birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Commodity Form of Labor

It’s hard to choose just one thing as “truly unfair” when there are extreme and violent forms of unfairness perpetuated all the time -- millions of political and economic refugees around the world, economies that create ever more inequality, gender discrimination, sexual violence, racism, police brutality, anti-immigrant violence, ageism, ableism, the rise of authoritarianism. Don’t get me started!

As for structural unfairness, my first thought was the commodity form of labor, the reduction of creative human powers into a formula. As a young industrial engineer I was taught how to do time-and-motion study! It seemed like such a neutral skill, so “scientific”! Yet, I found out later, while practicing in a factory, how inhuman and oppressive it was to measure human labor on the assembly line just to maximize efficiency! That form of valuing human powers strikes me as truly unfair! Its not about unequal ownership of goods, but dehumanized treatment of human activity!

Another one of my pet peeves is the assembly line system of education. I went back to college in my mid-30s and remember being shocked at the level of apathy in the classroom environment --watching bored, distracted, young people struggling to stay awake! I thought this was truly unfair! Why do we waste such vast human resources by using the banking method of education? This is not a sausage-factory to stuff the “product” with “knowledge” and then send them off to jobs that have little to do with their studies, which they promptly forget!

My time’s up!

Virtue is It's Own Reward But I'd Rather Have The Cash

Happy Birthday to Me