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The 'Invisible' Workers Keeping Our World Running

The “Invisibles.” The people and jobs that hold the world together.

People pass an arrivals sign at the new Heathrow Airport Terminal 2 in London, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The "wayfinders" who create these kinds of signs are some of the so-called invisible workers who help quietly keep the world running behind the scenes. (AP)

People pass an arrivals sign at the new Heathrow Airport Terminal 2 in London, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The “wayfinders” who create these kinds of signs are some of the so-called invisible workers who help quietly keep the world running behind the scenes. (AP)

Everybody’s a personal “brand-builder” these days.  Working social media.  Tending the Facebook page.  Hitting Twitter.  Well, not everybody.  We can’t all be celebrities – and some don’t want to be self-promoters.  My guest this hour David Zweig is writing about what he calls the “invisibles.”  If that sounds like superheroes, maybe they are.  But they’re not looking for public recognition.  They’re the engineers and anesthesiologists, craftsmen and women, techs and tuners who make everything work.  For the love of the work, not fame.  This hour On Point:  unsung heroes – the “invisibles.”

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Zweig, author of the new book “Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in An Age of Relentless Self-Promotion.” (@davidzweig)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic: What Do Fact-Checkers and Anesthesiologists Have in Common? — “In a culture that favors sensation, the fact checker is an anomaly, perhaps even anathema. He is the brakes on editors and writers racing toward deadline intent on dazzling readers at the expense of edifying them. He is the schoolmarm tsk tsking. He is the public defender for the unrepresented, the downtrodden, the forgotten—the facts.”

WIRED: You’ve Been Obsessing Over Your Likes and Retweets Way Too Much — “The digital age version of the proverbial tree falling in the woods question is: Does something exist if it hasn’t been liked, favorited, linked to, or re-tweeted? According to many tech critics, the tragic answer is no. Like Lady Gaga, we live for the applause. But if constantly chasing other people’s approval is a shallow way to live that leads to time and energy being wasted over pleasing others and recurring feelings of insecurity and emptiness, how can we course correct?”

Fortune: In the age of selfies, some tips on the art of self-promotion — “So the question remains: How do you compete if your particular business requires you to be up until three in the morning making wine instead of selling the wine that someone else has made?”

Read An Excerpt Of “Invisibles” By David Zweig

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