gig economy

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pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, call centre, carried interest, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, TaskRabbit, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

., p. 4. 62 For my own treatment of Gordon and Cohen and DeLong’s books, see ‘Is robust American growth a thing of the past?’, Financial Times, 19 February 2016, <https://www.ft.com/content/80c3164e-d644-11e5-8887-98e7feb46f27>. 63 Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, p. 13. 64 James Manyika, Susan Lund, Jacques Bughin, Kelsey Robinson, Jan Mischke and Deepa Mahajan, ‘Independent Work: Choice, necessity and the gig economy’, McKinsey Global Institute report, October 2016, <http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/independent-work-choice-necessity-and-the-gig-economy>. 65 Ibid. 66 Ibid. 67 Ibid. 68 Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2013 (ebook)). 69 Edward Luce, ‘Obama must face the rise of the robots’, Financial Times, 3 February 2013, <https://www.ft.com/content/f6f19228-6bbc-11e2-a17d-00144feab49a>. 70 Lee Drutman and Yascha Mounk, ‘When the Robots Rise’, National Interest, 144 (July–August 2016), <http://nationalinterest.org/feature/when-the-robots-rise-16830>. 71 Espen Barth Eide, ‘2015: the year geopolitics bites back?’

Roughly a third are free agents doing independent work because they want to, such as web designers or artists working for themselves. These are the last people we need worry about. Indeed, many of us might envy their freedom. But a third are full-time independents because they are financially strapped. In other words, there are already about 50 million Westerners trying to earn their living in the gig economy out of necessity rather than choice. France and Spain have the highest share of independent workers, with almost a third of their labour force doing so either full- or part-time. The US and Britain are somewhat lower, at just over a quarter. The largest platforms are household names, such as Uber, with 1 million drivers, Freelancer.com with 18 million users and Airbnb with 2.5 million listings.

In the US, formal employment has shrunk by 0.1 per cent a year since the 2008 financial meltdown. All of America’s new jobs have been generated by independent work, which has risen by 7.8 per cent a year.65 The next time an economist boasts about America’s low unemployment rate, remember that number means something very different from what it used to. This is not your parents’ economy. It is not even your older sister’s. Nor is the gig economy dominated by millennials. Britain has more pensioners doing independent work than people under thirty. In America, the labour force participation rate for people aged between sixty-four and seventy-five has jumped by 4.7 per cent in the last decade, a time when the overall rate has dropped.66 We like to call it the sharing economy. But the fact that older people are doing such a large share of the work suggests a less charitable force is at play.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

Beyond Owyang’s “collaborative economy”—favored over “sharing economy” by the authors Rachel Botsman and Robin Chase, and, somewhat ironically, by OuiShare—writers and thinkers since 2010 have experimented with the use of the terms “gig economy,” “peer economy,” “renting economy,” and “on-demand economy” (the latter deemed most accurate by the venture capitalist Chris Dixon11). A study by Fortune magazine of term usage in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post revealed that “sharing economy” was used five times as frequently as “on-demand economy” and “gig economy” in the first six months of 2015, but that the latter two terms were gaining popularity.12 Before I delve into the intellectual precursors to today’s sharing economy, I’d like to consider the definitions implicit in two influential books that have appeared concurrent with the mainstream emergence of the sharing economy—Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers’s What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (2010) and Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh (2010)—and look as well at the ideas in Alex Stephany’s more recent book, The Business of Sharing (2015).

I have heard Teran discuss this at two separate events in the second half of 2015: the TAP Conference in New York on October 1, and the White House Summit on Worker Voice, October 7. See an op-ed by Sapone at http://qz.com/448846/the-on-demand-economy-doesnt-have-to-imitate-uber-to-win/. 6. Mark Warner, “Asking Tough Questions about the Gig Economy,” Washington Post, June 18, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/asking-tough-questions-about-the-gig-economy/2015/06/18/b43f2d0a-1461-11e5-9ddc-e3353542100c_story.html. 7. Quoted in Christina Reynolds, “Reality Check: Hillary Clinton and the Sharing Economy,” The Briefing, July 16, 2015. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/p/briefing/updates/2015/07/16/reality-check-sharing-economy/. 8. Robert Reich, “The Share-the-Scraps Economy,” Robert Reich, February 2, 2015. http://robertreich.org/post/109894095095. 9.

John J Horton, “Should Online Labor Markets Set a Minimum Wage?,” Blog posted October 29, 2011. http://john-joseph-horton.com/should-online-labor-markets-set-a-minimum-wage/. 16. Decisions and Orders of the National Labor Relations Board, v. 344, December 16, 2004, through August 17, 2005. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. 17. Mark R. Warner, “Asking Tough Questions about the Gig Economy.” Washington Post, June 18, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/asking-tough-questions-about-the-gig-economy/2015/06/18/b43f2d0a-1461-11e5-9ddc-e3353542100c_story.html. 18. ”Common Ground for Independent Workers,” WTF, November 10, 2015, https://medium.com/the-wtf-economy/common-ground-for-independent-workers-83f3fbcf548f#.nxpr7mck5. 19. https://fu-web-storage-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/content/filer_public/c2/06/c2065a8a-7f00-46db-915a-2122965df7d9/fu_freelancinginamericareport_v3-rgb.pdf. 20.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

If a machine carries out a job, there is no point a human replicating the work it is doing: she will not be paid, so she will have to look for some other way to generate an income. The gig economy We saw in chapter 3.2 how consultants at McKinsey noted that jobs can be analysed into tasks, some of which can be automated with current machine intelligence technology, and some of which cannot. This is an important insight and suggests that jobs will be sliced and diced, with some tasks being automated, and other tasks being retained by the human who previously did the whole job. Some would argue that this process is already under way. Parts of the economies of developed countries are being fragmented, or Balkanised, with more and more people working freelance, carrying out individual tasks which are allocated to them by platforms and apps like Uber and TaskRabbit. There are many words for this phenomenon: the gig economy, the networked economy, the sharing economy, the on-demand economy, the peer-to-peer economy, the platform economy, and the bottom-up economy.

