The dystopia of Malcolm Harris

He is the author of the new and interesting Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials.  Most of the book is about millennials as the generation that invests in itself.  Towards the end he lays out a somewhat separate discussion of what a future dystopia might look like, I am very briefly summarizing his seven points, noting that some of the headings are my rewordings:

1. The equitization of human capital.  This will start out as “win-win” transactions, but eventually will become “subprime human capital.”

2. The professionalization of childhood.  Kids will start preparing for fairly specific and very locked-in careers at quite young ages, and find it difficult to deviate later on.

3. “Climate privilege.”  The ability to live somewhere insulated from most of the costs of climate change will become a major marker of class and privilege.

4. Discrimination by algorithm.

5. “The Malfunctioning.”  “America will need institutions for people who just can’t make it….I don’t think this will be “funemployment” of a guaranteed minimum income.  It’s more likely to be an unholy combination of mental asylum and work camp.”

6. Misogynist backlash.

7. Fully tracked.  The “data self” will increasingly approach the “real self.”

Worth a ponder.


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