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Data & Society Databite #119: Mary L. Gray on Ghost Work

I’m just going to say it, I would like to com­plete­ly blow up employ­ment clas­si­fi­ca­tion as we know it. I do not think that defin­ing full‐time work as the place where you get ben­e­fits, and part‐time work as the place where you have to fight to get a full‐time job, is an appro­pri­ate way of address­ing this labor mar­ket.

The Precariat: A Disruptive Class for Disruptive Times

In a book that I wrote in 2011, on page one I said that unless the inse­cu­ri­ties, and the fears, and the aspi­ra­tions of the pre­cari­at were addressed as a mat­ter of urgency, we would see the emer­gence of a polit­i­cal mon­ster. You will not be sur­prised that in November 2016 I received a lot of emails from around the world from peo­ple who said, The mon­ster has arrived.”

Disposable Life: Zygmunt Bauman

In pre‐modern soci­eties there was no idea of waste; every­thing was going back into life—recycled, as we would say today. If there were more chil­dren com­ing into the world in a fam­i­ly, then obvi­ous­ly there was room for them, and extra work some­where in the farm­yard, in the field, in the sta­ble. And of course a place around the table. So the idea of being redun­dant, hav­ing no place in soci­ety, sim­ply didn’t occur.

Disposable Life: Richard Sennett

In the world of labor and work, the phrase dis­pos­able life” refers to a new wrin­kle in neolib­er­al cap­i­tal­ism. And that wrin­kle is that it’s cheap­er to dis­pose of work­ers in Europe and America than it’s ever been in the past.

Artificial Intelligence is Hard to See: Social & Ethical Impacts of AI

The big con­cerns that I have about arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence are real­ly not about the Singularity, which frankly com­put­er sci­en­tists say is…if it’s pos­si­ble at all it’s hun­dreds of years away. I’m actu­al­ly much more inter­est­ed in the effects that we are see­ing of AI now.

The Ethics of Open Source

This talk is more about the coer­cion of labor into open source soft­ware. So I want to take a crit­i­cal look at how we can engage busi­ness­es and oth­er stake­hold­ers in tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies to begin to cre­ate a more equal and sus­tain­able envi­ron­ment for all peo­ple con­tribut­ing to open source.

Jamelle Bouie’s Advice for the Next President

The United States needs a stronger labor move­ment. It needs some­thing to orga­nize work­ers as work­ers, just for the sake of act­ing as a polit­i­cal coun­ter­bal­ance to cor­po­ra­tion and to large for­ma­tions of cap­i­tal. I think a lot of our prob­lems right now are direct­ly traced back to the decline of unions.

The Next Social Contract Opening Keynote: Senator Elizabeth Warren

Just as this coun­try did a hun­dred years ago, it’s time to rethink the basic bar­gain between work­ers and com­pa­nies. As greater wealth is gen­er­at­ed by new tech­nol­o­gy, how can we ensure that the work­ers who sup­port the econ­o­my can actu­al­ly share in the wealth?

Douglas Rushkoff WebVisions Portland 2016 Keynote

Google just has to grow. It has to keep grow­ing. But Google grows at its own per­il. Google grew so much that what hap­pened? It out­grew Google. Google had to become what? Alphabet. Now what is Alphabet? Alphabet is not Google. Alphabet is a hold­ing com­pa­ny. So Google’s new busi­ness as Alphabet is to do what? It’s to buy and sell tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies. So, once a com­pa­ny becomes just too big to flip any­more, it becomes a flip­per of oth­er com­pa­nies.

Behind the Screen: The People and Politics of Commercial Content Moderation

When I asked my peers and my pro­fes­sors if they’d ever heard of this type of work, two things hap­pened. The first thing is that they said no, they hadn’t. The sec­ond thing they said, which is prob­a­bly what you’re think­ing, is, Well, can’t com­put­ers do that?” And in fact the answer to that is no.

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