Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Borg R Us


I was reading about demoralization in the workplace a lot of today, focusing specifically on Carrier and Amazon.  For contrast, the National Geographic documentary on Coca-Cola bottling plants showed presumably well-paid workers proud of their responsibilities.

The Carrier people know their furnaces are in demand, but don't sense the parent company values them as people.  Mexicans know what that's like.  Corporate personhoods don't always relate to flesh and blood humans that well.  Welcome to the matrix.

I got a free AWS T-shirt at OSCON this time, and wore that around N. Mississippi, playing the part of a techie moving into one of the new apartments and gentrifying the hell out of that part of town.  In fact, my personal experience trying to drive an AWS go-cart (metaphor) was a wipe-out.  Nonetheless, I do promote the infrastructure to my OST-RU buddies.  That's a science fiction template code school built on the model of a travel agency booking charter flights (classes).

In other words:  we are Borg.

I allude the that sense of complicity, of collusion, we all feel as Amazon Prime users.  I canceled mine but that doesn't count, as I piggy-back on family.  The physics books I got through the Amazon database recently was not shipped Prime, but it was definitely paid through Amazon.  Someone, somewhere, had to run around some giant warehouse at my behest, maybe needing a break, a vacation, a little job security.

What the AI people miss is the worker is not so much feeling apprehension about the coming AI revolution and the jobs that will steal, as they feel the robot takeover is already complete and their existential worth as human beings is null and void.  They feel like wage slaves. Meanwhile, we are Borg.