in Weekly Review

Weekly Review #68: Bullshit Jobs, Dating Partners, and the best night $250k can buy

I finished The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron this week, and it’s the best book I’ve read in ages. It made me cry in the first ten pages, and then kept me laughing intermittently throughout the rest. Gripping, poetic, evocative – I can’t recommend it enough.

David Graeber has an thought provoking piece on Bullshit Jobs – he notices that even as technology gets better, the amount of work to be done doesn’t diminish, and it’s all due to a rise in administrative and service workers, jobs that ‘don’t really matter’. This is against the promise of capitalism, which unlike socialism, does not promise everyone employment. But Graeber thinks it’s because the powers that be know that an idle population is dangerous, so they keep us busy.

I’m not so sure of his conclusions, but like his general rule: “the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one is likely to be paid for it… Say what you like about nurses, garbage collectors, or mechanics, it’s obvious that were they to vanish in a puff of smoke, the results would be immediate and catastrophic. A world without teachers or dock-workers would soon be in trouble, and even one without science fiction writers or ska musicians would clearly be a lesser place. It’s not entirely clear how humanity would suffer were all private equity CEOs, lobbyists, PR researchers, actuaries, telemarketers, bailiffs or legal consultants to similarly vanish.”

Meanwhile Esquire has a hilarious and painfully poignant look at the world’s hottest superclub, Marquee in Las Vegas. Totally worth the 15 minutes reading time, it’s full of choice similes and behind-the-scenes looks at nightlife in general.

And Mic posits that a new label for millennial relationships: ‘dating partners’.  More than a booty call, less than a boyfriend, but they enrich your life nonetheless. The name sounds rather sterile, but these definitely exist.

“Well, it all comes down to soup. If you have a cold, a fuck buddy isn’t going to bring you soup. And a boyfriend is going to make you homemade soup. A dating partner? They’re totally going to drop off a can of soup. But only if they don’t already have any plans.”