Reddit Reddit reviews Bullshit Jobs: A Theory

We found 43 Reddit comments about Bullshit Jobs: A Theory. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Bullshit Jobs: A Theory
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43 Reddit comments about Bullshit Jobs: A Theory:

u/Freak-Power · 33 pointsr/todayilearned

He (David Graeber) actually came out with a book that expounds on the essay. Link

u/ergoproxyone · 29 pointsr/Steam

Look at some of the amazon reviews. His theory is that jobs that are beneficial to society are paid less while those that have no benefit are paid more. Also, there are entire industries that are bullshit jobs. He categories them into 5 different categories: Flunkies, Goons, Duct Tapers, Box Tickers, and Taskmasters.
Ultimately, he concludes that we have to shift society to a more free society when we incorporate something like UBI. People should be able to truly be free from wage labor. One shouldn't be tied to a job in order to survive in the world. Inequality is rampant. The average worker doesn't realize there is more to life than wasting your life at a job. A worker just busy toiling away their lives in a bullshit job means they are not going to rise up and do something about the rampant inequality we see today.

u/istartriots · 27 pointsr/cscareerquestions

have you by chance read Bullshit jobs? it talks about this exact idea.

u/demicolon · 22 pointsr/australia

That's a general rule of all work, including paid work. If you're paying someone by the hour then you're bloody well going to get your hour's worth, even if the value of that work is zero or negative. That's what leads to the phenomenon of upwards of 40% of all jobs, public and private, being bullshit jobs.

Housecleaning isn't a bullshit job, but once you're in the zone you tend to want to keep going. It's the same as women from 'traditional' backgrounds and cooking: they end up with orders of magnitude more cooking experience than any professional chef, because their entire working day is centred around the kitchen.

u/Serious_Feedback · 12 pointsr/FunnyandSad

Hey, you should read the book "Bullshit Jobs", which is about the exact phenomenon of people being paid for (and required to stick around for) non-work or fake work.

u/Throwaway_castaway2 · 12 pointsr/canada

That’s just ignorant.

No we can’t function as a society without childcare, without nurses...

We can totally function without diamond miners... without marketing... without creative financial instruments...without gasp mid-level assistant managers...

Social workers do a helluva lot more for society than corporate HR or Assistant management does...

There’s far more male bullshit jobs than female and they are far more taxing on society as a whole

u/Prince_Kropotkin · 6 pointsr/neoliberal

Absolutely not true. But you don't need a book to know that; have you ever worked in any kind of large bureaucracy? Tons of people are in commissions to set the names of other commissions and so on. This is one of the centrist dogmas that is most unbelievable to regular people. Of course huge numbers of jobs are useless.

u/random-idiom · 5 pointsr/news

People who - when finding out they get paid way less than they are worth - want to make sure no other job gets a fair pay instead of blaming themselves or their employer for lowballing their wage.

It's amazing that humans are so petty they are willing to work for shit as long as they can point at someone else and say 'I'm better than that'.

Also - see this book on bullshit jobs
> The most socially useful profession is medical research, which produces $9 in benefit for every dollar that goes into it. Finance workers produce -$1.80 for every dollar they're paid.

Jealousy is a bitch and the free market exploits it - which is why 'rational actors' is a bullshit assumption to make

u/ReinH · 5 pointsr/AskComputerScience

I would look at three things: what is the impact of my work, how connected am I to the impact of my work, and where else can I find meaning in my work.

Let's begin with an uncomfortable truth. Most jobs in our industry are just not very meaningful in terms of the impact of the work itself. Most of us are not working on something that might (say) cure cancer or reduce poverty. There just aren't enough meaningful jobs to go around, so some of us won't be able to find one for ourselves. (This isn't only true of software engineering, of course. Many of today's jobs are bullshit jobs.)

If we can't find meaning in the work itself, I think we have to look for meaning in other places. I look for meaning in contributing to the success and happiness of my coworkers, and I look for jobs where I can work with likeminded people. I've found that this more than anything else has had a big impact on my work satisfaction and has reduced my feelings of alienation.

Also, as you alluded to, regardless of how meaningful the work is per se, our connection to the work can be made more or less meaningful. Feedback of the sort you are asking about helps us understand the impact of our work. If you can't feel connected to the actual impact your work has, you might feel alienated even if you are in some way helping to cure cancer. You should absolutely look for and ask for this feedback, as it will improve both your work and your feelings about the work.

u/EverForthright · 4 pointsr/antiwork

There a book by David Graeber (anthropologist and Occupy Wall Street organizer) called Bullshit Jobs that examines how productivity increases through automation have resulted in more pointless jobs, instead of a reduction in work. Definitely worth a read.

