Future of Work: Finding Value in the Rejects of the Job Economy


Nick Meador outlines a project called Funding My Existence, intended to enable creative visionaries to act as stewards of our society’s future, on h+ Magazine:

Unless one is capable of staying in what our society has deemed a “normal” state of consciousness for 20-40 hours per week, week after week, one cannot “make a living.” I for one agree with [Bucky] Fuller’s argument that no one should have to make a living. If the time and energy required to pay bills and feed ourselves prevents us from actually making the changes and progress that we envision in the world, then we are in trouble and we have also lost our link with America’s founding mission statement to guarantee “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” to all.

At the very least, FME could be an information hub and support network for those pigeonholed into various subordinate groups, such as people on the autism spectrum, people undergoing spiritual emergencies, and more. And it could be a fundraising platform for individuals seeking to launch an innovative or bizarre project, without the restrictions found on many popular sites about meeting a minimum donation amount, or using the money for specific purposes (i.e., not for rent or other living expenses).

A more ambitious but promising possibility for FME would be to start a non-profit company that employs a staff of people working in ‘mind fellowships,’ a term that Fuller coined in Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.

This is a follow-up to an article posted on Disinformation in April.

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  • Krep

    Capitalism is NOT “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” to all.” No way!
    Capitalism is wild competition, survival, wage slavery, inequality, wars around the world. Although you never learn about it from textbooks. Because they are written by neoclassicals on money of corporations. 

  • Krep

    Capitalism is NOT “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” to all.” No way!
    Capitalism is wild competition, survival, wage slavery, inequality, wars around the world. Although you never learn about it from textbooks. Because they are written by neoclassicals on money of corporations. 

  • Ted Heistman

    This so awesome! I absolutely HATE soul crushing day jobs. But I am not lazy. I just need time to ponder. Hectic work places take your brain waves out of alpha and away from creativity. I also am capable working really hard when I believe in what I am doing. 

  • Ted Heistman

    This so awesome! I absolutely HATE soul crushing day jobs. But I am not lazy. I just need time to ponder. Hectic work places take your brain waves out of alpha and away from creativity. I also am capable working really hard when I believe in what I am doing. 

  • Krep

    So, you are believing that one day you will be working at home unleashing power of your creativity and connected to your boss via internet? Now imagine, that for 90% of working population that dream came true. What does it mean. This means that almost whole class of workers and office clerks simply disappeared. So you are on the same level with rich leisure-class on the quality of life. Are you sure they really want it? Of course not. 
    They want you to work at least 8-9 hours every day, commuting 1-2 hours in public transport and earn your equilibrium wage to pay bills and feed yourself. They never want to be on the same level with working class. Now, do you understand that in spite all those modern inventions they dont bring improvements into  working of the whole social system. Now, do you understand who is preventing our society move forward? Rich leisure class. They want you to be their slave and they hardly give up this idea. 
    At the end of 18th-beggining of 19th century, there was one attempt to destroy class society. in beginning of 1990s rich fought it back. Now technological progress come to take their power again from different side, from the side they did not even expect. Job economy will continue to exist unless our society is divided into classes. Sooner or later more people will realize that existing class-structured social system is preventing us from personal intellectual and technological progress.  

  • Krep

    So, you are believing that one day you will be working at home unleashing power of your creativity and connected to your boss via internet? Now imagine, that for 90% of working population that dream came true. What does it mean. This means that almost whole class of workers and office clerks simply disappeared. So you are on the same level with rich leisure-class on the quality of life. Are you sure they really want it? Of course not. 
    They want you to work at least 8-9 hours every day, commuting 1-2 hours in public transport and earn your equilibrium wage to pay bills and feed yourself. They never want to be on the same level with working class. Now, do you understand that in spite all those modern inventions they dont bring improvements into  working of the whole social system. Now, do you understand who is preventing our society move forward? Rich leisure class. They want you to be their slave and they hardly give up this idea. 
    At the end of 18th-beggining of 19th century, there was one attempt to destroy class society. in beginning of 1990s rich fought it back. Now technological progress come to take their power again from different side, from the side they did not even expect. Job economy will continue to exist unless our society is divided into classes. Sooner or later more people will realize that existing class-structured social system is preventing us from personal intellectual and technological progress.  

  • Roger Mexico

    It’s an interesting concept, like Kickstarter, but what it will evolve into, if anything, is effectively a stock market.

    Maybe a sort of “guerrilla” stock market, which isn’t a bad idea, but it will be a way for investors to put capital in the hands of labor, and therefore have stakes in those ideas which turn out to be more valuable when someone else’s labor is applied to them.

    Any thought that this will amount to a situation where you don’t still fundamentally have to create value (something the people funding you want) in exchange for the capital you’re supplied with is misguided.

