New Criticals

Killing Time, Pt. [8] - Putting Idle Hands To Work


It is possible, however, that the disappearance of the commodity is not a material disappearance, but its visible subordination to the quality of labor behind it. In this sense, the commodity does not disappear as such; it rather becomes increasingly ephemeral, its duration becomes compressed, it becomes more of a process than a finished product.                                                              – Tiziana Terranova

To understand how capitalism can put those hands to work, we must look to total activity on the internet, in all of its banalities and innovations. Chatting, blogging, liking, sharing, networking, gaming, buying, selling, commenting, watching, Yelping, tweeting, browsing… many of these activities are profitable (for some) but not directly compensated (for most). It is important to note a distinction that Terranova works to establish between the New Economy, “a historical period marker [that] acknowledges its conventional associations with Internet companies,’ and the digital economy – a less transient phenomenon based on key features of digitized information (its ease of copying and low or zero cost of sharing).”