Don't glorify production/manufacturing jobs. I've worked in a handful of factories and the only reason half of these jobs exist is because it's still cheaper to pay a human to suffer than it is to buy expensive robots+engineers to oversee the robots. Mandatory overtime is common and the repetitive motion strain will ruin your body.

u/ukralibre · 3 pointsr/getdisciplined

Irvon plays on public fears, bulding career on the controversial topic. That's all. He did not do the double-blind placebo studies. What he does it bullshitting.

u/HTownian25 · 2 pointsr/ChapoTrapHouse

Possibly relevant to your interests

> Graeber explores one of society’s most vexing and deeply felt concerns, indicting among other villains a particular strain of finance capitalism that betrays ideals shared by thinkers ranging from Keynes to Lincoln. Bullshit Jobs gives individuals, corporations, and societies permission to undergo a shift in values, placing creative and caring work at the center of our culture. This book is for everyone who wants to turn their vocation back into an avocation.

u/left_flank · 2 pointsr/metacanada
u/qwejibo02 · 2 pointsr/Career_Advice

Read Bullsh!t Jobs: A Theory for an interesting take on this. Depending on where you live and work, and what you job is, it could be really short. ;)

u/ok_asclepius · 2 pointsr/BlackPeopleTwitter

I'm not sure I follow how the politics is affecting the education. You're saying we have a group that is revving up racist propaganda and manipulating the poor, but I think what's wrong with education is more some of the things you mentioned later: that funds are poorly distributed, that there are a lot of bullshit jobs (theres a book about this) that suck up money, and that the core education system has been chiseled in a fashion that kids aren't learning enough in high school so now college is much more important.

America has no reason to be so low in the world rankings for education, except that it's a huge country and it's hard to make one system to fit all - i.e. we should allow people to do different things and value trades where you don't need a masters degree so people don't fall to the debt trap.

u/Hynjia · 2 pointsr/getdisciplined

How about read a book? See if the experience fits how you feel about your job.

u/Steel_Wool_Sponge · 2 pointsr/BasicIncome

> I mean, if I hired someone to mow my lawn

If a feudal lord hired someone to mow a remote acre of his lawn and the mower, winking, reported to you that a wandering herd of goats had actually already got to it, who would you trust more to figure out whether the mower is worth what they're being paid - the mower, or the lord?

> I think the evidence is in their willingness to pay

Right, and that is the difference between our arguments and why it is wrong for you to try to analogize between them. I don't think the garbagemen know better than the mayor because they're being paid less: I think they know better because they collect the garbage. You however do think that a willingness to pay can be translated into knowledge about whether someone is worth paying.

> Maybe his book really does contain better evidence than he's alluded to in trying to promote it

Read pgs 1-2 (not i-ii in the intro)

u/ohiodsaguy · 2 pointsr/jobs

In addition to others saying that downtime is normal, there is also the bullshit jobs theory -


Some jobs are simply unnecessary on the whole and filled with nothingness.

u/veringer · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Here's a fleshed out theory. The gist is that so many people have bullshit (ie soulless/useless) jobs that people with meaningful careers (like teachers) are viewed jealously by much of society. They are getting compensated both financially and with real actual satisfaction knowing they're making a positive impact on the world.

u/NUCLEAR_FIRST_STRIKE · 2 pointsr/ChapoTrapHouse

techbros can be radicalized, everyone can, it's just a matter of finding the right talking point for them. go out for drinks with em, shoot the shit, build up a rapport. talk about how pointless you think product management is (never met a dev with a positive view of their nontechnical managers) and bring up some of the points from Bullshit Jobs. talk about how github banned iranian devs and how economic sanctions only cause collateral damage to the working class and how forcing people to starve is violence. there's an episode of chapo where the guest (@pisspiggrandad) talks about how he did it and unionized his workplace.

staying connected with like-minded people helps fend off the alienation (plug for the sci4socialism slack). i hang with a couple coworkers who are left-leaning and a few who are apolitical but fun to be around. loneliness and hopelessness just make it that much harder to organize outside of work where real material gains can be accomplished.

oh and take really long shits on the clock and steal office supplies.

u/Ferocious-Flamingo · 1 pointr/confession

Heard about this book and really want to read it. Seems like it fits nicely here

u/therealwoden · 1 pointr/glitch_art

There's an entire book about this.

Here's an interview talking with David Graeber, the author of the book, about the concept. A relevant excerpt:

Sean Illing

What are “bullshit jobs”?

