Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Twitterhood thing and the Henry Ford factor

Been realizing that here and here I didn't spell out clearly all of what's in common between poor people in subsidized housing and high-paid tech workers in companies like Google and Twitter.

It's that in both cases, there's this Henry Ford company-town factor.

In both cases there's an institution at work trying to make a life for people, sparing them the need to make a life for themselves all by themselves.

In the case of poor people, it's because folks in the social work business fear (sometimes rightly, OK) that their tenants will either be unable to manage full-sized lives of social and logistical contact-making, or will get into bad company if left to do so on their own.

In the case of tech workers, it's because tech companies know that a single person with no personal life makes a more cost-effective worker than one with, oh, for example, kids, or a love life, or some other consuming extracurricular passion. And if you give that worker nice lunches and massages and company outings, those are all reasons why the worker's life will continue oriented toward the life of the company.

Western SoMa is about to be full of people who are having their lives organized for them, one way or another.

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