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This chapter explores what it means for cleaners to enter the upperworld. It discusses how cleaners approach the upperworld, and interact with upperworlders. Forays into the upperworld constitute both blessing and curse. Through access, cleaners may gain insight, and stories, and the upperworld’s exclusivity may rub off onto cleaners. More often than not, however, the opposite is true. The more exposure cleaners get to the upperworld, the more they come face-to-face with an inflexible status hierarchy that poses a serious ongoing threat to their dignity. The issue is not just stigmatization and abuse by customers, but denial of the cleaners’ personhood. Cleaners are not passive victims, though. They frame their situation and debunk their environment in ways that provide them with a defensive superiority. To varying degrees, they confront upperworlders, sometimes just by making themselves seen and heard. As to escape from the indignities in the upperworld, cleaners also turn to the invisible underworld. Call it the Potsdamer Platz paradox: encounters between those who work and live in the upperworld and those who labor there out of sight tend to drive the worlds further apart.
This chapter explores how the spatial segregation of Potsdamer Platz is not a matter of architectural design, but rather a particular social mapping that interrelates with status. Potsdamer Platz is designed to reinforce status hierarchies that separate the upperworld and underworld. Whereas the upperworld is shiny and spacious, the underworld is dark, labyrinthine, cramped and malodorous. These worlds have distinct populations: shoppers, tourists, white-collar workers and wealthy residents above, cleaners and other workers below. The cleaners have access to the upperworld for the purpose of cleaning it, but the people from above cannot enter the underworld. It remains hidden, buried spatially and discursively, making cleaners into an invisible “presence from below.” However, cleaners experience themselves and their place at Potsdamer Platz not just as an invisible presence from below. They are part of a workers’ scene that extends from the corporate underworld to the upperworld. The underworld is also more than a dark and sticky space for them. They turn to it as a place of social encounters, of taking breaks and withdrawing from the gaze of managers and clients alike.
This chapter explores how cleaners experience and approach dirt. Dirt plays a pivotal role in their everyday work life. It matters not just symbolically but also in its very materiality. Working with dirt can feel cyclical, frustrating, painful and futile. It can threaten cleaners’ health, safety and their dignity. At the same time, cleaners also find in their work opportunities for earning an honest living, a sense of satisfaction and the respect of others. They enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when turning dirty spaces into clean ones. Working with dirt can allow for liberties, providing cleaners with a sense of autonomy. As much as dirt can disgust, it also fascinates cleaners. The pursuit of dirt can make their work exciting, fun, and even hot. All this shows how treating dirt as merely a source of shame, a common assumption in academia and public, does not do justice to cleaners’ lived experiences. This assumption risks reinforcing a stigma and deny that cleaners can approach what they do with both interest and motivation. Whereas dirt plays a significant, even starring role in the cleaners’ workplace dramas of dignity, it is but only one of many.
This chapter explores the cleaners’ relationships and interactions within their microcosm. It examines how cleaners show little interest in defining themselves as one group and articulating common interests. Friendships and coalitions as well as divisions and strife characterize the cleaners’ microcosm. Cleaners form alliances and divisions as they seek to establish a status hierarchy, by creating and enforcing markers of difference. These markers range from age, gender and ethnicity to fashion, cultural tastes and educational backgrounds. Some are subtle, some are stark. But despite these differentiations, a sense of equivalence persists, posing a threat to any sense of specialness. It is a negative equivalence of belonging to a stigmatized group of “anyones”. Cleaners wish to believe that their work and their presence are on some level unique and valued as such, that they are not interchangeable and replaceable; and to fortify their sense of worth they resort to the creation and enforcement of status hierarchies. Such constructions all too often rest on the most fragile of foundations, and the risk of collapse plays no small role in cleaners’ dramas of dignity.
This chapter sets out the case for studying cleaners’ dignity at work. It starts with a description of my arrival at Potsdamer Platz, of the cleaners and the corporate underworld. The overarching question concerning what happens to cleaners’ dignity in social interactions is developed, and the book’s central notion of “dramas of dignity” is introduced. The chapter ends with an overview of the subsequent chapters.
In the postscript, I discuss what happened to the cleaners after I left the field, focusing on the current work situation of some of the book’s main characters. I also point out how the more recent coronavirus crisis has affected cleaners. The developments are discussed in relation to the theme of dignity.
The conclusion starts with a description of me leaving the field as this made the status differences between the cleaners and me come to the fore. Following this, it explicates cleaners’ dramas of dignity by bringing together the findings of the previous chapters. It discusses the extent to which the book’s insights can be transferred to invisible service work, more generally. Placing these insights into their historical context, I discuss whether we are currently witnessing a return of the servant society. The book ends with a reflection on the encounter of two images – The Statue of Liberty and Harold Lloyd – in Potsdamer Platz’s underworld.
This chapter develops how surveillance shapes cleaners’ everyday work life. Cleaners experience being watched by clients, security guards, CleanUp management, and even co-workers. Surveillance constitutes an attack on their sense of worth. It stands for distrust in their work ability and efforts, and the resulting need to control them. Cleaners respond to surveillance by engaging in tactics ranging from what I term turning off and away from surveillance to turning against those who watch them. Cleaners’ urge to counter surveillance in order to retain a sense of dignity – no matter how fragile and short-lived – can surpass the fear of getting into trouble. Surveillance can come with a degree of thrill, excitement and even a sense of superiority in the hunt for ways to outwit and resist it. However, it can also summon feelings of degradation and indignity, especially when cleaners get caught. But no matter how strenuously cleaners resist surveillance, it does not follow that they resist work too. Indeed, for cleaners, maintaining dignity requires a balancing act of outwitting surveillance, finding autonomy, and working hard enough to uphold a work ethic and related sense of self-worth.