Are the people hired out by these organisations “micro-entrepreneurs” or “instaserfs” - members of a new “precariat”, forced to compete against each other on price for low-end work with no benefits? Are they operating in a network economy or an exploitation economy? Is the sharing economy actually a selfish economy? Whichever side of this debate you come down on, the gig economy is a significant development: a survey by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found that as many as 7% of US adults were involved in it.[cclxv] But our concern here is not whether the gig economy is a fair one. It is whether it can prevent the automation of jobs by machine intelligence leading to widespread unemployment. The answer to that is surely No: as time goes by, however finely we slice and dice jobs into tasks, more and more of those tasks are vulnerable to automation by machine intelligence as it improves its capabilities at an exponential rate.

The unloading bays at the retail end are also standardised for efficiency: a system which automates the entire unloading process from a truck into the retailer's receiving area is technically feasible today, and with the exponential improvement in robotics and AI, it won't be long before it is economically feasible as well. As we have seen, robots are becoming increasingly flexible, nimble and adaptable. They can also increasingly be remotely operated. Most of the situations a driver could deal with on the open road will soon be within the capabilities of a robot which does not need sleep, food or salary. On the rare occasion when human intervention is needed, the gig economy[ccx] can probably furnish one quickly enough. Once it is economically feasible to replace human drivers with machines, it is a very short step to being economically compelling. Drivers account for 25-35% of the cost of a trucking operation.[ccxi] You can't escape the invisible hand of economics for long. In a free market, once one firm replaces its drivers the rest will have to follow suit, or go out of business.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

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3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

Etsy makes it possible for the person who made a hobby of creating sewing-sampler wall hangings with rock lyrics to find people who want to pay money for just such a product, and perhaps to sell enough as a result to earn a modest income.11 Some analyses suggest that these sorts of niche work could become part of a ‘gig economy’ that provides supplemental income and work for lots of people. That is, as ‘regular’ work, in well-defined jobs for large employers, provides workers with less wage growth and fewer hours, they will increasingly turn to a few hours driving an Uber, or a side business selling craft goods, to top up their income. In time, perhaps, the gig economy could become the regular economy; the flow of earning opportunities could grow large enough that workers could feel secure in their ability to earn a living through piecework. In emerging economies, the gig economy could permit workers to make the leap directly from the poverty of the developing world to full participation in global markets; a handful of residents of Mumbai slums have boosted their incomes tremendously through participation in a programme offered by eBay, which allows them to sell their wares (such as handmade leather goods) to customers around the world rather than to those in nearby Mumbai neighbourhoods.

In emerging economies, the gig economy could permit workers to make the leap directly from the poverty of the developing world to full participation in global markets; a handful of residents of Mumbai slums have boosted their incomes tremendously through participation in a programme offered by eBay, which allows them to sell their wares (such as handmade leather goods) to customers around the world rather than to those in nearby Mumbai neighbourhoods. How powerful could this gig economy become? It is growing every day, though from a very small base. Uber, one of the larger contributors to it, has several hundred thousand drivers worldwide.12 In a global labour force of billions that doesn’t begin to move the needle. Part-time work increased in importance during the economic crisis of 2008–9, but has ebbed as economic conditions have improved. Still, there is indisputably the opportunity for significant growth in the future. The question is whether the gig economy will lead to the suspension of the trilemma. The trilemma implies that to scare up enough consumer demand for ‘gigs’, the price – of the Uber trip or the TaskRabbit errand, for example – must be low.

A suspension of the trilemma means the arrival of a world of hyper-specialization, in which the market-expanding, match-generating power of the web becomes so powerful that most of the world’s billion workers can find themselves a tiny niche that is nonetheless lucrative enough to keep them fed and housed, but which isn’t, in the end, doable with software. We can hold out hope for that odd, intriguing world, but we probably should not hold our breath. The more probable future scenario is one in which new opportunities created by technology – through fracking, or through the disruption of service industries, or through the gig economy – destroy more work than they create, but also reduce the cost of critical goods and services for most consumers. That world has the potential to be a better one, and real standards of living could increase in that world even as pay to workers stagnates. But realizing that world almost certainly implies a significant evolution in societies’ social-safety institutions. As more workers compete for available jobs, wages for people without exceptional skills will stagnate or fall.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

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3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, Lyft, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, women in the workforce, young professional

In thinking of possible lives for Jane’s 100 years, the flexibility that the ecosystem model offers makes the prospect of self-employment at certain stages a viable option. The technology that connects an individual to companies who want to buy their skills is becoming more global, cheaper and more sophisticated. These connecting platforms are already proliferating, leading to growing commentary about the ‘gig economy’ and the ‘sharing economy’. Technological change reduces information costs and so enables buyers and sellers to find each other more easily as well as determine the reliability and quality of each other from independent sources. The gig economy refers to the idea that there will be a rising number of people earning their income not through full- or part-time employment, but rather through providing a series of specific tasks and commissions to multiple sequential buyers. It’s possible right now to sell your skills through platforms like Upwork, or to make a creative contribution on InnoCentive or Kaggle, which can attract top project work for cash or prize awards.

These platforms will become more significant as large corporations increasingly look to small groups or individuals for their insight and innovation, and small groups look to connect with each other to build scale and reach. Corporations will engage interested individuals and teams with prizes, partner with them for a specific project, or buy them – much as Uber bought the robotics team from Carnegie Mellon. Similar to the gig economy, the sharing economy as a commercial entity provides the promise of a flexible source of income. Through renting out spare room capacity with Airbnb, the most high-profile example, individuals can generate useful income. As well as providing a source of income, we expect these ecosystems will also help people better blend work, leisure and home. As people work more flexibly in small and focused teams where they feel passionate about what they are doing, so the barriers between work and leisure become eroded.

