White-collar Globalization

The publishing house where one of my edited collections will come out has outsourced its editing work to India. I’m glad that somebody in India will have a job but I’m not happy that these jobs are being shipped out. It’s not a blue-collar job, obviously, so people who don’t understand why white-collar folks should worry about globalization are idiots.

10 thoughts on “White-collar Globalization

  1. Yes, this is very common. I do freelance editing some of the year (when not teaching) and when I was starting up I did some work for an Indian-based company. I soon realized that the amount they were willing to pay in no way reflected the amount of work that needed to be done (it came out at about $12/hr, which may be livable in some parts of the world but not in the LA metro area!) so now I cultivate my own individual clients.


  2. At least someone is editing books (as opposed to a robot or nobody.) Half the time people think a robot can do what I or an editor can do, but then they actually beg me to edit their stuff or spell or grammar check their written work. “Your skill is absolutely worthless! Do it for me, please!”
    With the number of poorly edited fiction books that are wildly popular, who the hell needs an editor with their bloated salaries? That’s what they think when they’re forced to have an editor and send it overseas because they only want to pay a one cent a word or something. Look, I’m reading a marketing textbook which is so poorly typeset, there are no spaces in between words in several chapter examples. Do the publishers give a shit? No.


    1. Oh, so that’s where the ridiculously edited fiction books come from! I always wonder how it’s possible that they are released with such poor editing.

      Of course, nothing can substitute a human editor.


  3. Years ago I had figured out that a lot of newspaper writing had been outsourced to former colonies of anglophone countries. So I was very unsurprised to find out about journatic and similar companies.

    Both of my parents had been involved to varying extents in journalism which at the time required a deep knowledge of local politics and personalities. Now they’d be replaced by a filipino with a computer connection and half the stories they uncovered would never be known.

    At the other end, journalism has become a vocation for well connected offspring who can be supproted by mom and dad while they spend years in unpaid internships.

    Moral of the story: If you don’t want to pay for knowledge – you’re not gonna get any.


    1. I have seen how indifferent and careless future journalists are not only at my current school but also at Yale Daily News. It’s like the very concept of journalism is alien to them. All they want to do is peddle their childish opinions and spread gossip. The possibility that there is reportable news besides their opinions doesn’t cross their minds.

      A single example: a journalist starts an interview with me by asking, “As a female graduate student at this university, please detail the instances of sexual harassment you experienced.” That’s the very 1st question. I never experienced any harassment or said that I did. The rest of the questions was In the same vein.


      1. “Research” in some cases is just as bad. I did translation for graduate students for a bit, and was astounded how often the arguments in the papers were entirely disjointed – people would reference tables of data as if they supported their point of view when they didn’t, or make sweeping assertions based off a single out-of-context quote, or, what’s worse, simply babble on without making any point at all. This was stuff people went to conferences with or were preparing for publication, mind you.

        I’m consistently surprised by how few people are able to, even in the slightest capacity, distinguished between what they believe, what they would like to believe, and what is supported by evidence and argument. All university training really does in these cases is bulk out the text with unnecessarily technical verbiage.


        1. Absolutely, absolutely. The hardest part in my teaching is to answer the question that the students keep asking, “But why can’t I express my opinion in this paper?” And I don’t know how to explain that retelling the novel or the play doesn’t constitute “an opinion.” They think I’m censoring them when I’m doing the exact opposite. I’m actually trying to elicit opinions and get them to stop retelling or parroting my lectures.


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