An Electronic Leash: Working in the 21st Century

If you aren’t watching HBO’s Enlightenment, I highly recommend it. Anto started watching it a few months back, and I have been slowly sucked into it over the first 7 episodes, but episode 8 has made me a full blown fan. Laura Dern is brilliant as a middle-aged woman who is bouncing back after a nervous breakdown as a result of her life in corporate America. In fact, it’s a pretty relentless satire of working conditions of corporate America that has yet to stray into work place fetishism like The Office. In fact, the following two minute clip from episode 8 of Season 1 does an excellent job breaking down how the technology that Cogentiva—the corporation Laura Dern works for—uses is part and parcel of the role that capital plays in the shaping of technology as means of control. This explanation of the software and how it uses data as an electronic leash to choke workers is a nice counterpoint to the utopian vision of technology I want to live in (rainbows, unicorns). If you want more on this episode, there is a great write-up on the Av Squad blog here.

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2 Responses to An Electronic Leash: Working in the 21st Century

  1. Scott Leslie says:

    I tried to watch it but bailed after episode 4. Laura Dern’s character just pushed too many of my buttons – I live in lotus land man, home of the dippy hippy.

    • Reverend says:

      I was back and forth on that, but I find myself compelled by her in some really odd ways that I wasn’t in her earlier films like Lynch’s Wild at Heart. I’m not certain this series isn’t gonna be cancelled, but I would kinda be bummed if it does because I think it is just now starting to catch its stride and identity.

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