The emergence of Yahoos Although these new stages will be experienced by all ages, right now it is the 18–30-year-olds who are really embracing them. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. After all, Jane’s generation has the greatest need to adapt to longevity and also the greatest flexibility to do so. So it is they who will lead the way in experimentation and the adoption of new stages. Being an explorer, an independent producer and creating a portfolio (for this age group by utilizing the gig economy) will all be actively used and developed. This is an age group that, perhaps more than any other, realizes the value of options and is prepared to work hard to investigate and create them. In financial theory, an option is the right to buy an asset at a fixed price. The longer the period over which an option works, the greater its value. Moreover, the greater the uncertainty around the asset, the greater the value of the option.


pages: 431 words: 129,071

Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, bitcoin, book scanning, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, gig economy, greed is good, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Lyft, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Mother of all demos, Nixon shock, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

Had Ayn Rand and Aristotle been at Five Guys for an All-The-Way with Cajun Fries that night, they’d surely have embraced Jeremy like a son. I’d come in search of the neoliberal self and it seemed I’d found their teaming capital. But what goes in Silicon Valley, of course, is increasingly going everywhere else. This vision, of individuals ‘free’ to get along and get ahead by zooming unfettered from job to job, is what’s often known as the ‘gig economy’. It appears, too, in the guise of the ‘zero hours contract’ worker. They’re arrangements in which the responsibility of the employer is minimized, and that of the individual maximized. It made me think of the man at the counter at Esalen who’d refused to take my bag; we don’t take that responsibility. It was turning out to be the mantra of our times. Back in 1981 Margaret Thatcher had said ‘economics are the method but the object is to change the soul’.

He could be describing an ideal of self from Ancient Greece or a neoliberal hero. As we’ve learned, it’s not a coincidence that this model of ideal self also happens to be the one best equipped to get along and get ahead in the age of perfectionism – this era of heightened individualism, of financial crisis, of rising inequality, of personal debt, of small state, of deregulation, of austerity, of gig economy, of zero-hours contracts, of perfection-demanding gender ideals, of declining wages, of unrealistic body-image goals, of social media with its perfectionist presentation and its tribal outrage and demands for public punishment. These are the kinds of people who’ll be more likely to win at the game that has been made of our world, the kinds who’ll find a place in the boardroom or found billion-dollar hedge funds or start-ups – and then become powerful consumers, feeding back into the machine.

