Intellectual labor

I’ve been working on a large project for months now. Some days it’s invigorating. Some days it’s tedious. There are parts of the work that are really creative; others have some judgment calls and some – looking for typographical errors – have no creativity whatsoever.

Going to work this morning, I thought of the one “labor” song I know that’s written about this kind of data work: Stan Rogers’White Collar Holler (lyrics by Nigel Russell).  The juxtaposition of chain-gang spiritual style with data work gives me a smile as a I go about the day:

Then it’s code in the data, give the keyboard a punch
Then cross-correlate and break for some lunch
Correlate, tabulate, process and screen
Program, printout, regress to the mean

Enhanced by Zemanta


    • GREAT!!

      Stan Rogers may speak to a generation that wasn’t born when the song was written. They probably need an explanation of the line about bend, fold, spindle… Never having seen a punch card.

  1. Intellectual labor creates a different kind of tired. Physical labor is almost more sleep-inducing. I grind away at this computer for my freelance writing jobs, and have to get out and MOVE to dekink myself!

Comments are welcome and moderated

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.