politics

What more, in the name of love?

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/01/in-the-name-of-love/

The writer linked here sets out to examine a very real problem (the darker side of “Do What You Love” career advice), but draws too many initial conclusions from a noticeably selective interpretation of one famous man’s accomplishments. Mention of whom is almost certain to guarantee page views on a for-profit magazine’s web site.

The first half of this article is a careless conflation of selective paraphrases of a speech Steve Jobs once made (from which Ms. Tokumitsu omits exhortations of the value of hard work, which Jobs never avoided) with the broader marketplace of Chinese contract manufacturing and declining salaries for American middle-class knowledge workers. Blame is assigned to elitist privilege in a meandering attempt to find the origin of a very real decline in the value our culture and our business class assign to work.

She finally gets to the point about halfway through the piece. But she’s still avoiding what I understood was Jobs’ original intent in saying “DWYL”: find something you love to do enough to get good at it. Do it well enough so you can make a living off it. Yes, that still originates from a point of privilege and romanticized notions of how much leisure time remains in the lives of a shrinking middle class, but it’s not quite as tunnel-visioned as the article attempts to suggest.

H/T to Kellie M. Walsh for finding this article.

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