Keith ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Carlyle, Abbot Aelred ref1, ref2 Carnegie, Dale ref1 How to Win Friends and Influence People ref1 Carter, Drummond ref1 celebrity culture ref1, ref2, ref3 chimpanzees ref1, ref2 China biographies in ref1 Confucian self ref1 and group harmony ref1 suicides in ref1 Christian Science movement ref1 Christianity ref1, ref2 Ancient Greek influence ref1, ref2 and belief in God ref1 dourly introspective ref1 future-orientated ref1 orthodox not orthoprax ref1 and perfection ref1 and reason ref1 ritual and mimicry ref1 and the unconscious ref1 and the university system ref1 Cialdini, Dr Robert, The Psychology of Influence and Persuasion ref1 CJ becomes anorexic ref1 childhood and family life ref1 description and life ambition ref1 devotion to The Hunger Games ref1, ref2, ref3 drops out of drama college ref1 need for validation ref1 personality ref1, ref2 relationship with boys ref1 takes selfies as validation of self ref1, ref2 Claybury psychiatric hospital ref1 Clinton, Bill ref1, ref2 Clinton, Hilary ref1 Coan, James ref1 Cole, Steve ref1 the Collective ref1 computers see digital technology Confucianism ref1 and Aristotelianism ref1 and suicide ref1 Confucius ref1 Connop, Phoebe ref1 Cook, Tim ref1 Cooley, Charles Horton ref1 Cornish, Jackie ref1 corporate self ref1 Corporation Man and Woman, idea of ref1 Coulson, William ref1, ref2 Council of Economic Advisers ref1 Cowen, Graeme ref1, ref2 Cramer, Katherine ref1 cultural self and Ancient Greece ref1 and Asian self ref1, ref2 childhood and adolescence ref1 and Confucianism ref1 and the environment ref1 Freudian beliefs ref1 and ideal body ref1, ref2 and storytelling ref1 and youth ref1 Curtis, Adam ref1 Cynics, in Ancient Greece ref1 Deep Space Industries ref1, ref2 Demo: New Tech Solving Big Problems conference (San Jose, 2014) ref1 Deukmejian, George ‘The Duke’ ref1, ref2, ref3 digital technology and age of perfectionism ref1 development of ref1, ref2 dot.com crash ref1 humanist-neoliberal ideology ref1, ref2, ref3 and the ideal self ref1 online community ref1 personal computers ref1, ref2 as portal to information ref1 and the selfie drone ref1 vision of the future ref1 Web 2.0 ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 DNA ref1 Doyle, Jacqueline ref1 Dunbar, Robin ref1 Eagleman, David ref1 East Asians ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 eating disorders ref1, ref2 Eddy, Mary Baker ref1, ref2 Eells, Gregory ref1 effectance motive ref1 Ehrenreich, Barbara ref1 El Rancho Inn, Millbrae ref1, ref2, ref3 empathy ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 encounter groups danger of ref1 Doug Engelbart’s ref1 online ref1 participation in ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Fritz Perls’ ref1 Carl Rogers as pioneer of ref1 Will Schutz’s ref1 Engelbart, Doug ref1 interest in EST ref1 introduces encounter groups ref1 joins Global Business Network ref1 presents personal computer concept ref1, ref2 vision of information age ref1, ref2 ‘Augmenting Human Intellect’ ref1 environment and development of the brain ref1, ref2 Easterners’ vs Westerners’ awareness of ref1 effect of changes to ref1 importance of ref1 and individual experience ref1 and social perfectionism ref1, ref2, ref3 Epley, Nicholas ref1, ref2 Erhard, Werner ref1 Erhard Seminars Training (EST) workshops ref1 Esalen Institute ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10 Big Yurt ref1 criticisms of ref1 final assignment ref1 hosts conference on Spiritual and Therapeutic Tyranny ref1, ref2, ref3 influence at Stanford ref1, ref2 The Max ref1, ref2 Pandora’s Box ref1 Fritz Perls’ Gestalt encounter groups ref1 role-play tasks ref1 Will Schutz’s encounter groups ref1 stated mission ref1 suicides connected to ref1 unaffiliated ‘Little Esalens’ ref1 and wired technology ref1 EST see Erhard Seminars Training (EST) workshops Euclid, Cleveland ref1 Euripides, The Suppliants ref1 extraverts ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Faber, Daniel ref1, ref2 Facebook ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Fall Joint Computer Conference (San Francisco, 1968) ref1, ref2 financial crises ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Flett, Gordon ref1, ref2 Fonda, Jane ref1, ref2 Fortune magazine ref1, ref2 ‘The Founder’ concept ref1, ref2 Fox, Jesse ref1 free speech ref1 free will ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Freud, Sigmund ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Totem and Taboo ref1 Frith, Chris ref1 Gagarin, Nick ref1 gamified self ref1, ref2, ref3 Garcia, Rigo ref1 Gazzaniga, Michael ref1, ref2 GBN see Global Business Network Generation X ref1, ref2 George, Carol ref1 gig economy ref1, ref2 Global Business Network (GBN) ref1, ref2 globalization ref1, ref2, ref3 Gold, Judith ref1 Goldman, Marion ref1 Gome, Gilad ref1, ref2, ref3 Gordon, Robert ref1 gossip ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Great Compression (c. 1945–c. 1975) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12 Great Depression ref1 Greenspan, Alan appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve ref1 considers himself a libertarian ref1 effect of decisions on financial crisis ref1 influenced by Rand ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 relationship with Clinton ref1 rise to power ref1 Hacker Hostels, San Francisco ref1, ref2 Haidt, Jonathan ref1, ref2, ref3 Hampton, Debbie ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Hayek, Friedrich ref1, ref2, ref3 Heinz, Adrienne ref1, ref2, ref3 Heinz, Austen considered sexist and misogynistic ref1 description of ref1 DNA vision ref1 personality ref1 suicide of ref1 Henrich, Joseph ref1, ref2, ref3 heroes ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 Hewitt, John ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow) ref1 Himba people ref1 Hogan, Robert ref1 Hollesley Bay Young Offenders Institution, Suffolk ref1 Hood, Bruce ref1, ref2, ref3 The Self Illusion ref1 Horowitz, Mitch ref1, ref2 Human Potential Movement ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Humanistic Psychology ref1, ref2 The Hunger Games ref1, ref2, ref3 hunter-gatherers ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Hutchinson, Audrey ref1, ref2 Huxley, Aldous ref1 ideal self ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10 see also perfect self Immaculate Heart Community, California ref1 Inc.com ref1, ref2 individualism and the 2016 political shocks ref1 in America ref1 Ancient Greek notion of ref1, ref2, ref3 and blame ref1 Christian view ref1, ref2 competitive ref1, ref2 cooperation and teamwork ref1, ref2 and culture ref1 development of ref1, ref2 East Asian concept of ref1 East–West clash ref1 and freedom ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 getting along and getting ahead ref1, ref2 and the Great Compression ref1 hard form of ref1 as heightened ref1 hyper-individual model ref1 libertarian-neoliberal ref1 and passion ref1 and personality traits ref1, ref2 and Ayn Rand ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 rise of ref1, ref2 and self-esteem ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and social pain ref1 and the state ref1 Stewart Brand’s concept of ref1 and wired technology ref1 internet ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 and Doug Engelbart ref1 and