Monday, August 25, 2008

"position" available

I saw this on a billboard today (without the quotes) and I thought about the implications of that word, "position", as used to mean a job. All the time I notice how our language reinforces the assumptions of the Machine, of the Technological Program, the Scientific Program, and the deeper axioms of self underlying them.

A position implies a structure that defines that position. It is already waiting, empty for now, for somebody to "fill" it. When you fill it, then your work too is defined by that same structure that defines the position. It is preexisting, not something you create, nor something that grows in relation to you.

There will still be such a thing as employment, for a long time at least, as humanity enters into the Age of Reunion, but instead of defining a position that needs to be filled, employers will hire people they like, and let positions grow around those people. They will think in terms of needs, not job descriptions, and seek people to meet those needs. This might sound like a superficial semantic distinction, but it is really a different way of thinking. It puts the uniqueness of the human being first, rather than trying to fit the unique human being into a standardized role. It recognizes and welcomes that each addition to an organization changes the organization in unpredictable ways; it is open to growth and change and evolution and death.

If any of the above sounds like platitudes from business success books, that is because the intuitions of Reunion have been infiltrating our thinking for several decades now. In the 1920s or 30s it was very different -- all about conforming the man to the organization. However, people who try to apply these ideas to organizations even today meet terrific resistance, because the entire economy and society were created from Machine logic: standardization, mass production, uniformity, routine, regularity. Deep forces conspire to perpetuate the Machine, including that part of its ideology that is embedded in the language.


At August 25, 2008 at 2:19 PM , Blogger thailandchani said...

It makes some sense, yes.. the semantic distinction. At the same time, it still implies that the only ones who will get the jobs are those who are "liked" (subjectively) by an individual who will determine whether they have a right to sustenance. That's ultimately what it comes down to when jobs are filled competitively.

Doesn't work for me. A prettier package doesn't eliminate the inherent problems with it.

I like the idea of the exchange and barter economy, of each person creating something (small business style) which they share with their communities.


At August 25, 2008 at 6:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


This has a decidedly Newtonian linguistic ring to it: "Deep forces conspire to perpetuate the Machine, including that part of its ideology that is embedded in the language." Wouldn't you say they are forces only in that people have, through habit and staying within manufactured, habitual mindsets, empowered the forces? Until I read the references you linked to Ascent, I had the feeling that we may be living in a duality-verse instead of a universe and may have to declare war on the opposing, conspiratorial forces. In other words, Satan as Machine, unleashed through demonic forces of unoriginal positivist, determinist, reductionist sinners.

Another aspect of the "governing" economic model of competition for jobs and between companies and other commercial and non-commercial entities, is that it is competition (within the standardization mold) that brings forth better stuff, innovation, new ideas and so forth. Whereas you're saying that acceptance, welcoming of individuality that can't be coerced to fit a preexisting organizational structure brings forth the new in unpredictable and beneficial ways.

People also believe that business competition based on the scientific and technological programs is in fact modeling nature. That is, a human belief of nature as "the law of the jungle," dog eat dog world, etc., a world based on predation. Mitigation of brutality prevalent with the advent of the Industrial Revolution is seen as coming from man's higher nature as opposed to man's "lower" or animal nature.

I radically (well, somewhat radically) reduced my working hours in Machine Land, where I work as a flawed human machine, and am now facing the thrill of survival adventure. ;)

Steps toward seeing through child abuse:



Inroads through the maze of mind molding:


Ursus Maritimus

At August 25, 2008 at 8:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Charles, Do you think unemployment is built in to the interest-based competitive economy, inextricably bound up with "not enough for everyone," the issue you address when talking about new forms of currency? Thailandchani's observation on hiring and determining who has the right to sustenance reminds me of the musical chairs nature of the job market within what is promoted as the free market economy.


At August 29, 2008 at 11:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In contrast to Liedloff:

Sie gehorchen with a Southern drawl (drauelen):


At October 18, 2008 at 1:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I've only just begun chapter 2 of the Ascent of Humanity, and have not delved yet into your concept of "The Reunion", I am deeply compelled to share with you some thing of my experience with our incessant use of the phrase "you know". (Incidentally, I tried to email you directly from the online book but was unable or lacked the patience to start an account. Therefore, I leave my comment here.) While completing my undergraduate work at CSU Chico, I was privileged to be involved in the University Writing Center where I worked as a tutor and writing workshop leader. Our work was almost predominately with ESL students. We looked closely at our use (as tutors) of the phrase "you know" and concluded that it represented an unconscious attempt to force knowledge. I really enjoyed your take on it as less a forcing of knowledge than a lament for our loss of connectivity via language and its barriers, be they language differences or just the inherent separation that language itself represents. I would love to hear (and perhaps you cover this later in the book) your ideas about English becoming the global dominant language. I am very much enjoying your book.
Thank you for your work.
P.S. So glad to see references to Derrick Jensen (LOTW changed my life). Have you had a chance to read his call to resistance "End Game"? What reactions do you have to this....if any.

At January 11, 2009 at 3:12 AM , Anonymous Irreverent Comment said...


They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste. I am very sad that your erudition and determination are spent on the functionally obsolete concepts of determining the semantic differences between the so-called holistic and cartesian approaches, on re-inventing class struggle, on trying to defy the laws of economics governed by the same fundamental mathematical identities as the laws of nature in general. It always hurts me to see that so many bright people are fixed on the idea of "not selling out" to "the man" that they no longer see the forest behind the trees. The year is not 1968. Trying to oppose the objective truths of natural and social sciences is like trying to make your body levitate by means of some mysterious spiritual energy. The idea makes for a nice anecdote, but hardly for a productive application of one's talent. I was drawn to your site first by reading your article on Reality Sandwich, and I must say you got many facts wrong; and many of conveniently modified underlying assumptions lead you astray. Please try to embrace the other side in a more constructive spirit. It is not "the dark side", if you only allow yourself to be unbiased and to look at it with your own eyes.

Best regards,

Irreverent Comment


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