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Some interesting perspectives in this article about work in the knowledge economy (as opposed to the industrial).

I like the idea of the “comprehensivist”, and it relates to the kinds of terms I’ve used to describe myself - expert generalist and technopedagogue.

However what I fail to see as the link between this kind of role and the “gig economy”. Yes coincidental in terms of timing but I don’t see them as linked. The rise of the comprehensivist is to do with the transition to a knowledge economy, the gig economy is symptomatic of the death throes of the industrial economy - squeezing every last dollar from labour before they splutter and die. A “If I go down, you’re going down with me” approach.

The section title “The Future Perfect” is pretty worrisome. It points to 4 Key limitations that have apparently been overcome:

  1. knowledge
  2. productivity
  3. networking
  4. safety nets
  5. cultural limitations

I would argue that none of these limitations have been actually been overcome. They’ve been “solutionised” - but certainly not solved. Rather a bandaid has been put in place that supports those with high amounts of capital - financial, social and cultural - to overcome them to a point, but are they fixed? Far from it.

What I’ll take from this is a new term - “comprehensivist” - and a reminder that there’s a lot of serious change required to reinvent a society for a knowledge based economy, and we have yet to even begin.

Source: Why High-Skilled Freelancers Are Leaving Corporate Life Behind

Image: Montreal Biosphère by Harald CC-BY-SA

Category: post

Tags: labour, knowledge economy, comprehensivist

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Tim Klapdor


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