Web 2.0 ref1, ref2, ref3 introverts ref1, ref2, ref3 Jaeger, Werner ref1, ref2, ref3 James, William ref1 Japan, suicide in ref1 Jeremy (mechanical engineer) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Jobs, Steve ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Kalanick, Travis ref1 kalokagathia ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Kelly, Jodi ref1 Kidlington Detention Centre, Oxfordshire ref1 Kim, Uichol ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Konrath, Sara ref1 Lakewood Church, Houston ref1 leadership ref1, ref2 Leary, Mark ref1 Levey, Cate ref1, ref2 libertarianism ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Lincoln Elementary School, Long Beach ref1 Little, Brian ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Loewenstein, George ref1 ‘The Long Boom: A History of the Future’ (Schwartz et al.) ref1, ref2 The Looking-Glass Self (Bruce) ref1, ref2 Lord, Frances ref1 Luit (chimpanzee) ref1 Lyons, Dan ref1 McAdams, Dan ref1 McKee, Robert ref1 McManus, Chris ref1 Marin, Peter ref1 market rhetoric ref1 Markoff, John ref1 Martin, Father ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Marwick, Alice ref1, ref2, ref3 Maslow, Abraham ref1, ref2 Matteo Ricci College, Seattle ref1 Mayfield, Janet ref1 Mecca, Andrew ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Menlo Park ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Michie, Colin ref1 millennials ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Mind Cure ref1, ref2, ref3 Mitropoulos, Con ref1, ref2 monastic life ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Monitoring the Future Project ref1 Mont Pelerin Society ref1 Morales, Helen ref1 Mumford, Lewis, The Myth of the Machine ref1 Murphy, Michael ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Musk, Elon ref1, ref2, ref3 narcissism ref1 at Esalen ref1, ref2 and over-praise ref1, ref2 research into ref1 rise in ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and self-esteem ref1, ref2, ref3 and Trump ref1 and Vasco ref1 in younger people ref1, ref2 The Narcissism Epidemic (Twenge and Campbell) ref1 narcissistic perfectionism ref1 Narcissistic Personality Disorder ref1 Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) ref1, ref2 National Academy of Sciences Proceedings (2015) ref1 National Council for Self Esteem ref1 nature vs nurture in development ref1, ref2 neoliberalism becomes mainstream ref1 and being self-sufficient and successful ref1 and ‘bespoke hero’ ref1 corporate view ref1 and creation of new form of human ref1 and the digital future ref1 disdain for regulation and government oversight ref1 emergence ref1 and financial inequalities ref1, ref2 and gay rights/gay marriage ref1 and global financial crisis (2008) ref1 as global phenomenon ref1 governments run like businesses ref1 Hayek’s vision of ref1, ref2 individualism, status and self-esteem ref1 negative effects ref1 and new style of government ref1 and power of multinationals ref1 rebellion against ref1 and structural inequalities ref1 and working conditions ref1 Netflix: code for employees ref1 Nettle, Daniel ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Personality ref1 neurotics and neuroticism ref1, ref2 neurotic perfectionism ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 as personality trait ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Nietzsche Society, UCL ref1 Nisbett, Richard ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 NPI see Narcissism Personality Index; Narcissistic Personality Inventory O’Connor, Rory ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Oedipus complex ref1, ref2 O’Reilly, Tim ref1 ostracism ref1 Ozawa-de Silva, Chikako ref1 Pakrul, Stephanie (aka StephTheGeek) ref1 ‘Paris Hilton effect’ ref1 Peale, Dr Norman Vincent, The Power of Positive Thinking ref1 perfect self as an illusion ref1 Heinz Austen as example of ref1 and being anything we want to be ref1, ref2 Christian ref1 CJ as example of ref1 cultural conception of ref1 and culture ref1 and digital self ref1 and gamified individualist economy ref1 and ideal self ref1 judging others and ourselves ref1 narcissistic ref1 and neoliberalism ref1 neurotic ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 perfectionist presentation ref1 and personal responsibility ref1 pressures of ref1 and the self ref1, ref2 selfishness or selflessness ref1, ref2 social ref1 and suicide ref1 see also ideal self Perls, Fritz ref1, ref2 as a ‘dirty old man’ ref1, ref2, ref3 feud with Schutz ref1 fractious relationship with Esalen ref1 Gestalt encounter groups ref1, ref2, ref3 near obsessional attacks and insults ref1 reaction to suicides ref1 Tom Wolfe’s comments on ref1 tough upbringing ref1 visits Freud ref1, ref2 personal computers see digital technology personality and acting out of character ref1 assumptions concerning ref1 basic traits ref1, ref2, ref3 and being or doing whatever we want ref1 and the brain ref1, ref2, ref3 different people in different contexts ref1 individualism and self-esteem ref1 and parental influence ref1 predictable shifts in ref1 prison metaphor ref1 and realising you’re not the person you wanted to be ref1 social responses ref1 tests and research ref1 as virtually unchanging ref1 physical self Ancient Greek ideals ref1, ref2 and body consciousness ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 cultural influences ref1 and diet ref1 linked to moral worth ref1 Pluscarden Abbey ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 polyamory ref1, ref2 Price, Marcia ref1 Price, Richard ref1, ref2, ref3 Pridmore, John ref1 childhood trauma ref1 effect of culture on ref1, ref2, ref3 sent to prison ref1 undergoes religious conversion ref1, ref2, ref3 violent behaviour ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 weeps when watching TV ref1, ref2 psychoanalysis ref1 Qi Wang ref1 Quimby, Phineas ref1, ref2 Rainbow Mansion, Silicon Valley ref1, ref2 Rand, Ayn ref1, ref2, ref3 beliefs and influence ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 changes her name/identity ref1 early life ref1 reaction to Nathaniel Branden’s infidelity ref1, ref2 sets up the Collective ref1 Atlas Shrugged ref1, ref2, ref3 The Fountainhead ref1 The Virtue of Selfishness ref1 reputation ref1, ref2 in Ancient Greece ref1 ‘getting along and getting ahead’ (Hogan) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 and guilt ref1 ‘honour culture’ ref1 and tribal brains ref1 Rogers, Art ref1, ref2 Rogers, Carl ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Roh Moo-hyun ref1 Rosenbaum, Alyssa see Rand, Ayn Rosetto, Louis ref1 Ross, Ben ref1, ref2 Rudnytsky, Peter ref1 Rule of St Benedict, The ref1, ref2 San Francisco ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9 Sapolsky, Robert ref1, ref2 Sartre, Jean-Paul ref1, ref2 Satir, Virginia ref1 Schuman, Michael ref1 Schutz, Will ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Joy ref1 Schwartz, Peter ref1 Scott, Sophie ref1, ref2 Seager, Martin ref1 self cultivation of ref1 East Asian, and reality ref1, ref2 and engagement in personal projects ref1 and local best-practice ref1 and need for a mission ref1 as open and free ref1 perfectible ref1, ref2 as a story ref1 see also authentic self Self-Determination Think Tank ref1 self-esteem Baumeister’s research into ref1 belief in ref1 and changes in values ref1 in