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Micro work - empowering the poor or exploiting them?

POSTED BY: PIZMOBEACH
UPDATED: Sunday, April 8, 2012 18:26
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Thursday, April 5, 2012 6:56 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


The *digital age* has created some new ways to earn a living wage, but one of them creeps me out a little. Microwork is the common link: Microwork is a series of small tasks that have been broken out of a larger project and can be completed via the Internet. Microwork is considered the smallest unit of work in a virtual assembly line.

Samasource is the primary provider, the innovator for providing poor with microwork. Are they a champion of the poor or of wealthy businesses looking for the cheapest labor that machines can't quite do?

http://samasource.org/



Maybe it's the video's setting, the sense of MONEY and the digital hipsters...

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 8:03 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Can it be both empowering AND exploitative?

What I mean to say is, YES it's exploiting them NOW, but it's also handing them some level of power, in that those who do this kind of work are increasing their value, and at some point in the future will have power to bargain for better pay and benefits.

Does that make sense?

Note to self: Mr. Raptor believes that women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.

Reference thread: http://beta.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=51196

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 8:15 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Microwork allows people who cannot devote 8 hour chunks of their day to a job to still work. This is great for mothers, disabled people, etc.

Is it exploitative? All employment is exploitative. Put it in that context, and this doesn't seem bad at all. Microwork empowers while exploiting, which at least grants the possibility that one day, these employees will be in a position of higher value and able to better negotiate their wages.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 10:02 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
Can it be both empowering AND exploitative?

What I mean to say is, YES it's exploiting them NOW, but it's also handing them some level of power, in that those who do this kind of work are increasing their value, and at some point in the future will have power to bargain for better pay and benefits.

Does that make sense?



Makes perfect sense. That was my initial thought when I first heard about them and looked at their site, from their point of view, it was a win win kind of thing... and then for some reason I started to think about Metropolis.
Like CTS says, almost all work is exploitive - guess we'd have to ask the employees if they feel exploited.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 3:22 PM

OONJERAH



Harvard Business Review on Samasource
http://samasource.org/2011/07/01/harvard-business-review-talks-about-h
yperspecialization
/

Oonjerah: Samasource immediately reminded me of Amazon's Mechanical
Turk where no one in the US can really afford to work half an hour
or so for 10¢ - 25¢.

I would think it's good for businesses, another form of outsourcing.
People who are doin' a certain, menial, "human intelligence" job now
can be laid off. Then they can stay home, do their old job through a
work broker for maybe 20% of what they used to make.

No job security, no negotiation.
It's one more thing that increases profits for big business while,
yes, exploiting labor forces everywhere.

IMO. I'll look at it further and hope to be wrong.



. . . . .The worst and most frequent consequence of paranoia is that it's self-fulfilling.


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Thursday, April 5, 2012 3:26 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

I definitely think the main impact of this is that it will become easy to outsource American jobs. This will be good for whoever gets the work in the future, and bad for whoever used to get the work before.

--Anthony



_______________________________________________
Note to self: Mr. Raptor believes that women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.
Reference thread: http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.asp?b=18&t=51196
Never forget what this man is. If you respond to this man again, you are being foolish.

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”
--Thomas S. Szasz

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Sunday, April 8, 2012 6:26 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I hate outsourcing, and exploitation of workers don't sit too well with me either, but CTS sees some good in this potentially and her points make sense, time will tell what actually happens.

I assume you're my pal until you let me know otherwise.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya.

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