David Graeber

Bullshit jobs are jobs which even the person doing the job can’t really justify the existence of, but they have to pretend that there’s some reason for it to exist. That’s the bullshit element. A lot of people confuse bullshit jobs and shit jobs, but they’re not the same thing.

Bad jobs are bad because they’re hard or they have terrible conditions or the pay sucks, but often these jobs are very useful. In fact, in our society, often the more useful the work is, the less they pay you. Whereas bullshit jobs are often highly respected and pay well but are completely pointless, and the people doing them know this.

Sean Illing

Give me some examples of bullshit jobs.

David Graeber

Corporate lawyers. Most corporate lawyers secretly believe that if there were no longer any corporate lawyers, the world would probably be a better place. The same is true of public relations consultants, telemarketers, brand managers, and countless administrative specialists who are paid to sit around, answer phones, and pretend to be useful.

A lot of bullshit jobs are just manufactured middle-management positions with no real utility in the world, but they exist anyway in order to justify the careers of the people performing them. But if they went away tomorrow, it would make no difference at all.

And that’s how you know a job is bullshit: If we suddenly eliminated teachers or garbage collectors or construction workers or law enforcement or whatever, it would really matter. We’d notice the absence. But if bullshit jobs go away, we’re no worse off.

And here's a podcast interview with the author where they go into great detail and give lots of examples.

u/canaryhawk · 1 pointr/investing

I wonder if Kevin Johnson just read Bullshit Jobs and he's trying to fix the problem?

u/TheShawnP · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

I think you'd enjoy Bullshit Jobs: A Theory It's a pretty much a bunch of anecdotes about those kinds of jobs and how damning they are to your health.

u/Patman128 · 1 pointr/Economics

There are millions of people working jobs with literally no purpose. They provide no value at all. It's not surprising though when you force people to work just to survive.

Automation isn't going to reduce the number of people working, it's just going to push more and more people into jobs where they have to pretend to work. It's the appearance of a healthy economy when it's really just welfare with extra steps and lots of wasted time.

Highly recommend the David Graeber book by the way.

u/SNAFUBAR- · 1 pointr/AskMen
u/Homunculus_I_am_ill · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

Probably not just money, but a combination of low pay, how dead-end it is, and how useless it feels to do it.

u/sam__izdat · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts


  • "... a huge portion of silly bureaucratic, managerial, etc jobs would just vanish"
  • "There is no economic reason for them to exist and their existing is the opposite of what the textbooks say should happen in a capitalist economy"

    David Graeber put a lot of time and research into this and he can explain it better than me basically repeating all the same things. Here's the book. Here's the article that started it in strike mag. Very worthwhile reading.
    > You seem to like to argue against yourself.

    This is likely a comprehension problem, not a "nonsense" or "absurd assertion" problem. I'll try to use an example that might help you understand. The math is stupid to keep it simple.
u/stalematedizzy · 0 pointsr/norge

Janei, kanskje på tide å tenke litt mer på borgerlønn, som en del av løsningen.

Det vil hjelpe både mot arbeidsledighet og forbruk

Så kan mange få noe mer fornuftig å bruke tida si på enn å råtne på et kontor uten at de egentlig bidrar med noe som helst.

u/TheNightHaunter · 0 pointsr/Anarchy101

We need to talk about what it did right vs what it did wrong.

We know a planned economy works, they went from a quasi feudal state to space in less than 50 years.

We know they fucked up by removing the soviet councils from the workplace effectively making it so workers did benefit from the fruits of there labors.

We know that quality of life was much better compared to other countries do to guaranteed jobs, this in contrast with Captialism shitting on bureaucracy jobs all the while making even more useless jobs themselves (

Socialism in one country did not work, we know that Captialist will not ever let a socialist nation live while they are alive. Which brings me to another point regarding the state, we will need some form of state to support an military industrial complex, this was one of the key things that helped the soviet union from being destroyed.

u/banished98ti · -1 pointsr/Buttcoin


Most human activity in the modern age is useless. Read the fantastic book that came out by David Graeber called Bullshit Jobs.

No you aren't understanding my argument. It has nothing to do with tangible or intangible.

Intrinsic value does not need to be marketed. If something requires advertising or marketing it most likely is illiquid(useless) and I need to convince you you need it.

Stuff with intrinsic value ie family, house, resources, land etc does not require marketing it has value in and of itself. People fight and die for those things. Nobody fights and dies for fiber optic cables.

u/modern_rabbit · -6 pointsr/fargo

Thank the lord for Meghan Battest and her job.