap vortex has finally sucked us into a dimension where we’re too busy to cook and eat. Why stop there though? My selfish digestive tract often interrupts me mid-meeting. Can’t we just fire out pre-packaged turds from vending machines mounted on our stomachs? Imagine how much more efficient strategic-thinking would be if you didn’t have to waste precious seconds wiping up at the end of it.

Musing on the implications of abhorrently creamy liquid nutrition, John Gray on the BBC argues that human beings might actually crave busy lives. We want to be distracted, he says, so we don’t have to think too much: “Rather than free time our true desire may be to avoid reflecting on our actual condition.”

So what are we diverting our attention from? Mortality? Those chocolates you keep hidden in your knicker drawer? Or relentless masturbation at the altar of Homes Under the Hammer?

It’s a tricky issue. And one every human freelancer must face the when they discover they’ve got a shitload of time on their hands now that they’re free to do whatever makes them happy.

Alas, this is too big a subject to tackle in a short note. I only wanted to elaborate on an observation I made about the deception of labour-saving devices in last week’s post: Escape from hard work and the shit-smeared treadmill of greed, debt and fear. Yet this does suggest a compelling reason why people optionally choose misery and debt slavery over the deliciously emancipating prospect of being a human freelancer.

“It’s worth asking how we’ve become as time-poor as we feel we are today. I’m old enough to remember discussions of 40 or 50 years ago about how we’d fill our days when most kinds of human labour were done by machines. Technology is largely a succession of time-saving devices. It’s strange, then, that an age of unprecedented technological advance should also be one of such acute time-poverty.”

Read John Gray’s full article on the BBC news website.

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