Looks like that armor's been exercising. MLG Pro that diamond sword. Come at me bro I got it forged. Training under the torch light glow. Hone that form now you're in the zone. Take my revenge. That's what I will do. Bring it. The creeper's trying to steal your stuff again again. It's time to grab your sword, armor and go. It's time to go get your revenge! Then you fight, fight like it's for your life. Time to show them your bite.
Swing your sword up high. Swing your sword down low. Crane shot.
Fade to black. One day I got up from my spot and three guys sat in front, beside and behind me so they could rip on me from all angles. I just remember counting to three in my head before closing my eyes and letting the one who said it have it. I can't specifically remember if my bullying stopped after that but it at least wasn't as bad. Not really, no good comes from stuff like that, I do remember a lot of people giving me props for a week or so and I don't think I was bothered for a little while after that, those guys all left as well which helped.
I kind of snapped after some pretty horrific shit being said, more of a spontaneous reaction I suppose. It's not something I'm particularly proud of nor do I get any satisfaction out of it, I do consider it necessary and I also don't regret it. I should also probably highlight that after year nine things got a lot easier and it wasn't all doom and gloom! I worked for a market research company, so I was calling people on behalf of their banks or energy providers to ask them about their service.
A lot of people would assume this was cold sales calling and hang up, tell us to fuck off and stuff. But this bloke just launched into a racist tirade assuming that I was in a call centre in India, telling me that my accent was obviously put on and I should stop stealing jobs from British workers or whatever. But I had to just sit there and take it, we weren't allowed to hang up and if a call that was getting listened to ended in a termination from my side I'd likely lose shifts for the next week or so. So I went onto Gumtree for his city and once a week for a couple of months would post an ad for a free shed, or a free PlayStation or a free TV with his number.
Just classic ads you always see: 'Shed no longer needed, free if you come collect it', 'Moving house, no space for TV in new place'. He was just genuinely one of the worst humans I've ever met. He was a really horrible person. He'd speak really loud so I'd record his phone calls from outside, put them into my computer and when I went out or I knew he was in studying all day I'll play them back to him through the wall on loop, just getting louder and louder and faster and faster.
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Then I'd send him fake interview acceptance letters from made up law firms, as he was studying law, and on a few occasions he would punch the wall after realising the place was fake, but every time he'd receive one he'd go through the same emotions. The thing that he weirdly got the most angry about was when I'd hide his cheeses.
Well I must say again this was a horrible, horrible person.
Alex Bandar, who started the foundry after receiving a doctorate in materials science and engineering, has a theory about the rhythms of invention in American history. Over the past century, he told me, the economy has moved from hardware to software, from atoms to bits, and people have spent more time at work in front of screens. But as computers take over more tasks previously considered the province of humans, the pendulum will swing back from bits to atoms, at least when it comes to how people spend their days.
Bandar thinks that a digitally preoccupied society will come to appreciate the pure and distinct pleasure of making things you can touch. So what do we do? Actually talk to each other again? The Internet and the cheap availability of artistic tools have already empowered millions of people to produce culture from their living rooms. People upload more than , hours of YouTube videos and million new Facebook photos every day.
The demise of the formal economy could free many would-be artists, writers, and craftspeople to dedicate their time to creative interests—to live as cultural producers. Such activities offer virtues that many organizational psychologists consider central to satisfaction at work: independence, the chance to develop mastery, and a sense of purpose. After touring the foundry, I sat at a long table with several members, sharing the pizza that had come out of the communal oven.
I asked them what they thought of their organization as a model for a future where automation reached further into the formal economy. A mixed-media artist named Kate Morgan said that most people she knew at the foundry would quit their jobs and use the foundry to start their own business if they could. Late in the conversation, we were joined by Terry Griner, an engineer who had built miniature steam engines in his garage before Bandar invited him to join the foundry.
His fingers were covered in soot, and he told me about the pride he had in his ability to fix things.
That, to me, would be the best of all possible worlds. One mile to the east of downtown Youngstown, in a brick building surrounded by several empty lots, is Royal Oaks, an iconic blue-collar dive. At about p. The bar glowed yellow and green from the lights mounted along a wall. Old beer signs, trophies, masks, and mannequins cluttered the back corner of the main room, like party leftovers stuffed in an attic.
