ACQUADRO “Sympathy For The Luddites”
N.S.A. ACQUIRES SKYPE FOR MICROSOFT FOR PRISM FOR $8.5bn
‘Today, however, a much darker picture of the effects of technology on labor is emerging. In this picture, highly educated workers are as likely as less educated workers to find themselves displaced and devalued, and pushing for more education may create as many problems as it solves.
I’ve noted before that the nature of rising inequality in America changed around 2000. Until then, it was all about worker versus worker; the distribution of income between labor and capital — between wages and profits, if you like — had been stable for decades. Since then, however, labor’s share of the pie has fallen sharply. As it turns out, this is not a uniquely American phenomenon. A new report from the International Labor Organization points out that the same thing has been happening in many other countries, which is what you’d expect to see if global technological trends were turning against workers.
And some of those turns may well be sudden. The McKinsey Global Institute recently released a report on a dozen major new technologies that it considers likely to be “disruptive,” upsetting existing market and social arrangements. Even a quick scan of the report’s list suggests that some of the victims of disruption will be workers who are currently considered highly skilled, and who invested a lot of time and money in acquiring those skills. For example, the report suggests that we’re going to be seeing a lot of “automation of knowledge work,” with software doing things that used to require college graduates. Advanced robotics could further diminish employment in manufacturing, but it could also replace some medical professionals.’ – Paul Krugman, “Sympathy for the Luddites,” The New York Times
ELVIS PRESLEY : _______________ :: SEAN PARKER : ALL MUSICIANS, STUDIO ENGINEERS, PRODUCERS, RECORD LABEL STAFF, VITAL INDEPENDENT MUSIC etc.
‘One question for technology boosters—maybe the crucial one—is why, during the decades of the personal computer and the Internet, the American economy has grown so slowly, average wages have stagnated, the middle class has been hollowed out, and inequality has surged. Why has a revolution that is supposed to be as historically important as the industrial revolution coincided with a period of broader economic decline? I posed the question in one form or another to everyone I talked to in the Bay Area. The answers became a measure of how people in the technology industry think about the world beyond it.
Few of them had given the topic much consideration. One young techie wondered if it was really true; another said that the problem was a shortage of trained software engineers; a third noted that the focus of the tech industry was shifting from engineering to design, and suggested that this would open up new job opportunities. Sam Lessin, who leads Facebook’s “identity product group,” which is in charge of the social network’s Timeline feature, posited that traditional measures of wealth might not be applicable in the era of social media. He said, “I think as communication technology gets less expensive, and people can entertain each other and interact with each other and do things for each other much more efficiently, what’s actually going to happen is that the percentage of the economy that’s in cash is going to decline. Some people will choose to build social capital rather than financial capital. Given the opportunity to spend an extra hour or an extra dollar, they will choose to spend time with friends. It might be that the G.D.P., in the broader sense, is actually growing quite quickly—it’s just that we’re not measuring it properly.”’ – “Change The World,” by George Packer, The New Yorker
N.S.A. BUYS TUMBLR FOR YAHOO FOR PRISM FOR $1.1bn
“How can anyone think that it’s remotely healthy in a democracy to have the NSA building a massive spying apparatus about which even members of Congress, including Senators on the Homeland Security Committee, are totally ignorant and find “astounding” when they learn of them?” – Glenn Greenwald, “On PRISM, partisanship and propaganda,” The Guardian