Have you ever gone through your morning routine of waking up, have your Wheaties and coffee, commute to work, settle in to your three walled cube only to make the mistake of actually looking at your surroundings?  Sitting in your modern detention centre, you realize you are not at work; you are actually incarcerated in a contemporary factory, or what I like to call an information factory.  Think back to the industrial revolution when society became overwhelmed with a new wave of production methods, new technologies and the rise of factory culture.  People crammed into large buildings all collectively tasked to drive the engine of mass production, everyone dedicated to playing their role within the corporate structure.  Things have not really changed.  Think of the technology boom of the early to mid nineties.  This was really not dissimilar.  Personally I recall being on Long Island New York working in the head office of Computer Associates.  Alas, there was no ice tea, but plenty of cubicles.  Rows upon rows of cubicles as far as you could see.  Every compartment neatly aligned with absolutely no privacy in sight.  In fact, each booth intentionally designed with glass walls for this very reason.  One needed to keep an eye on your neighbors to ensure compliance to the collective endeavors of the company.  It struck me that I was working in a contemporary version of the factory except we were all producing and refining information.  We’d produce it, manipulate it, repackage it and send it on its way.  After awhile your allotted workspace became more of a prison cell than anything else.  Long lines of fellow detainees all observing the golden rule:  If you’re not busy, look busy.  Roving packs of middle managers making the rounds, ensuring those conjugal visits to the coffee machine are kept brief.  Survival depends on joining the right gang.  Programmers, accountants, supervisors all stick together.  Watch each others backs, but trust no one.  All for one and none for all.  It’s an ugly business, and one best avoided if possible.

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