    If your band still sucks, no one will “donate” to you, just like they aren’t buying your records now.  And they probably won’t donate even if you’re good, unless they gain something from the ability to say they bankrolled you and made your work possible.

    Your creative output will still have to match the tastes of the people who pay you to create it.  This will not change.

  • Roger Mexico

    It’s an interesting concept, like Kickstarter, but what it will evolve into, if anything, is effectively a stock market.

    Maybe a sort of “guerrilla” stock market, which isn’t a bad idea, but it will be a way for investors to put capital in the hands of labor, and therefore have stakes in those ideas which turn out to be more valuable when someone else’s labor is applied to them.

    Any thought that this will amount to a situation where you don’t still fundamentally have to create value (something the people funding you want) in exchange for the capital you’re supplied with is misguided.

    If your band still sucks, no one will “donate” to you, just like they aren’t buying your records now.  And they probably won’t donate even if you’re good, unless they gain something from the ability to say they bankrolled you and made your work possible.

    Your creative output will still have to match the tastes of the people who pay you to create it.  This will not change.

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      More and more it’s feeling like the “product” won’t be creative work. Music and other artforms will be more like a “side product” — with ideas and actions to improve the local community being the real desired outcome. But giving people more time to explore internally and be creative also means they’ll have more time to engage in their local space and work to better it. In the end, donors will get art, recognition (credit from recipients), AND a nicer living space. Everyone wins.

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      More and more it’s feeling like the “product” won’t be creative work. Music and other artforms will be more like a “side product” — with ideas and actions to improve the local community being the real desired outcome. But giving people more time to explore internally and be creative also means they’ll have more time to engage in their local space and work to better it. In the end, donors will get art, recognition (credit from recipients), AND a nicer living space. Everyone wins.

      • Ted Heistman

        I find that there is a lot of middle are between rich and poor where life really sucks way worse than being either “idle rich” or “idle poor”

        Like for example, if you are travelling fairly broke, and stay in a hostel you may hook up with a hot Swedish chick. If you are rich and traveling and your fine hotel has a pretty good bar, you can hook up with a hot Swedish chick too.

        But if you stay in a cheap motel you probably won’t meat anybody. You will just sit there in your sterile motel room and maybe go to the mall and not meet anybody.

      • Ted Heistman

        I find that there is a lot of middle are between rich and poor where life really sucks way worse than being either “idle rich” or “idle poor”

        Like for example, if you are travelling fairly broke, and stay in a hostel you may hook up with a hot Swedish chick. If you are rich and traveling and your fine hotel has a pretty good bar, you can hook up with a hot Swedish chick too.

        But if you stay in a cheap motel you probably won’t meat anybody. You will just sit there in your sterile motel room and maybe go to the mall and not meet anybody.

        • 1plakat

          sad but true. Middle class is hard work but its where all the respectable people rank.  One day ill get to “MEAT” a swedish chick I hope, lol. But these days I am not in the mood to meat anyone, got tons upon tons of work to do, dull but it keeps me going and going like the energizer bunny.

        • 1plakat

          sad but true. Middle class is hard work but its where all the respectable people rank.  One day ill get to “MEAT” a swedish chick I hope, lol. But these days I am not in the mood to meat anyone, got tons upon tons of work to do, dull but it keeps me going and going like the energizer bunny.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    if I’m getting this right
    people with day jobs are gonna kick-down money
    to people without day jobs who think about things and make art

    sign me up for the kick-down recipient job

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    if I’m getting this right
    people with day jobs are gonna kick-down money
    to people without day jobs who think about things and make art

    sign me up for the kick-down recipient job

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      I’d say the recipients would be people who practice introspective activities, allow themselves to freely explore their creativity, and then use all that to solve society’s problems. It wouldn’t be a day job, but it will definitely be work.

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      I’d say the recipients would be people who practice introspective activities, allow themselves to freely explore their creativity, and then use all that to solve society’s problems. It wouldn’t be a day job, but it will definitely be work.

  • 1plakat

    More and more lately I find that my loved ones who have less time for general research than I do, need me to do research on their behalf.  Its a lot of responsibility thinking for someone else because they are too busy doing mundane work for money, I try to provide them with the best information I can find. The brain uses most of ones energy, I do less physical work when I am researching but I find myself to be just as tired if not more than the ones doing physical tasks or repetitive tasks. I have physical labor I must do, its just not as high priority/under strict deadlines as what my counterparts do but the research conducted on their behalf  is way high on the list.  Just a position that I find myself in, not that I feel better than them, I wish I had that much physical energy. I guess the rich are just inbred and  mentally lazy as well and can’t be bothered or lack the capability to empathize and conduct  honest research for the betterment of the people that don’t have time to do it themselves aka their slaves. I also find that the more I research even without being commissioned to, the more valuable I become to the people around me. READ!

