Rantings and tirades of a frustrated economist.
Question, Cappy: In a world pre-internet, what job if any would these people be doing?
I found coffee shops a nice place to relax and work on my book after surfing. Not saying I got much done on the book, but it was a good place to unwind after a couple hours in the ocean. Since I never finished the book, I'll have to agree with your point. Real work wasn't getting done.:-)
There was only one (thankfully short) period in my life when I did this. I was depressed, lonely and on an enforced (and paid) health-break from work. i solved all three problems in due course, but I'm sure alleviating any one of them would have put an end to this habit.
Haha, they ARE doing work... just not the paying kind, or rather, the extremely low paying kind.Think about all the research assistants to professors, graduate students, Ph.D. students, undergraduate students, etc. that are doing work that requires a cognitive surplus, which they then fuel with legal amphetamines.These people are the fodder for the coffee shop gulags. They all get together so they can get a psychic boost from shared suffering, as opposed to staying at home alone doing the same work. Plus, they have the readily available coffee and food provided for them, which they can pay for with their student loan money.So, yeah, they are doing work academia; REAL work. Someone is monetizing their intellectual labor, somewhere. "Students" essentially provide free R&D work, under the guise of education. Their work product is monetized. Also, it's a window into whatever that student is thinking about or interested in. It's real-time thought control, brought to you by a totalitarian society. Education is about self-interest; schooling is about obedience to authority, and indentured servitude; it's about grooming the "student" by getting them to work for free, so they will accept life-long corporate servitude as a reward, since it is paid, and therefore superior, and also not an entitlement, but rather "earned."Enjoy my free intellectual labor. I consider it a public service.
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