education ref1, ref2, ref3 high ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and lack of tolerance and empathy ref1 legislation embodying ref1 legitimization of ref1 and life-affirming message ref1 lingering effects of movement ref1 low ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10 media questioning of ref1 myths and lies concerning ref1, ref2, ref3 and narcissism ref1, ref2, ref3 negative effects ref1 negative report on ref1 and overpraise ref1 and perfectionism ref1 popularity of ref1 raising ref1 research into ref1 and selfie generation ref1 Self-Esteem Task Force project ref1 social importance of ref1 Vasco’s ideology of ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Western emphasis on ref1 self-harm ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 self-interest ref1, ref2, ref3 self-just-about-everything ref1, ref2 self-loathing ref1 self-love movement ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 selfie generation ref1 awareness of structural inequalities ref1 CJ as example of ref1, ref2 effect of social media on ref1 maintaining continual state of perfection ref1 and narcissism ref1 need for social feedback ref1 and parenting practices ref1 selfishness/selflessness ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Shannahoff-Khalsa, David ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Shannin (entrepreneur) ref1 Shaw, Paula ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Silani, Dr Giorgia ref1 Silicon Valley, California ref1, ref2 attitude to conspicuous wealth ref1 as capital of the neoliberal self ref1 cold-blooded rationalism in ref1 demonstration of personal computing in ref1 hyper-individualist model of corporate self in ref1, ref2 involvement in transformation of economy ref1 lack of compassion in ref1 links with Esalen ref1 living in fear in ref1 as military-industrial complex ref1 model of ideal self in ref1 Simon, Meredith ref1, ref2, ref3 Singularity ref1 Smelser, Neil ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Smiles, Samuel ref1 Self Help ref1 Snyder, Mark ref1 Social Importance of Self-Esteem, The (Smelser et al.) ref1, ref2 social media ref1, ref2 social pain ref1, ref2 South Korea, suicide in ref1 Sparks, Randy ref1 Oh Yes, I’m A Wonderful Person and other Musical Adventures for those of us in search of Greater Self-Esteem ref1 Spiritual and Therapeutic Tyranny: The Willingness to Submit (conference, 1973) ref1, ref2, ref3 Squire, Michael ref1 Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park ref1, ref2 Augmentation Research Center (ARC) ref1, ref2 Stanford University ref1, ref2, ref3 Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Unit ref1 Stark, Rodney ref1 start-ups ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Startup Castle, Silicon Valley ref1 stimulus-action hunger ref1 storytelling Brexit/Trump narrative ref1 development of personal narratives ref1 East–West differences/similarities ref1 and feelings of control ref1 as form of tribal propaganda ref1 happiness and sense of purpose ref1 and the inner voice ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 self and culture ref1 and self-esteem ref1 and self-loathing ref1 selfishness or selflessness ref1, ref2, ref3 split-brain participants ref1 success and failure ref1 as universal ref1 suicide ref1 attempts at ref1, ref2, ref3 Confucian cultures ref1 connected to Esalen ref1, ref2 as failed hero stories ref1 gender and culture ref1, ref2 increase due to financial crisis (2008) ref1 in Japan ref1 and loss of hero status ref1 as a mystery ref1 patterns in ref1 and perfectionism ref1, ref2, ref3 rates of ref1 research into ref1 in South Korea ref1 Sunshine (attendee at Esalen) ref1 Sweet Peach ref1 synthetic biology ref1, ref2 Talhelm, Thomas ref1 Tanzania ref1, ref2 teamwork/cooperation ref1 Thiel, Peter ref1 Zero to One ref1 Tice, Dianne ref1 Tomkins, Detective Sergeant Katherine ref1 Tomlinson, Rachel ref1 Toward a State of Esteem (1990) ref1 tribal self Brexit/Trump narrative ref1 hierarchy, territory, status ref1 and ideal/perfect self ref1 monks as ref1 prejudice and bias ref1 and punishing of transgressors ref1 reputation and gossip ref1, ref2 selflessness or selflessness ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and storytelling/left-brain interpretation ref1 Trudeau, Garry ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Trump, Donald as anti-establishment ref1 appeal to voters ref1, ref2 declares he will put ‘America first’ ref1 false stories concerning ref1 narcissistic tendencies ref1 and social media ref1 as straightforward no-nonsense businessman ref1 Trzesniewski, Kali ref1 Turner, Fred ref1, ref2 Twenge, Jean ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 20Mission (Hacker Hostel, San Francisco) ref1 Twitter ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 University of Glasgow Suicide Behaviour Research Laboratory ref1, ref2, ref3 Vanessa (employee at Rainbow Mansion) ref1, ref2 Vasconcellos, John ‘Vasco’ ref1, ref2 death of ref1 description and beliefs ref1 early life and education ref1 as ‘furious’ ref1, ref2, ref3 as homosexual ref1 ideology of self-esteem ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 nutty notions of ref1, ref2 ridiculed by the media ref1 and Smelser’s conclusions on the task force ref1 suffers massive heart attack ref1, ref2 Task Force project ref1 Vittitow, Dick ref1 Waal, Frans de ref1 Wallace, Donald ‘Smokey’ ref1 Warren, Laura ref1 Whole Earth Catalog ref1 Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link ref1, ref2, ref3 Wigglesworth, Smith ref1, ref2 Williams, Kip ref1, ref2 Wilson, Timothy D. ref1 Wolfe, Tom ref1 Wolin, Sheldon ref1 Wood, Natalie ref1, ref2 Wrangham, Richard ref1 Xerox ref1, ref2, ref3 zero-hours contracts ref1, ref2, ref3 Also by Will Storr FICTION The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone NON-FICTION Will Storr versus The Supernatural The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science (published in the US as The Unpersuadables) First published 2017 by Picador This electronic edition published 2017 by Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan 20 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RR Associated companies throughout the world www.panmacmillan.com ISBN 978-1-4472-8367-6 Copyright © Will Storr 2017 Cover Design: Neil Lang, Picador Art Department The right of Will Storr to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Uber discovered that some drivers were signing up with as many as ten smartphones, booking phantom trips during peak times on all of them simultaneously. 12 Cited in ‘Will crowdsourcing put an end to wage-based employment?’, L’Atelier, 29 September 2015. 13 Reported in Financial Times, 20 June 2015. 14 Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk, Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce, 2015. 15 L. Katz and A. Krueger, ‘The Rise of Alternative Work Arrangements and the ‘Gig’ Economy’, draft paper cited in R. Wile, ‘Harvard economist: All net U.S. job growth since 2005 has been in contracting gigs’, Fusion, 29 March 2016. 16 Financial Times, 22 September 2015. 17 In June 2015, the California Labor Commissioner ruled that Uber was an employer because it controlled pricing, tipping, driver ratings and type of car. Uber appealed and the case was due to go to jury trial in June 2016.

