Philosopher John Danaher's new paper "Will life be worth living in a world without work?
Technological Unemployment and the Meaning of Life" assumes that after the robots take all our jobs, and after the economic justice of figuring out how to share the productivity games can be equitably shared among the robot-owning investor class and the robot-displaced 99%, there will still be a burning question: what will give our life meaning? Read the rest
In Understanding overconfidence: Theories of intelligence, preferential attention, and distorted self-assessment, an open access paper published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, psych researchers from Washington State U, Florida State U and Stanford report on their ingenious experiments to investigate how subjects' beliefs about intelligence affect their own intelligence. Read the rest
In this video, employees at the Carrier Air Conditioner factory in Indianapolis are gathered together by a manager who explains that the company's profit-margins dictate that all 1400 of them will lose their jobs as their factory is moved to Mexico. Read the rest
Years before the complaints from Flint's citizenry about their water provoked action from the state, Governor Rick Snyder spent $440,000 to supply better water to the GM factory, where the new water supply was corroding the car parts on the assembly line. Read the rest
Michael Moore, perhaps Flint, MI's most famous son, has written an open letter to people who are heartsick at the thought of a whole generation of mostly poor, mostly black children being given permanent brain damage through lead poisoning, thanks to the deliberate indifference of the state's Republican administration and the greedy people who elected them. Read the rest
Y Combinator founder and essayist Paul Graham's essay on the inevitability -- and desirability -- of income inequality sparked many scathing rebuttals, some of them quite brilliant, but the best so far comes from Tim O'Reilly, one of technology's towering figures. Read the rest
Seven years ago, Alex Steffen and I proposed that rather than preparing "bug out bags" you can grab and go with after the apocalypse, we should all have "bug-in bags" full of things we'll use to help our neighbors when the lights go out. Read the rest
In 2008, the Red Cross was a dysfunctional mess, so it hired on Gail McGovern, an AT&T exec and Harvard Business School prof, who parachuted in a group of other AT&T alums to oversee a program of rigid, centralized control; mass layoffs;secrecy and funny accounting, an emphasis on "branding"; and a collapse in volunteer morale and public reputation for one of America's most respected charities. Read the rest
Global Justice Now's "Corporate Monopoly" is an excellent piece of information design; it's a playable boardgame adapted from Monopoly (itself originally designed to teach the evils of capitalism), in which a shoe (the 99%) and a top hat (obvs) take it in turns to go round a familiar board whose squares tell stories about real-world class war, centred around UK policies and business. Read the rest
Political scientists and economists who've undertaken peer-reviewed research into policy outcomes have concluded that all over the world, and at every level of government, wealth inequality is correlated with corrupt policy-making in which politicians create laws and regulations that favor the rich at the expense of the wider public. Read the rest
The Prime Minister of Iceland offered to take in 50 Syrian refugees; 10,000 of his countrymen responded to this announcement by offering their homes to house Syrians fleeing horrific violence and danger. Read the rest
The Catalan independence movement is a perennial factor in Spanish politics, but it's had a new lease on life since the financial crisis and the imposition of brutal austerity by the country's banker-friendly, authoritarian government. Read the rest
Well, for one thing, it's pretty weird that as soon as the story that UK Prime Minister/hereditary toff David Cameron allegedly stuck his penis in the mouth of a dead pig in a college initiation for a secret society of the ultra-rich, the UK's top establishment figures leapt to his defense, saying that even if he face-fucked a dead pig, it wasn't such a big deal. Read the rest
When Enron collapsed and got hit with a lawsuit requesting discovery on its internal email, its top bosses decided that they'd skip spending money on pricey lawyers to go through the archive and remove immaterial messages -- instead, the dumped the entire corpus of internal mail, including their employees' personal messages. Read the rest
Economist Paul Mason's blockbuster manifesto Postcapitalism
suggests that markets just can't organize products whose major input isn't labor or material, but information, and that means that, for the first time in history, it's conceivable that we can have a society based on abundance.
Update: Utopia's title is now "Walkaway" and it drops on April 25, 2017.
My biggest (and, IMO, best) adult novel has just sold to Tor for a very pleasing sum of money; it will hit shelves in 2017. Read the rest
Already sold: most of Greece's airports -- for sale: gas transmission, oil refineries, power company, post office, national highways, water company. Read the rest