Owning your own work, don’t take it for granted

Until the late 1990s, about the time “ordinary people” could start broadcasting themselves on the Internet, most stable employed people (or at least many) experienced “double lives”.

A lot of people created intellectual products of value in the workplace; and for about three decades or so, employment in mainframe computing tended to be pretty stable, with benefits (even with unpaid overtime for salaried people, and even without unionization). People often had lives where their families and personal activities, like very meaningful hobbies (like music) were avocational and separate from work.

But you left the job, or particularly got laid off or fired from it, you lost access immediately to the value you had created. This happened to me particularly on December 13, 2001 (93 days after 9/11) when I had my final IT layoff (then at age 58). I got a big severance and could retire and a family backup so it wasn’t as traumatic for me as for a lot of people. But actual access to the body of my work, which was considerable and in a way meaningful, was lost.

But I had written my first DADT book and was well on the way to making myself a minor public figure by my public participation on some issues, especially, at first, gays in the military (based on my own life experiences three decades before).

I’ve had absolute control of my content and its deployment since 1997. But even that attracts anger from the “Left”. Since I don’t need to raise funds or depend on other people or groups, I can give my own views more weight in final policy results. This may seem wrong in terms of the idea of “privilege” and social credit and seems related to critical theory. Although it is not subject to algorithmic manipulation, it still might be seen as a source of dangerous misinformation. That’s one reason for the downsizing of my web presence with many fewer sites in 2022. At one end, my participation in normal political activism for real injustice is eliminated or reduced, and if my behavior is replicated by many, it can hinder social justice and reform as many see it, and tend to encourage a certain soft fascism. At some point, people in my position need to be able to provide for others and see how their activities more directly benefit others.

(Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 9 PM EDT)

Author: Jboushka

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