Marvit, ‘How crowdworkers became the ghosts in the digital machine’, The Nation, 5 February 2014. 29 A. Wood and B. Burchell, ‘Zero hours employment: A new temporality of capitalism?’, CritCom, 16 September 2015. 30 Standing, 2009, op. cit. 31 R. Susskind and D. Susskind, The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). 32 E. Cadman, ‘Employers tap “gig” economy in search of freelancers’, Financial Times, 15 September 2015. 33 H. Ekbia and B. Nardi, ‘Inverse instrumentality: How technologies objectify patients and players’, in P. Leonardi et al., Materiality and Organising (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 157. 34 Cited in H. Ekbia and B. Nardi, ‘Heteromation and its (dis)contents: The invisible division of labour between humans and machines’, First Monday, 19 (6), June 2014. 35 S.


pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar

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3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

Indeed, the company was at the forefront of the huge hike in executive pay from the 1980s onward. By fomenting constant, ruthless competition within the firm and rewarding those who took big risks for big payoffs, Welch did more than build the sorts of hidden debt bombs that went off so famously during the subprime crisis. He was also instrumental in ending GE’s tradition of secure lifetime employment and creating what might be called the “gig economy,” in which firms could get rid of anyone, even their top people, at any time. Every employee became, in essence, a temp. This again was a shift in which business had come to mirror finance, where service tenures for employees had always been lower (and paydays bigger, as part of the high-risk, high-reward model that worked for the few but not for the many). Tenures at GE and most of the rest of the Fortune 500 companies decreased dramatically from the 1980s onward, a change that Welch lauded.

What’s more, the number of people with access to plans may actually decline in the future, given current labor trends. Many small and mid-size businesses that are creating the majority of new jobs can’t afford to offer retirement benefits, and most freelancers as well as part-time workers at companies of all sizes usually don’t qualify. Yet those are exactly the groups that are growing in number, as the American workforce becomes a “gig” economy in which more and more people work on contract, and often without benefits. The 401(k) system itself may be flawed, but any vehicle for retirement savings is better than none. PENSIONERS VERSUS WALL STREET The failed experiment that is our 401(k) system is just one part of the retirement crisis; the other is the beleaguered defined-benefit pension system (in which individuals retire with a fixed monthly benefit) that serves millions of workers.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

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4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

It suggests exchanges that do not involve money, or that are at least motivated by generosity, by a desire to give or to help. “Economy” suggests market transactions—the self-interested exchange of money for goods or services. There has been a lot of debate about whether “sharing economy” is the right name to use to describe this new wave of businesses, and a raft of other names have been tried out—collaborative consumption, the mesh economy, peer-to-peer platforms, the gig economy, concierge services, or, increasingly, the “on-demand economy.” There is no doubt that the word “sharing” has been stretched beyond reasonable limits as the “sharing economy” has grown and changed, but we still need a name when we talk about the phenomenon. While it may not last more than another year or so, “sharing economy” is the name used right now in 2015. I will use the name, but to avoid repeated use of the word “alleged” or annoyingly frequent scare quotes I will capitalize it as the Sharing Economy.2 Definitions don’t take us very far when talking about something as fluid and rapidly changing as the Sharing Economy, but we still need to draw some boundaries around the topic to talk about it coherently.


pages: 279 words: 76,796

The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives by Lisa Servon

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, basic income, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, employer provided health coverage, financial exclusion, financial independence, financial innovation, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, Lyft, M-Pesa, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, precariat, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, too big to fail, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

That was the very last thing that I let go of. Then when I let go of that, I was like, I don’t have kids. I never plan on getting married. I never want to buy another house. I’m buying my next car with cash. So yeah, my parents had the American Dream. Good for them. Never going to be for me, and I don’t want it anymore.” This generation dreams more modest dreams: paying off debt, obtaining financial stability, rising above the “gig economy” to find a job they enjoy and has some meaning for them. Their financial fears make it difficult—or painful—to look too far into the future. As Marisa, who was about to graduate with a master’s degree in urban policy, put it, “I think at this point, looking forward to the next few years, it’s less about being successful than can I even get out of this hole and get on an even foundation, to then maybe have some type of substantial savings?


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

One big reason for the decline in residential moving stems from a decline in job switching. If people are less likely to change jobs, they are also, for obvious reasons, less likely to move. And if we look at job reallocation rates—a rough measure of turnover in the labor market—they have fallen more than a quarter since 1990.12 Among the most written-about job phenomena these days is that of the flexible gig economy, as reflected in individuals who work as Uber drivers, for example. That is indeed a significant change in transportation for many of us, but it is not the major trend in the labor market as a whole. Nor has globalization turned all jobs into temporary or transient posts. The data show that job transitions are down and individuals are more likely to spend a long time with a single employer than ever before.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

Hansen, Emergence and Embodiment: New Essays on Second-Order Systems Theory (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009). 77.  Peter Watts, Beyond the Rift (San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2013), 9. 78.  James Bridle, “Do You Know This Person?” Render Search, http://render-search.com/. 79.  Sarah Jaffe, “Silicon Valley's Gig Economy Is Not the Future of Work—It's Driving Down Wages,” Guardian, July 23, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/23/gig-economy-silicon-valley-taskrabbit-workers. 80.  When I was a youngster, my dislike for the Canadian rock band Rush was confirmed by the song “Red Barchetta,” about a guy who drives around in his muscle car in defiance of climate and pollution laws. Today, Johnny Dronehunter protects normatively masculine white guys from the emasculating influence of “drones” (and “technology” in general we assume) by zooming around inside his big metal box and shooting at things in the sky.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

“I can hire a thousand graders in a week from around the world,” said Thrun, “try them out, find the two hundred best, and let the other eight hundred go.” It is a fast way to get high quality. There are Udacity freelance graders who make several thousand dollars a month grading computing projects—like how to build a map from Google’s GPS—sent in from students around the world. “We had one project grader who made twenty-eight thousand dollars one month,” said Thrun. “The gig economy is moving up. It’s not just about TaskRabbit errands anymore.” And Udacity is not just providing intelligent assistance for companies such as AT&T. Its platform is creating intelligent assistance for “the start-up of you”—whoever and wherever you are. In the fall of 2015, I found myself in a small conference room at Udacity’s Palo Alto headquarters interviewing—via Skype—Ghada Sleiman, a thirty-year-old Lebanese woman, who was taking Udacity’s online course to advance her skills in Web-page design.

