I’m obsessed with the apocalypse. I have this in common with Ashton Kutcher, who told Men’s Fitness last year, apparently in all seriousness, that he works out to prepare for the “end of day” (sic). I understand that existential threats are ancient, but it seems to me that there are more of them than ever these days. The baby boomers just had nuclear weapons and only feared them from one country. We have climate change, peak oil, globally overleveraged late-stage capitalism, swine flu, Islamofascist terrorism, the end of the Mayan calendar, “rogue nukes,” and “suitcase nukes.” I’m expecting zombies any day now.
There are just as many existential threats to be faced down in our working lives, albeit at the scale of industry rather than civilization. Once, when I was on a publicity tour for a book I wrote about disruption in higher education, an angry grad student accused me of advocating the demise of his chosen profession: university-level academic. I countered that as a print journalist, I was pretty much in the same boat, and that we’d both better get used to chronic uncertainty. Whatever your job — dotcom entrepreneur, assembly-line worker, mortgage broker, physician — chances are you’ve had to swallow the same message in the past decade.
Continue reading this article at Fast Company.
Anya Kamenetz is the author of DIY U, available now.