What Is A Job?
How home working is gradually altering the relationship between employee and employer
The weekly English-language news magazine The Economist is generally regarded as being the highest-quality news source available to those for whom English is either a first language or one they’re comfortable with. Its journalists are regarded as being far better informed and rather more intelligent than those working for other employers, and its current Editor is a frequent guest on highbrow webcasts, TV discussion programs, and various “in depth” radio presentations. I confess to a perverse fondness for the publication, in much the same way as a relative might have a fondness for a well-meaning but rather slow second cousin.
Journalists, by the very nature of their occupation, are so preoccupied with the proverbial trees that they never see the shape of the wood the trees comprise; this is true even of those working for moderately prestigious organizations. As such, I’ve generally found The Economist to take anywhere between one year to an entire decade to grasp the real significance of an event and adjust their conventional thinking to match the challenge presented. It’s nice that they get there in the end; it would be nicer if they weren’t quite so habitually slow on the uptake.
While this may seem a little condescending, the fact is that as most people’s beliefs are shaped by whatever they’re fed by large media and entertainment organizations, persistent obtuseness can lead to catastrophically poor-quality outcomes because politicians react to what they believe to be the cause du jour and such causes are most frequently manufactured by news organizations. Most supposed “news” organizations are in reality nothing more than peddlers of mindless sensationalistic garbage, because that’s what most appeals to ordinary people. The Economist, however, serves a niche market: more educated, slightly better informed, and slightly more thoughtful people with at least a moderate income. As such, one ought to expect a little more from the journal than the generic narratives served up by outlets serving the mass market.
Alas, although the breadth of coverage is far wider than most news outlets and although the accuracy of reports is much greater, there’s not much gain in terms of…