An evening with author Phoebe V Moore and special guest Chris Dancy
- 6.00 - 9.00 Presentations and discussion
- 9.00 - 11.00 DJ Al Gaudi
Dr Phoebe V Moore (Quantified Worker), author of the new book The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, Technology and What Counts (Sept, 2017) will highlight the findings from her book.
Chris Dancy (Mindful Cyborg), features in the book. Chris, who is described as the ‘most connected human on earth’ is connected to up to 700 self-tracking sensors and systems per day. He has been a self-quantifier for over ten years and will talk about how tracking impacts society and how we work.
The event will be chaired by Wendy Grossman
The Quantified Self in Precarity: Work, Technology and What Counts by Phoebe V Moore is the state of the art text on how technology and the use of technology for management and self-management changes the ‘quantified’, precarious workplace today. Humans are accustomed to being tool bearers, but what happens when machines become tool bearers, where the tool is seemingly ever more precise with calculation about human labour, via the use of big data and people analytics by metrics and algorithm? Data, as quantified output, is treated as a neutral arbiter and judge, and is being prioritised over qualitative judgements in ‘agile’ key performance indicator management systems and digitalised client based relationships. From insecure ‘gig’ work, surviellance and electronic performance monitoring in factory settings, to workplace health and wellness initiatives in office work including sensory tracking devices, digitalisation is not an inevitable process. Nor is it one that improves working conditions or inevitably eliminates work, as many hope.
The post-work utopia where universal basic income may substitute welfare systems and people can spend their days fishing and writing poetry are not, this book claims, imminent. Instead, workplace quantification today leads to high turnover rates, workplace rationalisation and worker stress and anxiety, exacerbating the power relations between capitalists and wage labourers. Indeed, before too long it will be possible for employers to quite literally track our blood, sweat and tears (but to continue to avoid paying for it). These issues are linked to increased rates of precarity both objective and subjective. Scientific management asked us to be precise and efficient. Now, to add to these demands, workers are asked to be agile and to compete directly with machines. What will this mean for the everyday lives we lead, and what can we do about it?