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Survey: Half of us want to quit our jobs

More than half of American workers are unhappy at work, with a third already scoping out new jobs, according to a survey just released by the consulting firm Mercer. The other 21 percent of dissatisfied workers are staying, begrudgingly the survey says.

The survey, called “What’s Working,” asked 2,400 U.S. workers in late 2010 how they felt about their jobs and compensation. Responses showed a decline in almost every category versus the last survey in 2005, including pay, benefits and retirement contributions from employers.

The youngest employees were the least happy with 40 percent or more of those under 34 seriously considering leaving.

Workers considering leaving

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Douglas Rushkoff wants you to do something

Douglas Rushkoff. Photo: Johannes Kroemer

“So I browsed the Net for three hours. Did I make anyone happier? Did it earn me money? Am I a better person? So why did I do it?”

On Wednesday evening, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff engaged a standing-room-only crowd in a converted movie theater in midtown Manhattan.  His quick wit, fearless dystopian warnings, and heartening calls to action have made him a favorite among those questioning the future of our digitally mediated culture; there were a lot of big ideas slung our way.

A visualization of a social graph

One visualization of a social graph. Friends' names appear around the edge, and lines depict those friends' relationships to each other. Photo: flickr/inju

For one, the commodification of human relationships (“the social graph”), which is the unfortunate business plan of Facebook and many elements of the monetized web, is not in our best interest. At all. Vigilance on this count – and awareness that “we are the product being sold” – will help protect us. While the social web can be an invaluable tool, we must control it, speak its language and learn its tricks, Rushkoff said.

“Your [social] graph is better preserved than if it was chiseled into the Parthenon, owned by a company managed by a**holes!”

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A good day for a colonoscopy, and other fantasies

My father, a law professor in Virginia, has frequently marveled at the tragedies that seem to befall students right around exam time. Illnesses, accidents and an all-out bloodbath for distant relatives. “One young woman,” he likes to say, “had three grandmothers die in one semester.”

Apparently, the carnage has spread down south, to Duke University, where behavioral economics professor (and Need to Know contributor) Dan Ariely finds that, “the amount of misery that happens at the end of the semester is incredible.”

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