A quote from Alain de Botton which spoke to me:

The real issue is not whether baking biscuits is meaningful, but the extent to which the activity can seem so after it has been continuously stretched and subdivided across five thousand lives and half a dozen different manufacturing sites. An endeavor endowed with meaning may appear meaningful only when it proceeds briskly in the hands of a restricted number of actors and therefore where particular workers can make an imaginative connection between what they have done with their working days and their impact upon others.

(found on a working library.)

tagged: » 3 reactions

Comments

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drozzy 10:08 AM on 20 Jun 2010

Unless you are isolated in a cubicle, and let to believe that what you do actually matters!

I must say, the "working library" website, while very pretty, is completely confusing to me!

PS: Whenever I try to post a comment on your blog, my email always gets @ and . replaced by (at) and (dot) symbols, so that I have to retype it before clicking on "add it" button. This is a bug methinks. Fyi I am using chrome.

[gravatar]
Marc 3:11 PM on 21 Jun 2010

That is really helpful advice. The paradox is that when one aspires to be a really good biscuit maker, they can find themselves become part of an ever larger biscuit-making operation, and then look back and making millions of biscuits shipped around the world just isn't as fun as it had been to make a few dozen to share with friends and neighbors. At that point in a career myself (except not actually biscuits).

[gravatar]
Laundro 12:19 PM on 18 Aug 2010

This is what Marx observed, after all, when he found capitalism to estrange the worker from (the product of) his work.

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