Morning Ed: Space {2018.05.21.M}

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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23 Responses

  1. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    Sp8 doesn’t go where I think you’d like it to.Report

  2. Sp4 Its a really fascinating read, and besides the narrative of crisis what really comes through is just how much is involved in operating in space. The coordination and teamwork is something we kind-of know about, but do not truly appreciate. Also makes you appreciate how dangerous work becomes routine; a quart of water here is dealt with quickly but is nearly fatal in this case. Love the quote on how they adapt to the pressure of it all:

    NASA spaceflight people have a euphemism to describe the many fatal accidents, known and unknown, that might conceivably befall them. With a kind of whistling-past-the-graveyard understatement, they call it “having a bad day.”

    Report

  3. Avatar Anne says:

    Sp3 I read a short story late 80s early 90s Maybe about an octopus flying a Starship there’s a human on board with him and for the life of me I can’t find that story again. This is kind of a Mike Schilling question it was probably in Asimov’s or Analog or maybe a compilation book but it’s been driving me crazy trying to figure it out.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Sp6 and Sp7 sorta contradict each other. “we have red barns because we have so much iron/ we are able to build barns at all because we don’t have so much iron”Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Sp2 –

    Panu Liira is a Senior Partner at Reaktor, where he cultivates the self-organizing culture and community of the company.

    a crummy commercial? Son of a *****!Report

  6. Avatar pillsy says:

    I should probably hold off on linking this essay about bullshit jobs until it’s a “Labor” or “Economics” linky day, but as a child of the age of MTV video games, I am devoid of patience so I’m going to link to it now. Pay no mind to the fact that it’s five years old.

    It provides one possible answer to a question that bugs me more and more, as we see (for example) the idea of a universal jobs guarantee gain prominence at the expense of UBI: this basic sense that we as a society are far more willing to pay people to do something useless than they are to pay people to do nothing.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy says:

      The first job I had at the Lazy B was a BS job, at least for a person with an MS degree. It was work that needed to be done, but nothing I was doing required anything more than basic word processing skills. Luckily I was able to change jobs within 2 years.

      The thing that really got me was that there were senior engineers in my group doing essentially the same thing I was (and being paid a lot more), and they were perfectly fine with that. I just couldn’t get that.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        I have strong suspicions that my job is still a BS job, though one that requires a very specialized skill set.

        One thing that stands out to me about bullshit jobs, though, is how many of them are basically involved in some essentially adversarial process. Corporate law is the most glaring of these, but it crops up in HR, regulatory compliance (and regulation), marketing, and health care (with its deranged cat and mouse paperwork games between providers and insurance companies).

        There’s also a lot of work involved in providing the people who are in charge (whether stockholders, senior management, or elected officials) with the illusion of understanding and control that they believe should accompany their nominal authority.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy says:

          My first BS job was so BS that by the end of the second week, I had 90% of the work scripted. The other 10% was writing up a report about what my script did, which was mostly completed via Word template. By the end of the second month, I was practically begging for something else to do.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

      Labor shall be making an appearance on Wednesday with an article relevant to the subject of BS jobs.

      But if the conversation happens today, I will adjust accordingly.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy says:

      We discussed this article at length on LGM on Sunday.

      I have serious problems with it and I am largely sympathetic to the viewpoint. I don’t think a failed poet turned failed indie rocker and now corporate lawyers is a good anecdote or example. And I say this as someone who wanted an arts career. The big issue is that the anecdote got very close to success (closer to me) or was able to be a professional artist for a few years before flaming out. He seems rather bitter about this (perhaps justifiably) but also like he would be unhappy at anything but poet and indie-rocker. Most poets need to teach and this guys doesn’t even sound like tenured professor plus poet would make him happy.

      Most people who go to law school or business school or even have undergrad business majors are not secret poets, bohemians, or scholars in disguise.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Wait, not everyone wants to strut into a gallery of Pre-Raphaelite art wearing a bowler hat and brocade vest?

        People are weird, man.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Most people who go to law school or business school or even have undergrad business majors are not secret poets, bohemians, or scholars in disguise.

        How many of them are secret full-time video-gamers, hikers, pick-up basketball players, knitters, and Strawberry Shortcake fanfic writers in disguise?

        One of the things that makes me doubt my assessment of my job as bullshit is the fact that a lot of what I do is actually interesting and enjoyable.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy says:

          Plenty but I think a lot of them also really like their jobs and think they can do good and useful things through capitalism and forming companies. Also who is going to design and release those complicated and expensive to make PS4 games unless they can make a profit off them? How is Square going to profit if people aren’t working to make money?

          Someone else pointed out on LGM that the poet-rocker-corporate lawyer and Graeber seem to confuse social glamour with meaning. How about an elementary school teacher, elderly care provider, or social worker? Those jobs have frustration and are lowly paid but they have meaning. Why did Mr. Poet go into Corporate Law instead of teaching poetry? Or even being a high school English teacher or teaching guitar lessons?Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Plenty but I think a lot of them also really like their jobs and think they can do good and useful things through capitalism and forming companies.

            Hell, I like my job, and half the time I can convince the time I’m doing something really meaningful. The other half of the time I think I’m solving differential equations in order to meet pointless requirements imposed by government agencies (mostly ones outside the US).

            Now, I think solving differential equations is pretty fun so it’s hard to get too bent out of shape about this. But the sense in which solving those equations is necessary can be pretty hard to grasp.

            Did you actually read the linked article? Graeber spends a grest deal talking about the work done by elementary school teachers in particular as distinct from bullshit jobs.

            And of course, the assumption that the only way people can get money is to work jobs is the one I object to, and to an extent Graeber does too. Hence the wondering about why we aren’t working 15 hours a week.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy says:

              Ah yes, the famous Keynes essay. The problem here is that Keynes came from the British aristocratic classes. His entire class was taught for generations to value leisure and time over things. As far as I can tell, they were also bored out of their minds if they weren’t interested in natural science or art or academics. LeeEsq would point out that a lot of the stuff we see in British dramas was designed simply to pass the time.

              There are valuable questions here but also we need to grapple that Keynes took something his class valued and transplanted it to everyone else without much thought.

              I’ve read the essay many times (this always strikes me as a dodge question because someone is shocked, shocked by disagreement). Graeber is a self-described anarchist. I am not. I also have very little patience for woo and semi-mysticism.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                His entire class was taught for generations to value leisure and time over things.

                But things are exactly what have become so much cheaper! That’s why it matters here that labor and manufacturing are so much less labor-intensive now than they were in Keynes’ day.

                I’ve read the essay many times (this always strikes me as a dodge question because someone is shocked, shocked by disagreement).

                I wasn’t shocked by your disagreement. I was shocked by your implication that he didn’t address the issue of school teachers!Report

    • Avatar Fortytwo in reply to pillsy says:

      Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.Report