Digital labour:No mind and body

Argun: “Don’t fire me, OK? I’ll do anything. I’ll work for less money. I’ll do longer hours?” (Kunzra 91)

Argun is pleaded with Virugenix not to fire him. He is willing to sacrifice his mental and physical labor so that he may continue to work.

In the twenty-first century, our capitalistic society is digital labour. For instance, we have devices that can search the Internet in milliseconds, an app to order food, read the news by the swipe of a finger, all in the palm of your hand.

How were these created? By man, or a group of dudes in Silicon Valley. Whether people disagree with me or not, the programmers of Silicon Valley are the intellectual laborers. Dyer-Witheford calls them the “digital labour.”

In Transmission, Argun is the digital laborer. After he was fired, he was left feeling confused, perplexed; then quickly assures himself that he can fix it. But this was not something like a computer, he couldn’t fix it. He was no longer needed, easily disposed and replaced.

Back in the 90s, when the techno bomb happened, a new law emerged, intellectual property. This allowed for Individuals such as in the computer industry to legally secure their ideas without it being stolen by someone else. However, what also emerged in the computer industry were cooperations, and people. The minds of these people are Gold. To come up with new and innovative ideas, while employed by a corporation, meant dollar signs. Oh yeah, and the cooperation owns the idea. Once the idea is taken, the worker is no longer needed. Just like Argun, the digital laboour is disposed.

 

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South Street & Neuromancer

For one, I have never been one to watch Noir type of films. To put it more frankly, I’ve never watched Noir films. However, I could see how Gibson would be inspired by the Noir type of films, and mystery novels. As for the correlation between South Street and Neuromancer, my focus is on the characters, Case and Chip.

Skip is much like Case in the sense that both characters are outsiders. That is, they do not belong to any group with a specific aim. As outsiders, their aim is to only help themselves, or work for something that is in their benefit. Case is willing to help Armitage and Molly in exchange for them to fix him. The same can be said for Skip, he is only willing to give the microchip in exchange for money.

In some ways, we see both characters evolve, but the question about their character stays the same. We don’t know if Skip will continue to pickpocket, and as for Case, what the future holds for him. Will he continue to hack? Will he go back to cyberspace to look for Linda Lee? These are all unanswered questions, which both Noir and Neuromancer share in common. This leaves the reader/viewer with many possibilities.