Olin Foundation Gaffney, Owen Gallup Galor, Oded Galston, Bill Galván, Arturo Gambia Garber, Jake Garten, Jeffrey Gates, Bill Gates Foundation gays, gay rights; violence against Gaznay, Karwan GDP (gross domestic product); Internet penetration and Gebbia, Joe gender equality gene drives gene editing, as weapon General Electric (GE); Additive Manufacturing Lab of; engineering-design contests of; Niskayuna research center of General Mills generative design genetic engineering genetics, human manipulation of Genome.gov GeopoliticalFutures.com geopolitics: climate change and; Cold War in, see Cold War; foreign aid in; innovation in; interdependence in; post–Cold War; post–World War I; post–World War II; U.S. hegemony in geopolitics, post–post–Cold War era in: accelerated pace of; ADD (amplify, deter, degrade) policy in; breakers in, see breakers, super-empowered; climate change and; great-power competition in; innovation in; interdependence in; low-wage jobs in; weak states in, see weak states Georgia Tech gerrymandering Get Smart (TV series) Ghana Ghonim, Wael ghost apps GI Bill gig economy Gil, Dario Gilhousen, Klein GitHub Global Change and the Earth System (Steffen, et al.) global flows; bandwidth and; destructive aspects of; developing world and; digitalization of; education and; human relationships and; infrastructure and; innovation and; Internet of Things and; the Market and; as percentage of world GDP; population growth and; power of; push vs. pull in; social technologies and; supernova and; weak states and; see also connectivity, advances in Globality.com globalization: acceleration of; Moore’s law and; traditional definition of; see also Market, the global warming, see climate change Go God: cyberspace and; Jewish postbiblical view of Goldberg, Jay Golden Globes Golden Rule Goldwasser, Lesley golf, author and Golf Digest Goodwin, Tom Google; MapReduce of; proprietary systems of; search engine of; self-driving cars of Google Apps Google File System (GFS) Google Maps Google News Google Photos Gorbachev, Mikhail Gorbis, Marina Gordon, John Steele Gordon, Robert Gorman, Michael Governing the World (Mazower) Government Accountability Office GPS Grantham, Jeremy Great Acceleration; see also age of accelerations Great Barrier Reef Great Britain; EU exit of Great Depression “Great Green Wall” Great Recession of 2008 Greece “Green Corps” Greenland, ice sheets of Grinstein, Gidi Gross, Susan GSM (Global System for Mobile) Guardian Guatemala gun reform Hadoop Hagel, John, III Hagstrom, Jane Pratt Haick, Hossam Haidt, Jonathan Haigazian University Hang, MayKao Y.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Fitzgerald and Erica Orden, “Airbnb Gets Subpoena for User Data in New York,” Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2013; and Elizabeth A. Harris, “The Airbnb Economy in New York: Lucrative but Often Unlawful,” New York Times, November 4, 2013. 16 Alexia Tsotsis, “TaskRabbit Gets $13M from Founders Fund and Others to ‘Revolutionize the World’s Labor Force,’” TechCrunch, July 23, 2012. 17 Brad Stone, “My Life as a TaskRabbit,” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 13, 2012. 18 Sarah Jaffe, “Silicon Valley’s Gig Economy Is Not the Future of Work—It’s Driving Down Wages,” Guardian, July 23, 2014. 19 Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (Bloomsbury Academic, 2001). 20 Natasha Singer, “In the Sharing Economy, Workers Find Both Freedom and Uncertainty,” New York Times, August 16, 2014. 21 George Packer, “Change the World,” New Yorker, May 27, 2013, newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/27/130527fa_fact_packer.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

That’s because the conflict here is not really between San Francisco residents and Google employees or the 99 percent and the 1 percent. It’s not even stressed-out employees against the companies they work for or the unemployed against Wall Street so much as everyone—humanity itself—against a program that promotes growth above all else. We are caught in a growth trap. This is the problem with no name or face, the frustration so many feel. It is the logic driving the jobless recovery, the low-wage gig economy, the ruthlessness of Uber, and the privacy invasions of Facebook. It is the mechanism that undermines both businesses and investors, forcing them to compete against players with digitally inflated poker chips. It’s the pressure rendering CEOs powerless to prioritize the sustainability of their enterprises over the interests of impatient shareholders. It is the unidentified culprit behind the news headlines of economic crises from the Greek default to skyrocketing student debt.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation by Satyajit Das

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9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn't a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.” 7 Technology and innovation are touted as sources of future employment. The sharing economy (also known as the peer economy, collaborative economy, and gig economy) is based on the ubiquitous Internet, improved broadband connectivity, smartphones, and apps. Individuals with spare time, houses, rooms, cars, and the like can use them as sources of work and income. The economy that benefits everyone focuses on transport (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, GetTaxi, Hailo), short-term accommodation (Airbnb, HomeAway), small tasks (TaskRabbit, Fiverr), grocery-shopping services (Instacart), home-cooked meals (Feastly), on-demand delivery services (Postmates, Favor), pet transport (DogVacay, Rover), car rental (RelayRides, Getaround), boat rental (Boatbound), and tool rental (Zilok).


pages: 390 words: 109,870

Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett

Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism

Digital information can be shared at practically zero cost, an infinite number of times; it is very difficult to censor; and it does not easily recognise national borders. Thanks to modern communications, it’s easier than ever for businesses and people to relocate anywhere, which is making it harder for governments to collect taxes. App technology like Uber and Deliveroo has led to a sudden and unexpected surge in a gig economy, which is estimated to cost the UK government £3.5 billion a year by 2020–1. There are already millions of people using bitcoin and blockchain technologies, and their number will continue to grow. The Net is also creating new affiliations and loyalties that aren’t always national in nature: a growing number of people see themselves as ‘global citizens’, like Susanne.30 The nation state evolved during a time of industrialisation, centralised ‘command and control’ bureaucracies and the growth of national loyalty.