The scene was mostly middle-aged men, some in groups, talking loudly about baseball and smelling vaguely of pot; some drank alone at the bar, sitting quietly or listening to music on headphones. I spoke with several patrons there who work as musicians, artists, or handymen; many did not hold a steady job. Places like Royal Oaks are the new union halls: People go there not only to relax but also to find tradespeople for particular jobs, like auto repair. When an entire area, like Youngstown, suffers from high and prolonged unemployment, problems caused by unemployment move beyond the personal sphere; widespread joblessness shatters neighborhoods and leaches away their civic spirit.
John Russo, the Youngstown State professor, who is a co-author of a history of the city, Steeltown USA , says the local identity took a savage blow when residents lost the ability to find reliable employment. In Youngstown, many of these workers have by now made their peace with insecurity and poverty by building an identity, and some measure of pride, around contingency. The faith they lost in institutions—the corporations that have abandoned the city, the police who have failed to keep them safe—has not returned. But Russo and Woodroofe both told me they put stock in their own independence.
And so a place that once defined itself single-mindedly by the steel its residents made has gradually learned to embrace the valorization of well-rounded resourcefulness. The evaporation of work has deepened the local arts and music scene, several residents told me, because people who are inclined toward the arts have so much time to spend with one another.
Whether or not one has artistic ambitions as Schubert does, it is arguably growing easier to find short-term gigs or spot employment. Paradoxically, technology is the reason. A constellation of Internet-enabled companies matches available workers with quick jobs, most prominently including Uber for drivers , Seamless for meal deliverers , Homejoy for house cleaners , and TaskRabbit for just about anyone else.
And online markets like Craigslist and eBay have likewise made it easier for people to take on small independent projects, such as furniture refurbishing. Some of these services, too, could be usurped, eventually, by machines. But on-demand apps also spread the work around by carving up jobs, like driving a taxi, into hundreds of little tasks, like a single drive, which allows more people to compete for smaller pieces of work. These new arrangements are already challenging the legal definitions of employer and employee , and there are many reasons to be ambivalent about them.
Today the norm is to think about employment and unemployment as a black-and-white binary, rather than two points at opposite ends of a wide spectrum of working arrangements. Most people lived on farms, and while paid work came and went, home industry—canning, sewing, carpentry—was a constant. Even in the worst economic panics, people typically found productive things to do. The despondency and helplessness of unemployment were discovered, to the bafflement and dismay of cultural critics, only after factory work became dominant and cities swelled.
The 21st century, if it presents fewer full-time jobs in the sectors that can be automated, could in this respect come to resemble the midth century: an economy marked by episodic work across a range of activities, the loss of any one of which would not make somebody suddenly idle.
But some might thrive in a market where versatility and hustle are rewarded—where there are, as in Youngstown, few jobs to have, yet many things to do. As Martin Ford no relation writes in his new book, The Rise of the Robots , this story might be apocryphal, but its message is instructive. Both are expensive and tightly constrained. But the decline of work would make many office buildings unnecessary. What might that mean for the vibrancy of urban areas? Would office space yield seamlessly to apartments, allowing more people to live more affordably in city centers and leaving the cities themselves just as lively?
Or would we see vacant shells and spreading blight? Would big cities make sense at all if their role as highly sophisticated labor ecosystems were diminished? As the hour workweek faded, the idea of a lengthy twice-daily commute would almost certainly strike future generations as an antiquated and baffling waste of time.
But would those generations prefer to live on streets full of high-rises, or in smaller towns? Today, many working parents worry that they spend too many hours at the office. As full-time work declined, rearing children could become less overwhelming. And because job opportunities historically have spurred migration in the United States, we might see less of it; the diaspora of extended families could give way to more closely knitted clans. But if men and women lost their purpose and dignity as work went away, those families would nonetheless be troubled.
The decline of the labor force would make our politics more contentious. Deciding how to tax profits and distribute income could become the most significant economic-policy debate in American history.
About the Author Derek Thompson is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, technology, and the media. Medea and Violence [link] 2. Her pleasure in the sweet touch of her children's hands, powerful enough almost to dissuade her from her design , has now become the pleasure of denying any such final touch to Jason , lf. I was buzzing. In place of the sheltered, interior space of the house, properly presided over by the. If the debate began as a more staid, buttoned-up affair than the Republican free-for-alls that President Donald Trump dominated four years ago, de Blasio brought at least a hint of a New York brawler to Miami.
