Scapegoats for Evildoers
Guns are bad because they are used to kill innocent people in schools and shopping malls. Derivatives are bad because unscrupulous people pushed them beyond reasonable risk for their own short term gains. And, following suit, Mechanical Turk, or paid Crowdsourcing, is bad because it exploits workers and devalues skills in the status quo. What?
It’s convenient (or stupid) to blame the tool rather than the person wielding it for the bad things that happen. Christina Gleason is the next newest member of the “blame the tool club” in her article Google Says Quality is Dirt Cheap, Don’t Hire Copywriters Ignoring the fact that she misses the whole point in her article, she does take time to pillory Crowdsourcing with,
“In case you’re unfamiliar with Amazon Mechanical Turk, it’s a place where companies pay unwitting individuals a few cents to complete tasks that can’t be automated.”
Christina is like many others who agonize that free market competition and innovation are affecting their livelihood.
Though I’m tempted to poke fun at the lunacy of her “companies pay unwitting individuals” view (workers on MTurk are not unwitting), I think a more constructive course would be to re-iterate the points of my post in March – Another Inefficient Market Meets Crowdsourcing.
- Businesses survive and thrive when they can pay the lowest price for the results they need delivered by the fastest possible means.
- This puts pressure on inefficient markets to become more efficient. These markets are eventually destined to be made more efficient as time, technology and processes mature.
- A market made efficient actually grows to many times its original ‘inefficient’ size. That benefits everyone.
- Those people with truly differentiated talents and work products will benefit immensely with these market expansions.
Those people who are now faced with the erosion of demand for their current services have two choices. Either move upstream with the services they deliver, or, let the market pass them by while they whine about it. To those latter folks, as Kurt Russell says to Billy Bob Thornton in the movie Tombstone… “Are you gonna do something or just stand there and bleed”.