Emily told me of a lightweight NYT piece on job searching describing the clever and industrious things a young man did to land a job in a competitive marketplace. She was appalled by the implications -- the job market for bright young men is lousy.
Emily missed the darker subtext though.
The job is in search engine optimization (SEO).
Few non-geeks know what SEO is. SEO is about fighting a war with Google. Google wants to give us answers to our questions, SEO wants us to read marketing material. SEO geeks make their living exploiting flaws in Google's search algorithms.
SEO is about making my life worse. It's not unique. A vast amount of American intellect, from Wall Street to SEO, is not delivering value. It is engaged in making all of our lives worse.
We are pouring our water into the sand.