Normally, with piece work, the idea was to compensate you in direct proportion to your output. However stingy that proportion might be, you at least knew, up front, what putting the pedal to the metal of "working your ass off," would get you. You only then needed to determine if you could sustain such, "pulling yourself up by your own boot strapping," within the required time periods.
I came to understand how this works quite intimately. For a while there, in the late seventies, or early eighties, just before I met and, latter married, my second wife, Helen, I worked cleaning restaurants for a living. And let me tell you, if want a definition of hard work, that's one place to find a pretty good one.
It was two, young entrepreneurs, who started this company that wanted to put a real emphasis on "polish" to their, "we'll put your restaurants right for business the next morning, guaranteed." And to do this they came up with the formula that, if you promised people $6 an hour for a night's work, you could make money with it; assuming, though, that two work pieces, so to speak, were completed; and I mean completed in demanding detail because that was the "premium service" they wanted to try to sell. And don't get me wrong. These two guys were absolutely willing to work that hard. You could tell just by being around them because they were both quite fit. And that was the thing. If you weren't nearly a kid, something of the order of a quite proficient, high school athletics person, then it would be quite unlikely you could do two restaurants.
I, of course, wasn't really nearly that fit, but I was burning up inside, ready to explode, with so much whirling about me in ideas, uncertainties, waking dreams, and that need to further push out something I could only feel. Bouncing back and forth between thinking I could, maybe understand some of it, or that I would never be able to understand any of it. I had to have something to burn into, and also have burn into me. And as I look back now, I can see this pattern repeated.
Anyways, the point here is that now, YouTube has changed this around. What you do on YouTube, first, and foremost, only presents you with the possibility of being able to do piece work. And for that they simply let the, now insane machine of, popular consumer, popular culture, commoditized infosphere, total involvinizer, maker and receiver, ready to burn out the circuits of their own, impossible, feeding, back, and feeding from, ultimate feedback loop system (who's lack of balanced meaning, and involvement, make it impossible to be truly self sustaining); we will simply let that, "you are out of your mind" feedback system, determine what deserves to be, and only then, the next thing that can now be paid a piecework price.
So, just to be clear, not only is this just insanely bad as an idea, just going in, but it is also bad for another.
And that's because you are put further behind the proverbial eight ball by the fact of where control of the piece work price itself will be; and you just have to see that it will likely be something you will have very little control over. Unless, of course, you are really willing to risk it all by going totally mental, in whatever way it takes, to do whatever outlandishly new thing it takes, to titillate something that, ultimately revolves around some aspect of our base instincts, because that's what always sells, along with addiction itself, of course; and your risk in that is not only your sanity, but the sanity of the rest of us as well.
This is a choice we all participate in now, in a larger sense, because we think we can continue doing business as usual; business as usual when we've lost balanced perception of what "business as usual" has actually become. Because the multiplicity of fantasies, and always increasing, being engineered for synthetic experience, imagina-realization, at ever increasing levels of "high fidelity;" because all of these things distracting us more and more, even as they serve to change us from the inside out. That is what "business as usual" has become in the bigger picture. And whether it is a piece work scam, or a "I can hide information from you," to sell you shit as shinola, scam, matters only in the details of the particular people it impacts in the most immediate sense.
The fact of the matter is that we can no longer apply band aids to this hurt, or that hurt, in ever greater lack of coordination, and decrease in reliability; which the economics of scarcity (always allowing the needs of the many to go, as they say, begging) has only too clearly indicated, throughout its history, is its main prompt to do, whether intentionally or not. Now we must apply a comprehensively new solution to how we will go about being still socially capable of working together humans. And unfortunately we must start doing this very quickly.
Always remember, though, that it involves a choice that all of you must make. I am not going to dictate you into this. And you would be well advised to not let anybody else dictate you into anything you don't understand. Because it's time for each and everyone of you to grow up. You have to take responsibility for yourselves. Each in every community. You will have to figure out how to do all of things that will make compromise possible, because if we can no longer manage compromise then we can no longer be a working social organization. How much more simple can it get.
Why almost no one is making a living on YouTube
[Post Note: And lest you forget, here is one example of how withholding information allows folks to sell you shit as shinola. J.V.]