Insanely silly startups coddling the whims and needs of the few now have ludicrously high valuations. Of course it’s a bubble. And it will pop. Meanwhile, armies of the poor are being exploited to coddle the well-off, some of whom are so befuddled they apparently can’t even figure out how to take out the trash. Yes, there really is an app for that. You can also hire the homeless to clean your home at such a low rate it probably barely covers their bus fare.
No matter. Silicon Valley gentry are not concerned with such trifles. This is the magic new sharing economy! Venture capitals and startups share the wealth. Users get trivial tasks done for them. The people who do the work are contract labor, an afterthought, and just not very relevant, are they? And they are expendable, replaceable parts.
Here’s my tiny theory. There’s gold in them thar hills. Money’s pouring into the tech industry today. Too much money, chasing too few truly groundbreaking investments. And so a bubble is inflating—but not just any bubble. A bubble of an especially insidious kind. Of stuff that’s beyond eyewateringly, painfully, mind-numbingly trivial.
I’m going to call it a Servitude Bubble. For the simple reason that it is largely based on creating armies of servants.
The Servitude Bubble is creating “jobs”, sure—but only of the lowest kind: low-end, deskilled, dead-end, go-nowhere “service” jobs — that don’t only crush your soul, damage your psyche, and break your spirit—but waste your potential.
What Silicon Valley hasn’t figured out yet, primarily because it views low-level contract labor as fodder for their startup valuations (when it thinks about them at all), is sometimes the peasants revolt. Or the bubble bursts and they have to create startups with actual value.