  • 1plakat

    More and more lately I find that my loved ones who have less time for general research than I do, need me to do research on their behalf.  Its a lot of responsibility thinking for someone else because they are too busy doing mundane work for money, I try to provide them with the best information I can find. The brain uses most of ones energy, I do less physical work when I am researching but I find myself to be just as tired if not more than the ones doing physical tasks or repetitive tasks. I have physical labor I must do, its just not as high priority/under strict deadlines as what my counterparts do but the research conducted on their behalf  is way high on the list.  Just a position that I find myself in, not that I feel better than them, I wish I had that much physical energy. I guess the rich are just inbred and  mentally lazy as well and can’t be bothered or lack the capability to empathize and conduct  honest research for the betterment of the people that don’t have time to do it themselves aka their slaves. I also find that the more I research even without being commissioned to, the more valuable I become to the people around me. READ!

  • emperorreagan

    This concept basically boils down to: we don’t want to fundamentally change the current economic system, we just want our turn to be a trust fund kid living free in Brooklyn.

  • emperorreagan

    This concept basically boils down to: we don’t want to fundamentally change the current economic system, we just want our turn to be a trust fund kid living free in Brooklyn.

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      nope, i’d say that’s inaccurate. this would enable more people to devote more time and energy to changing the economic system. instead of simply protesting occasionally, they could lead an actual campaign that makes real changes to the economic system (especially at the human scale, with alternative currencies, time banks, etc). but it has to happen one step at a time. and… you haven’t said if you have another suggestion

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      nope, i’d say that’s inaccurate. this would enable more people to devote more time and energy to changing the economic system. instead of simply protesting occasionally, they could lead an actual campaign that makes real changes to the economic system (especially at the human scale, with alternative currencies, time banks, etc). but it has to happen one step at a time. and… you haven’t said if you have another suggestion

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      nope, i’d say that’s inaccurate. this would enable more people to devote more time and energy to changing the economic system. instead of simply protesting occasionally, they could lead an actual campaign that makes real changes to the economic system (especially at the human scale, with alternative currencies, time banks, etc). but it has to happen one step at a time. and… you haven’t said if you have another suggestion

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      nope, i’d say that’s inaccurate. this would enable more people to devote more time and energy to changing the economic system. instead of simply protesting occasionally, they could lead an actual campaign that makes real changes to the economic system (especially at the human scale, with alternative currencies, time banks, etc). but it has to happen one step at a time. and… you haven’t said if you have another suggestion

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      nope, i’d say that’s inaccurate. this would enable more people to devote more time and energy to changing the economic system. instead of simply protesting occasionally, they could lead an actual campaign that makes real changes to the economic system (especially at the human scale, with alternative currencies, time banks, etc). but it has to happen one step at a time. and… you haven’t said if you have another suggestion

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      nope, i’d say that’s inaccurate. this would enable more people to devote more time and energy to changing the economic system. instead of simply protesting occasionally, they could lead an actual campaign that makes real changes to the economic system (especially at the human scale, with alternative currencies, time banks, etc). but it has to happen one step at a time. and… you haven’t said if you have another suggestion

  • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

    What about people who don’t even have the strength or hope to work anymore? It was especially mentioned people undergoing spiritual emergence(y) in the article. Alot of people the project is looking to be dealing with would have problems from being cruelly treated by society, unable to seek medical advice for fear of being labelled a ‘psychotic’ and stuck on pills. Are there any plans to provide support in this regard? I would be deeply suspicious of an organisation that claims to have ethical and compassionate motives but is only interested in those who are readily productive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

    What about people who don’t even have the strength or hope to work anymore? It was especially mentioned people undergoing spiritual emergence(y) in the article. Alot of people the project is looking to be dealing with would have problems from being cruelly treated by society, unable to seek medical advice for fear of being labelled a ‘psychotic’ and stuck on pills. Are there any plans to provide support in this regard? I would be deeply suspicious of an organisation that claims to have ethical and compassionate motives but is only interested in those who are readily productive.

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      This project was in some ways inspired by a crisis I went through in 2011, so yes, that will be a clearly stated component of whatever FME becomes. In fact, one of our first fundraising campaigns will be to help a young man go to South America in order to work with a trusted shaman on the shamanic awakening he’s experiencing. It’s not totally clear how all of this will come together. I have a feeling that the healing process for people in extreme psychological states will usually lead to them doing something truly fulfilling that also adds value to their local community.

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      This project was in some ways inspired by a crisis I went through in 2011, so yes, that will be a clearly stated component of whatever FME becomes. In fact, one of our first fundraising campaigns will be to help a young man go to South America in order to work with a trusted shaman on the shamanic awakening he’s experiencing. It’s not totally clear how all of this will come together. I have a feeling that the healing process for people in extreme psychological states will usually lead to them doing something truly fulfilling that also adds value to their local community.