Meaning junkies

If you haven’t yet read Derek Thompson’s excellent essay in The Atlantic about “The Religion of Workism,” I highly recommend it. Thompson’s thesis—that in American society we’ve replaced religion with “workism” as a way to find meaning—strikes at the very heart of many occupational ambitions. (Including, if I’m honest, my own.)

“For today’s workists,” Thompson says, “anything short of finding one’s vocational soul mate means a wasted life.”

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What's wrong with work?

A few weeks ago I re-read an article by the management thinker Peter Drucker from 2001 called “Will the corporation survive?” In it, he talks about his assumptions about the next phase of business. Since the 1970s, the economy had shifted to depend on “knowledge workers” — workers who make meaning out of information — and Drucker saw this shift putting power back into the hands of workers.

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