This chapter explores the stories of four cleaners, Alex, Ali, Luisa and Marcel, to illustrate the different paths people take into cleaning. The chapter begins with an overview of the occupation of cleaning, its history and status, followed by a discussion of CleanUp’s human resource management's approach. I develop how the occupation is stigmatized not only because it is low-skilled, low-paid and deals with dirt. The stigma also derives from the groups of people perceived to do it. CleanUp seeks to counter the stigma by emphasizing professionalism. The stories of the four cleaners illustrate how cleaning constitutes a catch basin for a variety of people. People enter cleaning from different walks of life, however, they all share origins in the social underworld. While CleanUp’s professionalization efforts have limited impact on cleaners’ understanding of their work and role, they all want to be recognized for their work, display a strong work ethic and work independently. The association of cleaning with degrading, unskilled, undignified work does not necessarily corrupt the cleaners’ sense of self. They regard cleaning as a portal to dignity, a source of satisfaction and pride.
Active inference, a corollary of the free energy principle, is a formal way of describing the behavior of certain kinds of random dynamical systems that have the appearance of sentience. In this chapter, we describe how active inference combines Bayesian decision theory and optimal Bayesian design principles under a single imperative to minimize expected free energy. It is this aspect of active inference that allows for the natural emergence of information-seeking behavior. When removing prior outcomes preferences from expected free energy, active inference reduces to optimal Bayesian design (i.e., information gain maximization). Conversely, active inference reduces to Bayesian decision theory in the absence of ambiguity and relative risk (i.e., expected utility maximization). Using these limiting cases, we illustrate how behaviors differ when agents select actions that optimize expected utility, expected information gain, and expected free energy. Our T-maze simulations show optimizing expected free energy produces goal-directed information-seeking behavior while optimizing expected utility induces purely exploitive behavior, and maximizing information gain engenders intrinsically motivated behavior.
The Asian subterranean termite Coptotermes gestroi is a worldwide structural pest, although its reproductive biology has been poorly investigated due to a cryptic habit and occurrence of polycalic nests. In this study, we investigated ovarian development and oogenesis in different-aged females of C. gestroi: fourth-instar nymphs, non-functional neotenics, alates, and functional queens. We show that the ovaries develop gradually according to their age and functionality, as younger individuals possess immature oocytes, whereas alates and functional queens always undergo vitellogenesis. Oocytes were classified into previtellogenic (stages I, II, and III) or vitellogenic (stages IV, V, and VI). Ovary development varied among non-functional neotenics, and a rapid differentiation and/or the presence of primary reproductives are believed to influence such a maturation. Immature oocyte stages were shared between fourth-instar nymphs and neotenics. These characteristics, together with other neotenic features (wing buds, body pigmentation, and eye color), should be evaluated in detail aiming to clarify which nymphal instars differentiate into secondary reproductives. Oogenesis was not uniform among alate females, and cross-sectional area of terminal oocytes was significantly smaller in alates when compared to functional queens, suggesting different degrees of maturation in swarming individuals. Functional queens always had mature terminal oocytes (stage VI). Ovariole number and oocyte maturation in C. gestroi relies on several factors and may therefore differ among individuals of the same caste. Future studies should take into account these reproductive features to evaluate how they impact colony development.
Both logic programming in general and Prolog in particular have a long and fascinating history, intermingled with that of many disciplines they inherited from or catalyzed. A large body of research has been gathered over the last 50 years, supported by many Prolog implementations. Many implementations are still actively developed, while new ones keep appearing. Often, the features added by different systems were motivated by the interdisciplinary needs of programmers and implementors, yielding systems that, while sharing the “classic” core language, in particular, the main aspects of the ISO-Prolog standard, also depart from each other in other aspects. This obviously poses challenges for code portability. The field has also inspired many related, but quite different languages that have created their own communities. This article aims at integrating and applying the main lessons learned in the process of evolution of Prolog. It is structured into three major parts. First, we overview the evolution of Prolog systems and the community approximately up to the ISO standard, considering both the main historic developments and the motivations behind several Prolog implementations, as well as other logic programming languages influenced by Prolog. Then, we discuss the Prolog implementations that are most active after the appearance of the standard: their visions, goals, commonalities, and incompatibilities. Finally, we perform a SWOT analysis in order to better identify the potential of Prolog and propose future directions along with which Prolog might continue to add useful features, interfaces, libraries, and tools, while at the same time improving compatibility between implementations.
The Desert Andes contain >4500 ice masses, but only a handful are currently being monitored. We present the mass changes of the small mountain glacier Agua Negra (1 km2) and of the rest of glaciers in the Jáchal river basin. Remote-sensing data show Agua Negra glacier lost 23% of its area during 1959–2019. Glaciological measurements during 2014–2021 indicate an average annual mass balance of −0.52 m w.e. a−1, with mean winter and summer balances of 0.80 and −1.33 m w.e. a−1, respectively. The Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) is estimated to be 5100 ± 100 m a.s.l., which corresponds to an Accumulation Area Ratio (AAR) of 0.28 ± 0.21. Geodetic data from SRTM X and Pléiades show a doubling of the loss rate from −0.32 ± 0.03 m w.e. a−1 in 2000–2013, to −0.66 ± 0.06 m w.e. a−1 in 2013–2019. Comparatively, the ice losses for the entire Jáchal river basin (25 500 km2) derived from ASTER show less negative values, −0.11 ± 16 m w.e. a−1 for 2000–2012 and −0.23 ± 14 m w.e. a−1 for 2012–2018. The regional warming trend since 1979 and a recent decline in snow accumulation are probably driving the observed glacier mass balance.