Rat Race 2.0

    An insightful post which considers the ways in which current working generations can’t “quit the rat race” in the way previous generations could (or could aspire to doing). You’re either plugged into the network, or you die.

    The internet matching machine is fuelled by content. The more of it you produce, the more likely you are to reach the people who'd value what you have to offer. Writing a tweet or uploading a video costs nothing. It might be embarrassing or a waste of time, but that’s about it. In that sense, the downside of playing the game is indeed limited.

    But focusing on the risks within the game obscures a much bigger problem: The game is no longer optional. Everyone must play. We have little to lose because we already lost everything: Stable jobs, affordable homes, education that lasts a lifetime, and worry-free retirement are no longer an option. Even money itself ain’t what it used to be. It loses value by simply sitting in the bank.

    This is partly a result of various policy failures. But ultimately, it is due to our current stage of technological development. Information moves around and knowledge becomes obsolete faster than ever. Geographical constraints no longer protect the average from the best.

    We are all in one giant global arena. We can win world-scale prizes. But we have to play. And even when we win, the rewards tend to be fleeting: they can sustain us for a while, but at any moment, the algorithms might change, or another clever fellow can whisk our followers-customers away. We are as anxious in victory as we are in defeat, and our winnings can only be used to continue to play.

    Source: No Floor, No Ceiling