But to preserve the consumer economy and the social fabric, governments might have to embrace what Haruhiko Kuroda, the governor of the Bank of Japan, has called the visible hand of economic intervention. What follows is an early sketch of how it all might work. In the near term, local governments might do well to create more and more-ambitious community centers or other public spaces where residents can meet, learn skills, bond around sports or crafts, and socialize. Two of the most common side effects of unemployment are loneliness, on the individual level, and the hollowing-out of community pride.
A national policy that directed money toward centers in distressed areas might remedy the maladies of idleness, and form the beginnings of a long-term experiment on how to reengage people in their neighborhoods in the absence of full employment. We could also make it easier for people to start their own, small-scale and even part-time businesses.
New-business formation has declined in the past few decades in all 50 states. One way to nurture fledgling ideas would be to build out a network of business incubators. Near the beginning of any broad decline in job availability, the United States might take a lesson from Germany on job-sharing. Such a policy would help workers at established firms keep their attachment to the labor force despite the declining amount of overall labor. Spreading work in this way has its limits. Eventually, Washington would have to somehow spread wealth, too.
One way of doing that would be to more heavily tax the growing share of income going to the owners of capital, and use the money to cut checks to all adults.
Many liberals currently support it, and in the s, Richard Nixon and the conservative economist Milton Friedman each proposed a version of the idea. That history notwithstanding, the politics of universal income in a world without universal work would be daunting. The most direct solution to the latter problem would be for the government to pay people to do something, rather than nothing.
It hired 40, artists and other cultural workers to produce music and theater, murals and paintings, state and regional travel guides, and surveys of state records. What might that look like? Several national projects might justify direct hiring, such as caring for a rising population of elderly people. But if the balance of work continues to shift toward the small-bore and episodic, the simplest way to help everybody stay busy might be government sponsorship of a national online marketplace of work or, alternatively, a series of local ones, sponsored by local governments.
Individuals could browse for large long-term projects, like cleaning up after a natural disaster, or small short-term ones: an hour of tutoring, an evening of entertainment, an art commission. To ensure a baseline level of attachment to the workforce, the government could pay adults a flat rate in return for some minimum level of activity on the site, but people could always earn more by taking on more gigs.
Although a digital WPA might strike some people as a strange anachronism, it would be similar to a federalized version of Mechanical Turk, the popular Amazon sister site where individuals and companies post projects of varying complexity, while so-called Turks on the other end browse tasks and collect money for the ones they complete. Mechanical Turk was designed to list tasks that cannot be performed by a computer.
The name is an allusion to an 18th-century Austrian hoax, in which a famous automaton that seemed to play masterful chess concealed a human player who chose the moves and moved the pieces. A government marketplace might likewise specialize in those tasks that required empathy, humanity, or a personal touch. Mastering these skills requires discipline; discipline requires an education; and an education, for many people, involves the expectation that hours of often frustrating practice will eventually prove rewarding.
Modest payments to young people for attending and completing college, skills-training programs, or community-center workshops might eventually be worth considering. This seems radical, but the aim would be conservative—to preserve the status quo of an educated and engaged society. Whatever their career opportunities, young people will still grow up to be citizens, neighbors, and even, episodically, workers.
Nudges toward education and training might be particularly beneficial to men, who are more likely to withdraw into their living rooms when they become unemployed. Decades from now, perhaps the 20th century will strike future historians as an aberration, with its religious devotion to overwork in a time of prosperity, its attenuations of family in service to job opportunity, its conflation of income with self-worth.
The three potential futures of consumption, communal creativity, and contingency are not separate paths branching out from the present. Entertainment will surely become more immersive and exert a gravitational pull on people without much to do.
And with or without such places, many people will need to embrace the resourcefulness learned over time by cities like Youngstown, which, even if they seem like museum exhibits of an old economy, might foretell the future for many more cities in the next 25 years. On my last day in Youngstown, I met with Howard Jesko, a year-old Youngstown State graduate student, at a burger joint along the main street.
A few months after Black Friday in , as a senior at Ohio State University, Jesko received a phone call from his father, a specialty-hose manufacturer near Youngstown. Around the same time, a left-knee replacement due to degenerative arthritis resulted in a day hospital stay, which gave him time to think about the future. Jesko decided to go back to school to become a professor. One theory of work holds that people tend to see themselves in jobs, careers, or callings. Those with pure careerist ambitions are focused not only on income but also on the status that comes with promotions and the growing renown of their peers.
But one pursues a calling not only for pay or status, but also for the intrinsic fulfillment of the work itself. There is no universal basic income that can prevent the civic ruin of a country built on a handful of workers permanently subsidizing the idleness of tens of millions of people.